Exploring the complexities of bad faith in bankruptcy proceedings for the Southern District of New York can be difficult. In this blog post, we will explore the nuances of bad faith in bankruptcy proceedings and its potential effects on your case.

Bad Faith in Bankruptcy Proceedings

In the Southern District of New York, bad faith in bankruptcy proceedings generally requires a clear showing of improper conduct, such as an attempt to abuse the judicial process or hinder or delay creditors. Factors that courts consider in determining bad faith include whether the debtor misrepresented facts, has a history of filings and dismissals, or only intended to defeat state court litigation.  Courts in New York have decided that using the bankruptcy process to delay judgment or collection efforts is bad faith.

Misrepresentation of Facts by Debtors

One factor indicating bad faith is when debtors deliberately misrepresent their financial situation. This can include hiding assets, underreporting income, or providing false information about debts owed. Courts may view these actions as attempts to deceive creditors and manipulate the bankruptcy system for personal gain. For more information on how this can impact your case, consult a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

History of Multiple Filings and Dismissals

A pattern of multiple bankruptcy filings followed by voluntary dismissals may also be evidence of bad faith. This behavior suggests that debtors are using repeated filings as a means to stall foreclosure proceedings or other legal actions against them without any genuine intention to resolve their financial issues through bankruptcy.

Intentions to Defeat State Court Litigation

If a debtor’s primary motivation for filing bankruptcy is simply to avoid an unfavorable outcome in pending state court litigation rather than seeking legitimate relief from overwhelming debt burdens, courts may find this indicative of bad faith intentions.

Notable Cases Addressing Bad Faith Claims

Several cases in the Southern District of New York have set important precedents in addressing bad faith claims. One such case is Culligan Soft Water Co., et al v Sea Containers Ltd., et al (2006), highlighting distinctions between chapters 11 and chapter-15 bankruptcies regarding bad-faith claims filed domestically versus internationally. In this case, the court found that a foreign debtor’s conduct did not rise to the level of bad faith necessary to deny recognition under Chapter 15. You can read more about this case here.

Another notable development involves guidelines for good faith participation during mediation sessions. Mediators must report any failures by parties to participate in good faith directly to presiding judges, who may then take appropriate action against non-compliant individuals or entities accordingly. This ensures that all parties involved in bankruptcy proceedings adhere to proper conduct and do not attempt any form of manipulation or abuse.


In conclusion, bad faith in bankruptcy proceedings can occur when debtors misrepresent facts or have a history of filings and dismissals. Eligibility requirements apply to Chapter 15 foreign bankruptcy petitions, and attorney retainers may qualify as property. It is crucial to participate in mediation sessions in good faith according to guidelines set by the court.

If you are facing financial difficulties and need help navigating the bankruptcy process, contact the Law Office of William Waldner for expert guidance from experienced attorneys. Our team has helped countless clients successfully navigate bankruptcy cases in the Southern District of New York. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance today.

Contact us now for a consultation!