- 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, including litigation, involve insolvency or bankruptcy.
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 banks and other financial institutions.
Our practice is nationwide, and our lawyers appear on behalf of clients throughout the country.
Resolving Litigation and Other Disputes
Our litigation services include representing creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, successfully prosecuting lawsuits seeking to collect large debts and favorably resolving disputes over the validity and priority of liens.
Moving Transactions Forward
An economic downturn breeds bankruptcies.Yet it also presents an opportunity for those with money to purchase assets from bankrupt estates at bargain prices. We have represented purchasers in many such acquisitions.
Cost vs. Benefit
We take a cost-benefit approach to your legal problems. We work with you to make sure the legal time and resources being spent on a problem are commensurate with the probable outcome.
Added Benefit of Using Our Firm
As a client you will receive exceptional personal service, including a high degree of responsiveness. In addition, you will have access to a wide range of legal expertise. We are a full-service firm with lawyers practicing in virtually every major area of law. Thanks to this expertise, we almost always have the resources needed to capably handle all your legal problems, including tax, immigration and real estate matters.
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.
Much of our litigation practice involves representing creditors, secured and unsecured, in bankruptcy courts. In many of these cases, our creditor 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. Our bankruptcy practice is national; we have appeared on behalf of clients in nearly every state.
Examples of Our Litigation Services
Recovery by a creditor of a debtor’s fraudulent or preferential transfer of property in violation of the bankruptcy laws
- Disputes over the validity or priority of liens on a debtor’s property
- Relief from “stays,” procedural devices that delay the time when a creditor can enforce its rights against a debtor in bankruptcy
- Dischargeability actions and appeals of bankruptcy court decisions
- Lawsuits to collect large debts, typically those involving $500,000 or more
- Enforcement of real property and Uniform Commercial Code liens
We represent creditors in foreclosures, including highly complex ones. On behalf of our clients, we enforce both judicial and nonjudicial 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.
We have the experience and expertise required to help you plan, implement and maximize the value of these transactions. We have represented purchasers in many 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
In addition to helping clients purchase out-of-bankruptcy assets, we provide the legal services clients need when a debtor becomes insolvent. These include
- Negotiating out-of-court workouts, including collaborating with turnaround consultants
- Helping reorganize the financial affairs of financially troubled individuals and entities
- Drafting forbearance agreements (arrangements where a creditor agrees not to exercise legal rights against the debtor so long as specified payments are made)
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. That way, you fully protect yourself if the other party becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy. We can also counsel you on the most effective way to securitize loans.
Matching Costs and Benefits
If you are a creditor, your response to a debtor’s potential or actual insolvency may require you to enter into complex transactions. Often these require extensive legal services. We work closely with you to make sure we match up our services with the results you want to achieve.
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