Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hassayampa Golf Course files bankruptcy - how is a corporate bankruptcy different from personal bankruptcy?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix ($995/Chapter 7), and occasionally have clients with businesses. If the owner can be held personally accountable for the business debts, and it is a smaller business, usually it is best to file for personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and 13). Otherwise, creditors can come after the individual. These are usually sole proprietorships, entrepreneurs, and partnerships that intend to dissolve, since if there are any assets they will be distributed amongst creditors.

Businesses that are incorporated and a separate legal entity where an individual is not personally liable, and where there are significant assets, usually file for corporate bankruptcy, without including anyone personally (Chapter 11). A Chapter 11 will reorganize or liquidate the business in order to pay its debts. The debtor may propose its own restructuring plan, but after a certain amount of time has passed, the creditors get to propose alternative plans, and vote on which plan will be accepted. Usually by filing Chapter 11, a business intends to stay in business instead of dissolving.

Although an individual will have a bankruptcy on their credit history if they file for personal bankruptcy, it is usually significantly cheaper to file for personal bankruptcy than corporate bankruptcy, which usually costs around $5000 or more.

The Hassayampa Golf Course in Prescott, Arizona filed this year for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This comes as no surprise considering the economy; recreational and luxury businesses are suffering severely. What appears to have gotten the golf course into financial difficulty was taxes, it owes $162,724.72 in taxes. Politicians call for higher taxes on businesses, but in this economy taxes are taking a toll on businesses. Generally, those taxes will not be dischargeable in the bankruptcy. There are also 1375 creditors listed on the bankruptcy petition. Many businesses cannot survive after a corporate bankruptcy, because they still must pay back much of the debt, and end up converting to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and dissolving. Considering the economy is not picking up, I give Hassayampa a 50/50 chance at lasting another year after the bankruptcy.

Read more about the Hassayampa bankruptcy here

The Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm provides low low cost Chapter 7 and 13 personal bankruptcies. $995 Chapter 7 or $2500 Chapter 13 bankruptcies plus court filing fee. Free consultation with a compassionate attorney who will handle your case personally. Call 24/7, available to meet with you around your schedule. 602-910-6812. Conveniently located in Central Phoenix along the Camelback corridor.

No comments: