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Bankruptcy Cases – Confrontation or Negotiation

What is the process for Bankruptcy cases, how do they work?

Bankruptcy cases, just like civil lawsuits to recover for breach of contract or Personal Injury, technically start the same way. The attorney for the person filing for Bankruptcy or the person suing someone else goes to the clerk’s office and files documents required by law to initiate the case. Also, the attorney will pay a filing fee in that court. But that is where many of the similarities end.

The attorney will take steps to make sure – in the civil case – that the opposing parties are served appropriately with those documents in order to put them on notice. In a Bankruptcy case, by contrast, the filing party is not pitted against one or just a few adversaries. Rather, he or she usually has a list of creditors who have potential financial claims against him or her. Those creditors are not adversaries in the sense that they have a dispute with the debtor; instead, they are confronted with a problem that may affect all of the creditors: the debtor does not have enough funds to satisfy all of their claims, at least for the time being.

So the processes after filing a Bankruptcy case differ substantially from a civil case. In the latter category, each side will propound questions and requests to each other to attempt to elicit information that undermines the position of the other side. The party filing the suit may be required to submit to an examination under a deposition in which they may be asked about anything that has happened in their life – or at least, during their adulthood. The judge may be placed in a position to resolve some of the legal or factual disputes presented in the case. The trial may be the only way to eventually resolve it and the atmosphere at such events can be downright hostile.

In Bankruptcy cases, on the other hand, the filing party will likely never have to give testimony or appear before a judge. He or she will not have one party to oppose. Instead, his or her attorney will work with a trustee, assigned by the Court, who will meet with creditors and seek, based on a variety of factors, to come out with a plan to pay those creditors certain amounts. If the plan can be ironed out by the trustee, the debtor’s attorney, and the representatives of the creditors, the plan will merely be submitted to the Bankruptcy judge for approval.

The attorneys at Caddell Reynolds have represented many Bankruptcy clients in this process. Whether you need to file a Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy or you own a company that files for a Chapter 11 reorganization, Caddell Reynolds will represent you or your company in federal Bankruptcy courts in Arkansas. Contact us at (800) 889-6944. Or you can reach us on our website at