Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorneys For Small Business Owners
Bankruptcy Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 11 is one of the types of bankruptcy enumerated in the United States bankruptcy code. Businesses often file Chapter 11 if they desire further time to reorganize their debts. This type of bankruptcy provides the debtor with a clean slate. The terms, however, are conditional on the debtor fulfilling its commitments under the plan of reorganization.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy for small business owners is the most difficult type of bankruptcy. Additionally, it is typically the most expensive type of bankruptcy process. As a result of these considerations, a business should choose Chapter 11 reorganization only after conducting a thorough analysis and examination of all other viable alternatives.
At Michael D. O’Brien & Associates PC, we provide counsel and representation for small businesses in Portland, Bend, Clackamas, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, West Linn, Oregon City, Gladstone, Milwaukie, and Gresham. If you are going through a rough patch as a small business owner, our Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorneys can help explain your options. We also provide counsel on matters concerning wage garnishment, auto repossessions, home foreclosures, lien stripping, and other alternatives to filing bankruptcy.
How Does Bankruptcy Under Chapter 11 Work?
If a Chapter 11 reorganization is chosen, the filing party retains complete decision-making authority and the business can resume normal operations initially. To present to the court, a reorganization proposal will be developed, which will frequently include some reduction in the size and scope of the firm. The party filing the petition has four months to devise a restructuring plan. This is referred to as the “exclusivity term,” and the court has the authority to prolong it if a compelling justification exists. If the plan is adopted, the debtor must adhere to all of the plan’s requirements and make all agreed-upon installments on time.
The court will assist a firm in restructuring its debts and responsibilities during a Chapter 11 procedure. In the majority of situations, the business continues to operate. Numerous significant corporations in the United States file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and manage to stay afloat. Among these enterprises are automobile behemoth General Motors, airline United Airlines, retail giant K-mart, and tens of thousands of others of varying sizes.
While corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) typically file Chapter 11, individuals with significant debt who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 may be eligible for Chapter 11. However, the procedure can be time-consuming.
A business that is in the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy may continue to operate. In the majority of cases, the debtor, referred to as a “debtor in possession,” conducts business as usual. However, in instances of fraud, dishonesty, or excessive incompetence, a trustee is appointed by the court to oversee the company’s operations during the bankruptcy process.
The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, which took effect on Feb. 19, 2020, added a new subChapter V to Chapter 11 with the purpose of simplifying bankruptcy for small businesses.
File for Chapter 11
Bear in mind that a small business owner may opt for a different type of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 13. This is frequently the best option, as Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is more complicated, involves greater risk, and can incur considerable legal fees.
However, under federal law, limited liability businesses, corporations, and partnerships may only file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Our firm has extensive experience handling various types of bankruptcy, and we can assess your circumstances and help you toward the best course of action.
We, at Michael D. O’ Brien and Associates, would be delighted to address any questions you may have about Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and offer complimentary introductory consultations. To arrange an appointment, please call us or complete our online form.
How much does bankruptcy cost?
The cost is broken into three components – a filing fee, some mandatory class fees, and the attorney fees. As to the attorney fee, like everything, the devil is in the details which is why we provide a free consultation so we can learn about your problem, identify your goals, and develop a strategy to achieve those goals. Find out how much a bankruptcy will cost you.
Small Business Debtors and the Small Business Case
The Bankruptcy Code permits small business debtors to file for bankruptcy relief under two distinct special Chapter 11 categories designed to simplify operations and cut expenses. The first, referred to as a small business case (as defined in 11 U.S.C. 101(51C)), was established in 2005 by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), while the second, referred to as subChapter V, was established in 2019 by the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA).
A debtor may choose between these two possibilities if he or she meets specific eligibility criteria. Both small business and subChapter V cases are handled differently than standard Chapter 11 cases, owing to expedited deadlines and the rapid confirmation of the plan. The two forms of bankruptcy cases have distinct debt ceilings, which are defined as the total amount of noncontingent liquidated secured and unsecured debt at the moment the debtor applies for bankruptcy.
To file a small business case, the debtor must be involved in commercial or business activities (apart from primarily owning or operating a single piece of real property) and have total non contingent liquidated secured and unsecured debts of $2,725,625 or less, with at least 50% of the debts arising from the debtor’s commercial or business activities.
SubChapter V eligibility is based on the same standard, but with a different debt ceiling. When the SBRA was first enacted, the debt ceiling for subChapter V debtors was the same as for small business cases ($2,725,625).
Speak with Our Portland Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Lawyers for Legal Advice
Due to the fact that Chapter 13 is only available to individuals and sole owners, partnerships and businesses seeking to remain solvent through debt restructuring must employ Chapter 11 case. Filing Chapter 11 with a bankruptcy court enables businesses to continue operating while paying less toward debt.
Historically, many small firms considered Chapter 11 to be prohibitively expensive due to the greater rights granted to creditors and the resulting higher legal bills. However, the eased procedural requirements of Chapter 11, SubChapter V allow small business owners to restructure debt utilizing Chapter 13 bankruptcy-like proceedings. Your bankruptcy attorney can determine whether Chapter 11, SubChapter V, is the best option for you.
Michael D. O’Brien & Associates Bankruptcy Law Firm has 2 out of the only 3 nationally-certified consumer bankruptcy attorneys in the state of Oregon. By working with our Portland attorneys in our law office, you can rest assured your bankruptcy case will be handled by the best Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorneys in the area. Save your business and keep the company you have worked hard to build! Please contact Michael D. O’Brien & Associates, P.C. to schedule your free initial consultation.