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Adversary Proceedings

Miami Bankruptcy Litigation Attorneys Serving All of South Florida

For the most part, bankruptcy operates like an administrative proceeding under judicial supervision, and most bankruptcy filers never see the inside of a courtroom. Although litigation is relatively uncommon in bankruptcy, it can and does happen for many different reasons.

Lawsuits filed in a bankruptcy case are known as adversary proceedings. Since bankruptcy litigation is unfamiliar territory for many bankruptcy attorneys, if an adversary proceeding is part of your bankruptcy case, getting help from an experienced bankruptcy litigator is essential to your success.

The Miami law firm of Edelboim Lieberman is staffed with experienced trial and litigation attorneys who fight for their clients in South Florida courtrooms every day. Our bankruptcy legal team is ready to handle every aspect of your business bankruptcy efficiently and effectively, including skilled and successful representation in any adversary proceeding that might arise. Call Edelboim Lieberman for help with your Miami bankruptcy or other business legal needs.

What are adversary proceedings in bankruptcy?

The adversary proceeding bankruptcy courts see most often is a lawsuit filed by a creditor arguing against the dischargeability of a debt. One of the most attractive features of bankruptcy for a debtor is the ability to have a debt discharged, meaning it is written off or wiped from the slate so that the debtor is no longer responsible to repay it. Not all debts are dischargeable, however. And even when a debt might otherwise be dischargeable, a creditor might initiate an adversary proceeding to argue the debt is not dischargeable in this particular instance. For instance, the creditor might allege that the debt was fraudulently obtained, that it was intentionally incurred in advance of a bankruptcy filing without intending to pay it back, or that it involved “willful and malicious” injury to persons or property.

If a creditor wins an adversary proceeding over the dischargeability of the debt, the debtor will remain liable for the debt. However, if the creditor loses the proceeding and the judge decides the creditor was not substantially justified in challenging the discharge, the court can order the creditor to pay the attorney fees the debtor incurred to litigate the adversary proceeding.

Creditors have 60 days from the first section 341 meeting of creditors to file an adversary proceeding or request an extension of time to file.

Another common adversary proceeding is an avoidance action. In these cases, the trustee sues a party who received payment from the debtor before filing for bankruptcy to recover those funds and put them into the bankruptcy estate so the trustee can decide how to disburse them according to bankruptcy law. Avoidance actions might include alleged fraudulent transfers made to hide money from the trustee and creditors. Avoidance actions can also include so-called preferential transfers, where a debtor pays a creditor within 90 days before the bankruptcy (or one year in some cases) so the creditor receives more than it would have gotten in the bankruptcy, often to the detriment of similarly situated creditors.

Parties sued by the trustee in an avoidance action might have valid defenses that would enable them to keep the payment from the debtor. Our bankruptcy litigation attorneys advise and represent creditors in these avoidance actions and make sure their rights are protected in bankruptcy if they are required to return the money or property that was paid to them before bankruptcy.

Other types of bankruptcy adversary proceedings include:

  • Fights between creditors over priority order or other matters
  • The trustee asks the court to deny a discharge because the debtor has been accused of dishonesty or attempting to abuse the system
  • The debtor initiates an action against a creditor for violating the automatic stay or other bankruptcy provisions
  • The debtor files an adversary proceeding against a creditor arguing a debt should be dischargeable that is otherwise considered nondischargeable

In any such scenario, the bankruptcy litigation attorneys at Edelboim Lieberman stand prepared to deliver broad insight and experienced representation during any adversary proceeding. Our experienced bankruptcy lawyers represent individual and corporate clients in bankruptcy proceedings across Florida and understand exactly how to approach and handle adversary proceedings to protect our clients’ best interests.

Our attorneys are ready to represent you in any adversary proceeding in a South Florida Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We handle all of the following matters, among others:

  • Fraudulent transfer litigation
  • Preferential transfer litigation
  • Objections to dischargeability of a debt
  • Objections to discharge
  • Objections to claimed exemptions
  • Extent, validity, and priority of liens
  • Post-petition transfer litigation
  • Turnover litigation
  • Equitable subordination litigation
  • Reclassification of debt litigation

Qualified, Experienced Help With Bankruptcy Litigation in Miami and South Florida

Put a team of highly experienced professionals on your side who are authorities in their fields. Involve a bankruptcy lawyer from our firm in your case, and you will have the advantage of decades of experience and knowledge in adversary proceedings. For help with an adversary proceeding or other South Florida business bankruptcy matter, call Edelboim Lieberman in Miami and Fort Lauderdale at 305-768-9909.

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