Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”
Most people fear that filing for bankruptcy brings your life (or at least the financial aspects of your life) to a grinding halt. While bankruptcy is certainly an important financial decision that carries the possibility of significant impact, life moves on as it’s supposed to. In fact, the bankruptcy system is designed to ensure that people are able to carry on; carry on with their lives, their jobs and their financial affairs.
A good example of this occurred this past month when a volunteer fire department filed for bankruptcy protection. Though insignificant in the grand scheme of things, the bankruptcy filing illustrates a larger point about how business can continue as usual. According to court filings, the department owes between $1 and $10 million to various creditors, including nearly $100,000 to unsecured creditors. The volunteer fire department found itself unable to pay its bills and needed to restructure to get out from under some of the more punishing debts.
According to a spokesperson for the fire department, the goal is to file bankruptcy now and get back on firm financial footing quickly. Rather than string the financial problems out, with the department limping along and enduring high debt levels for the foreseeable future, those in charge decided to act fast and get the problems resolved soon so that the department could move ahead stronger than ever.
Residents were worried that the bankruptcy could leave them without critical fire protection. Thankfully, there is need for such worry. As the department announced, there is no problem with fire protection. In fact, the department will be up and running and residents have been told they have no cause for concern. During the entirety of the bankruptcy process, the department will be operating like business as usual, at least as far as local citizens are concerned.
Why are companies that are in the midst of bankruptcy allowed to continue operating? The reason is that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process allows a company or organization to reorganize its debts and remain in operation at the same time. The intention of the law is to protect jobs and save good businesses. If bankruptcy required companies to cease operations, it would mean the immediate loss of work for all employees of the business and the permanent end to a company that may be otherwise sound after reorganization.
Another group that benefits from the bankruptcy process allowing companies to stay in business is creditors. If a business were forced to close during bankruptcy, there would be little left to distribute to creditors. If the business continues, then there will be more money to pay out, with the company continuing to earn a profit that can then be used to pay down debts.
Though this discussion has centered around businesses, similar rules apply to people. Courts intend for families to keep functioning, even in the midst of bankruptcy. The usual monthly payments still need to be made, you continue buying products to meet your needs, you continue going to work. There’s no need to fear that filing for bankruptcy requires your family and your future to fall into suspended animation.
If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
About the Author
Kyle Frost joined Arnold & Smith, PLLC in 2013 where he focuses his practice on all aspects of civil litigation and bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Frost attended the University at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Sociology. He went on to attended Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Following college, Mr. Frost spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. He worked in a private school in Seoul developing curriculum, English programs, and educating both children and adults that were interested in learning a new language.
In his spare time, Mr. Frost enjoys homebrewing, fishing, and travelling.
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