We represent businesses, professionals and others in bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy for financially troubled businesses and business owners.
Bankruptcy for Individuals
If you have lost your job, have overwhelming health care bills or other debts, or are a business owner who has personally guaranteed a distressed business’ debts, the bankruptcy law attorneys at Underhill & Underhill, P.C. can assist you in deciding whether to file a personal bankruptcy to get a fresh start in life and can guide you through the bankruptcy process.
Our Founding Fathers understood business — and economies. They knew that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things just don’t work out. Therefore, they wrote the right to file bankruptcy into the Constitution of the United States of America. In other words, the right to file a bankruptcy is a constitutional right. Indeed, several signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution filed bankruptcy, including Thomas Jefferson. The purpose of the Bankruptcy Code is to give debtors a chance to start over.
Reportedly, 1.4 million Americans filed bankruptcy petitions in 2009. In Colorado alone, almost 30,000 people filed a bankruptcy petition in 2009. According to U.S. Bankruptcy Court statistics, this was over three times as many people who filed a bankruptcy case in Colorado in 2006, before the curent economic downturn began.
Bill collectors or “credit counselors” may tell you that bankruptcy is bad, but they cannot explain why except to ssay that it will ruin your credit. Think about it. If you are already late on your bills, mortgage or credit card payments, if you are in foreclosure or there are collection lawsuits filed against you or your business, then your credit is already being ruined. Often, filing a bankruptcy will raise a credit score immediately. Debtors (those filing bankruptcy) may become eligible for a home or car loan shortly after filing their bankruptcy case and receiving a discharge of debts.
Filing a bankruptcy petition stops all harassing phone calls from your creditors. It will allow you to free yourself of debt, regain your financial independence, reorganize your finances, and rebuild your financial future.
Business Bankruptcy, Dissolution, Closing a Business
A business may file a bankruptcy petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. However, bankruptcy is not always the right solution — or the lowest-cost solution — for a business in financial trouble. Chapter 11 merely allows time to develop a payment plan (which can last for years) and to negotiate with creditors. Businesses do not receive discharges in bankruptcy cases. Usually for small businesses, Chapter 11 filings turn into liquidations — on terms very unfavorable to the business owners.
Unlike individuals, many businesses in financial distrss do not need to file a bankruptcy petition to resolve their debts. There are less costly alternatives to bankruptcy for these businesses. Some creditors may negotiate work-outs of debts as an alternative to bankruptcy. And a troubled business often can achieve the same results as a bankruptcy petition, at far less cost and effort, through a business dissolution conducted under Colorado state law.
The bankruptcy attorneys at Underhill & Underhill, P.C. are experienced in handling creditor work-outs and in the dissolution of businesses as an alternative to the bankruptcy process. A state law dissolution can often achieve results that a business bankruptcy cannot. This is because the state law dissolution process, when used properly, can discharge debts, reduce taxes owed, and provide solutions to those debts which are personally guaranteed.
In these uncertain times, businesses face unprecedented challenges, and many will simply not survive the absence of lines of credit, loans and sales downturns. However, planning for a closing well in advance is much better than just letting things happen. Owners can be compensated, some loans (especially loans to relatives or close investors) might be repaid, employees can be treated humanely — but only with thoughtful and intelligent planning for the worst. Planning for a failure in these times is prudent, because even if your business survives, the process will allow the owner to obtain objective advice regarding the current operations, debt, employees, and real estate factors of the business, and might just be the thing that makes the difference between failure and survival. The bankruptcy law attorneys at Underhill & Underhill, P.C. can help owners through this process without adding the burden of excessive legal fees to the burden they already face.
If you think you may be headed for a bankruptcy, or that your business may have to close, do not wait until those things are inevitable, or worse, until you have already begun missing your mortgage payments, or until your business doors are shut. Talking with an experienced attorney about your options, including ideas on fixing or changing debts or obligations, may well prevent the worse. Even if you later have to file bankruptcy or close the business, the planning that the business and bankruptcy law attorneys at Underhill & Underhill, P.C. can help you with will insure that you come out of the bankruptcy or business failure in the best possible shape.
Debt Relief Agency
Underhill & Underhill, P.C. is a debt relief agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.