Creditor's Right

I am a business or individual who is owed money by a vendor, client, or customer. When I called to collect on the debt, the debtor told me he filed bankruptcy.

Can I collect the debt?

If you are a creditor who is trying to collect on a debt and the debtor has filed bankruptcy you needed an attorney yesterday. The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, which is located in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, like other federal courts has rules that govern your case. A skilled attorney can use these rules to protect you and collect the money that is owed to you. At Guest and Gray Law Firm there are many ways we can protect your interests. For the purposes of this article we will discuss procedural rules and the law.

How can procedural rules help me?

Bankruptcy protection begins when the debtor files a bankruptcy petition. The petition is a request made to the Bankruptcy Court for protection from the collection efforts of creditors. Part of the petition lists creditors by name and address. The purpose of including this biographical information is so that the Bankruptcy Court can obtain jurisdiction over these creditors. This can be helpful for a creditor because the procedures to secure jurisdiction are very technical. Summarizing these procedures you need to know if you have been given notice. Notice comes in many flavors but the typical way is through the mail. Have you received, at your home or business, a letter from the Bankruptcy Court? Have you received a letter from an attorney representing the debtor? Did some hand you an envelope, telling you “you’ve been served?” Was there a letter posted to your door? If any of these scenarios seem familiar then you have probably been provided notice that a case, which is disposing of something that you have an interest in, is pending.

If you have not received any of information informing you that a debt owed to you is being discharged through the Bankruptcy Court, then the first step is to determine whether your debtor has filed bankruptcy. All debtors can be located through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) System. PACER is analogous to the county clerk. Both hold the documents filed in court, the outcomes of court cases, and a list of parties who are part of a case. If you have not been given notice of a bankruptcy but you know who the debtor is, we can easily look up the debtor to determine whether your debt is part of that case.

How does the law help me?

Bankruptcy is a unique area of law for many reasons. One of those reasons is that the bankruptcy court must take into consideration both federal and state laws. The attorneys at Guest and Gray Law Firm have the knowledge to use both state and federal law to protect your assets from discharge. For example, only specific types of debts can be discharged through the bankruptcy petition. If the debt you hold is disputed as to who owes the debt or how much debt is owed then the debt is disputed. A disputed debt may not be dischargeable through the bankruptcy petition. In addition to establishing whether the debt is disputed other avenues of protection can be sought through the characterization of the individual who holds the debt. Is your debt held by an individual, partnership, or corporation? Who holds your debt is crucial because state law governs the characterization of who holds the debt. For example, if an individual files for bankruptcy but seeks to discharge a debt owed by a partnership that the individual is part of then that individual may not be able to discharge that debt. You need an attorney who knows how business entities like partnerships and corporations are formed, who is responsible for the debt, and how those business entities are dissolved. Without this type of comprehensive approach you should not willingly accept a bankruptcy discharge.

If you hold the right to collect a debt contact the attorneys at Guest and Gray Law Firm to further discuss your options. Don’t let the common wisdom that bankruptcy proceedings are too debtor friendly to miss your opportunity to protect what is owed to you.