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Melissa A. Peña

Member

Melissa A. Peña, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, concentrates her practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Her clients include financial institutions, private lenders, creditors, and accounting firms. Melissa has successfully represented secured creditors and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and state court insolvency proceedings. She frequently handles commercial foreclosure actions, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, lien priority disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, and creditor enforcement matters.

Melissa also defends accounting firms in disputes regarding alleged failure to detect criminal and fraudulent activity in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York.

Outside the courtroom, Melissa handles commercial workouts, negotiating forbearance agreements on behalf of lenders and troubled cross-border transactions. She represents investors seeking to acquire defaulted loans from the due diligence stage to closing on the sale. Melissa also helps lenders to liquidate their collateral through UCC sales, including sales of co-ops. In connection with the firm’s cross-border practice, she represents clients concerning inbound and outbound transactions that require working with government agencies such as the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Whether she is inside or outside the courtroom, Melissa’s goal is to find a practical business solution for her clients. She utilizes litigation as a tool to further her client’s business objectives in a cost-effective manner.

Melissa is Co-Chair of the Meritas Financial Services section.

Education
  • The American University Washington College of Law
    • J.D., cum laude, 2003
  • George Washington University
    • B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, 2000
Professional Affiliations
  • Bankruptcy Inn of Court
    • Member
  • International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Meritas
    • Board of Directors
    • Co-Chairman, Financial Services/CRABS Section

Languages

  • Tagalog
Bar Admissions
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court
    • District of New Jersey
    • Northern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Third Circuit
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