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Adversary Complaint Lawyer

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What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that discharges, or eliminates, an individual’s debts. In other words, the individual, referred to as a debtor, won’t have to repay creditors. Sometimes though, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t run as smoothly when there is an adversary complaint. 

What is an Adversary Complaint? 

An adversary complaint is a lawsuit filed during a bankruptcy case requesting relief. Although it is part of the bankruptcy case, it has a different case number. The plaintiff files the lawsuit and is responsible for serving the defendant a copy of the complaint. The complaint explains the facts of the case and asks the bankruptcy court to enter a judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.

Why is This Type of Complaint Filed?

An adversary complaint is filed for many reasons, such as: 

  • An objection to the debt or debts being discharged
  • Potential transfers
  • Sale of property that was jointly owned by the debtor and another person
  • Lien stripping
  • Fraudulent transfers 

Who Can File an Adversary Complaint?

There are three parties can file a complaint in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case: 

  • The debtor
  • The creditor
  • The trustee 

What if the Defendant Doesn’t File An Answer in an Adversary Complaint?

If a defendant doesn’t answer the complaint by the deadline, a default judgment is granted. 

Why Would a Creditor File a Complaint?

Typically, when a creditor initiates an adversary proceeding it’s because the creditor doesn’t want the debt to be discharged

Why Would a Trustee File a Complaint? 

The main reason a chapter trustee files a complaint is to argue for the bankruptcy petition to be dismissed. A bankruptcy petition can be dismissed for one or more of the following reasons: 

  • Inadequate schedules
  • Intention to defraud
  • Debtor misses the 341 meeting without a valid reason 
  • Wants to collect money or property given to the creditor by the debtor
  • Due to a fraudulent transfer 

Do I Need to Consult a Lawyer?

Yes, contact a bankruptcy lawyer. An adversary complaint usually requires a separate attorney from the bankruptcy attorney over your petition.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-16-2018 10:26 PM PDT

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