Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyers in Seattle
Representing Washington State Clients in Contested Matters & Adversary Proceedings
In many cases, individuals and businesses who file bankruptcy never need to enter the courtroom. But if a dispute arises between the debtor and a creditor or another involved party, the court will become involved and the issue will need to be litigated.
At Henry & DeGraaff, our bankruptcy litigation lawyers can handle cases involving the following issues and more:
- Automatic stay violations—in which a creditor attempts to collect your debt even though bankruptcy has triggered an automatic stay
- Discharge violations—in which a creditor attempts to collect discharged debt
- Proof of claim objections—in which the debtor or other involved party objects to a creditor’s claim
- Quiet title actions—in which debtors with a previous bankruptcy discharge may claim that the statute of limitations has run on their mortgage
- Second mortgage cram downs—in which a bankruptcy court reduces the principal of a loan to the value of the property
- Post-bankruptcy mortgage debt collection—in which pre-petition creditors violate the FDCPA when attempting to collect mortgage debt (mortgage creditors fail to properly credit mortgage payments during bankruptcy and wrongly find debtors in default)
Many bankruptcy firms only take cases that will have very few issues or potential disputes. But we are not afraid to fight for our clients’ rights through whatever means necessary.
Here are just a few examples of what we have accomplished for our clients:
- Proved that a second mortgage was time-barred (i.e. past the statute of limitations), thus overturning a bankruptcy adversary proceeding and eliminating the client’s obligation to pay their mortgage
- Established a precedent for future Chapter 13 cases by discharging more than $25,000 in homeowners’ dues in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Secured compensation for a client who was sued and arrested by their car lender during bankruptcy (in violation of the automatic stay)
- Achieved one of the only published decisions in the country that favored a borrower against a payday lender
In short, we are results-oriented problem-solvers, willing and able to develop the best possible solutions to unprecedented legal and financial issues.
The way we handle your case and litigate a dispute depends on the type of issue you face. In bankruptcy, you may experience two different types of disputes: contested matters and adversary proceedings.
A contested matter is often a motion or objection filed during the bankruptcy case, and the judge typically resolves the issue in a hearing. Common examples of contested matters include reopening a bankruptcy case, modifying a Chapter 13 repayment plan, objecting to a creditor’s proof of claim, or adjusting an automatic stay.
An adversary proceeding functions as a separate lawsuit, often resulting from an escalated contested matter. As with civil lawsuits, a bankruptcy adversary proceeding involves a dispute between a plaintiff and a defendant. It requires a formal discovery process, after which a judge and/or jury will settle the matter in court. Bankruptcy adversary proceedings often involve lien interests, discharge objections, and injunctions.
If the litigation process does not result in a favorable outcome, we may be able to appeal the decision.
Experienced, Creative & Sophisticated
With years of experience between our attorneys, our goal is to deliver a higher level of service, only taking cases where we can add value.
We understand that no two cases are ever the same. We provide tailored solutions for every client and strategize in order to provide optimal results.
As a law firm that focuses on creative and collaborative solutions, we always seek opportunities that go even beyond the law to help provide the results you deserve.
Our ability to tackle complex issues has allowed us to win appellate decisions and push the law in our clients' favor. We pursue compensation arrangements that reward success.
Once you file bankruptcy, many of the judgments that creditors filed against you will no longer matter, because all they did was prove you owed a creditor a certain amount of debt. But some types of judgments may last through and beyond your bankruptcy.
More specifically, letting a creditor acquire a judgment against you may hinder or prevent you from discharging your debt in a future bankruptcy case. This will occur if the judgment demonstrates that your debt is non-dischargeable. Because one court is legally obligated to respect the previous decision of another court, this type of judgment will dictate your debt discharge (or lack thereof) in bankruptcy.
A debt may be non-dischargeable if it was allegedly accrued through:
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Willful and malicious action toward a person or their property
Without further litigation, the bankruptcy court will accept the previous court’s evaluation of your debt.
Because of this risk, we highly recommend getting into contact with us as soon as a creditor files suit against you—if not sooner. Even if you do not intend to fight the lawsuit, we can help you find out if the lawsuit could lead to a judgment that renders your debt non-dischargeable. You can then make a fully informed decision that protects your rights and positively affects your future.
Founded in 2012, our firm handles cases for both individuals and businesses throughout Washington State. We have partnered with other attorneys and experts to deliver the most informed and effective services to each of our clients, and we work tirelessly to develop and improve local laws. In short, we are committed to raising the standards of our practice, and we believe you deserve our level of professionalism and skill.
It is my belief that we came out way ahead of the game but we owe the success to Jacob.- Kim & Mike
5 stars are not enough.- Joe
Jacob successfully took over our Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.- Jerry
Jacob was always focused on our needs and desires concerning our real estate.- Previous Client
If you need their services don't hesitate to give them a call.- Reese H.