“Bankruptcy is a very complicated interplay of several laws and should not be undertaken without adequate representation. A business bankruptcy has its own set of challenges. For your own sake, please do not use attorneys who do not practice bankruptcy law full time. Many bankruptcy lawyers offer free or very low cost initial consultations.
Our focus is on quality, not quantity. In order to give each of our clients the attention that they deserve we only take a certain number of clients at a time.”
– Diane L. Drain
Easing the Stress of Filing a Business Bankruptcy
Over the years we have discovered that a business bankruptcy, or any bankruptcy, is so daunting for our clients that many freeze and are unable to help themselves. This is even more overwhelming when the debtor is a company. As the owner of the company you probably used your personal funds to try to keep the business afloat. Now you are emotionally exhausted and financial broke. We understand that, therefore we decided to use technology to make this complicated process as simple as possible. We focus on education, ease of access to information and setting up a process that puts clients in control. This allows our clients to proceed at their own pace rather than the lawyer’s. The minimum time to process an entire bankruptcy is usually 2 weeks. This includes the client completing all the steps listed below and meeting with Ms. Drain twice. The average is 6 weeks with many clients taking several months.
What we Need from You:
You must be willing to spend time doing the work. You must be willing to follow directions. You must have access to a computer with access to the Internet. You must keep your appointments. You must bring the paperwork requested when requested. If you do your job then I promise you I will do mine.
In Exchange for you doing the above we Promise the Following:
To keep our Fees to a Minimum
In order to keep our fees to a minimum we must ask for your commitment to follow directions. If your situation becomes more complicated, or you chose not to follow our directions, then our fees must be increased to cover the additional time spent in your file.
Access to Information
We also promise to make access to information available when you need it, not just when we are in the office.
Lastly, we try to make the process as easy for you as is practically possible.
The Entire Process for a Business Bankruptcy:
Watch the Videos
The videos explain the basics of bankruptcy, including the differences between chapters 7 and 13. These videos are primarily designed for the consumer, but the processes are very similar for the business bankruptcy. I know this bankruptcy is for your business, but it still important that all active officers of the company understand the process. Therefore, we do ask that all the principals of the business watch these videos.
Fill out a Questionnaire and submit it to our Office
Make sure to fill out all the information on the questionnaire and finished Step one. Otherwise Jay will call and ask that you finish the form and/or completed Step one. Ms. Drain will then call you to discuss the questionnaire and answer any of your questions. Ms. Drain’s goal for this conference will be to give you direction for protecting assets, unwinding mistakes that you already made and what not to do before filing for bankruptcy. This call is normally 20 to 40 minutes. You will be quoted a fee for our services at this time.
This is a secure web site where you will list all your company’s assets, creditors (account number, address, etc) and answer several other questions. Make sure to read the directions with each question, call our office if you have questions. Once this information is completed we will receive an e-mail notification. Jay will review this form. If there is anything missing he will ask you to provide that information. If not, then Diane will call you to set a first appointment which last approximately 2 hours. Moral: read the directions first. Once you have read the directions you are welcome to call Jay for clarification.
Diane will send you an e-mail confirming your first meeting date. In that communication she will give you a list of the documents you need to bring to your first meeting. She will also send you the retainer and disclosure agreements. Please review both and bring to your first meet.
Meeting with Diane
You will meet with Diane for approximately 2 hours. At this meeting you will review the information which was downloaded into our bankruptcy software. You will read and sign the retainer and disclosure agreements; plus a copy of the signed corporate resolution authorizing the filing of the bankruptcy. Also, all the documents listed in the letter and on our web site: tax returns, bank statements, etc). You will be expected to pay one half of the retainer. You will be given directions about using the company’s bank accounts, paying company bills, etc. At the end of the meeting you will be given a copy of the bankruptcy documents. Now that you have paid a retainer you can now give our name and phone number to the company’s creditors.
Call us for your last meeting once you have reviewed all the documents from our first meeting and are ready for us to file your bankruptcy in the next few days. At the second meeting you are to bring back the edited bankruptcy documents. At this second meeting you will pay the balance of your retainer, plus the court filing fee. You also must bring any new documents since your first meeting: such as new demands or bank statements. At this meeting you and Diane will talk about the timing for the filing of the bankruptcy. Please call only after you completed the review and edit of the documents.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Normally the bankruptcy will be filed shortly after our second meeting. In order to make certain there are no surprises and to put you in control of the bankruptcy – you must call to give Diane permission to file the bankruptcy. You must know the actual balance in all bank accounts at that time. Before filing we will need any new documents such as bank statements, law suits or new creditors.
Getting Ready for the "Creditor’s Meeting"
The bankruptcy has now been filed. You will receive a copy of the documents that Diane filed with the Bankruptcy Court. Along, with a cover letter which gives you more information about the meeting with the trustee which is called the “creditor’s meeting”; it is rare for creditors to be there.
All the creditors listed in the documents will receive notice of bankruptcy. This mailing will come from the Bankruptcy Notice Center and may take 1-2 weeks before the creditors receive the notice. It may also take the creditors another 1-2 weeks to update their computers. Therefore, if a creditor should contact you after the bankruptcy is filed you should give them the case number (that is on the letter that I sent you when we filed the case), plus my name and phone number. The creditor will stop calling.
Being Assigned a Trustee
The trustee assigned to your case will send you a letter requesting certain documents, such as bank statements, tax returns and other documents. You already provided most of this information to our office, but there may some information that you have not provided. Each trustee has a different list of document so we are never certain exactly what documents you will need until we receive the letter from the trustee. Normally, the trustee’s letter comes to you, not to us. Therefore, once you receive the letter immediately forward a copy to Jay, along with any requested documents you did not provide us. There is a very tight deadline to send these documents to the trustee so please contact Jay immediately. If you do not receive this letter within 14 days after your bankruptcy is filed please call Jay so he can follow up with your trustee.
Attending the "Creditor’s Meeting"
Both you and Diane attend the meeting with the trustee (creditor’s meeting). If you fail to provide the requested information to the trustee then most likely the creditor’s meeting will be postponed. This will mean that you have to come down for another meeting, plus Ms. Drain will charge a fee for this additional time.
The trustee may request that your company surrender certain valuable items for liquidation. Those funds will be paid to your company’s creditors.
A business does not receive a formal discharge. The trustee will eventually close the file, but you will not receive a formal notice from the court. You can check with Ms. Drain to determine whether or not the final paperwork has been filed, but it may take several months to a couple of years.
Disclaimer: The information in this web site is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. The information, documents or forms provided herein is intended for general information purposes only and must not be regarded as legal advice. Laws change periodically; therefore the information in this site may not be accurate. It is imperative that you seek legal counsel in order to ascertain your rights and obligations under the applicable law and based upon your specific circumstances.