Fuddruckers filed for bankruptcy?  Can I still get my Hamburger?

By Jim Ince

On April 22, 2010, the parent company of Fuddruckers declared bankruptcy.  The interesting fact here is that very few people are aware that Fuddruckers even filed for bankruptcy.  Many of you might be saying to yourselves that you ate a Fuddruckers burger recently and everything seemed normal.  It is shocking to find out that a well-respected company can file for bankruptcy and largely keep that a secret.  Planning to enjoy a day at Six Flags anytime soon?  Well, they too are in bankruptcy.      
Probably the largest misconception about bankruptcy is that it completely disrupts or destroys your life.  In reality, unless a company reaches the point where it simply chooses not to continue doing business, it continues to operate with little or no interruption in service.  So, why did Fuddruckers file?  It seems the company has a small handful of stores that have not been operating profitably, and that handful of stores is having a negative impact on the rest of the operation.  The company found that by continually trying to prop up the individually failing stores, it was risking collapse of the whole operation.

Individuals often find themselves in a similar situation.  They are able to continue existing day to day.  However, so much of their financial focus is on the part of their life that is not functioning well, and they are devoting more and more of their disposable income to paying credit card debt.  Much as Fuddruckers discovered, there may be aspects of the financial picture that are working extremely well.  The problem is that a substantial part of their income is tied up with purchases made long ago and ever-increasing late fees and interest.  Unlike with companies, creditors owed money by individuals do not really “negotiate” and make a plan for you to pay back your debts.

If you are struggling, it is time to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  There are two major kinds of bankruptcy for consumers.  Chapter 7 is the traditional bankruptcy and deals primarily with credit card and medical debt.  Chapter 13 helps you if you have also gotten behind on your house and/or car, as well as with your credit card debt.  The type of bankruptcy best for a particular individual depends on a variety of factors including the type of debt that person is carrying and their amount of income.

Don’t let the situation deteriorate until there is no choice but to dig into your 401(k) or your home equity.  In Texas, these are protected assets and you need to keep them protected.  A bankruptcy will let you keep your home, cars, 401(k) and, in most cases, cash!  You won’t know until you explore.

Unlike for a Fuddruckers, personal bankruptcy is not just a business decision.  It is also an emotional situation, which a bankruptcy attorney is trained to handle.  You do not have to apologize for the situation you find yourself in.  The appointment is free.  Call now to see one of our attorneys.  Let us put you back on your feet so that you, like Fuddruckers, can manage your finances and be profitable and successful.  People do not think less of Fuddruckers or Six Flags because those companies filed bankruptcy.  I think I know where I may go for lunch today!

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