Most consumer (non-business) bankruptcy cases proceed without a hitch and with the debtor receiving a discharge of their debt without ever having to make an actual court appearance. As a result, many bankruptcy attorneys have little or no courtroom experience and are ill-prepared when the bankruptcy takes an unexpected turn and a dispute arises requiring representation in a contested matter or adversary proceeding. Contested matters and adversary proceedings are types of litigation that have to be decided by a bankruptcy judge.
If you require this kind of bankruptcy representation in your bankruptcy case I can provide it. I am an experienced trial attorney and have represented debtors, creditors, and bankruptcy trustees in practically every kind of contested matter and adversary proceeding. In fact, because of my litigation experience many bankruptcy attorneys refer their own clients to me for representation in contested matters and adversary proceedings.
Finally, as an experienced trial attorney I have come to believe that in almost every dispute the best possible outcome is not one imposed by a judge, jury or arbitrator but one arrived at by the parties themselves, and I have represented clients in many successful mediations.
Contested matters involve disputes in bankruptcy cases that can be resolved by motion in the bankruptcy case itself. They range from simple matters that are resolved without the necessity of any court hearing to matters that are decided by the Bankruptcy Court at the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing held after the completion of formal discovery.
Examples of contested matters in bankruptcy cases include:
- Motions by creditors seeking relief from the automatic stay
- Motions trustees or creditors objecting to claimed exempt property
- Motions by trustees or creditors objecting to plan confirmation or modification
- Motions by trustees or creditors to convert or dismiss a bankruptcy case
- Motions by trustees for turnover of property or records
- Motions by debtors objecting to a creditor’s proof of claim (the amount owed a creditor)
- Motions by trustees or creditors objecting to a Chapter 11 plan confirmation.
Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings
Certain disputes that arise in bankruptcy cases cannot be resolved by motion and require the filing of a separate lawsuit (called an “adversary proceeding”) that gets handled independently of the bankruptcy case itself. The adversary proceeding is given a separate case number and proceeds much like any other civil litigation action, with the filing and service of a Complaint, an Answer, pre-trial discovery, and (unless the matter is settled) ultimately a trial.
Bankruptcy adversary proceedings are usually resolved in Bankruptcy Court much quicker than lawsuits filed in the state court or other federal courts.
As with other lawsuits, an appeal process is also available.
Examples of bankruptcy adversary proceedings include:
- attempts by the trustee to recover money or property from someone other than the debtor
- objections to or attempts by the trustee or creditors to revoke a discharge (the court order that forgives debt), and
- challenges by creditors to the dischargeability of a debt
If your bankruptcy is being contested and you need representation from an experienced bankruptcy trial attorney, schedule a free, no commitment consultation with Kidwell Law Office today by clicking on the Contact Us button below.