As hard-working American farmers and fishermen, you provide the sustenance that many other Americans and people across the world need. You play a role in the survival of many.
So what happens when you fall on tough times? With environmental changes and the curveballs that life can throw any of us on any given day, a successful harvest on your farm or plentiful catches out at sea may not be possible each season. Depending on your financial stability and the debt you’ve incurred to operate your farm, the negative impact that your circumstances and farming or fishing issues can have on your finances can be devastating. Dealing with financial strain while still needing to operate your farming or fishing business and work as hard as you can to dig yourself out of a financial hole is overwhelming.
Fortunately, you can find relief from your financial struggles. The Wake Forest business bankruptcy lawyers of Bradford Law Offices may be able to help you file for bankruptcy. We’ll discuss your debts and current financial situation, and work to help you get control of your debt through bankruptcy.
What Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a way for those who are struggling to pay their financial debts to do one of two things: be relieved of their obligations to pay their debts or obtain a more affordable long-term payment arrangement to get back on track with their finances.
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a financial relief option specifically for farmers and fishermen. By filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, family farmers and family fishermen can restructure their debt to gain control of their finances. By restructuring, you and your creditors can agree to a payment arrangement that would span between three to five years to resolve your debts.
One of the most significant benefits of Chapter 12 bankruptcy is that while you’re paying your debts according to your payment plan, you can still operate your farming or fishing business. In fact, being able to stay in business may contribute to your getting your finances under control and paying off your debts. The health of your business may depend on your ability to continue working and growing it. Chapter 12 bankruptcy doesn’t bar you from doing that.
How Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Different from Other Types of Bankruptcy?
Chapter 12 bankruptcy differs from other forms of bankruptcy, primarily, in who can and should file for each type of bankruptcy. Aside from Chapter 12, there are three types of bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Individuals who are having difficulty paying their debt obligations can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is typically best for those who don’t have many assets because they risk losing their property to satisfy their debts. At the conclusion of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you would be relieved of your obligation to pay your dischargeable debts.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – This type of bankruptcy is best for reorganizing the business debts of partnerships, sole proprietorships, or corporations. One benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that the business is still operable while the debts are being resolved through the agreed-upon payment arrangement.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – Those who receive consistent income but are having trouble paying their debts can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or restructuring. Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t too different from Chapter 12 bankruptcy, except that Chapter 12 bankruptcy is for farmers and fishermen, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for individuals who earn considerable income.
Why You Need a Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy can seem like a simple process. You may think it’s just filing paperwork with the courts and then the process goes along at the court’s direction. Though filing for bankruptcy does include this filing, that’s only part of it.
When you file for bankruptcy, you must submit a complete petition that includes all the necessary documentation. The sheer number of documents, including tax returns and records of your expenses and profits, can be overwhelming to gather. It’s easy to overlook debts that you’ve racked up while operating your farm or fishing business. Omitting this information in your bankruptcy paperwork can both prolong your ability to obtain the debt relief you’re seeking and c can complicate the process.
A Chapter 12 bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that you file complete and accurate paperwork. At Bradford Law Offices, our Chapter 12 bankruptcy attorneys will gather everything you need to be successful in your bankruptcy and will advocate for the best payment arrangement and terms for you, your family, and your business.
The Bankruptcy Process
The first step in the bankruptcy process is filing a petition and the required bankruptcy forms with the court. You’ll have to pay a $200 filing fee and a $75 administrative fee. When you file, your creditors will be notified of your bankruptcy filing so that they can cease any collection efforts, as is mandated by an automatic stay. Then, a trustee will be appointed to review your filing and handle your case moving forward.
Following this, the trustee will schedule an official meeting with you and the creditors. During this meeting or promptly following it, you and your creditors will come up with a payment plan. Then, there will be a confirmation hearing with the bankruptcy judge, where the judge will determine whether the payment plan and its terms are suitable.
Contact Bradford Law Offices for Help With Your Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Are you feeling drained from working so hard to keep your business and finances afloat during a difficult harvest or fishing season? Has life thrown you curveballs that have prevented you from being able to keep up with the bills related to your business?
The Chapter 12 bankruptcy lawyers in Wake Forest from the Bradford Law Offices understand the difficult time you may be going through and are here to help. For the past quarter-century, we have helped thousands of North Carolinians get out from under their mountain of suffocating debt. Founding Attorney Danny Bradford has experience helping businesses restructure their debt so they can get on the path to resolving their financial obligations.