Realizing that someone who owes you money cannot pay you in full and on time is usually a very unsettling feeling. When a debtor enters bankruptcy, creditors must first determine the value and priority of their claims. Then, they must file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court before the deadline in order to preserve their right to be paid. In a non-bankruptcy context, state law governs the order in which creditors will be paid while in bankruptcy matters, the Bankruptcy Code determines the order in which creditors will be paid. In order to maximize your recovery, you need an attorney who can review the facts giving rise to your claim, apply the law to elevate the priority of your claim if possible, and prepare your formal proof of claim for filing in a way that maximizes your prospects for repayment. Retaining competent counsel regarding creditors’ bankruptcy rights might make the difference between being paid in full and recovering merely pennies on the dollar.