At the Bradford Law Offices, our Raleigh Chapter 12 bankruptcy lawyers are dedicated to helping struggling businesses deal with their financial problems quickly and effectively. When any business faces unmanageable debt obligations, it typically has the option of pursuing debt relief through bankruptcy protection. This is particularly true for family farms and fisheries in the United States, which are eligible to pursue a form of bankruptcy reserved exclusively for their use.
Because of the particular vulnerability that these businesses may face due to the volatile nature of the industry, the government allows struggling farms and fisheries to pursue Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection. These laws, while enacted in the 1980s, only just became permanent not even two decades ago in 2005. Since then, based on statistics from the American Farm Bureau Federation dating back from 2007, there have been almost 5,700 Chapter 12 claims filed. Because of the laws Chapter 12 entails, farmers and fishers are able to continue their business operations while allowing for much needed financial relief at the same time.
If you own or operate a family farm or fishery and you are struggling to manage your financial obligations, Chapter 12 bankruptcy may be your best available option. Contact the Raleigh Chapter 12 bankruptcy lawyers of the Bradford Law Offices today at (919) 758-8879 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about the details of your situation and whether Chapter 12 bankruptcy may be right for you.
Hiring a Lawyer
Filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the process. Hiring a lawyer is going to be the most beneficial option for you and your assets in the long run. The law is complicated and it is risky to take it all on by yourself. When it is a business that you have built and need the income from, the last thing you want to do is risk anything.
An attorney who specializes in Chapter 12 is going to know all of the ins and outs of bankruptcy laws. They will also be able to analyze and address your specific situation and any concerns you may have. A professional will have the resources needed to secure the most positive outcome possible for you as well. When it comes to the business that you have created and overall your future, we understand that you want the best of the best. That is why we believe that entrusting your assets with one of our lawyers will be a choice you will not regret making.
Benefits of Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is very similar to Chapter 13 in how it is structured. However, it provides additional benefits not available to those pursuing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including:
- Higher debt ceilings than those under Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Increased exemptions from financial obligations and capital gains tax
- More time allotted to pay the debt while your income continues to increase
Filing for Chapter 12 will allow you to retain possession of any owned land or properties, resources, and other tools or machinery necessary for your farming or fishing business to continue. You are then able to keep working and thus maintain a steady source of income, allowing you to rearrange and shuffle around finances at the same time. If foreclosure is on the horizon for you as well, any further attempts from creditors are going to be unable to proceed, along with attempts to collect any outstanding payments.
This action occurs immediately after filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 12 is also a far easier, and less pricey, bankruptcy plan than the Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 plans. This is because Chapter 12 is more suitable for smaller businesses, such as family-owned farms or fisheries, which it is directly catered to. For these and many other reasons, Chapter 12 bankruptcy may be the best choice for farmers or fishers struggling with debt issues. If you think that Chapter 12 bankruptcy may be right for your business, contact the Bradford Law Offices today and learn more about:
Your business should not have to struggle another day under the weight of unmanageable debt, so contact us today to learn more about whether or not Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection can offer the financial and legal assistance your company needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often get many of the same questions from our clients considering bankruptcy. For your convenience, we’ve provided a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you don’t see the answer you need below, or if you are ready to discuss the specifics of your financial situation with a professional, please contact us at (919) 758-8879 immediately.
Who is eligible for Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?
“Family farmers” and fishermen who have a “regular annual income” are the only debtors who are eligible to take advantage of Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection. For a while, there were no specific and catered bankruptcy plans aiming towards helping family-owned farm and fishery businesses across the country. However, Chapter 12 bankruptcy was finally developed in the 1980s to help fishermen and farmers in that and future eras who have very particular bankruptcy needs due to the seasonal nature of their jobs. It’s available for two categories of people within these specific industries: individuals and their immediate family, or a corporation or partnership. In order to be deemed eligible to file a Chapter 12 bankruptcy claim, you must be able to account for the following:
- Your business must be earning regular income annually, or, if it is applicable, seasonally. This is to ensure you will be able to follow through financially in regards to the payment plan
- For farmers, exactly half of their income needs to be directly derived from a farm business, while 80% of fisher’s income needs to be directly derived from a fishery business
- For farmers, 50% or more of any fixed debt needs to be specifically associated with the business, and for fishers, 80% or more of any fixed debt must be associated with the business
- The amount of the business’ debt accumulated altogether must be under $4.2 million for farmers, and under $2 million for fishers. If you have more debt than Chapter 12 allows for, you must sell some assets to pay off the amount needed to reach eligibility
Furthermore, potential debtors must not have had a dismissed bankruptcy claim in the 180 days before their new petition, and they must have had credit counseling within that same time period.
Why is declaring bankruptcy a good idea?
At the Bradford Law Offices, however, we understand that, especially as a farmer or fisherman, debts can sometimes be far outside your control. And when you and your business are struggling due to seasonal decline or other various agricultural problems, an already looming debt can steadily grow higher. We understand that going out of business is the last resort that nobody wants to be forced to do. So, rather than watching their operations simply die away, farmers and fishers can take a step back and choose another, feasible option. For many people, filing for bankruptcy is a smart, proactive move that can help you reorganize your finances and get out of debt.
With more time allotted to cushion the impact of hard times within both your business and finances, Chapter 12 will help you fight back against the silent killer that is debt and eventually get you back on your feet.When everything goes according to plan, and with the help of an experienced attorney, you’ll find that you’ll be far better than you were before you filed. If you use bankruptcy to your advantage, you’ll find that it’s far easier to get your finances back on track and save yourself additional stress and strain.
Why should I choose Bradford Law Offices to help me?
For more than a 25 years, the bankruptcy attorneys of Bradford Law Offices have helped individuals and businesses free themselves from the burden of debts and continue on with their lives and business operations. As a result of this, we possess valuable experience that we have been able to accumulate over the years that we can and will utilize to be able to give you the outcome that you and your business deserve. If you are in the specific industries (farming and fishing) that qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection and are struggling to pay your debts, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team today. We have the legal knowledge and resources to help you understand your options, file for bankruptcy, and emerge in a much better, healthier financial situation. Contact our team today at (919) 758-8879 to get started on your path to freedom.
If you or someone you know is uncertain about how to manage your farm or fishery’s debt problems, speaking with an experienced legal professional can be a significant aid. Contact the Raleigh Chapter 12 bankruptcy attorneys of the Bradford Law Offices at (919) 758-8879 today to learn more about your legal rights and options in this difficult situation.