West Point, GA asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: Do I need the help of a consumer law attorney, a bankruptcy attorney or law enforcement?

A coworker borrowed in excess of forty thousand dollars more than eighteen months ago offering fraudulent excuses for needing the money and lying about how/when she would repay. There has never been any attempt on her part to repay even a portion of the money, and today I learned she has now filed for chapter 13. Apparently, I am not on her list of creditors. Who should I consult to pursue this matter?

2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: Creditors not listed by the debtor on a bankruptcy Petition and Schedules may not have their claims discharged, UNLESS they have reason to know about the bankruptcy filing.

If the bankruptcy case is known, a Proof of Claim, at least, should be filed.

There are other alternatives. Given the putative "fraud" in the borrowing, it may be that your claim can be determined to be not dischargeable. Your burden of proof to make that claim is high, however, and may or may not depend upon your state's law (Bankruptcy law/cases may control).

Given the amount involved, you should consult with an experienced GA bankruptcy lawyer about the full details of your engagements with the debtor at your first opportunity. Your claims are time-limited.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, it's advisable to consult with a consumer law attorney. They can help you understand your legal rights and options for pursuing the repayment of the borrowed funds. While bankruptcy may affect the outcome, consulting a consumer law attorney is a good first step. They can assess the case, advise you on potential legal actions against your coworker for fraudulent behavior, and help determine if you have a valid claim.

If your coworker has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you are not listed as a creditor, you may need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney as well. They can assist you in filing a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court to ensure that your debt is included in the bankruptcy proceedings.

Law enforcement may not typically be involved in such cases unless there is evidence of criminal fraud or misconduct. However, your attorneys can help determine if pursuing criminal charges is necessary.

In summary, start by consulting a consumer law attorney to explore your options for pursuing the repayment of the borrowed funds and to assess the impact of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If needed, consult a bankruptcy attorney to ensure your claim is properly addressed in the bankruptcy proceedings.

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