- What We Do
- Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
During times of economic uncertainty, our bankruptcy and creditors’ rights lawyers can be a valuable resource if your legal problems involve insolvency or bankruptcy. These services not only include litigation but also assistance with reviewing and analyzing new or distressed loans, negotiating out of court workouts and forbearances, and by providing pre-bankruptcy planning where appropriate. Our lawyers help find the right business solutions for clients based on the unique facts of each case.
The majority of our clients in this area are creditors, mostly commercial enterprises. These clients include retail and manufacturing firms across a variety of industries as well as small to medium banks and financial institutions, equipment lease and finance companies and agricultural lenders.
Our bankruptcy practice is national. We have appeared on behalf of clients in nearly every state and in every chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Our lawyers have significant experience in the bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency process. This practice includes the representation of secured and unsecured creditors, unsecured creditors' committees, debtors, bankruptcy trustees, purchasers, investors, and other interested parties. We assist clients in reorganization and liquidation cases, as well as in out-of-court workouts and debt restructurings. We additionally appear in contested adversary proceedings.
A receivership can be an efficient remedy to orderly liquidate a business or recover and collect collateral. A receiver can be appointed to operate, manage and/or dispose of a debtor's business and property for the benefit of its creditors. This is often an effective resolution when a client's collateral consists of accounts receivable, perishable property or unique collateral which requires management and oversight to maximize its value. Our attorneys not only assist clients with the appointment of receivers but we also have extensive experience representing receivers. This provides us with insight on how a receivership can be used to provide clients with the best overall benefit. Our experience includes receiverships involving sales of income producing real estate such as hotels and apartments, contaminated real property, operation and management of small to medium business for the benefit of creditors, agricultural operations, the healthcare industry and other receivership proceedings to carry out or enforce judgments. Receiverships can also be a cost-effective alternative to a chapter 7 or chapter 11 bankruptcy, the wind down of a small business or the means to resolve the shareholder dispute. We can provide the right advice to determine whether a receivership is the proper remedy based on our clients' needs.
When the economy stumbles, disputes and lawsuits usually increase. In that environment, whether you are a creditor or a debtor, you are more likely to need help prosecuting a lawsuit or defending against one. We provide the legal services you require to favorably resolve litigation and other disputes.
Our litigation services include representing creditors in insolvency proceedings, successfully prosecuting lawsuits seeking to collect large debts and favorably resolving disputes over the validity and priority of liens.
Much of our litigation practice involves representing creditors, secured and unsecured, in bankruptcy courts, receiverships and contested litigation. In many of these cases, our client wants to collect a large debt, has an ongoing relationship with a debtor or is involved in litigation (other than the bankruptcy proceeding) with the debtor.
We represent creditors in foreclosures, including highly complex and contested proceedings. On behalf of our clients, we enforce both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures of security interests in a debtor’s property, both real and personal. Our services also involve counseling creditors on self-help remedies available to them under the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, we litigate defenses and counterclaims asserted against clients by borrowers and guarantors, including defenses and counterclaims based on a theory of lender liability.
An economic downturn breeds bankruptcies, receiverships and other insolvency proceedings. Yet it also presents an opportunity for those with money to purchase a business and business assets from bankrupt estates or through receiverships at reasonable and sometimes bargain prices. We have represented purchasers in many such acquisitions as well as receivers and bankruptcy trustees to help facilitate the sale of assets.
We have the experience and expertise required to help you plan, implement and maximize the value of these transactions. Examples include representing purchasers of assets from the following bankruptcy estates:
- Schwinn (Colorado)
- Stairmaster (Washington)
- NPR, Inc. (Delaware)
- Universal Gym (Mississippi)
- Aloha Airlines (Hawaii)
Additional Transactional Services
We also provide the legal services clients need when a debtor becomes insolvent. These include negotiating out-of-court workouts, including collaborating with turnaround consultants. Often this requires preparation of forbearance agreements (arrangements where a creditor agrees not to exercise legal rights against the debtor so long as specified payments are made) and modifications of troubled loans. Our attorneys also routinely help reorganize the financial affairs of financially troubled individuals and entities.
Preventing Problems, Controlling Costs
If you are a creditor, the best way to control legal fees in an insolvency or bankruptcy situation is by taking preventive steps before a debtor becomes financially distressed. An important one is having us review agreements with customers and vendors before they are signed. Our attorneys can assist you with negotiating complex transactions to ensure you have the proper remedies in place. That way, you fully protect yourself if the other party defaults, becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy. We can also counsel you on the most effective way to securitize loans in advance of an insolvency proceeding.
- Represented strategic investor and engineer in litigation against owner of geothermal energy facility
Represented strategic investor and engineer in litigation against owner of geothermal energy facility that failed and filed for Chapter 7 during project development.
Regularly represents businesses and financial institutions in all types of litigation, including debtor/creditor disputes and contract disputes. Also regularly represents financial institutions and loan servicers against claims by borrowers and consumers challenging non-judicial foreclosures, assertions of Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims, and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) actions.
Represents creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings and all types of bankruptcy and litigation to protect their interests in commercial collateral, including real property, fixtures and associated personal property.
Represented Receiver Peter McKittrick in Pac Equities, Inc. case in pursuit of assets and sale of same for benefit of creditors in estate with $17 million of claims and approximately 80% recovery. Took over as Receiver in the case in January 2015.
Represented Receiver, Tyrell B. Vance, Inc., in wind down of nonprofit Cascade Sierra Solutions, Inc. with a significant portfolio of commercial truck leases and sale contracts for benefit of secured creditors and unsecured creditors, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Represented Receiver (prior to Oregon Receivership Code) and successfully defended Receiver’s right to sell commercial property, comprising three gas stations and convenience stores, for the benefit of interested parties.
Represented Receiver in case where defendants had been indicted in a $13 million securities fraud case. Assisted Receiver with locating and selling assets, coordinating and managing litigation claims, resolving declaratory judgment actions regarding ownership of receivership estate property, reviewing fraudulent transfers, and obtaining contempt order against individual defendants for violations of orders.
Assisted group of residents at assisted living center in bankruptcy/receivership proceedings to recoup the hundreds of thousands of buy-in fees they had paid to the debtor pre-petition.
Represented creditors' committee in Chapter 11 involving a building products company with nearly $57 million of debt and extensive multi-state operations/assets. Assisted committee in negotiating a sale of the bulk of the estate's assets and negotiating a settlement with major lenders and debtor regarding a viable plan of liquidation of remaining assets that will benefit unsecured creditors.
Represented group of aircraft owners as an Ad Hoc Committee in Chapter 11 involving an aircraft manufacturing company with approximately $52 million in unsecured debt. Assisted Committee in negotiating terms of a sale of the Debtor's assets to protect the Committee members' warranty claims/interests and for the provision of sufficient after-market support.
Represented creditors' committee in Chapter 11 case involving three debtors engaged in publishing, book manufacturing and commercial printing. Assisted committee in negotiating a plan of reorganization that paid unsecured creditors in full, with interest.
Represented creditors' committee in Chapter 11 individual debtor case of restaurant owner/manager/consultant. Assisted committee in negotiating a plan paying approximately 80% on unsecured claims.
Assisted the Chapter 7 trustee to obtain an ex parte temporary restraining order and, with assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Office, searched and seized multiple properties of the debtor to recover significant assets for the benefit of unsecured creditors.
Represented developer in Chapter 11 proceeding involving a private condominium and marina project. Successfully defended judgment creditor's motion for relief from stay and obtained an order confirming Chapter 11 plan allowing debtor to refinance and redevelop the property for high-end apartments.
Represented business in a Chapter 11 case where debtor is one of the top cabinetry companies in Central Oregon for both commercial and residential construction; obtained confirmation of plan after negotiations with secured creditor/former shareholder and governmental authorities.
Represented Chapter 11 Debtor with $232 million in claims to reorganize business in highly regulated environment; Chapter 11 plan confirmed; obtained preliminary injunction after contested hearing against 35 state governments prohibiting them from removing debtor from state directories of authorized tobacco product sellers.
Represented Chapter 11 Debtor with approximately $13 million in debt and obtained confirmation of plan after contested confirmation hearing allowing debtor to reorganize and continue selling high-end condominiums alongside Oregon’s Willamette River.
Represented an equipment lease and finance company in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to wind down the company while negotiating a release of guaranteed debt of over $17 million.
Assisted equipment finance company in converted Chapter 11 bankruptcy to obtain possession of equipment financed for fertilizer manufacturer which was subject to CERCLA claims by the EPA and an asserted surcharge by the Chapter 7 trustee. Client obtained equipment free of liens and claims and subsequently negotiated sale to an international buyer on behalf of client.
Represented national lender in Chapter 11 reorganization of regional construction developer to ensure payment in full of loans secured by residential developments.
- Obtained favorable resolution for financial institution in litigation and workout proceedings involving farm
Represented financial institution in complex litigation and workout proceedings involving large regional potato and onion farmer for a favorable resolution and agreed payoff to lender.
Assisted lender in the appointment of receiver over cattle operation to recover cattle and proceeds from multiple states and to pursue fraudulent conveyances associated with missing cattle.
Regularly assists lenders in the appointment of receivers to liquidate commercial properties and businesses, including entertainment venues, apartments, coastal hotels and boat manufacturing business.
Represented Japanese microchip manufacturer in $3.8-million acquisition of industrial park site in Hillsboro, Oregon, and subsequent construction and development of $8.1-million semiconductor manufacturing facility, including synthetic lease financing.
News & Events
- GSB Newsroom, 1.15.19
- GSB Newsroom, 7.11.17
- Law360 (subscription required), 4.28.17
- GSB Newsroom, 1.3.17
- Cross Border Business Law Blog, 4.13.18