U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelly has agreed to allow survivors of clergy sex abuse more time to file claims while the Milwaukee Archdiocese is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A forensic accountant will be hired to review the finances of the archdiocese as well.
The agreement gives the creditors the green light to hire California-based Berkeley Research Group as a financial adviser. One of the duties of the forensic accountant is to inspect church finances to determine if the church made fraudulent transfers in an attempt to shield assets from victims of clergy sex abuse.
All parties involved in the bankruptcy agreed to extend the bar date, the deadline for victims to file claims for compensation. The final day for filing claims is now February 1, 2012, five months past the September 15, 2011 date initially proposed by the church. The deadline for all non-sex abuse claimants remains the same.
The specific of a national advertising campaign to alert victims to the bankruptcy and the deadline for claims has been agreed upon.
Milwaukee Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2011, saying it was the only way to compensate victims and continue the work of the church. The archdiocese has stated that they only have approximately $7 million in cash and properties available for settlement.
Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer