By Richard E. Weltman and Michele K. Jaspan

Judge's gavel being held up by man (legal protection concept)Creditors having significant claims against a bankruptcy debtor often face daunting challenges. Many general practitioners are simply not familiar enough with bankruptcy procedures. Liquidation and reorganization cases have materially different objectives, proceedings move quickly, claims deadlines are strictly observed, and bankruptcy statutes and rules typically favor debtors over creditors. When matrimonial disputes are added to the mix, the bankruptcy court is charged with balancing public policy—protecting the child and custodial parent and deferring to state family court expertise—with the interests of a financially troubled debtor seeking a fresh start. Despite the initial disadvantage, Creditor preparation, diligence and expert help can turn things around.