Banking Services, Creditors’ Rights & BankruptcyLegal Services for Businesses » Banking Services, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy
Ryan Swanson’s Banking Services, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy Group provides legal services for local, regional, national and foreign banks/financial institutions, leasing companies and related businesses. We regularly represent clients in all four major bankruptcy and commercial collection areas: creditors, trustees, creditors’ committees and debtors.
For clients, engaging lawyers with experience in all areas of insolvency practice offers several advantages. The principal advantage is our understanding of every perspective. The work we do in one area often makes us more effective in another area. In addition, our attorneys know developing realistic expectations and being pragmatic are critical to achieving cost-effective results in a field where there are often limited resources which can be quickly depleted without a focused approach.
Ryan Swanson has a broad-based civil practice, which is an added benefit for the Group. This allows the Group and our clients efficient access to lawyers with experience in other disciplines as needed; including litigation, real estate, tax, employment, corporate and securities.
We are eager to put our experience to work for clients in many areas, including:
We represent banks, commercial financial companies and other secured lenders in a variety of matters. Our engagements include commercial collections and loan workouts, regulatory matters, general operations issues and document preparation. We have represented some institutions headquartered in Western Washington for decades; our practice also includes the representation of out-of-state and foreign lenders with needs in Washington State.
The firm’s representation of commercial lenders has been in all forums, including federal and state courts, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and in receivership, arbitration and mediation proceedings.
We have wide experience in commercial collection litigation, loan workouts and restructurings. The firm also advises lenders in non-judicial dispute resolutions.
The firm’s engagements for its financial institution clients include cases involving a few thousand dollars up to several million dollars. Recently, the firm has undertaken representation of lenders with large portfolios of troubled real estate loans.
Various aspects of the collection process with which the firm has been involved include foreclosure of deeds of trust, foreclosure of security interests and actions against guarantors. With the firm’s experience, we are both knowledgeable and efficient in our representation of financial institution clients.
Recent significant engagements include:
Our experience in representing trustees in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases is unsurpassed among mid-sized and large-sized firms in Western Washington. Over the last few decades, we have helped trustees fulfill their unique duties in hundreds of asset cases. It is a special area of bankruptcy practice we know well.
Representative cases we have worked on for trustees come in all shapes and sizes:
Receiverships are a non-bankruptcy vehicle that puts a fiduciary in control of some (custodial receiver) or all (general receiver) of an entity’s assets. The duties of a receiver vary depending on the scope of the proceeding. A custodial receiver’s duties may be as limited as preserving a single asset pending resolution of a lawsuit, while a general receiver’s duties may be to operate and/or liquidate all assets of a business.
We have filed a number of receivership proceedings for bank and financial institution clients. Members of our Group have also served as receivers or lawyers for receivers. A few of our receivership cases include:
In many Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, an unsecured creditors’ committee is appointed. The role of the committee is to represent the interests of unsecured creditors’ as a group. The creditors’ committee has certain prescribed duties and its opinion is often influential in determining the course of a bankruptcy reorganization. The creditors committee is permitted to hire lawyers and other professionals at no cost to the individual members of the committee.
Some of the cases in which we have represented the Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee include:
The bankruptcy laws grant debtors certain rights and impose responsibilities with respect to real property leases. Whether a landlord wants rent paid or wishes to remove a tenant from the property, a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer is a useful resource.
We have assisted landlords in maximizing their recovery and/or getting their property back in several cases including:
Special rules apply to the sale of property by bankruptcy debtors and trustees. Many “sales” are subject to higher and better offers even after a purchase and sale agreement has been executed, and may require court approval. Purchasers also need to be cognizant that representations and warranties by sellers which are common outside of bankruptcy are usually not available in a bankruptcy case. Even when given, the warranties may be of dubious value as the seller often will be gone shortly after a sale is completed.
We have assisted prospective buyers or actual buyers in the following bankruptcy cases:
In addition to representing our clients in bankruptcy cases, we have also represented them in related lawsuits (adversary proceedings) and in appeals from orders of the bankruptcy court.
Our experience in adversary proceedings includes defending creditors from dreaded preference and fraudulent transfer claims (i.e., a claim by a debtor or trustee to recover a payment the debtor made to the creditor prior to the bankruptcy case). Our appellate experience includes cases appealed to the District Court, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A business in financial distress needs calm, practical and experienced counsel. Hiring counsel at the first sign of trouble improves the chances of successfully restructuring a business and may avert the need for bankruptcy.
We have helped businesses work out financial problems and avoid bankruptcy. We have also represented businesses from small proprietorships to large publicly-traded companies through the complex web of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Some of our major Chapter 11 debtor representations include:
Bankruptcy Related Practice Areas:
Richard J. Hyatt, Chair and Member
Richard J. Hyatt
Chair and Member
Rick has a broad-based bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice, including representation of creditors, trustees and debtors in all phases of insolvency matters. Because of the breadth of his practice, he has developed expertise in a number of business and legal areas, including real estate transactions.
Susan Rae Fox, Member
Susan Rae Fox
Susan has a busy and varied litigation practice. About half of her practice involves employment law. This work includes reviewing employment policies and manuals, as well as defending employers against charges of discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to pay for overtime and other employment-related wrongdoing.
Jerry Kindinger, Member
Jerry has a diverse commercial practice. About a third of it involves business counseling. Among other things, he helps clients organize businesses, resolve ongoing legal problems in businesses and buy and sell businesses. The rest of Jerry's practice focuses on commercial litigation for a wide range of clients, especially large, complex, multi-million dollar disputes.
Roger J. Kindley, Member
Roger J. Kindley
Roger serves as Chair of the Litigation Group. He is a trial lawyer whose experience covers a broad range of matters involving intellectual property, contract claims, real estate disputes, product liability issues, employment cases and others. He has won both jury and non-jury cases and favorably used mediations to save clients money and achieve settlement.
Brian Lewis, Member
Brian focuses his practice on real estate transactions and debtor/creditor relations. He has drafted, negotiated and reviewed purchase and sale agreements, leases, loan documents and development agreements on behalf of lenders, borrowers, real estate developers and institutional land owners.
Teruyuki S. Olsen, Associate
Teruyuki S. Olsen
Teru is an Associate at Ryan Swanson, where he drafts pleadings for federal and superior court, researches and prepares memorandums on commercial litigation and business issues, and writes opinion letters to clients regarding litigation matters. Prior to joining Ryan Swanson, Teru was a Research Assistant at the Seattle University School of Law and a Civil Litigation Extern at the King County Prosecutor's Office.
David H. Oswald, Member
David H. Oswald
Dave has over 35 years of experience as a business and real estate attorney and has assisted with the acquisitions, leasing, sales and financing of properties for businesses and developers. He also helps real estate and business clients structure new businesses, create partnerships, raise capital through private placements, and buy, sell and liquidate.
Britenae Pierce, Member
Britenae is a full-time litigator in the firm's Banking, Litigation and Employment groups. She handles a wide range of general litigation matters from inception through arbitration, trial, and any state or federal appeal process. Britenae also works on a variety of banking litigation matters, real estate cases and intellectual property issues.
Gulliver A. Swenson, Member
Gulliver A. Swenson
Gulliver focuses the majority of his practice in litigation. The remainder of Gulliver's work involves providing advice as general counsel for mid-sized businesses. His experience includes advising clients in sports and entertainment, insurance, healthcare, real estate and employment matters.
David L. Tift, Member
David L. Tift
Member and Executive Committee Member
Dave's practice involves both commercial and healthcare litigation. He has defended numerous long-term care facilities involved in lawsuits claiming professional negligence. His practice also involves commercial litigation, including anti-trust, non-competition and unfair competition disputes in state and federal courts. Dave also has a growing aviation practice. His aviation work has included serving as local counsel for several national and international airlines, prosecuting and defending crash litigation and representing individuals and companies in disputes with the FAA, DOT and NTSB.