Joseph L. Schwartz is Chair of the Firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Group.  He has over 25 years of experience in commercial bankruptcy and state court insolvency matters, with a focus on corporate restructurings and reorganizations.  Joe also has substantial experience in state and federal receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors, as well as out-of-court corporate restructurings, turnarounds, workouts and commercial litigation. He regularly represents a diverse array of clients, including debtors, banks, other secured lenders, indenture trustees, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees, creditors’ committees, trade creditors, third party purchasers, insurance companies and landlords, in bankruptcy and insolvency-related cases. Joe also regularly both prosecutes and defends avoidance actions, including preference and fraudulent conveyance lawsuits. He also serves as one of the Subchapter V trustees in New Jersey, having been appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee under the Small Business Reorganization Act, and also regularly serves as a mediator in bankruptcy cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

Joe has considerable experience and has taken a leading role in representing various constituents in numerous bankruptcy cases and insolvency-related matters,  including complex cases involving the construction, healthcare, commodities, mining and metals, real estate, retail, apparel, steel, airline, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications, and technology sectors.

Joe was elected President of the New Jersey Turnaround Management Association, effective January 2022, and will serve a two-year term, following years of services to NJ TMA.  He also serves on the Turnaround Management Association’s Global Membership Council, which addresses membership goals and strategies for TMA on a global basis.  He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and various other insolvency-related associations. In addition, Joe has previously served on the New Jersey Supreme Court District V-C Ethics Committee (western Essex County).   

Joe also serves on the Corporate Advisory Council of Homeless Solutions, which offers shelter, services and supportive housing to the homeless and working poor in Morris County through outreach services, a Safe Haven Program for the mentally ill homeless, and a Family Transitional Housing Program.  The purpose of the Corporate Advisory Council is to increase the visibility of Homeless Solutions and its mission among the local corporate and business community, promoting opportunities for partnering and employee volunteer/team building experiences. 

He also frequently lectures and writes on various insolvency-related topics.  While attending law school, Joe served as a member of the Suffolk University Law Review.

For the past few years, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers Client’s Guide has ranked Riker Danzig’s Bankruptcy Group in the top tiers of New Jersey’s bankruptcy practices.  According to peers and clients, the group is “brimming with quality” and “has handled more workouts and distressed loans than anyone.”  Chambers noted that Riker Danzig’s Bankruptcy Group is “famed for its impeccable work” on behalf of creditors.  

Chambers has ranked Joe in Band One in its Client’s Guide for Bankruptcy Law, noting that he is “absolutely fantastic,” and, “in court he’s an expert in process and procedure.” They further say that he is a "technically proficient and procedurally adept" attorney who “presents well in court, makes very good arguments and understands the complexities of the code.” He “inspires confidence” by being “fantastically well prepared, highly determined and completely at ease on his feet in court.”  Clients also call him a “talented lawyer” who “knows what he’s doing, when to compromise and when to litigate,” and “probably the best-prepared attorney that I have ever seen.  He really does his homework.”  

Joe was recognized in the 2022 Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers in the United States. According to Lawdragon, these 500 lawyers “dazzle in financial restructuring, whether in court or out.”

Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. Lawyers, has included him on its "Best Lawyers" list for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law as well as for Litigation-Bankruptcy Law since 2010. Thomson Reuters has included Joe on the New Jersey “Super Lawyers” list for Bankruptcy Law each year since 2006. See Awards and Honors Methodology.   

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Published Cases

In re Hollister Construction Services, LLC, 2020 WL 1303910 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2020)

In re G-I Holdings, Inc., 580 B.R. 388 (Bankr.D.N.J. January 26, 2018)

In re G-I Holdings, Inc., 2017 WL 1788656 (Bankr.D.N.J. May 05, 2017)

In re Circle 10 Restaurant, LLC, 519 B.R. 95 (Bankr.D.N.J. November 07, 2014)

In re Microbilt Corp., 588 Fed.Appx. 179 (Bankr. 3rd Cir. December 10, 2013)

In re NJ Affordable Homes Corp., 2013 WL 6048836 (Bankr.D.N.J. November 08, 2013)

In re Raritan Hospitality, LLC, 2011 WL 2680906 (Bankr.D.N.J. July 08, 2011)

In re EnCap Golf Holdings, 2009 WL 9140813 (Bankr.D.N.J. February 19, 2009)

In re Ridgemour Meyer Properties, LLC, 413 B.R. 101 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. December 12, 2008)

In re International Benefits Group, Inc., 2008 WL 5070673 (D.N.J. November 24, 2008)

In re EnCap Golf Holdings, LLC, 2008 WL 4200324 (Bankr.D.N.J. September 04, 2008)

In re Benun, 386 B.R. 59 (Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. v. Jack C. Benun) (Bankr.D.N.J. February 29, 2008)

In re M Liquidating Corp., 2007 WL 4571090 (Bankr.D.N.J. December 27, 2007)

In re International Benefits Group, Inc., 2007 WL 1875926 (D.N.J. June 28, 2007)

In re United Steel Enterprises, Inc., 2006 WL 3544583 (D.N.J. December 08, 2006)

In re International Benefits Group, Inc., 206 WL 2417297 (D.N.J. August 21, 2006)

In re Benun, 339 B.R. 115 (Bankr.D.N.J. March 10, 2006)

In re Combustion Engineering, Inc., 391 F. 3d 190 (3rd Cir. (Del.) December 02, 2004)

In re APF Co., 308 B.R. 183 (Joseph A. Pardo, Trustee v. William Gonzaba, M.D., et al.) (Bankr.D.Del. April 26, 2004)

Pardo v. Foundation Health Corp., 2004 WL 1969580 (Bankr.D.Del. January 21, 2004)

In re Muma Services, Inc., 286 B.R. 583 (Bankr.D.Del. November 27, 2002)

In re American Appliance, 272 B.R. 587 (Bankr.D.N.J. January 25, 2002)

In re APF Co., 274 B.R. 408 (Joseph A. Pardo, Trustee v. NYLCare Health Plans, Inc., et al.) (Bankr.D.Del. December 18, 2001)

In re APF Co., 2001 WL 1820788 (D.Del. August 31, 2001)

In re APF Co., 274 B.R. 634 (Bankr.D.Del. August 27, 2001)

In re APF Co., 264 B.R. 344 (Joseph A. Pardo, Trustee, et al. v. Pacificare of Texas, Inc. et al.) (Bankr.D.Del. June 27, 2001)

Pollution Control Financing Authority of Warren County v. County of Somerset, 735 A.2d 633 (N.J.Super.A.D. August 27, 1999)

Matter of Arrow Carrier Corp., 1994 WL 411780 (D.N.J. June 06, 1994)