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Bankruptcy is not just a means of shedding debt without consideration. Every bankruptcy that is filed must comply with the bankruptcy code and rules that were established to ensure that the case was done in good faith and to determine whether assets are available for creditors. While a case filed within the rules and in good faith deserves the benefit of a bankruptcy discharge, any effort to circumvent the rules or to use bankruptcy as a sword rather than a shield, should be closely reviewed to determine if any defense is available to creditors. The attorneys at Keller & Almassian, PLC do help individuals and businesses file for chapter 7, chapter 13, and chapter 11 bankruptcy, to reorganize their business or personal finances or liquidate their assets. That experience and knowledge base however, also helps us to provide thorough and complete advice to creditors. Our firm handles all facets of the debtor/creditor representation, both in and out of court.

The attorneys of Keller & Almassian, PLC have a wide range of experience in all bankruptcy matters and provide proactive advice to commercial and private lenders, landlords, secured parties, and unsecured claimholders in all phases of creditor representation. Our firm also represents creditors in pre-bankruptcy workouts and negotiations and post default matters. We have extensive experience in plan analysis, negotiation, objection litigation, valuation, secured status determination and other aspects of plan confirmation in both Chapters 11 and Chapter 13, representation in adversary proceedings of all kinds, involuntary bankruptcy representation, and even appointments of receivers in state court matters.

In addition to these areas, we also represent creditors in the following matters:

Preference Claim Defense.  We represent creditors in the defense of adversary lawsuits brought under § 547 of the Bankruptcy Code to avoid preferential payments.

Motions to Lift the Bankruptcy Stay. We work with creditors to file motions in bankruptcy matters in order to “lift” the automatic stay. The automatic stay stops creditors from continuing to collect debts that arose before the debtor filed for bankruptcy. To continue any action on these debts, a creditor must file a motion in the bankruptcy case and ask the court to "lift the stay" – grant the creditor permission. There are a number of issues to consider when undertaking this type of motion.

Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure Objections and Chapter 13 Plan Objections. Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are often both reorganization proceedings. This means debtors are required to file a plan of reorganization that determines how, when, and how much of their claim will be repaid. We represent creditors in negotiating the terms of their treatment in bankruptcy cases, and file objections to the confirmation of bankruptcy plans that treat the creditor unfairly.

Repeat Filers – Defense of Motions to Extend the Automatic Stay. Our firm can defend creditors in proceedings to extend the automatic stay. When a debtor attempts to file a second bankruptcy case after a prior bankruptcy has failed, Section 362(c) of the Bankruptcy Code provides certain restrictions on their ability to keep the bankruptcy stay in place. In some cases, it may be possible to defend against these motions to extend the stay which can have a great impact on the debtor’s ability to reorganize.

Challenge to Discharge. Our firm represents creditors in challenges to the discharge of a debt in bankruptcy under Bankruptcy Code § 727 due to fraud or other abusive debtor conduct.

Valuation Disputes. The treatment of secured creditor claims in bankruptcy often hinges on the value of the property included in the bankruptcy case, or the collateral in question. Our firm also represents creditors in valuation disputes relating to real estate, vehicles or other collateral.

Keller & Almassian, PLC’s attorneys in the bankruptcy debtor and creditors’ rights practice area represent clients in all of Michigan, and are located in Grand Rapids. Our attorneys are active in Grand Rapids Bankruptcy courts and are engaged as local counsel in numerous matters on behalf of out of state clients.