Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Bankruptcy Deadlines must be observed!

 Bankruptcy Deadlines must be observed! The recent case of In re U-Haul, 21-bk-20140, 2021 Bkr LEXIS 3373 (Bankr. S.D. W. Va. Dec. 10, 2021) demonstrates this rule. In the U-Haul case, a creditor needed to file a proof of claim for $53 million and their attorney  waited until the last moment to do the filing. Unfortunately the attorney  did not have the proper password and the proof of claim was filed approximately 9 hours late.

Counsel for the Debtor objected to the late filed claim. Creditor counsel argued “excusable neglect” (the argument usually made by attorneys  when deadlines are missed see  Pioneer Inv. Servs. v. Brunswick Assocs. Ltd P’ship, 507 U.S. 380 (1993)) and creditor counsel lost. 

For those that do bankruptcy work on a day to day basis, this is a painful case to read. 

A lesson for all lawyers is to prepare for deadlines, observe deadlines, do not wait until the last minute to file and prepare and plan for the unexpected. Jim Shenwick, Esq.

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