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Secured creditors take precedence over all unsecured creditors.
(The employees who are owed compensation are unsecured creditors. The fact that their pay has been deferred does not make a difference.)
Up to $10,000 deferred compensation per employee earned within 180 days before a Bankruptcy is filed will be classified as priority debt.
This means that up to $10,000 per employee that is earned less than 180 days before a Bankruptcy is filed will be paid before all other unsecured creditors.
Any amount earned more than 180 days before filing, and any amount earned over $10,000 will receive no priority - and will be paid along with the rest of the unsecured debts.