Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney in White Plains
Originally intended for corporations, individuals can file for Chapter 11 protection. Individuals or businesses who accumulate too much debt may find relief by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Also known as reorganization, Chapter 11 allows individuals or businesses to continue with life while working out a repayment plan with creditors. This can be a good alternative for businesses that expect to be profitable in the future once they resolve their financial problems or for individuals whose debt exceeds the debt limit imposed on Chapter 13 cases. But filing for bankruptcy is not always the best course of action. Before making any decisions, you should contact an experienced debt relief attorney to discuss your options.
The White Plains, NY chapter 11 bankruptcy lawyer, Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. provides qualified legal representation to businesses and individuals who need a new financial beginning. For more than 40 years, our firm has successfully helped thousands of clients to erase or reduce their debt and get back on their feet financially. Our goal is simple: to help restore your financial health and set you on the path to a prosperous future.
Based in White Plains, our experienced bankruptcy attorney represents clients in Westchester County, Rockland and Putnam counties and throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City area. To learn how we can help, call us now or fill out our online contact form.
What Is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?
Filing Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is most commonly a type of business bankruptcy. Corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and individuals work with the court to develop a repayment plan that can eliminate or repay debts within a reasonable period of time.
In general, debtors will opt for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to avoid the time and cost associated with a Chapter 11 case. Chapter 11 White Plains lawyer Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we can advise you about what type of bankruptcy may be right for you. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to choose to liquidate your assets under Chapter 7. Although that means your business may close, it could also put you on better financial footing. The key is determining what your goals are and how to achieve them.
There are a few restrictions on who may file under Chapter 11, including insurance and banking institutions and stock/commodity brokers.
The Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Process
Chapter 11 is the most complicated form of bankruptcy with several steps.
- File a petition. This gets the ball rolling. Once the petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect that stops all collections, foreclosures and repossession of properties from continuing throughout the duration of the bankruptcy process. A petition can be voluntary (filed by the debtor) or involuntary (filed by the creditors).
- Provide proof of credit counseling. The counseling needs to occur no more than 180 days prior to filing. You must provide a copy of the counseling certificate to the court. A list of approved credit counseling agencies in New York can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice’s website.
- Debtor continues business operations. Typically, no trustee is appointed in a Chapter 11 case. A debtor becomes known as a “debtor-in-possession” and retains all control of assets unless the bankruptcy court disapproves.
- Present a debt repayment plan. A reorganization plan should show creditors how the business or individual can continue to operate and successfully pay off debts and future financial obligations. Sometimes, a business will have to make changes to bring expenses down, such as by reducing operations. Creditors may agree to the plan or offer in some cases their own plan. However, the final confirmation of a plan is up to the bankruptcy judge. This means that he or she agrees that the plan is feasible, made in good faith, in the best interest of creditors, and fair and equitable.
- Start making payments. Once a plan is confirmed, the debtor will begin making payments per the schedule approved by the court. Defaulting on those payments could cause your case to be dismissed.
Some additional notes:
- Small businesses that file for Chapter 11 have slightly different rules to expedite the process and reduce legal expenses.
- Voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases may be converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation). This happens when selling off assets may be the best way to reduce debt obligations or a plan proves ultimately infeasible.
- Chapter 11 cases take longer to resolve than other types of bankruptcy. That makes them costly in terms of legal fees and filing fees, which could place an additional burden on businesses that are already struggling. But before you dismiss the idea of Chapter 11 entirely, let our New York bankruptcy attorney evaluate your case. Some enterprises are worth the expense in the long run.
How Our NY, White Plains Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
When you meet with White Plains Chapter 11 lawyer Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., you can count on several things:
- An honest appraisal of your case. When you’re in financial distress, you don’t want a lawyer who sugarcoats things. You want someone who will examine all facets of your situation and offer best-case and worst-case scenarios. Michael H. Schwartz will tell you if Chapter 11 is a viable option and talk candidly about whether it might be better for your business to close its doors.
- Clear, concise explanations of your obligations. Bankruptcy is a document-heavy proceeding with a lot of reporting requirements, especially during reorganization. We will provide you with a step-by-step idea of what to expect during Chapter 11 proceedings.
- Discussion of alternative options. It is possible for businesses to reorganize outside of court. We can walk you through the pros and cons of choosing Chapter 11 over those possibilities.
Contact Us Today for Legal Help with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Financial problems can happen to anyone. Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. has dedicated his legal career to helping people and their businesses get a fresh start during times of economic distress. Contact our White Plains bankruptcy law firm online or call (800) ON MY SIDE for a free consultation.