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Linebarger’s Bankruptcy Services History

Every year, major retailers and restaurants file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and Linebarger stands ready with a full bankruptcy department to ensure effective representation for our clients.

When an individual or business files for bankruptcy, Linebarger can no longer use the standard procedures for collecting delinquent taxes. Federal law expressly prohibits any continued attempt by creditors to collect from a bankrupt taxpayer by any means other than the procedures specifically set forth in the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Linebarger has maintained a dedicated bankruptcy department since 1989. Today, Partner David Aelvoet heads the firm-wide bankruptcy department that includes nine bankruptcy attorneys and 31 paralegal and clerical staff in four offices.

Michael Deeds, formerly the lead bankruptcy attorney, was active in lobbying the state legislature for tax code amendments around 1990. These amendments helped improve the collectability of taxes in bankruptcy.

In 1995 Beth Weller, one of our dedicated bankruptcy attorneys who joined the firm in 1993, spoke before the Bankruptcy Review Committee. As a result, she was asked to testify before a Senate sub-committee on bankruptcy reform in August of 1997 when she was eight months pregnant. The language sought in this testimony was ultimately part of a bankruptcy reform bill that took effect in 2005. Mrs. Weller worked with Senator Grassley’s office to draft some of the language dealing with property tax issues.

Before the Heard and Linebarger firms merged in 1998, the bankruptcy department had a proprietary bankruptcy tracking software system called BATS. Banktool replaced this after the merger. This software program monitors and tracks our bankruptcy caseload. Bankruptcy is not geographically limited to Texas. A Texas business can file bankruptcy in Delaware, Nevada, or any other state. This software allows our attorneys and staff to keep up to date on our bankruptcy caseload across all 50 states.

Linebarger has handled bankruptcy cases in all 50 states, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Our bankruptcy team has also won cases at the 5th Circuit and 3rd Circuit US Court of Appeals. From January 2015 through December 2020, our Bankruptcy Department collected $267.2 million in bankruptcy courts across the country for our clients.

Unlike many other law firms, Linebarger takes a proactive stance when collecting tax dollars in bankruptcy proceedings. We were the first firm to begin estimating current year taxes on properties in bankruptcy, fully realizing that failure to do so could result in our clients’ inability to collect the current year tax.