Joseph Bellinger has over 25 years of experience as a bankruptcy attorney and has represented virtually every party in interest in Chapter 11 business bankruptcy cases, including Debtors, members the Debtor’s management, equity holders, secured lenders, Committees of Unsecured Creditors, Chapter 11 trustees, and purchasers of the Debtor’s business. Mr. Bellinger brings to each case his breadth of experience litigating cases in bankruptcy courts, federal district courts, and state courts as an aggressive litigator and an effective negotiator. Whether his client is asserting claims in a lawsuit or defending in a lawsuit, Mr. Bellinger works with his client to evaluate the costs and benefit of alternative strategies in order to develop a strategy that his client understands and can afford, and that will lead to a favorable outcome at trial or in a negotiated settlement.
Mr. Bellinger represents his clients in in bankruptcy proceedings in connection with avoidance actions to recover preferential transfers and fraudulent conveyances; disputes as to the value of real, personal or intangible property; objections to his client’s claims against the bankruptcy estate; and contesting confirmation and court approval of proposed Chapter 11 plans. Mr. Bellinger also represents his clients in federal and state courts in a wide variety of complex business and financial disputes over contract rights, fraud, negligent or gross mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty and other business torts, and director or officer, or equity holder’s rights and liability.
Mr. Bellinger has extensive experience representing Chapter 11 trustees and has been appointed to serve as a Chapter 11 trustee in numerous bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, Mr. Bellinger served on the panel of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees for the District of Maryland for over 20 years. In that capacity, he conducted liquidations of companies in virtually every industry sector, including heavy and light manufacturing, commercial and residential real estate, multi-unit housing, custom home builders, construction, custom home and office furnishings, restaurants, bars, retail, insurance, and intellectual property.
While most of his cases are in federal and state courts in the Mid-Atlantic region, he has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States.
Points of Distinction
Mr. Bellinger has practiced law almost exclusively in the field of bankruptcy in Baltimore City for his entire career. While most of his cases are in bankruptcy courts in the Mid-Atlantic region, he has represented clients in bankruptcy courts throughout the United States.
Mr. Bellinger has received the highest professional (AV-Preeminent) rating from his peers, as reported by Martindale-Hubbell. In addition, he has been selected as a Maryland Super Lawyer every year since its inception, from 2007 through 2017. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Mr. Bellinger moved from Northern Michigan to Maryland to teach United States History and English at a High School in Charles County, Maryland. He was the head coach of the junior varsity football team and an assistant coach of the varsity football team that, during his six year tenure, won two State Championships after undefeated seasons. Although Mr. Bellinger had never stepped on a track other than to walk onto a football field, he also coached the men’s track and field team and, after the third season, he was voted “Coach of the Year” by the other coaches in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
Mr. Bellinger is a certified PADI Open Water Scuba Diver (40 meters/130 feet) and he enjoys diving excursions, particularly the reefs and wrecks in the Exuma Cays of the Central Caribbean.
Mr. Bellinger is a frequent lecturer on Bankruptcy Code and Procedure. In 2016, he served on the “Involuntary Bankruptcies” panel at the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association’s Annual Spring Break Conference, which was moderated by the Honorable Nancy V. Alquist, Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the District of Maryland.
“Have Your Debtor’s Mortgage Liens Been Released Under the National Mortgage Settlement?” Journal of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Spring 2015 Volume 31.
“Civil and Criminal Enforcement Matters for Chapter 7 Trustees,”
Journal of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Spring 2014 Volume 30.
Co-author, “What’s Left of Sovereign Immunity After Katz?” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, May 1, 2006.
Co-author, “Diligent Searches: Finding Misfiled IRS Liens” The Secured Lender, November/December 2006.