Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy has never been explained so well. Guest author, Steven Fox, has practiced Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy law since the late 1980′s and has offices in the Los Angeles area. He has a solid understanding of how businesses work and provides good counsel for troubled individual and business debtors. His clients include manufacturing companies in a wide range of industries, retail stores and individuals. If your business needs to be reorganized in a Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, here are the crucial steps to take.
Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
If your business needs to be reorganized in a Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, the steps you take before your business files its petition will be crucial to your success. And often the key step is to choose the right Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy attorney for your business. Do you know how to how to do this? Do you know what to ask the attorney that you meet with?
This article is the second part of a three part series that began with my best advice on Success in Reorganizations: Plan to Get in and Get Out! Now I’ll focus on selecting the right lawyer for your business planning and and a successful Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization.
A good Chapter 11 attorney will identify problems before you file.
You need a lawyer who will help you address and correct these problems where possible. Make sure you understand your successful exit strategy before setting you on course to reorganize your business and your debts.
You should only trust your situation with an attorney who is highly experienced specifically in Chapter 11 and one that will answer your questions clearly. Remember that most Chapter 11 cases fail. (See Success Strategies For Chapter 11 Business Reorganizations: Plan To Get In and Get Out!) Your goal is to be one of the 33% or so that succeed.
Obviously, there are many attorneys who will file Chapter 11 cases and that can “talk a good game.” But success for your case will depend on much more.
Tips for selecting a Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy attorney:
- How many Chapter 11 cases the lawyer has filed and over what period of years.
- What number of those Chapter 11 cases ended in plan confirmations or some similar successful result.
- Ask how experienced the attorney’s support staff is in handling Chapter 11 cases and ask to meet them! A well-trained support staff is crucial in dealing with the Chapter 11 reporting requirements, deadlines, and typical problems that arise. Remember, experience in filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, or representing creditors in bankruptcy is not the same thing as experience in representing debtors in Chapter 11 cases.
- Tell the lawyer you want to talk to references from former (or existing) clients who will speak with you about the attorney and the attorney’s staff. How many Chapter 11 cases is the attorney currently handling? An acquaintance of mine is handling over 20 Chapter 11 cases—bad idea. A solo attorney cannot handle 20 Chapter 11 cases at one time. Five to ten Chapter 11 cases is a full time load and that number assumes the attorney’s support staff is experienced. A strong and committed support staff can make a very big difference in your case.
What to expect when you meet with a Los Angeles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney
- Expect to spend an hour with the attorney. Experienced Chapter 11 counsel charge for their time and for these consultations. Remember you are paying for the attorney’s time and knowledge. Here are some things you should cover in that first meeting: Ask the attorney how the business can successfully emerge from Chapter 11. Identify crucial creditors whose support you may need in order to get the plan confirmed. Discuss the voting requirements for the Chapter 11 plan and also the steps creditors may take to counter your plan.
- When you’ve chosen the right attorney, expect to pay a significant retainer fee. The retainer amount should take the attorney through the first 3 to 6 months of the case (depending on how active the case is) and these fees will be reviewed by a judge. If the retainer fee you are quoted is too low, it is not a good sign. The attorney may not be experienced or may simply want to “get” your case in the door in order to meet his or her office payroll. When the retainer runs out, the attorney who has taken too small a retainer needs to bring in more and more cases in order to make ends meet, and that attorney will not pay sufficient attention to your case. That is a recipe for a failed Chapter 11 case. You should want success and your attorney should expect to be successful.
Easy to get in, and hard to get out.
In my experience, it is very easy to get into Chapter 11. The Debtor pays a filing fee and the case begins. The hard part is the exit strategy. And choosing the right lawyer is crucial to developing and executing that strategy. Make sure that the attorney you choose has the specific experienced to get your Chapter 11 plan confirmed!
So are you ready to sit down and plan your successful Chapter 11 reorganization? If you are thinking of filing a Chapter 11 case I maintain an office in Encino, California and may be reached at 818 774 3545. As you might expect, I am prepared to evaluate your case for success and to answer your questions.