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Is an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors like a Bankruptcy?

Is an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors like a Bankruptcy?

At first, an assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) may seem similar to a bankruptcy claim. However, upon a deeper look, it is clear that an assignment for the benefit of creditors is different. Similar to liquidation proceedings in chapter 7 or chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, an ABC can be used by either an individual or a business if they are going through significant financial difficulties. In both cases, the struggling debtor sells off all its assets in order to pay back its outstanding debts to its creditors. This mechanism helps to maximize the return for creditors.

An assignment for the benefit of creditors is distinct from bankruptcy proceedings because it is a much less formal process governed by state law rather than federal law. The informal nature of these proceedings means that it is faster and easier to marshal a debtor’s assets, liquidate same, and distribute proceeds equitably to creditors under an assignment rather than under federal bankruptcy law. Furthermore, an ABC often requires less court involvement and provides more flexibility to the assignee to make liquidation decisions as required. This is generally beneficial for both creditors and debtors because it is faster, less expensive, and more private than traditionally afforded bankruptcy liquidations.

Understanding Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors in New Jersey

In New Jersey, an assignment for the benefit of creditors is governed by New Jersey statutes that codify the preexisting common law. The proceedings are voluntary processes whereby the debtor designates an assignee who is empowered to marshal and liquidate (sell) the assets of the debtor and then distribute the proceeds of the sale to the debtor’s creditors. The assignee must ensure that all of the financial liquidations are done for the benefit of the creditors and with the sole goal of repaying outstanding debts. This is significant because in New Jersey, the debtor can choose its assignee rather than relying on a court-appointed trustee in bankruptcy who may not understand the nuances of the debtor’s finances. The ability to choose the assignee can be beneficial because an assignee with an understanding of the debtor’s finances can expedite the liquidation process rather than spend valuable time learning the ropes.

An ABC in New Jersey is generally cheaper than filing formal bankruptcy proceedings because it is faster and usually requires less litigation. The expeditious nature cuts down on the debtor’s and creditor’s legal bills and other costs associated with ongoing litigation. Still, creditors should be counseled to make sure that the liquidation is being conducted properly, and that the assignee is obtaining a fair return on the sale of the assets to maximize the recovery of the debts owed to the creditors.

FSKS is on Your Side

At FSKS, our attorneys are experienced in both bankruptcy and assignments for the benefit of creditors in New Jersey. We have a strong track record of success in the area of creditor’s rights and pride ourselves on being one of the strongest and most successful Creditors’ Rights firms in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We’re ready to give you trusted advice and help maximize your return.

If you require assistance with or have questions regarding an assignment for the benefit of creditors in New Jersey, please contact Vincent DiMaiolo, Jr. (, Nicholas Canova (, or Tammy L. Terrell-Benoza ( at (973) 538-4700.