Being a business owner is a lot of work. You invest your time, money and effort into making your business a success. But if your entity is struggling, it can have a significant impact on your personal finances. If your company is not making a profit, you are likely trying to figure out how you can deal with your business debt. Below are a few important questions to ask yourself:
Can I save the business?
If you have run the numbers or you’ve been struggling to make ends meet for a long time, it may be time to face the hard truth that the business cannot be saved. You may want to avoid having the business file for bankruptcy protection, but not at the expense of your own personal financial stability. Before depleting personal funds to save your entity, confer with us so we can explore all of your available debt relief options.
Can I lower my expenses?
You might be surprised at how much you can help your business by cutting back on your expenses. If you are unable or unwilling to use personal funds to keep your business afloat, consider the ways you can reduce your costs. Many times this requires you to be creative or take certain steps that are unattractive, but if the cutbacks help you keep the doors to your business open, they are likely worth it.
Can I increase sales?
Most business owners do everything in their power to increase their sales. If your company’s exposure has been limited to one market, consider ways to expand. With the use of the internet, there are a variety of ways to get your company’s name out there at very little cost. And don’t forget the customers or clients you already have – contact them and offer incentives for them to give you repeat business or to pay you quicker. It may even be beneficial to confer with your suppliers and negotiate discounts and/or payment plans.
If your business has been sued for fraud or breach of contract, the legal team at Faro & Crowder can help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across the State of Florida.
If you are past due on your bills and creditors are harassing you night and day, filing for bankruptcy is a good option to consider. One of the most important decisions you can make in filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is selecting the “right” attorney to represent you. Below are a few tips on how you can find the lawyer that is the best to handle your case:
- Investigation. There are numerous sources available for researching a lawyer or law firm. The internet has a variety of websites that allow you to not only verify an attorney’s credentials, but also to see how other clients have ranked them. For example, Martindale.com, Avvo and the applicable state bar association websites can be searched to discover if the attorney is in good standing and how he or she has been rated by his or her peers. You should also read the lawyer’s own website to determine how much of his or her practice is focused on bankruptcy. It is a red flag if the attorney’s website does not list bankruptcy as a primary area of practice. You should find it comforting if the lawyer has written blogs or articles regarding bankruptcy topics. This is evidence that the lawyer is familiar with bankruptcy law and has the ability and willingness to explain it to others.
- Referrals. Ask your family, friends and co-workers for recommendations on good lawyers. If somebody you trust refers an attorney, it is a good starting place. Don’t just take the other person’s word for it though. You should always meet with the lawyer and see if you “click” before retaining him or her to represent you.
- Consultations. Once you have narrowed down the list of potential lawyers you believe will be a good fit for you, see if they offer a free initial consultation. If so, take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the attorney in person. It is important to retain somebody that you trust and feel comfortable working with on your case.
Choosing the right attorney to handle your bankruptcy filing can be the difference between successfully discharging thousands of dollars and wasting your time and money! A little of time and effort to ensure you are working with the right attorney is worth it in the long run.
The legal team at Faro & Crowder is ready to help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across the State of Florida.
Many individuals contact us because they are drowning in debt and don’t know which debt relief option is the best for them. We commonly get questions regarding having debt “written-off” by lenders and how it impacts them. Typically, a lender will write-off your debt (also referred to as charging-off your debt) if you have been delinquent on your payments for a long period of time. In fact, many companies have an internal accounting procedure that automatically performs this function because it permits the lender to deduct the loss as an expense. What does it mean to you? If your debt is written-off, it is important to understand that you are still liable to pay it.
For example, if your credit card company writes-off your debt, it can still continue its collection activity against you. The original lender can attempt to collect it from you or, more commonly, your delinquent account will be sold to a collection agency or a debt-buyer. When a debt-buyer purchases your debt, it is for a substantially lower amount than what is owed. Because your account was purchased at a discount, the collector may be willing to spend the money to file a collection lawsuit against you. If you fail to respond to the lawsuit (which the collector is hoping will occur), a default judgment will be entered against you. Once the collector has a judgment, it can file a garnishment of your bank account and/or wages, as well as take advantage of other collection tactics.
If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should be sure to include your debts that have been written-off. As soon as your bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect and all collection activity against you must cease. This includes the harassing telephone calls, lawsuits, garnishments and other similar efforts.
If you are hesitant to file for bankruptcy and you have collection lawsuits pending against you, it is important to contact us for help. Do not ignore the lawsuits because they will not just disappear! We can file an answer on your behalf and prevent a default judgment from being granted by the court against you. You may have several defenses available to you as well. We can use this time to negotiate with your creditor and attempt to reach a settlement for a significantly lower amount that what you owe.
Don’t delay any longer. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.