Flexer Law’s very own senior bankruptcy associate, Dan Castagna, was featured in the Tennessean to discuss bankruptcy in the era of COVID-19. In the early stages of the pandemic, many creditors and landlords were willing to accommodate those who could no longer keep up with payments.
However, as the pandemic has drawn on, banks and landlords are expected to begin demanding payments. This will inevitably strain Nashville-based businesses and consumers alike. With a soaring unemployment rate, and many businesses expected to fold, now is the time to start planning for the possibility that debt payments may far exceed expected income.
Due to the economic impact brought on by COVID-19, there will be an inevitable flood of consumer and business bankruptcies in the next several months, both in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee region.
While it is possible to avoid filing bankruptcy, doing so may be the best option for some consumers and businesses. The article outlines what consumers and businesses need to know about bankruptcy and provides advice on how to avoid it altogether.
Read the full article featured in the Tennessean:
Key Takeaways from the Tennessean’s Bankruptcy Article
- Depending on your assets and income, you may need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
- Nashville homes substantially increased in value over the last ten years. You may have large amounts of equity to protect.
- The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as you file. This provides certain protections from creditors, as they will be unable to collect, foreclose, or garnish your wages. It can also stop an eviction.
- It is very important to keep an open line of communication with your creditors. If you’re trying to avoid filing for bankruptcy, ask them if they have any programs for delinquent accounts, or if refinancing is an option.
- Document everything. Never rely on a verbal confirmation, be sure to get everything from your creditors in writing.
- Bankruptcy is a black mark on your credit. However, it is possible to build your credit after bankruptcy. Many Flexer Law clients have a higher credit score within 12 months of filing for bankruptcy.
- Chapter 7 is the last resort when all other options to stay in business have failed, whereas Chapter 11 is a reorganization. The decision depends on how much the business owners have personally guaranteed the debts.
- Communicate with your banker and convince them that your business is great. If you can successfully convince them, most bankers will work with you to find a solution.
- Businesses may need to miss a payment before starting the filing process. Many attorneys who represent borrowers will advise their clients to miss a payment.
- Business owners that file bankruptcy most likely won’t be limited in their ability to conduct business going forward. Bankers who deal out loans are always looking for good business plans.
Middle Tennessee’s Top Bankruptcy Law Firm
If you have been experiencing financial pains from the pandemic and would like to learn about your options, contact Flexer Law. We have three office locations throughout Middle Tennessee.
Contact us for a free legal consultation and we’ll find the best solution to help get your financial life back on track.