Chapter 11 bankruptcy can provide emotional stability

23 Dec Chapter 11 bankruptcy can provide emotional stability

Sadly, a longtime Jacksonville Beaches developer took his own life on December 22nd at least partly because of his deteriorating financial condition. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I am always particularly disturbed by stories like this because I believe I may have given some hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

According to a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office report, the man was depressed recently about his financial situation. As the old saying goes, The bigger you are, the harder you fall, and in our current economic morass, the biggest are falling the hardest.

I have personally met with dozens of successful entrepreneurs who have lost nearly everything they’ve worked for. It’s one thing to lose your job, but it is something completely different to lose your business.

Plenty of people work 9 to 5 without really caring about their place of employment. As they say, It’s just a job. However, nobody owns a business without becoming emotionally immersed into the day-to-day operations, and if the business fails, it is as if your best friend died.

And then there’s the guilt. Small business owners are responsible for employing more than half of all private sector Americans. My little business directly contributes to the financial support of 20 families, and as the owner, I feel tremendous pressure to succeed.

However, maybe the business doesn’t have to die! Chapter 11 bankruptcy (or Chapter 12 for a family farmer) is designed to put the business on life support so that it can be nursed back to health. A business bankruptcy plan of reorganization will restructure all of the company’s debt so that repayment can occur as resources become available. This financial respite can provide peace of mind and an opportunity to return the business to happier days.

Bankruptcy can transform tragedy into opportunity. There are countless stories of companies and entrepreneurs bouncing back after filing bankruptcy, which explains why Chapter 11 filing are way up.

So, don’t give up on your business! Meet with a bankruptcy lawyer who has business reorganization expertise.

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Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida. Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

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