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A company has filed for bankruptcy and owes us money. What do we do?
If you have been listed as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, you may download and complete a Proof of Claim form (Form 410) or request a hard copy of the claim form by mail or by visiting the Clerk's Office.
For Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 petitions, an original claim and a copy of any documentation supporting your claim should be filed. (If you would like a conformed copy returned to you, enclose a copy of the claim and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.)
U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California's Local Rule 3002 requires the creditor to serve a copy of a proof of claim upon the debtor, if the debtor is not represented by an attorney. The debtor’s address can be found on the Notice of Chapter X Bankruptcy Case (where X is the chapter number).
How do I file for Relief from the Automatic Stay?
In order for a party to continue a proceeding against the debtor that has been stayed because of the filing of the bankruptcy and the automatic stay:
He or she must file a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay or a Stipulation for Relief from the Automatic Stay. (Hiring a competent attorney for assistance is highly recommended.)
A Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is commenced by the filing of a motion. Each motion shall be supported by all documents which assert a valid perfected security interest and all documents which support an assertion of lack of adequate protection or of equity in that property.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California’s Local Rule 4001 requires the use of forms CSD 1160 - Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay (Real/Personal Property) or CSD 1163 - Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay (Unlawful Detainer) (as applicable) and CSD 1185 - Notice of Filing of Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay. An original of the Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is required upon filing.
Consult the Filing Fees page for the current filing fee for a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay.
What do I do with documents/notices I am receiving from the court? I don't understand why I'm receiving these.
At the time of filing, debtors should list everyone to whom they owe money. If the debtor is unsure whether or not money is still owed to a creditor, the debtor may list the creditor as a precautionary measure. If as the creditor listed in the documentation and you are sure that you do not know the person/entity named as the debtor, you are free to recycle or destroy the documents/notices as you see fit.
You may also send the court a copy of the notice, along with a signed and dated request to be removed from the case mailing list. Contact the debtor's attorney to understand why you were listed by the debtor.
What is an Automatic Stay?
An automatic stay is an automatic injunction that restrains creditors from taking certain actions against a debtor who has declared bankruptcy.
Under Section 362 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. § 362), most proceedings against the debtor are stayed once the bankruptcy petition is filed. The creditor is not permitted to begin or continue any efforts to collect the debt owed by the person or entity who has filed bankruptcy. The filing of a petition under Chapter 7 "automatically stays" most actions against the debtor or the debtor's property.