When It’s Time to File for Bankruptcy
Over the last three decades, we’ve seen it happen time and time again—people wait too long to file for bankruptcy and only make matters worse. It can happen for a variety of reasons.
- You may think that bankruptcy is a sign of failure—it’s not! Some of the most successful business people in history, including Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and H.J. Heinz, all took advantage of the nation’s bankruptcy laws to get a fresh start.
- You may feel like you’ve put so much into the business that you can’t quit now—Those are the famous last words of far too many people. Be careful that you do not end up “throwing good money after bad.” Likewise, if you are not careful and well-advised, you might make things worse not better (e.g. by not paying payroll or sales taxes, borrowing money you cannot afford or liquidating retirement assets). At some point, you need to honestly assess whether it’s a temporary challenge or there are fatal flaws in your business plan.
Here are some of the clear signs that it’s time to consult a bankruptcy attorney:
- Have you maxed out a credit card? The higher the balance on your credit card, the more you’ll spend every month just paying interest. That’s essentially money thrown out the window, as it won’t deal with the real problem.
- Are you consistently paying car and/or mortgage payments late? These are often your largest cash outlays, so they are much more difficult to bring current.
- Are you taking cash advances or obtaining “payday” loans? There’s really no clearer indication that you can’t meet your current obligations. Cash advances and payday loans are nothing more than trying to buy time…and that almost never works.
- You’re putting basic necessities on a credit card. When you are buying food or paying utilities with a credit card, you don’t have the resources to meet your financial obligations.
- Is your business operating for extended periods under a loan from an “asset-based” lender or factor? Watch these carefully as they usually have high fees and interest rates. Carefully evaluate what is going on.
- Is your business borrowing money to pay your salary? Look at how much you could have paid yourself without new borrowings. If you cannot be paid except by borrowing, that is a serious warning sign.
- You’ve overdrawn your bank account more than once. Everyone can make a mistake, forget an automatic payment or make a math error. If you are continually writing checks without sufficient funds to cover them, it’s time to see a bankruptcy lawyer.
Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP
At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, our bankruptcy attorneys provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up a meeting, call Neuner & Ventura at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another bankruptcy lawyer. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.
Representing Clients across South Jersey