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Lafayette Bankruptcy Law Blog

Charming Charlie retail store closing locations during Chapter 11

Running a business comes with many risks. Even after years of beneficial outcomes, companies could end up in difficult financial predicaments. It is not uncommon for business owners to consider filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in efforts to address the financial problems that have befallen their companies.

Louisiana readers may be interested in a recent Chapter 11 filing. According to reports, retail store Charming Charlie has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in less than two years. The company was founded in 2004, and it completed its first bankruptcy case in April 2018. Unfortunately, the company continued to have financial difficulties, including a lack of capital and fewer customer visits. The company took on lower-quality inventory after its first bankruptcy, but those products often went unsold.

Numerous life events could lead to the need for bankruptcy

Many Louisiana residents may feel embarrassed when they face financial problems. Unfortunately, numerous people find themselves in this type of predicament due to circumstances they cannot control. As a result, it is not unusual for bankruptcy to be an option they take advantage of in hopes of getting their financial affairs back on track.

For instance, it is possible for a single parent to have a child with special needs and not have the ability to find stable employment as a result. Other individuals may face sudden job loss because their higher-paying positions are being replaced by individuals who work for a lower hourly wage. Others still may have sick loved ones that they must take care of or find themselves struggling due to multiple incidents that occurred over time, like accruing medical bills, changes in their insurance or car accidents.

Settlement may not be the debt relief option many hope for

Struggling with significant financial problems can make anyone feel desperate. Louisiana residents with this issue may look at numerous routes that promise debt relief but worry about which could be right for them. Having this worry is understandable as some options, like debt settlement, are not always as promising as they may seem.

Some individuals may consider debt settlement a better alternative to bankruptcy. However, this option is commonly too good to be true for many people struggling with debt. Settlement companies often claim that they can work with creditors to lower owed payments, but really, creditors do not have to negotiate with these companies. As a result, a person could pay a settlement company to negotiate on his or her behalf only to have a creditor refuse to work with the company.

Keeping your home while filing bankruptcy

One of the most common concerns that come up when a person considers bankruptcy is whether or not they can keep their home while discharging their debts. Often, individuals considering bankruptcy believe that they must sacrifice all of their possessions in order to discharge debts, but this is rarely the case.

Bankruptcy's purpose under the law is to give borrowers an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh financial start. In order to "balance the scales" in the eyes of the law, discharging debt requires borrowers to accept some restrictions against further borrowing for a period of time, and may require forfeiting property, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed.

Bankruptcy will affect credit but does not cause permanent damage

For many Louisiana residents, their finances may have them starting each day off with dread. They may worry that creditors will call, that they will not have enough funds to buy necessities or that their credit cards will be declined. Though bankruptcy is a step that helps many people address this type of ordeal, it is common for parties to worry about how it will affect their credit.

It is true that bankruptcy will have an impact on petitioners' credit reports and scores. From the date that a person files his or her petition, the bankruptcy will typically remain on that individual's credit report for 10 years. However, some Chapter 13 filings may only remain for seven years. Still, that does not have to mean that a person's financial affairs will remain in dire straits for a decade. In fact, after completing bankruptcy, parties can take steps to improve their credit.

IRA protections when seeking debt relief

Having financial difficulties is one of the more challenging aspects of life to handle. To those who have considerable debt, it may seem as if their money problems are holding them back from everything in life. Though bankruptcy could be a debt relief option to consider, some Louisiana residents may worry that it could wipe out funds in their retirement accounts and create greater turmoil.

Fortunately, federal laws provide protections for retirement accounts during bankruptcy. Though employer-provided retirement accounts have had these protections for some time, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act added protections for IRAs in 2005, among other changes. Before federal protections for IRAs were in place, it was up to state law to determine how this type of retirement account was addressed during bankruptcy.

Self-assessment during bankruptcy can help now and in the future

Many Louisiana residents may have a hard time with self-assessment. Understandably, it can be difficult to look at a situation objectively and fully understand how it came to be. Numerous people who face serious financial problems may wonder exactly what happened that led them down this road. Though the answer may not be immediately obvious, it will likely be discovered during bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the disclosure of a considerable amount of information. As a result, when parties work to explain to the bankruptcy trustee or other parties involved in their case how they came to be in this predicament, it is important that they try their best to find the root of their problems. In some cases, job loss, medical emergencies or other unavoidable issues could be the cause, and in others, overspending could just as likely be the culprit.

Bankruptcy trustee important to Chapter 13 cases

Deciding to take a major step to address outstanding debt is an important event. Many Louisiana residents struggle financially before choosing to move forward with Chapter 13 bankruptcy in efforts to get their affairs in order. While understanding this type of procedure can be difficult, one aspect that individuals may want to familiarize themselves with is the bankruptcy trustee.

In bankruptcy, the trustee plays an important role by overseeing a person's case. In a Chapter 13 filing, the trustee will ensure that the creditors receive their payments as indicated in the repayment plan. The petitioner will provide payments to the trustee, and the trustee will then administer those payments to the specified creditors. The trustee can also decide whether a creditor has a valid claim against the petitioner.

What are the potential drawbacks of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

It's easy to pay so much attention to the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy that you overlook some or all of the potential drawbacks.

While most people come to find that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, you must still have a clear idea of what you're getting into. Only then can you make a confident decision on what to do next.

Aviation services company files for Chapter 11

Facing financial issues can bring a great deal of turmoil to a company. Business owners may wonder what steps they can take to help reduce debt and get back on track, but in many cases, small efforts are not enough. As a result, some Louisiana businesses may need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

It was recently reported that a company in another state has recently chosen to take this route. Apparently, Bristow Group Inc., an industrial aviation services company, has filed a bankruptcy petition due to owing $1.885 billion. The company hopes that this debt relief route will allow it to restructure and better handle outstanding debts while also continuing to provide services to their clients. The report stated that the company has $2.86 billion in assets.


Richoux Law Firm, L.L.C.
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