Bankruptcy Law


Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers in Erie, PA

The Bankruptcy Department of The Marsh Firm provides assistance in a wide range of areas involving bankruptcy, restructuring, reorganization, out-of-court workouts, and creditors’ rights issues. Our clients include companies, individuals, developers, and financial institutions.

Our attorneys represent secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, debtors-in-possession, adversary proceedings, out-of-court workouts, reorganizations, and related insolvency litigation. Our expertise extends to Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12  and Chapter 13 practices in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Our attorneys seek the most cost-effective and creative solutions for creditors with respect to the enforcement of their rights, and for debtors in dealing with major liabilities, business downturns and/or cash-flow problems.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy–Liquidation

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy–liquidation–implies that there will be a sale of the individual or business’ assets, with the sale proceeds to be paid to the creditors. Fortunately for individuals, the law allows individual debtors to keep enough of their assets to enable the individual to have a “fresh start” while eliminating unsecured debts through a bankruptcy discharge. Your attorneys at Marsh Schaaf Law will evaluate your circumstances, including the value of your assets and any risk associated with losing assets to a trustee sale, before advising you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If there is a serious risk that an asset would be sold in Chapter 7, you may be advised to file for Chapter 13 relief, instead.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy–Reorganization Plans

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed to allow struggling businesses to restructure their finances and maximize the return to their creditors and owners. A Chapter 11 plan allows a debtor to reorganize, or in other words, restructure its financial affairs. A Chapter 11 plan is, in effect, a contract between the debtor and its creditors as to how it will operate and pay its obligations in the future. Most plans provide for at least some downsizing of the debtor’s operations to reduce expenses and free up assets. In some cases, “liquidating plans” are proposed to provide for a total shutdown of the debtor’s operations and the orderly sale of its remaining property.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy - Reorganization for Farmers

Congress has devised a special system of reorganization  for farmers under Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code.  There are significant advantages in Chapter 12 as compared to Chapters 11 and 13.  In Chapter 12 the farm can in many cases extend the loan and possibly change the interest rate to lower the monthly payments to banks and other secured creditors - unlike proceedings in Chapter 13.  The debtor in Chapter 12 need not secure the written consents of creditors - unlike proceedings in Chapter 11.  Uniquely in Chapter 12, sales of real estate and personal property are often not subject to capital gains tax.  While Chapter 12 is somewhat more complicated than Chapter 13, this factor is usually outweighed by the financial and legal advantages of Chapter 12.  

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy–Individual Debt Adjustment

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy–Individual Debt Adjustment–can be used to cure a default on the debtor’s mortgage over three to five years. You may be named as a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit. You might be interested in knowing that you have options that may enable you to avoid losing your home. Marsh Schaaf Law concentrates on individual debt adjustment of the individual, or business’ assets. Chapter 13 is similar in some ways to a Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, but there are many differences. While Chapter 11 Reorganization is normally used by businesses, only an individual may file for Chapter 13 relief. Chapter 13 is a much more streamlined process of “reorganizing,” or “adjusting” debts,” and as a result, it is much less costly than a Chapter 11 Reorganization.

Contact us today to speak with an expert in bankruptcy law.