- J.D., Valparaiso University School of Law, 2004, cum laude
- B.A., Hope College, 1999, cum laude
Rachel L. Hillegonds is an attorney at Miller Johnson and has been practicing law since 2004. She is a member of Miller Johnson’s Business Section, and its Bankruptcy – Creditors’ / Debtors’ Rights and Real Estate practice groups.
Ms. Hillegonds represents a variety of clients in bankruptcy-related matters, including secured and unsecured creditors, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Trustees, Chapter 7 non-consumer and Chapter 11 debtors, and creditors’ committees. For example, she has defended numerous preference claims brought against creditors in local bankruptcy cases, as well as cases filed in other jurisdictions around the country. She has also represented banks, lessors and lessees, litigants and other creditors in seeking relief from the automatic stay and otherwise protecting their rights, collateral and interests in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases. Ms. Hillegonds has helped individuals and companies file for bankruptcy protection and navigate through liquidations and reorganizations. She has also assisted bankruptcy trustees in operating Chapter 11 cases, and in recovering assets for the benefit of creditors in both Chapter 7 and 11 cases.
Further, Ms. Hillegonds has assisted clients in out-of-court workout, receivership and other insolvency matters. For example, she has filed claims for and represented creditors in receiverships, has assisted clients in negotiating forbearance agreements and settlement of debts in an effort to avoid bankruptcy, and has counseled clients in winding down business operations, including matters relating to company debt and the outstanding personal liabilities of business owners. She also has helped clients with residential and commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, eviction and other tenant matters, drafting, reviewing and terminating leases, foreclosures, condominium association documents and navigating unit owner problems, resolving zoning, easement and land use issues, and other real estate matters.
Ms. Hillegonds was previously a staff attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Mary Viegelahn. She is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association (Western District of Michigan, Bankruptcy Section), Grand Rapids Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and Turnaround Management Association. She currently serves as a member of the Federal Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section steering committee, and as a board member of the Turnaround Management Association.
Ms. Hillegonds received her law degree in 2004 from Valparaiso University School of Law cum laude and her undergraduate degree in 1999 from Hope College cum laude.