Business Bankruptcy, COVID-19

Wave of COVID-19 Bankruptcies Hitting U.S. Bankruptcy Courts

As the country nears the one-year mark since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial effects are continuing to have effect on consumers and small businesses. The pandemic forced the shutdown of countless businesses throughout the country, and the expected wave of impending Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases is only now beginning to hit the nation’s legal system.  

According to court records, the number of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings were up by approximately 20 percent, when compared to filings in 2019. These numbers are only expected to grow. 

Certain sectors of the economy have been hit much harder than others. According to figures from New Generation Research, restaurants, retailers, entertainment companies, and real estate firms have filed for bankruptcy protection more now than in previous years. The number of bankruptcy filings made by entertainment companies quadrupled in 2020 alone. The number of filings has tripled for oil and gas companies, while doubling for restaurant owners, retailers, and real estate companies. 

Thus far, more than $3.7 trillion in federal stimulus money has been issued in an effort to help offset the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with this money and the possibility of more coming in the future, many businesses have not been able to survive.  

The true effects of the pandemic may not be seen for several years. After the Great Recession of 2007, the bankruptcies that resulted were not filed until 2010, a few years after the start of the recession 

The widespread shutdowns brought on by COVID-19 have hit the restaurant industry hard, and financial experts worry that they may be the hardest hit from the financial crisis. The route these businesses will take can vary depending on what the businesses owners have decided to do. Many of them have already made the decision to close down completely in lieu of pursuing a business bankruptcy. Others have chosen to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning that their assets will be liquidated and used to pay down the debts, leaving the restaurants permanently closed. 

With so many people working from home, the need for office space has also dropped off dramatically, leading to a drop in real estate values for both retail and office spaces, hitting the real estate sector, as well. 

Some of the larger chain retailers who have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the summer of 2021 include J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, and Lord and Taylor. According to S&P Global, there was an average of two corporate bankruptcy filings per day in the months of June and July.       

Not only have retailers been hit hard but their suppliers have, as well. An example of this is Country Fresh, a supplier of fresh fruit snacks, sides, soups, and salads to convenience stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy mid-February 2021. This filing represents just one of the many suppliers who have been hit hard and are still struggling from the pandemic. It remains to be seen whether more filings will follow as 2021 progresses.   

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.   

 

Business Bankruptcy, COVID-19

Stimulus Relief Fails to Save Hundreds of Businesses

The financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant for countless businesses throughout the United States.  At the start of the pandemic, federal stimulus funds were issued in various forms to help businesses survive the economic crisis. However, as the virus continues, many of these businesses are being forced to close.  

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of legal filings and government data, over 300 U.S. companies that received approximately half a billion dollars in stimulus relief have also filed for bankruptcy this year. These 300 companies employ a total of 23,400 workers who are being adversely affected.  

Business Bankruptcy, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Growing Number of Retailers and Restaurants Are Folding as the Covid-19 Pandemic Continues

Retailers and small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, after facing a brutal 2019.  Now a growing number of businesses and restaurants are folding, as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the retail, restuarant industry and the global economy.

Here are the latest ‘big-name’ companies to file bankruptcy since mid-March.

Ruby Tuesday is the most recent restaurant to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  It will permanently close 185 restaurants while it restructures.

Bankruptcy Law, Business Bankruptcy

Cheesecake Factory, Dave & Busters & Outback Steakhouse Facing Bankruptcy

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit countless businesses hard, but the restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard.  According to a recent report from S&P Global, some popular large chain restaurants have made the list of businesses struggling to stay afloat.

Three restaurants are going through serious financial difficulties, namely the Cheesecake Factory, Dave & Busters and Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Expected in the Coming Months

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, many small businesses are filing for bankruptcy to help reorganize their debt and keep creditors at bay. The types of companies being affected include small mom and pop shops, as well as larger corporations.  Hertz and J. Crew, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the number of businesses following suit are expected to rise.

According to Edward I. Altman, the man responsible for creating the Z score, a figure that is used to predict business failures, the year 2020 is expected to set a record for ‘mega bankruptcies,’ meaning businesses with $1 billion or more in debt will be filing for bankruptcy protection. The effects of this could be devastating to the U.S. economy.

Bankruptcy Law, COVID-19, Debt Relief, Small Business Bankruptcy

How to Handle Business Bankruptcy in the Aftermath of the Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit South Florida businesses hard. Many small businesses have struggled to survive the shutdowns and drop in revenue, while others are pursuing bankruptcy as a means of remaining in operation while receiving financial assistance. For businesses who wish to make it through this time of crisis, help is available.

It has been reported that the number of businesses that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy increased by 26 percent from the previous year, even though overall bankruptcy filings were down. These numbers are expected to continue to increase over the summer months as businesses begin to reopen.

Bankruptcy Law

New Bankruptcy Law Takes Effect Benefiting Small Businesses

For the most part, business bankruptcy, also known as Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, has not been a viable option for most struggling small businesses. The process can be long and complicated, and the costs associated with filing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code have kept most small businesses out of this option, leaving them to either pursue a personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 or to close their doors completely. However, the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which officially took effect two months ago, has taken away some of these barriers, opening the possibilities for Chapter 11 filings for small businesses.

Originally, the SBRA applied only to businesses or sole proprietors with less than $2.7 million in debt. However, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis hit in March, Congress temporarily increased this debt cap to $7.5 million in debt, opening the doors to many more businesses to take advantage of the SBRA.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

How to Receive Financial Help During the COVID-19 Crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit our nation’s economy hard, with many Americans finding themselves suddenly out of work.  Countless small businesses have had to close their doors due to the spread of the coronavirus. Financial assistance is available during the COVID-19 crisis.

A record number of American workers filed for unemployment last week, which totaled 3.28 million people. The biggest form of financial help comes in the form of a recent $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress just last week. President Trump signed the stimulus bill into law on March 27, 2020.

Bankruptcy Law

New Bankruptcy Laws Offer Relief for Veterans, Small Businesses and Farmers

President Trump signed legislation into law on August 23, 2019, that offers bankruptcy relief that will benefit veterans, small business owners and farmers. Now that these changes are being implemented, they will have long-lasting, positive effects when it comes to access to bankruptcy relief for these individuals.

The first piece of legislation is the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019. It doubles the debt ceiling allowed under the Bankruptcy Code for a “family farmer.”  This relief increases the number of farmers eligible to receive relief under Chapter 12 reorganization bankruptcy, which is a special form of bankruptcy that is designed to meet the needs of farmers facing financial difficulty.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Former “Dance Moms” Star Abby Lee Miller Begins Prison Sentence for Bankruptcy Fraud

Abby Lee Miller, star of the hit reality TV show “Dance Moms,” began her sentence in federal prison this month, more than a year after pleading guilty to fraud in a Pittsburg federal court.  Her sentence is 366 days in prison after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and bringing in more than $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the United States, unreported.

Federal prosecutors charged that Miller was in the middle of Chapter 11 bankruptcy when she attempted to hide $775,000 in income from her Lifetime network reality show and its spinoffs.

The investigation was prompted after the bankruptcy judge in Miller’s case was channel-surfing one night and saw the reality star on TV in December 2012 and figured she had to be making more than the $8,899 in the monthly income she was claiming.

On a lighter note, Miller’s prison diet will be fruit, hot grits, whole wheat bread with jelly, and skim milk for breakfast; burgers with a choice of fries or a baked potato and fruit for lunch; and a deli sandwich or hummus wrap for dinner during her first week in prison, according to TMZ Live.

Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to hide assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you listed in a subsequent bankruptcy filing. In addition, the potential penalty for bankruptcy crimes includes fines and imprisonment of up to five years.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.