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Showing posts from 2012

CUSTOMER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY: WHAT NEXT?

Customers filing for Chapter 11 or 7 Bankruptcy are a fact of life, yet few companies have any standard procedures to monitor for such filings or alert them as to what procedures should be followed with the bankruptcy court.

Bankruptcy provides Debtors [formerly known as your customer] with various tools to shed contracts and financial obligations.It also permits them to reorganize their business and sell valuable assets.Suppliers which find themselves thrown in the mix of creditors and otherwise interested parties of the Debtor often have very little time to respond and properly determine if they should even be involved.

The First Steps of Bankruptcy:
Subsequent to the Bankruptcy petition filing and the dreaded “Automatic Stay” which freezes collection efforts against the Debtor, the Debtor will file the bankruptcy petition along with what are termed the “first day orders”.These orders are filed to have the court approve retention of employees, special treatment for some vendors, and…

FIRST SEALORD SURETY BEING LIQUIDATED

OWNERS, CONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS BEWARE
In response to legal action taken by The Pennsylvania Insurance Department, The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an Order of Liquidation for First Sealord Surety on February 8, 2012. The Department’s actions were likely prompted by A.M. Best’s downgrading of First Sealord’s insurer ratings from an A- rating to a C- rating late last year amidst growing concerns of the company’s declining capitalization.
This news will necessarily create significant concern throughout the construction/surety industry as surety bonds are not themselves typically re-insured against company failure. Owners whose Contractors or Subcontractors are currently bonded with First Sealord should contact them as soon as possible to arrange for substitute bonding on any ongoing projects. Contractors, Subcontractors and Materialman with potential bond rights against a First Sealord Surety bond should likewise consult with legal counsel as soon as practicable to determin…

DID YOU COPY/SCAN THOSE CHECKS?

You get an email from your lawyer to the tune of “a final judgment was entered,” to which you likely respond, great!!! So where is my money?!?! Followed by, “Got any copy of checks”?

Obtaining an order of final judgment against a customer in default only entitles you to enforce the judgment; it does not per say “give” you any money. While there are many collection methods, the typical vehicle of collection for Suppliers and Materialman are Writs of Garnishment. Florida Statutes § 77.01 provides that “every person or entity who has sued to recover a debt or has recovered judgment in any court against any person or entity has a right to a writ of garnishment . . .”

The writ can generally be issued against 3rd parties who have a monetary obligation to the defendant, typically a bank. In essence the writ of garnishment acts as a lien. Once the “lien” has attached to the debtors property (in this case a bank account), the property or money in that account is frozen until the court or p…