Legal Question in Bankruptcy in California

Involuntary bankruptcy

I am owed $51,375 by a company that is about to be taken into involuntary bankruptcy. I am not a part of the petition. Will I get the same protection as the creditors that are filing the petition? Is it possible that the company may make a deal with the petioners, avoiding the filing, that prevents me from collecting my debt, or lessens the amount I might collect? Should I hire a lawyer & join the filing. What are the reasons to join or not to join the filing?

Asked on 11/11/14, 9:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Mark Saltzman, MBA, JD Law Offices of Mark E. Saltzman

If the involuntary bankruptcy begins, make sure that you are listed as a creditor. Be sure to submit a creditor claim. Additionally, there may be a creditor committee. For a debt of $51K+, you should participate on the committee, yourself of through counsel. Your joining in the petition bolsters the petition. If the petition is already sufficient, you need not join.

As for your other question, there is nothing to stop the debtor, pre-petition, to work out deals with certain creditors. You should know, though, that, if the debtor pays money to particular creditors and leaves out the others and, then, files bankruptcy, the payments to the particular creditors may be subject to an order to return the money to the bankruptcy estate, where it can be administered fairly.

Finally, I suggest that you hire an attorney. Bankruptcy court is quite different from State Court. You or your representative needs to be comfortable in that setting.

If you have another question, you may email me at [email protected]

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Answered on 11/11/14, 1:58 pm

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