Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Seattle
Helping You Rescue Your Washington Business
If your LLC, partnership, or corporation is struggling with debt, you may be able to restructure through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While more expensive and complex than Chapter 7 and 13, Chapter 11 allows both individuals and entities to retain control over their finances, assets, and businesses while they reorganize and reduce debt. If you qualify as a small business, you may achieve relief through a simpler version of Chapter 11 called Subchapter V.
When your future financial security is on the line, you need nothing less than exemplary legal support. At Henry & DeGraaff, we have decades of experience guiding both individuals and businesses through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and we want to put our skills to work for you.
If you would like to learn whether Chapter 11 may be the right option for you, call our Chapter 11 bankruptcy lawyers in Seattle at (206) 483-0505 today.
A Chapter 11 plan can sell or surrender unwanted or unneeded assets to creditors, allow for a refinance, and reclassify debt from secured to unsecured based on the value of collateral.
For instance, if you have a rental property valued at $200,000, but you owe the mortgage creditor $300,000, then $100,000 of that debt can be classified as an unsecured claim and will be paid whatever percentage the class of unsecured claims is receiving. You must pay secured amounts in full, but you can change the terms of the original loan (e.g. lowering the interest rate or extending the maturity).
Additionally, you may be able to sell leases and other contracts. This can become a powerful bargaining tool, allowing you to downsize your business without becoming stuck with the obligation of a lease for years to come. It can also make a lease assignable when it would not otherwise be the case, allowing you to sell an attractive lease as a way to pay other creditors.
Your plan must pay creditors at least as much as they would get in a Chapter 7 liquidation, but you can do so over an extended period of time. This can allow for a limited liquidation on your terms, in which you, rather than a trustee, choose what to sell to pay your creditors. If you are filing as a business entity, you can receive a discharge of your unsecured debt upon confirmation of your Chapter 11 Plan or shortly thereafter. If you are filing as an individual, you generally become eligible for discharge after making payments to your unsecured creditors for 5 years.
Experienced, Creative & Sophisticated
With years of experience between our attorneys, our goal is to deliver a higher level of service, only taking cases where we can add value.
We understand that no two cases are ever the same. We provide tailored solutions for every client and strategize in order to provide optimal results.
As a law firm that focuses on creative and collaborative solutions, we always seek opportunities that go even beyond the law to help provide the results you deserve.
Our ability to tackle complex issues has allowed us to win appellate decisions and push the law in our clients' favor. We pursue compensation arrangements that reward success.
If you wish to present a plan of reorganization, you must first (or in some cases simultaneously) present a Disclosure Statement, which functions as a voter’s guide to the plan. It must contain adequate information for creditors to make an informed decision about whether to support the plan.
In most cases, at least one class of creditors must vote in favor of your plan. Negotiations are often lengthy because it can be difficult to to find a plan that pleases at least one creditor while still being feasible for the debtor.
Shareholders and Other Business Owners
Shareholders or owners of a business entity may be required to contribute money or assets to the plan in order to retain ownership of the reorganized company. This is because owners are the lowest priority of creditors in bankruptcy, so they can only keep their interest (without additional contribution) if everyone of higher priority gets paid in full. This is known as the Absolute Priority Rule.
The Chapter 11 Trustee
In Chapter 11, a trustee is not typically appointed to administer the case unless one of the involved parties requests it and the Court sees cause to do so. Instead, the debtor, with the assistance of their attorney(s), acts as the Debtor-in-Possession, with many of the obligations and powers of a trustee.
The Office of the United States Trustee serves a supervisory role, essentially policing business bankruptcy cases to ensure compliance with three things:
- Reporting obligations
- Maintenance of insurance
- Payment of quarterly fees to the Unites States Trustee.
In addition, the US Trustee will monitor a case for fraud and other issues, making sure debtors are promptly presenting plans and are not “parked” in Chapter 11 with no progress for an extended period of time.
Bankruptcy isn’t always the best option for a struggling business. At Henry & DeGraaff, our goal is to help you reduce your financial obligations through whatever legal or financial method is most appropriate for your unique situation.
We may, for example, negotiate a workout agreement with your lenders. A workout is a contractual agreement in which the lender waives existing defaults and restructures the terms of a loan. Because there is no way to force a lender to accept a workout, the agreement must be mutually beneficial. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of what will motivate a lender into accepting a workout, and we will use this knowledge to achieve the best possible resolution for your case.
A corporate workout is a complex process, and our team will prioritize your best interests if we decide to move forward with this option. If we believe a workout is not possible for your business, we can work together to determine whether bankruptcy is the right next step.
It is my belief that we came out way ahead of the game but we owe the success to Jacob.- Kim & Mike
5 stars are not enough.- Joe
Jacob successfully took over our Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.- Jerry
Jacob was always focused on our needs and desires concerning our real estate.- Previous Client
If you need their services don't hesitate to give them a call.- Reese H.