How can we get our down payment money back
The Bankruptcy Code provides that a consumer that gave a company a deposit of an amount up to $1800.00 is granted a priority status. If your deposit is 1800 or less you have that protection. To the extent the deposit is more than 1800.00, you will stand in line with all the other creditors. You will need to file a claim to protect your interest. Chapter 11 is very involved. You do best to consult with a lawyer that can monitor the case and explain the status of the case to you. The lawyer can also file the claim for you so it is done properly.
Karen J. Porter is licensed in the State of Illinois. An answer to a question on this site does not create an attorney client relationship. It is recommended that you meet with an attorney to receive a thorough and confidential review of your legal problem.
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I don't know if the $1,800 number has gone up but there may be other ways of obtaining the full amount back like alleging fraud, alleging (based on what your state law says) that they were acting in a fiduciary capacity and holding the money in trust for you, etc.
It would be one thing if a catastrophic incident caused the company to file for bk but another if they were preparing schedules and other bankruptcy related things while simultaneously taking your deposit.
The bad news is that you need a lawyer to really be sure you're taken care of and that might not be worth it!!
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Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney
What you should do at a minimum is file a proof of claim to make sure your claim is on file with the court. Mark the box indicating that at least part of your claim should be treated as a priority claim.
To add to the answers previously noted--The updated dollar amount for a priority claim for a deposit appears to be $2,775 (raised incrimentally from $1,800 over the years).
Also, I notice that in the first part of your question you say "I" and the second part you say "we"--I had a case a couple years ago in which a husband/wife paid a deposit. I filed a priority proof of claim for husband and one for wife, each for the maximum amount. In that case they actually paid two deposits--one for a home and one for land, so I filed 4 proofs of claim total--one for each deposit for husband and one for each deposit for wife. Very recently the debtor (which since had a trustee appointed and converted to chapter 7) paid the priority claims in full.
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