The World Changes – Sometimes Bankruptcy Can Help Correct The Results

by Jim Ince

Think about a perfect world.  You have a new concept.  You know how to produce a horse-drawn buggy faster and better than any of your competition.  Not only are you the best producer, but you have buggy dealerships everywhere.  You hardly even notice when Henry Ford roles out that first automobile from the assembly line.  After all, those are just toys for the rich and nothing will ever replace the good old horse.  All that talk about “horsepower” in the engine is lost on you.  Years later, you don’t know what has happened.  You cannot sell or give away your buggy.  People are in these horseless machines and even the laws of the road are giving them the right of way.  Your world is gone.

Think about a perfect world.  You have a new concept.  You know how to rent more videos than anyone else.  You have the ability to deliver ample copies to your store of every blockbuster movie in existence.  That is what you name your store — “Blockbuster Video.”  Nobody can touch you.  Sure, there are competitors like Hollywood Video, but they are the new kids on the block.  You hardly even notice when a little company called Netflix starts up with some crazy concept of mailing movies to its members.  You know that people have come to your stores for 20 years and they will keep coming.  Years later, the earth has moved under your feet.  You have watched Hollywood Video collapse along with virtually every other mom-and-pop store that opened during your reign as the undisputed leader.  You have tried closing multiple stores.  You have launched your own online delivery service, but you have so much money tied up in your stores that you do not have the funding.  Now some company called “Redbox” has started letting people rent videos at every local Wal-Mart and Target.  You put a few of your boxes out, but those are expensive and the funding is not there.  You added candy and snacks to your stores, but nothing is increasing business.  Your world is gone.

Or is it?  You ask yourself, if you could get out from under all of those pressing obligations, could you survive on the income you have left.  After much soul searching you decide you can.  You file for bankruptcy to get out from under the unprofitable stores so you have a chance to compete with the big guys like Netflix.

If this sounds like something you might be living through, it probably is.  The company you worked for that went under after 39 years or the business you owned that was so successful and now cannot pay the rent are all examples of the exact same thing the large companies are struggling with.  Luckily, there are options available to individuals and small businesses.  If you can survive once you get out from under some of your obligations, you may be a candidate for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which restructures your debt while you continue operations in your current situation.  If you are beyond saving your situation and just need out from the crushing debt, you may be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy so you can start all over.

Which one should you consider?  Sorry, answering that question is like asking a doctor whether the pain in your side is something aspirin can correct or do you need to have an appendectomy?  The doctor won’t be able to tell you.  That is why we offer a simple, no-obligation FREE consultation.  We evaluate your situation from top to bottom.  We first determine if a bankruptcy is even appropriate or helpful.  We routinely tell people that they have other options.  If a bankruptcy is indicated, we plug in all of the numbers and determine what type of bankruptcy is best for your situation.  Bankruptcy is not for everyone.  However, your world may have changed dramatically in the last several years.  Just rest assured that there are processes for fixing that situation in most cases.  Give us a call.  We would like to help put your world back so that you can manage it.

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