If you have been paying attention to the business news over the years, you have probably read about instances of very large corporations filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Names like Chrysler, General Motors, Dow Corning, United Airlines, and Texaco may come to mind. Without question, Chapter 11 bankruptcies are commonly utilized by large corporations that are struggling with debt that they simply cannot manage. However, this form of bankruptcy can be useful for businesses that are not among the Fortune 500. Read on to get the details.
A Chapter 11 is a reorganization bankruptcy. In most cases, the intention is to restructure the financial responsibilities in a manageable fashion so that the business can continue to operate. However, in some instances, the goal will be to effectively liquidate the assets and shutter the enterprise.
There is another type of bankruptcy that works in a similar manner called Chapter 13. If you are a sole proprietor or a general partner in a business, you are personally responsible for your business debts. As a result, you can file for Chapter 13. However, many small businesses do not use these structures. They are established as corporations, limited liability companies, or limited partnerships. These entities cannot use Chapter 13; they must use Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is why Chapter 11 is not strictly for large, publicly held corporations.
In very limited cases, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be filed by an individual who cannot qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There is a debt limit with regard to a Chapter 13 filing, and it is updated every three years. At the time of this writing in 2017, the Chapter 13 limit for secured debts is $1,184,200. For unsecured debts, the limit is $394,725. If your level of debt precludes you from a Chapter 13 filing, you could choose to file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Act in a Fully Informed Manner
We have covered one aspect of the intricate bankruptcy maze in this brief blog post. If you are a business person or an individual who is struggling with debt, you should certainly discuss all of your options in detail with a licensed bankruptcy attorney. Our firm serves clients in Portland, Eugene, and many other cities in Oregon, and we also have a couple of offices in Washington. We offer free consultations, and you can reach out to us through our contact page to request an appointment.