The Law Offices of Jason A. Burgess, LLC concentrates its practice on Chapter 11 bankruptcies. We handle Chapter 11 cases for individuals and businesses throughout Florida, including Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Ocala, Kissimmee and any other city in Florida. We handle every aspect of Chapter 11 cases.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings are designed for businesses but can also be utilized by individuals in certain situations including real estate investors. Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases are similar to Chapter 13s but are flexible and much more complex.
Reasons To File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
There are many reasons to file Chapter 11 and if the case is done properly and timely Chapter 11 can be the most beneficial move a business can make or in some situations it may be the only way to save an otherwise doomed business.
Chapter 11 cases are filed for many reasons but some of the most frequent situations involve stopping foreclosures on valuable property, restructuring debt over a longer period of time to trim immediate expenses, or to cure tax debt over time.
Generally speaking, a Chapter 11 is a reorganization of your financial affairs without borrowing any money. It may allow you to stop foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies, IRS seizures, and other creditor actions, by allowing you to set up a court enforced repayment plan. Immediately upon filing, the court will order an automatic stay against your creditors, to allow you some breathing time to concentrate on operating your business, and restoring its profitability and cash flow.
What Happens When You File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Essentially what happens upon filing the petition, is that you immediately stop paying all unsecured debt, including taxes. You will, or may continue paying reduced secured obligations, depending on what your situation and ultimate plan is. You may pick and choose which secured creditors to pay, and you can surrender unprofitable secured property and/or leases.
Many multi-location Debtors utilize Chapter 11 to close unprofitable locations, without being stuck for the full measure of breach of lease damages allowed under state law. The damages allowed for breach of leases are limited in a Chapter 11 proceeding.
This moratorium on paying unsecured debt continues until after you have a plan voted on by creditors and confirmed by the court. This almost always takes at least 6 months or more, and commonly takes a year or more before you commence making payments pursuant to your plan. In some cases, it can take even longer. During this time, you operate your business with minimal restrictions imposed by the court. Generally you can continue to do whatever you normally would do in your business, without obtaining court approval.
There are a few things required by the United States Trustee’s office that the Debtor should be aware of. The first is monthly operating reports, these are financial reports that have to be filed every month showing the Court your particular financials. The second is a set of documents that the United States Trustee’s office will want to review early in the case.
Chapter 11 Complexities
The procedures are complex, and full of traps for the unwary. Choose a lawyer without substantial experience in Chapter 11 cases, and you will soon learn very painfully and unmercifully why the lawyer you choose is so extremely important in Chapter 11 cases and why so many Chapter 11 cases fail. This area of the law is a minefield for the inexperienced, so choose counsel very carefully.
Chapter 11's involve the selling of a plan to creditors who ultimately will vote on whether to accept the plan. If more than half the creditors in numbers, and two thirds in dollar amounts vote for the plan, the remaining creditors in that class are bound whether they like it or not. Composition plans, where less than the full amount is paid back, are common in Chapter 11 cases.
Chapter 11 Mistakes
The biggest mistake most Debtors make, and one of the biggest reasons for the failure of so many Chapter 11 cases is, THEY WAIT TOO LONG TO GET COMPETENT ADVICE. They spend their cash flow trying to catch up and satisfy creditors in hopes of avoiding filing bankruptcy, and when they are finally forced to confront filing, their cash position and/or cash flow is so deteriorated, that they don't have sufficient cash to operate their business, even with the debt payment moratorium, and the courts protection from creditors collection efforts.
We offer a free conference with an experienced bankruptcy, foreclosure and debt resolution attorney who will fully analyze your specific financial situation, and advise you as to your available options, likelihood of success, and the costs and procedures involved in each alternative.
If you would like someone to contact you regarding your problems or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (407) 494-0665, (386) 868-2650, or (904) 521-9868 and mention that you visited our website for a free, no-obligation conference.