News of Payless Shoes filing chapter 11 bankruptcy hits Florida hard, with 50 stores being shuttered statewide, and putting hundreds of mostly low-wage people out of work.
When struggling with debt, there comes a time when personal bankruptcy may be the best choice. The most well-known types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but the former is most since it’s quick and simple.
Choosing to go forward with a bankruptcy filing is an extremely stressful time, but the best and first proactive step you can take is choosing an attorney. Although filing for Chapter 7 is the simplest and most straightforward type of personal bankruptcy, it’s still very complex and requires the expertise of a lawyer. Here are a few tips about what you can to do to prepare for a meeting with a Chapter 7 attorney.
Bankruptcy filings have fallen from their high of 1.2 million in 2012 to just over 800,000 for 2016. This significant decrease has been felt by most states aside from Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana owing to the downturn in the fossil fuel markets, Delaware, and areas of Appalachia and the South served by the fourth, fifth, eighth, 10th, and 11th circuit courts. In February 2017, bankruptcy filings have decreased 10 percent from the same period last year, with commercial filings representing a nine percent decline from this time last year. You can take from the figures just about anything you want, as figures are often used to represent and agenda. However, the facts remain that not all small businesses are thriving in this economy.
Anyone who has ever done a Google search for “how to file for bankruptcy with no money” has no doubt seen the ads offering so-called free bankruptcy filings. As with most things, these are too good to be true. I have often said that when you are facing the federal courts, as you are when filing for bankruptcy, you need an attorney on your side. Very often these “free” bankruptcy filings are anything but, and they often do not even have an attorney on hand to advise you. You will end up dealing with bankruptcy preparers - who simply fill out forms and cannot offer legal advice – or paralegals who despite the title are not allowed by law to offer legal advice. Think about it – paramedics are medical professionals, but you won’t see them performing surgery or diagnosing an illness – right?
Bankruptcy is a complex legal procedure and there are a number of different aspects to each different case. One of those aspects can be the so-called “stalking horse bid.” This type of strategy is an initial bid from an interested company on a bankrupt company’s assets. The bidder is chosen from a pool of candidates, and must perform their due diligence in placing their bid. There are a number of advantages and risks associated with this type of strategy. These types of bids typically occur during a Chapter 11 and can significantly reduce the amount of time that the bankrupt company will spend in court.
Did you know that medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy? It was true before the ACA, and even with the ACA in place American still struggle to pay for medical care in a system that is opaque and increasingly stacked against the patient. Medical costs depend on the deal that’s been negotiated with your insurance company or your ability to pay in cash. Even insured people find out that sometimes that policy doesn’t cover certain drugs, treatments, or procedures and the bills just keep coming. Even a trip to the ER of your in-network hospital can land you with an uncovered bill for an out-of-network ER contracting firm.
You can blame fame and fortune at an early age, you can blame not knowing how to handle money, and you can blame the celebrity bubble, but in the end a celebrity bankruptcy comes down to the money not lasting forever. Health can also play a factor, and when Cassidy made the recent announcement of his retirement from touring, his health was a factor in the decision. He also notes that the royalties which once supported a lifestyle that boasted $27,000 a month in expenses dropped to income of around $12,000. The drop in income, a run of bad investments, and a lavish mansion’s expenses, taxes, and upkeep made bankruptcy the only option.
Image credit to Alex Const
This may be my last Fitty blog post. You see, rapper Curtis Jackson – known as 50 Cent - has exited bankruptcy with his death discharged. Thus ends a long strange trip that began with Curtis Jackson on the losing end of a lawsuit that he lost to Lastonia Leviston after being found liable for damages of $7 million in a sex tape case. Ms. Leviston has agreed to drop her $7 million dollar award for a lump sum payment of $6 million – with the caveat that the sum must be in 30 days or the original sum will be reinstated. All told, the settlement will pay out $23 million dollars on nearly $30 million owed to creditors from around $8 million on hand and a nearly $14 million settlement in a legal malpractice case.
Retail is taking a beating. Over the past three years bankruptcies have accelerated, from mall staples to anchor stores. While others simply continue to close more stores and hope for the best in their online sales. Even Walmart has closed over 150 stores in the last year and now focuses on its supercenter and e-commerce sales. It’s easier for a large business with resources on hand to decide when to close up shop. For a small business, the decision is both more emotional and difficult. It is possible to retrench and become a predominantly e-commerce operation, but that takes a lot of time, effort, and a serious amount of expenditures on web presence, advertising, and website.
About Chad Van Horn
Chad T. Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. Through a combination of dedicated philanthropy, spirited entrepreneurship and legal expertise, he applies his resources and network to helping people. Learn more about Chad Van Horn.