Bankruptcies and Reorganizations
Helbraun Levey knows that running a business in the hospitality industry isn’t always easy, and that the COVID-19 pandemic made what was already a tough job a herculean task. In this new reality and beyond, our attorneys can help you to navigate the complex landscape of the creditor/debtor world, whether that be after a creditor has obtained a judgment against you, in a formal bankruptcy or reorganization, or simply by helping you to understand and to evaluate you and your business’s options in times of financial stress.
We are here to offer creative solutions both in and out of court. Our goal is always to design and implement the strategy best suited to our clients’ needs in a cost effective and pragmatic manner. We’ve represented creditors, debtors, and trustees, which helps us to understand how all parties approach creditor/debtor issues and allows us to strategically negotiate and advocate on your behalf. We understand that these issues can be stressful, and that’s why at Helbraun Levey we recommend bankruptcy for our clients only after taking a holistic approach to their needs and deciding it’s truly the best option.
Out of Court Workouts
What differentiates Helbruan Levey from many other attorneys who handle bankruptcies is that we do not see bankruptcy as the solution to every type of financial difficulty. While we believe it to be an important tool, meeting with our attorneys can be as much about formulating strategies to keep you out of bankruptcy as helping put you in it. If we don’t believe bankruptcy is the place for you or your business, we can help you negotiate with your creditors outside of the courtroom. We take the time to understand your specific needs and goals in order to determine the best strategy.
Post Judgment Proceedings
Once a creditor has obtained a judgment, they can seek to enforce and collect upon that judgment in a court proceeding. Our attorneys have extensive experience in representing clients against actions by creditors after a judgment is entered, and can help you evaluate how to best move forward whether the judgment is against you, your business, or both.
While people often think of bankruptcy as something used to close a business, in fact there are different types of bankruptcies available depending on your goals and circumstances, and some types of bankruptcies can be used to save your business. A Chapter 11 (or a Subchapter 5 for small businesses) can be used to reorganize your business’s debt so that it can continue operating. An individual business owner may also need a related personal bankruptcy if the business files Chapter 11 because the business and personal debts are often intertwined. Filing a Chapter 11 allows you to deal with all of your creditors in one, streamlined process, so that you can take a cohesive approach to negotiating with your creditors and paying down what is owed. Your creditors—who are divided into similar groups called “classes”—then vote to accept your plan or to reject your plan. In business Chapter 11 cases, we help to stabilize business operations, address any immediate issues that threaten to undermine the reorganization process, negotiate with creditors, and prepare a plan of reorganization that we hope will be approved so that your business can survive.
Winding Down A Business
For businesses that are not good candidates for a Chapter 11/Subchapter 5 reorganization and have made the difficult decision to shut their doors, our attorneys can help you navigate how to best wind down the business. Sometimes a business might wound down through a formal bankruptcy process called a Chapter 7, but many times we recommend that even a business that has decided to close should first attempt to do so outside of bankruptcy. We’re here to help you do that and decide what path is the best for you.
In the restaurant world, proprietors often take on personal debt in the form of personal guarantees, and their own financial circumstances can be affected when their business is struggling or has decided to close. Helbraun Levey’s team of attorneys can help you understand your personal financial options when closing a business, determine whether a personal bankruptcy is right for you, and file a personal bankruptcy on your behalf if necessary. At Helbraun Levey, we don’t just do bankruptcy work. That means we recommend bankruptcy only when it’s the best option for you—and closing your restaurant’s doors doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the case.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in complex, bankruptcy-related litigation at the trial and appellate level, including discharge and dischargeability actions, fraudulent conveyance actions, director and officer liability, preference disputes, and other commercial matters or adversary proceedings. No matter what happens in the life of your bankruptcy, Helbraun Levey has the experience to help you navigate the bankruptcy world and zealously advocate on your behalf.