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Adversary Proceedings Attorney in Howell, New Jersey

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An adversary proceeding is a separate lawsuit that is commenced against a Debtor or some other party, within a bankruptcy case. The original bankruptcy is considered the main case and the adversary case is considered a “subcase” in the main case.

What is an Adversary Proceeding?

An adversary proceeding begins with one party filing an adversary complaint against another party or multiple parties. The party filing the complaint is often the Trustee appointed to the case or an interested creditor. Often the defendant in such a case is the Debtor, who is accused of some wrongdoing.

Common adversary proceedings involve:

  • Allegations of fraud

  • Fraudulent transfers

  • Misrepresentation

  • Requests to deny Debtor’s discharge

  • Determinations that specific debts are non-dischargeable and/or preference payments (payments to creditors that violate the bankruptcy rules)

Sometimes a Debtor might be the one to file an adversary complaint. When a Debtor files such a complaint, it is frequently to avoid a judgment lien or to seek some relief against a creditor. A Debtor may use the adversary proceeding to further some objective in his main case.

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How to Respond to an Adversary Proceeding

Whoever the defendant is in the adversary case, it is imperative that such party file an answer, or some other response, with the Bankruptcy Court.

  • An answer is a formal document that states the defendant's response to the complaint.

  • It is the defendant's responsibility to serve the answer within 30 days from which the summons was issued.

  • Once an answer to the adversary complaint is filed with the Bankruptcy Court, the case will proceed similarly to other types of lawsuits:

    • Discovery, or information sought by the parties from each other, will be exchanged.

    • Hearings will be held.

    • Settlement conferences will be conducted.

    • Eventually, if no settlement is reached, a trial will be scheduled to adjudicate the matter.

What Happens if a Complaint is Ignored?

If a defendant fails to respond to a complaint, a default judgment may be entered against that defendant, resulting in adverse consequences to the defendant. It is never a good idea to ignore an adversary complaint.

How a Howell Adversary Proceedings
Attorney Can Help

It is very important to secure reliable and experienced legal counsel when dealing with adversary proceedings in New Jersey. Bankruptcy proceedings can be complex and involve many procedures and paperwork that must be completed correctly and timely. The legal team at Fedoroff Firm LLC is well-equipped to represent you in court.