Notice of Bankruptcy: What to Do

When a person or business files for bankruptcy protection, a Notice of Bankruptcy is sent to the likely creditors of that person or organization. Harvard University might be a creditor of a bankrupt person or business (known as a "Debtor"), meaning the University may be owed money or services from the Debtor. If you receive a Notice of Bankruptcy for a vendor or other person or organization with whom Harvard has dealings, please (1) inform the Office of the General Counsel immediately, so that counsel can work with you to ensure that you file a timely and valid proof of claim; and (2) immediately suspend efforts to collect any outstanding receivables from the person or organization in bankruptcy, as federal bankruptcy law prohibits creditors from attempting to collect debts in ways independent of the bankruptcy process once bankruptcy proceedings have begun. You should forward the Notice of Bankruptcy to the OGC even if you think you received the notice by mistake or are not aware of any claims you may have against the Debtor. Notifying the OGC is important because other offices or departments at the University may also have outstanding receivables, but may not have received a notice. In addition, if you become aware that a vendor has declared or is about to declare bankruptcy, please notify the OGC, even if you have not received a formal notice from the bankruptcy court. Communicating this information to the OGC will aid the Office in identifying your office or department as a Harvard creditor in the event the Notice of Bankruptcy is delivered to the OGC or other Central Administration office, as can happen.