Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Commercial Litigation

Pittsburgh Lawyers with a Tradition of Results

Robleto Law is extensively experienced in representing individuals and entities in financial distress.  The law firm takes pride in developing innovative solutions in challenging circumstances.  Bankruptcy law is a complex and ever-evolving area of the law.  The lawyers at Robleto Law are at the forefront of critical bankruptcy matters in Pittsburgh and monitor decisions interpreting key provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code across the country.  State and federal laws governing finance and insolvency can sometimes seem disjointed and unharmonious because they often exist to further different and occasionally conflicting public policy objectives.  An experienced debt lawyer will determine which laws apply under to clients’ particular circumstances and develop legal strategies tailored to their situations and objectives.

The lawyers at Robleto Law are experienced representing debtors, creditors and other parties in interest within the context of bankruptcy cases as well as in non-bankruptcy and out of court workout situations.  Businesses and consumers in need of reliable legal advice relating to financial distress and bankruptcy in Pittsburgh deserve intelligent, experienced and effective attorneys.

To schedule an appointment, call (412) 925-8194.

Facts About Bankruptcy in Pittsburgh

There is simply no substitute for motivated, high caliber legal talent.  As with many major cities, Pittsburgh has no shortage of attorneys.  However, lawyers without bankruptcy experience and a firm understanding of the contours of the Bankruptcy Code and the life cycle of a bankruptcy case may be unable to achieve the results their clients desperately need.  Businesses and individuals in financial peril are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental impact of improvident advice.  At Robleto Law we adhere to the precept that no party should become a debtor in a voluntary case under the Bankruptcy Code without an understanding of the likely outcome of the case and the obligations of a debtor.  When prudent, we advise our clients to avoid the strictures of the Bankruptcy Code with its extensive requirements of public disclosure, rigid plan confirmation process and preordained scheme of creditors’ priority.  Especially in commercial cases, out of court debt workout arrangements often involve less cost, delay and public scrutiny.  Nevertheless, bankruptcy remains a very powerful tool and in certain cases may be the most effective and certain path to meeting clients’ needs.

Liquidation Bankruptcy

chapter 7 bankruptcyThe most straightforward and intuitive form of a bankruptcy relief is liquidation bankruptcy under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Chapter 7 is available to individual and business debtors alike and the process is similar in commercial and consumer bankruptcy cases.  Generally, the moment a debtor files a case under chapter 7, federal law operates to automatically and very broadly stay actions against the debtor and the debtor’s property.  There are certain exceptions to the application, duration and scope of the automatic stay which do not arise in most cases but that your bankruptcy lawyer can discuss with you.

A chapter 7 trustee is assigned to the case very shortly after the case is filed.  If there are assets available to pay to unsecured creditors, the trustee may liquidate those assets and make a distribution to the holders of unsecured claims according to the priority provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.

Individual consumer debtors in cases under chapter 7 are entitled to claim exemptions in their property.  The Bankruptcy Code allows each state to determine whether debtors may take the federal exemptions set out in the Bankruptcy Code or must apply the exemptions existing under state law.  Some states (Pennsylvania is among them) permit debtors to choose between the federal exemptions or those available under state law.  Selection and application of exemptions may have a critical impact on debtors’ rights to retain their interests in property.  The 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code imposed a means test upon debtors which may give rise to the “presumption of abuse” if debtors’ income exceeds the applicable median income.

Commercial debtors in cases under chapter 7 must, in most cases, cease business operations.  The parties responsible for the business must promptly turn over its books, records and accounts to the trustee appointed to oversee the case.  Additionally, someone must appear on behalf of the business debtor and answer the questions of the trustee regarding the business history, operations and financial matters.

To discuss chapter 7 bankruptcy, call (412) 925-8194.

Reorganization Bankruptcy

In most carestructuring debtses, consumers seeking to reorganize their financial affairs will qualify for relief under chapter 13.  Upon filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay will typically allow the debtor breathing room to propose a chapter 13 plan and seek the approval of the Bankruptcy Court for that plan.  The creditors of a debtor in a case under chapter 13 have an opportunity to file proofs of claims against the debtor and object to plan confirmation if they believe they are not being treated fairly under the debtor’s proposed plan.

Debtors in cases under chapter 13 must have a regular source of income.  There are numerous requirements for confirmation of a chapter 13 plan and important limitations for how debtors may treat the claims of their creditors.  The failure statistics for parties that are not represented by lawyers in chapter 13 cases are alarmingly high.  The stakes are often quite high in chapter 13 cases where debtors often file for one last, best chance to save their homes.  Having an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer in case under chapter 13 may be pivotal to the outcome of the case.

To meet with a chapter 13 lawyer, call (412) 925-8194.

Certain individual debtors with sophisticated financial lives and high levels of indebtedness may not qualify to reorganize under chapter 13 and might instead be left to seek relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is designed primarily for business debtors to reorganize.  Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases are often bring heightened complexity and expanded and more involved constituencies.  Because of the nature of chapter 11 cases, the importance of engaging astute, conscientious and dynamic bankruptcy attorneys is paramount.

For a free initial consultation about a chapter 11 case, call (412) 925-8194.