The Itapemirim Group had its bankruptcy decreed by the São Paulo Court of Justice on Wednesday (21). The group offered road and air transport, but operations were suspended in December 2021.
How is the situation of those who bought tickets? Luis Carmona, a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy and judicial recovery, says that the consumer is at the end of the line of creditors to receive, which follows an order of priorities. Customers come last.
1) Payment of labor debts
2) Claims secured by rights in rem, such as real estate
3) Tax credits such as taxes
4) Too many credits. This is where the amounts to be paid to consumers come in.
How to enter the bankruptcy process? The consumer who wants to try to be reimbursed must first file a case in the small claims court for the judge to issue the credit. This means, in practice, that the Court needs to recognize that the person was harmed and is entitled to reimbursement.
Marcos Poliszezuk, a lawyer at Poliszezuk Advogados, says that this phase of the process is usually quick. As the request must be made in the small claims court (which accepts issues of up to 40 minimum wages), the consumer does not need a lawyer.
Just take to the judge a proof of purchase of the air or road ticket.
After that, the consumer must contact the bankruptcy administrator to inform them that he needs to be included in the creditors list or seek the help of a lawyer to proceed with his case.
Where does the money to pay creditors come from? With the bankruptcy decreed, the Justice will gather all the assets of Itapemirim, evaluate and sell. The proceeds from the sale of assets are used to pay creditors.
What is the deadline for receiving the refund? Does not exist. Carmona says it all depends on how the bankruptcy process goes. For Poliszezuk, processes of this type are not resolved in less than five to ten years.
Is it worth entering the bankruptcy process? Poliszezuk says it’s very difficult for consumers to get refunds in this type of bankruptcy — precisely because of the priority list.
Maybe not worth it for a consumer who has lost lower values.
The lawyer specialized in consumer law Frederico Glitz says the client needs to assess the cost of the lawsuit and the amount it would be entitled to — knowing that there may be no bankruptcy balance to collect. For him, those who lost road tickets, for example, should spend more on the process than on the reimbursement.
Glitz says that the Consumer Defense Code still makes room for the customer to ask for “disregard of legal personality”. In practice, it means that it asks the Court to consider the assets of the company’s owners. But it all depends on the case and the strategy of the lawyer who takes on the consumer’s case.