Experienced, Highly Qualified Attorneys
Charles M. Forman
Managing Member
T: 201.845.1000
F: 201.655.6650
E: cforman@formanlaw.com

Charles M. Forman, senior member of Forman Holt, is a nationally recognized leader in the field of insolvency and bankruptcy law in the region with more than 40 years of experience  as an attorney for debtors and creditors in addition to his service as a member of private panel of trustees appointed by the United States Department of Justice. Mr.  Forman also has served as attorney for numerous other trustees and as a court-appointed fiduciary in various court proceedings.

He’s a modern day “Robin Hood” who makes extraordinary efforts to recover funds for creditors.
– Bankruptcy Insider magazine

In his capacity as a trustee, Mr. Forman has administered more than 20,000 Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 cases, including many of the most complex cases that have been filed in this region during the past four decades. The cases he has overseen include household names such as Linens ’n ThingsWorkbench FurnitureRuss Berrie Toys and Upsala College. During the course of his 40 year career he has administered approximately one-half billion dollars in assets and distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to creditors in order to satisfy their claims against the various bankruptcy estates which Mr. Forman has administered.

Mr. Forman was named “Master of Disaster” by The Bergen Record for his skill and achievements in handling complex and challenging bankruptcy cases.

His assignments have included serving as trustee for NJ Affordable Homes, a $100 million real estate Ponzi scheme, and Omne Staffing, a $350 million per year employee staffing company.

“U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. thanked Charles M. Forman, Esq., who serves as the bankruptcy trustee for NJAH in its Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, for his assistance and cooperation.”
– FBI Press Release

The United States Department of Justice recognized the excellence of Mr. Forman’s performance as a trustee when it awarded him the Director’s Award for Outstanding Achievements by a Private Trustee. Mr. Forman is the only panel trustee ever to be recognized by the Department of Justice for his service.

In 2016 Charles M. Forman received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The New Jersey Law Journal. In 2020 he was recognized by Best Lawyers of America as Lawyer of the Year for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization.  In 2021 he was recognized by Best Lawyers of America as Lawyer of the Year for Litigation.

Mr. Forman’s efforts and accomplishments have been reported in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine.

Mr. Forman is founder of the firm. His combined background in business, law and engineering and his creative approach to problem solving have served him well in connection with the many varied and complex assignments he has handled including matters in the areas of telecommunications, manufacturing, real estate, employee benefits and health care, the retail industry, securities law and other complex areas.

The Chambers 2021 edition recognized Mr. Forman as a second tier attorney in the field of bankruptcy for New Jersey.  Chambers acknowledged Mr. Forman as a “business-minded lawyer.”

In addition to serving as an attorney and a fiduciary, Mr. Forman also has been a court-approved mediator on the panel of mediators for the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.  In that capacity he has been called upon to mediate numerous complex matters for the courts in New Jersey.

Download Mr. Forman’s bio in PDF format here.


  • State of New Jersey
  • State of New York
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Newark College of Engineering (BSIE) (Omicron Delta Kappa (Chapter President); Alpha Pi Mu; Pi Delta Epsilon (National Medal of Merit Award))
  • Seton Hall University Law School (JD)

Work Experience

  • 1982 – Present: US Department of Justice – Private Panel of Trustees for District of New Jersey
  • 2016 – Present: US Bankruptcy Court for District of New Jersey Registry of Mediators
  • 2017 – Present: Managing Member – Forman Holt, Attorneys at Law
  • 2010 – 2015: US Department of Justice – Private Panel of Trustees (Temp. Assigned) for District of Delaware
  • 2016 – 2017: Officer – LeClairRyan, PC, Attorneys at Law
  • 1997 – 2016: Managing Member – Forman Holt & Eliades LLC, Attorneys at Law
  • 1995 – 1997: Senior Member – Forman Stern P.C., Attorneys at Law
  • 1988 – 1995: Sole Proprietor – Charles M. Forman & Associates, Attorneys at Law
  • 1979 – 1988: Managing Member – Rodino Forman & D’Uva LLC, Attorneys at Law
  • 1977 – 1979: General Counsel – Clinton Bogert Assoc., Consulting Engineers
  • 1976 – 1977: Special Assistant to the Commissioner – New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Mr. Forman’s efforts and accomplishments have been reported in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine.


  • Recipient of the US Justice Department’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Achievements by a Private Trustee
  • Received NJ Law Journal Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • Recipient of NJ Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2016
  • Included in Marquis Who’s Who 2020
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2007-2020
  • Recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation/Bankruptcy 2020, 2021
  • Selected To Super Lawyers 2005 – 2021
  • Top ranking in Chambers USA Guide for Bankruptcy/Restructuring NJ 2020
  • 201 Magazine: named one of Bergen’s Top Lawyers multiple years, including 2021
  • Top ranking in Bankruptcy/Restructuring by Chambers & Partners USA, 2015
  • Has been named to NJ Monthly’s New Jersey Super Lawyers
  • Has been named to NJ Monthly’s New Jersey Top 100 Super Lawyers
  • Included in New York Magazine’s The New York Area’s Best Lawyers
  • Listed in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory with an AV Peer Review Rating
  • Served as a Master in the William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Inn of Court
  • Former President of the Federal Bar Association of New Jersey
  • Served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the NJ DEP


  • NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers Foundation – President
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology Alumni Association – President (two non-concurrent terms)
  • Independent Alumni of NJIT – President (Current)
  • New Jersey Bankruptcy Inn of Court –  Master
  • Federal Bar Association of New Jersey – President
  • American Bankruptcy Institute  –  Advisory Committee, Mid-Atlantic Section
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Bergen County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Mensa

The United States Department of Justice has appointed Charles Forman to the panel of bankruptcy trustees in the following representative Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 matters:

  • Entertainment Publications LLC – Restarted the terminated operations of a $95 million per year coupon book business.  Transferred the operations as a going concern and saved 270 jobs in the process.
  • Ocean Breeze, LLC – Operated two vacation hotels on the Delaware Coast and transferred each as going concerns.
  • Satcon, Inc. – Operated a publicly traded solar power equipment manufacturer with subsidiaries in Europe, Canada, China and in the United States.
  • Omne Staffing – Pursued the wrongdoers in a case involving a $300 million employee leasing company engaged in fraudulent workers compensation practices on a national level and assisted the United States Attorney’s Office in Florida with their prosecution.
  • NJ Affordable Homes Corp. – Liquidated more than 300 parcels of real estate following contentious litigation over the estate’s interest in the properties at issue in a $80 million real estate Ponzi scheme.
  • The Russ Companies, Inc. – Liquidated a famous international designer and distributor of gift items (“dolls”), with subsidiaries in Asia, Australia, Europe and Canada and satisfied more than $13.5 million in secured debt.
  • Koger, Inc. – Appointed by the Superior Court of New Jersey as the Special Fiscal Agent for a financial services software company with operations in Ireland, Slovakia and New Jersey.  Oversaw all operations of the company for four years and then sold the company as a going concern to a European based software company.
  • Ameripay, LLC – Liquidation of a regional payroll company at the center of securities fraud investigation.
  • Spanish Peaks Holdings II, LLC – Trustee for a 5,700-acre golf resort and planned residential community in Big Sky, Montana.
  • Alabama Aircraft Industries, Inc. – Liquidation of a leading provider of aircraft maintenance and modification services for the United States Government.
  • Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. – The liquidation of a foreign owned solar power equipment manufacturer.
  • AES Thames – Liquidation of a major coal fired power plant in Connecticut.
  • Halpert and Company – Liquidated a securities broker-dealer involved in the Bennett Funding Ponzi scheme and satisfied 100% of allowed claims.
  • Howard Handler – Unraveled a $20 million Ponzi scheme involving the sale of non-existent medical equipment.
  • Christian Bernard – Liquidated major national retail jewelry chain with 16 locations across the country.
  • U.S. Mortgage – Represented examiner and liquidating trustee in massive mortgage fraud scheme.
  • Constar International Holdings, Inc. – Served as Independent Director of the Debtors for major manufacture of bottles.
  • Martifer Solar – Served as one person Oversight Committee for the Liquidating Plan for International Solar Products Manufacturer.
  • Linens ’n Things – Supervised the liquidation of a variety of claims including tax refunds from Canadian and United States taxing authorities and prosecuting hundreds of avoidance claims for the bankruptcy estate of the second largest home furnishings chain in North America.
  • Arts des Provinces de France, Inc. – Representation of the trustee of a national retail furniture and specialty chain.
  • Meridian Benefit, Inc. – Liquidated claims with employee benefit program with national implications.
  • United States Workers of America Local 16 National Health Fund – Liquidated claims with employee health-care programs with widespread national significance.
  • NorVergence, Inc. –  Liquidated highly publicized telecommunications venture whose failure resulted in the loss of service for businesses throughout the United States.  This matter also required the trustee’s cooperation with federal and state agencies in an investigation of fraud allegations concerning the debtor’s marketing schemes.
  • Penco of Lyndhurst – Liquidated a 17-acre environmentally contaminated chemical plant, including oversight of the appropriate disposal of tons of chemicals and rehabilitation of the property for use as a new shopping mall and as a regional transportation hub.
  • Upsala College – Liquidated a four year liberal arts college, including its major urban and rural campuses and academic related assets.
  • Spiniello Construction Company – Orchestrated the successful reorganization of a national $40 million a year construction company.
  • TSR Wireless – Operated a nationally based telecommunication business with 2.5 million customers and successfully transferred the debtor’s operations to a new operating company, thereby saving jobs, continuing service and generating a dividend to creditors.
    Charles M. Forman, received the Directors Award for Outstanding Achievements by the Executive Director of the Office of the United States Trustee for his role as trustee in the TSR Wireless matter.  This was the first time that a panel trustee had received such an award from the Department of Justice.