What kind of challenges are faced in a partnership bankruptcy?
June 29, 2022
By Diane Drain Attorney & Retired Law Professor
In a partnership’s Chapter 7 case, the trustee can sue the general partners of the partnership if the partnership’s assets are insufficient to pay all claims for the amount by which the partnership assets fall short of partnership debts. 11 U.S.C. 723. As a result, partners may be facing a suit by a trustee suing for the benefit of all creditors of the partnership.
To answer this question, you have to know what has caused the problems the business now faces and what are the prospects for change:
- Reorganization can’t create a market; increase gross revenue, or make up for a poor fit between the skills available and the skills required to run the business.
- Reorganization could free up cash from servicing the old debt to permit current operations; permit rejection of leases or contracts that are no longer advantageous (an expensive facility lease or improvident equipment purchase); or prevent the loss of vital assets or cash to creditor collection actions.
In between Chapter 7 liquidation and reorganization, a Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 could provide a breathing space for the owners to sell the business as a going concern or or its assets in something other than a fire sale. The resulting proceeds could pay taxes or unpaid salaries; sale of the business could provide ongoing jobs for the work force under new ownership. The bankruptcy could then be converted to Chapter 7 or dismissed if bankruptcy protection is no longer needed. The court will probably condition dismissal of the case on payment to creditors of the sale proceeds.
About the Author: Diane Drain
Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.
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