Bankruptcy & Restructuring for Businesses
Providing a roadmap out of the debt that may be choking your business and weighing on you heavily.
At your initial consultation with any of the attorneys in our corporate bankruptcy group, you’ll find something surprising. We’re not so quick to file for bankruptcy. There may be a better solution for individuals or businesses seeking protection from creditors.
At Dworken & Bernstein we take the time to understand your situation, the source of your creditor concerns and the best way to solve them. That might ultimately involve filing bankruptcy, but only after you’ve exhausted the alternatives. We find that once our clients understand their legal position they are able to make better practical decisions. Dworken & Bernstein provides a roadmap that will guide your business to an optimal outcome. Scroll down to view some of the services we offer to business clients touched by insolvency in Northeast Ohio.
Corporate Bankruptcy Filings
When a business finds itself buried in debt it often faces angry creditors, worried owners, doubting customers, and a damaged brand. Combined, these make life tough. The company can try to reorganize and save itself by filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 or by filing a Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding.
Businesses that are potentially profitable, but are struggling can opt for a Chapter 11 corporate bankruptcy filing. The business must file their financial statements and a reorganization plan. A committee of creditors will vote to approve or disapprove the reorganization plan. If approved, the business must discharge its debts in accordance with the plan while carrying on with its business. Once the plan is carried out to completion, the business becomes debt-free.
On the other hand, if a business feels that it can no longer continue because its profitability and debt repayment capacity have been completely eroded it may opt for a Chapter 7 business liquidation filing under the US Bankruptcy Code. Under Chapter 7 a bankruptcy trustee sells the business’ assets and uses the sales proceeds to pay the creditors. Once the creditors are paid off the business ceases to exist.
Sole proprietorships are treated differently and have a different set of options to consider.
A corporate bankruptcy filing should be considered as the last resort. The process is complex and should not be undertaken without consulting an attorney. Dworken & Bernstein can help you and your company understand your legal position, determinate your alternatives, and guide you in successfully work through the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy Filings Attorneys
Creditor Claims and Litigation
Dworken & Bernstein represents individuals, businesses and commercial clients, creditors, and banks in handling creditor claims and lawsuits. Our attorneys always look for ways to resolve creditor issues outside of Bankruptcy Court. Our litigators can also assist with pending lawsuits in state and federal courts.
Dworken & Bernstein can help you and your company understand your legal position, determine your alternatives, and help you successfully work through the bankruptcy process, whatever your stake may be.
*The law requires that we tell you that we are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Creditor Claims & Litigation Attorneys
Businesses, unfortunately, fail much more often than they succeed.
With careful planning, many times a business can be saved and the business owner can work out the creditor’s concerns. Tough negotiation skills are critical at this juncture. Creativity is also key. Entities and new business associations may be formed. Often, bankruptcy filings are appropriate.Our corporate bankruptcy attorneys bring a wealth of experience restructuring businesses in the bankruptcy setting to its corporate bankruptcy clientele.
* The law requires that we tell you that we are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Business Restructuring Attorneys
Negotiations with Banks and Creditors
When bills are not paid within the time the creditor requires, problems with those creditors inevitably arise. First you can expect frequent creditor phone calls and letters. Next, lawsuits are filed seeking “money judgment” against your business and potential foreclosure of your real estate. In these situations, it is important that an attorney is retained to handle these lawsuits as soon as possible. We can help you respond to a lawsuit such as a foreclosure action and clearly explain your alternatives.
Dworken & Bernstein attorneys can intercede between debtors and creditors, often yielding a more favorable debt resolution than the client anticipated. Sometimes a bankruptcy filing must be considered and we can help navigate that alternative if needed.
Negotiations with Banks & Creditors Attorneys
Purchasing a Business in Bankruptcy
We help clients purchase businesses or business assets while a company is in bankruptcy. Such a purchase can offer considerable value at significant discounts, but the process can be complicated and challenging. The bankruptcy liquidation process is rigidly structured and contains significant impediments. Dworken & Bernstein’s corporate bankruptcy attorneys can help purchasers navigate this process.
Those looking to buy a business in Chapter 11 face a complex procedure that requires knowledge of the bankruptcy process, strategic expertise, and cunning negotiating techniques to accomplish a successful bankruptcy acquisition. Our attorneys can guide you through every step in the process of the acquisition, be it asset purchase, valuation and acquisition of the entire business via bankruptcy auction or direct sale.
Purchasing a Business in Bankruptcy Attorneys
Occasionally the creditors of a struggling business will petition a court to have a receiver appointed to manage the affairs of the business. Once appointed, the receiver steps into the shoes of the business owner to take whatever actions have been approved by the Court to either manage the affairs of the business or to wind down and liquidate the business’ assets.
Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys are experienced at representing both court-appointed receivers and those business owners fighting the appointment of a receiver before, during, and after the appointment process. Our attorneys will counsel the business owner or receiver on their various powers and rights throughout the receivership process and navigate the various legal filings and maneuverings.
Bankruptcy Creditor's Committee
When a company files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition requesting bankruptcy protection from its creditors and seeking to reorganize the company, the various secured and unsecured creditors of the business often form creditors’ committees. These committees participate in the company’s bankruptcy case by reviewing the company’s books, records, sales, and other data to opine on the company’s potential continued viability and to propose or comment on the company’s proffered plan for reorganization. The company pays the various legal and other professional expenses of the creditor’s committees.
Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys are experienced at representing and providing counsel to creditors’ committees throughout the bankruptcy process. Our attorneys help the creditors’ committees navigate the often complex and confusing Bankruptcy Code, helping the creditors to maximize their recovery from the bankrupt company.
When you receive notice that one of your customers has filed for bankruptcy do not simply ignore the notice. It is possible that you may be able to obtain recovery from the bankrupt company through participation on a creditors committee. We can help you through that process. Contact our office immediately and we will explain the process.
Bankruptcy Creditor’s Committee Attorneys
Fraudulent Conveyance/Preference Actions
Preferential debt payments are typically made by the debtor to a creditor in the 90-day period before a debtor files bankruptcy (or within one year if the creditor was an insider). A preference payment gives the creditor more than the creditor would receive in the debtor’s bankruptcy case. These types of payments can violate the Bankruptcy Code. Often, the trustee or debtor will sue a creditor that has received such a payment in a preference action.
When faced with claims from creditors occasionally people and businesses will attempt to prevent collection on these claims by transferring their assets to another person or business entity. These types of conveyances are called fraudulent conveyances and the law provides recourse for a creditor to “chase” the assets that were fraudulently conveyed. We are experienced at recognizing and uncovering these fraudulent conveyances as part of our efforts to collect on our clients’ claims.
Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys have track records representing the various stakeholders in preference and fraudulent conveyance claims. We can help a creditor with a claim that “another party wrongfully got paid first,” or “the debtor wrongfully conveyed the property to another party.” We can also help clients defend preference and fraudulent conveyance claims, showing that the conveyance was permissible under the law.