When you have invested a significant amount of time and effort into business, only to have it fail, it can be a discouraging and very emotional experience. You want to wind up the business in the most responsible manner possible, but bankruptcy may be your best bet. Whether you are filing for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you may think about filing on your own to save what funds are left for the wind down the company. Taking care of the bankruptcy on your own may seem logical on the face, but I am here to tell you – and not just because I’m a corporate bankruptcy lawyer – that it is not a good idea.
Imagine that you are suffering from appendicitis. However, medical care is expensive. Would you decide that instead, you would perform the procedure on your dining room table using only knives and cutlery found in the kitchen? The answer would be, “Chad, are you nuts? Of course, I go to see a doctor. I can’t perform surgery!”
Winding down a corporation and filing for bankruptcy is complex, and requires expertise and experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small business, or a big multi-store or multinational chain. When you are going into the federal court system, overseen by the Department of Justice, you need an expert attorney by your side to file your case with all the correct paperwork and forms.
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Would you know what forms you would need to fill out, how to fill them out, and in what order to file them? Would you know how to argue in court when facing your creditor’s attorneys? Would you know what to do if your petition for bankruptcy was denied? I know all of these things because I am a bankruptcy attorney, and this is what I do. Anyone who tells you that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “simple” bankruptcy that anyone can do, does not have much experience with bankruptcy. Also, in certain states, like Florida, individuals are not allowed to represent corporations in legal proceedings. Instead, Florida law requires corporations to be represented by licensed attorneys.
Right now certain industries are feeling the bite more than others. For example, in the first quarter of the year there were more corporate retail bankruptcies filed in three months then there were in all of last year. Whether to point the finger at private capital, or simply at an over-retailed America, the rise of online shopping and the decline of shopping malls, is beside the point. Retail jobs and retail companies are suffering. Nobody can predict from year-to-year just what the economy or the new economy will bring.
Talk to a Corporate Bankruptcy Lawyer
If your company is currently facing the inability to pay its bills, declining receivables, and is besieged by creditors and collectors, you should give us a call. Our Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices are open seven days a week, and we will offer a free initial consultation. Come in and let us give you our best advice on how to proceed, and you will find that bankruptcy is not the end, but often a new beginning.