Should we hire an attorney or is there something other way to handle the matter?

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Should we hire an attorney or is there something other way to handle the matter?

The company I used to work for filed bankruptcy in 01/09. The assets have been liquidated; major secured creditors have been paid. The trustee has become evasive in answering questions as to when and whether the employees will receive owed wages. Should we hire a bankruptcy or employment law attorney to pursue this or is there another way to petition the court? In Phoenix, AZ.

Asked on October 9, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While people *can* represent themselves--which is called being a "pro se" litigant--this is not recommended, especially for  complex matters involving bankruptcy. (Or, for that matter, employment law.) If you are going to pursue this, you should retain an attorney--but first, you need to decide whether it's worth it to pursue. If the assets were liquidated (presumably a Ch. 7 bankrputcy) and the secured creditors paid, there may not be anything left to pay unsecured creditors, including employees owed wages. Before committing money to litigation, you need to consider what you're owed and weigh that against the odds of getting even a limited recovery (e.g. a few cents or dimes on the dollar). Once a company goes Ch. 7 and liquidates its assets, receiving money from it becomes very unlikely.


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