As consumers venture out shopping for gifts this holiday season, many will be surprised by the number of stores that have gone out of business since last Christmas. Many shopping favorites have closed their stores for good, including Linens N’ Things, Goody’s, Mervyns, KB Toys, Sharper Image, and Circuit City. However, many stores like Circuit City and Linens N’ Things have filed a business bankruptcy, but are still selling on-line. This kind of restructuring through a business bankruptcy is not unusual in today’s economy. Shrewd businessmen like Donald Trump know the power of the federal bankruptcy laws. In fact, Mr. Trump has seen his businesses file, and emerge from, bankruptcy several times.
According to the Wall Street Journal, business bankruptcies are up 16% from last year, and number 74,832 filings through October. For many retailers, the holiday season is a makeor- break time of and will do what they can to attract shoppers. For instance, BusinessWeek reports that Sears, Amazon.com, and Wal-Mart are invoking Black Friday deals weeks before Thanksgiving and retailers are planning to offer more holiday promotions and discounts this holiday season.
The federal bankruptcy laws have helped retailers keep their stores open. Eddie Bauer and Mrs. Fields Cookies are two well-known businesses that recently filed chapter 11 bankruptcies to reorganize finances, get a breathing spell from creditors, and continue operating. Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code is a reorganization bankruptcy, usually used by a corporation or partnership. In a chapter 11 the debtor proposes a plan to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. An individual can also file a chapter 11 bankruptcy, but usually opts for filing under chapter 13 or 7.
If you are struggling with bills you can’t pay, you are not alone. Many businesses and individuals are hurting during this recession period. The good news is that the federal bankruptcy laws have helped millions of individuals and businesses get back on their feet, and it can help you too! Speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and learn how you can get relief and a fresh start in your financial life.