Free Consultation
The office is open as per the NYS Covid-19 guidelines. We are now doing both in-person and telephone consultations. Please call the office at 718-855-6840 to schedule a time to speak with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys.

It’s Possible to Receive Notice of an Adversary Proceeding in the Mail

For creditors who need help on the New York bankruptcy defense side or those who have filed a bankruptcy themselves but need to initiate an adversary proceeding against creditors or the trustee, it is in fact possible to effect “service of process” via the U.S. postal system. Usually service of process, the system of giving clear notice to someone that you’re suing them, relies on the original method of in-person service, but there are others. In many states, though, service of process either doesn’t allow service by mail or makes it difficult. For instance, New York civil courts allow plaintiffs to use the postal system for distant defendants—if the parties being sued consent, which can be a big hassle if the paperwork isn’t returned properly or in a timely fashion.

Ultimately, the American justice system doesn’t like the idea of sending lawsuits by mail. The reason isn’t so much distrust of the mail system but a commitment to ensuring that people who are sued have no excuse for getting out of it. Bankruptcy, however, is different because it’s always been a federal judicial system, and Congress doesn’t want the bankruptcy courts dealing with parties claiming they were improperly served and therefore can’t be brought to court.

As a result, Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7004(b) authorizes service by mail on numerous parties with some common sense caveats. For instance, infants (the legal term for people under 18) and incompetents can’t be served by mail, but their legal guardians can be. Corporations, governments, trustees, and of course, debtors, can also be informed of a bankruptcy lawsuit by mail. Rule 7004(h) sets out the requirements for suing a depository institution by certified mail and the exceptions.

So if you (or your designated agents) receive a letter from a bankruptcy court notifying you of an adversary proceeding against you, you’d better take it seriously because it’s just as valid as if a process server knocked on your door and handed you the lawsuit to your face. The reason this is important is that Rule 7012(a) gives most respondents in such proceedings only thirty days to serve an answer. That might mean scrambling to find a New York bankruptcy lawyer to defend your interests.

For answers to more questions about bankruptcy, the automatic stay, effective strategies for dealing with foreclosure, and protecting your assets in bankruptcy please feel free to contact experienced  bankruptcy attorney in Brooklyn NY Bruce Weiner for a free initial consultation.

Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, L.L.P
26 Court St # 2211
Brooklyn, NY 11242, USA

Recent Posts

Beware Grace Periods, Debtors

Too often, debtors see grace periods offered by lenders as free benefits. “Grace” makes it sound so innocent. However, debtors who routinely rely on grace periods when making payments will find themselves facing financial difficulties that might lead to bankruptcy. The reason is that although creditors offer grace periods to debtors, they also use them

Read More »

Bankruptcy May Not Rescue You From Vicious Personal Disputes

Bankruptcy is a technical process that assumes everyone working within it is mostly rational. To the extent that it expects parties to deviate from irrational behavior, the Bankruptcy Code and its accompanying rules include incentives to keep parties in line. Creditors are usually large and impersonal, and they rarely care if their debtors file bankruptcy.

Read More »

Non-Lawyers’ Explanations of Bankruptcy May Be Wrong

Do you have financial problems? Do you tend to ask your friends for advice? Is one of your friends an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer who will explain the process for you? Are your friends otherwise knowledgeable people? The answer to these questions may be, “Yes but you don’t know it.” Although many bankruptcy lawyers

Read More »

6 Steps to Take Before Filing Bankruptcy

Leaving your case to an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer is not the only step on the to-do list before filing bankruptcy. There are many things debtors should do (and not do) before they file, and the more organized and mindful debtors are, the easier the process will be and the more effective the result.

Read More »

Social Security Number Not Necessary for Bankruptcy

A question that’s commonly asked about New York bankruptcy is whether a debtor needs a Social Security number to file. Debtors ask because they sometimes run across the bankruptcy form title, “Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers” (B 121), which asks debtors to list their current and prior Social Security numbers. The new bankruptcy

Read More »

How Can a Debtor (or Creditor) Get a New Trustee?

The trustee in a New York bankruptcy case is usually not the debtor’s ally. His or her purpose is mainly to administer the bankruptcy estate or ensure the debtor’s repayment plan goes according to plan. Trustees pursue preference payments, fraudulent conveyances, and other malfeasance committed by debtors. They frequently initiate adversary proceedings against debtors. In

Read More »
Scroll to Top