Corporate Bankruptcy

Corporate Bankruptcy

If the economic downturn has left your business unable to meet your debt obligations, or rapidly approaching it, then you may need to restructure some or all of those obligations to permit your business to survive. While this can often be accomplished out of court, sometimes a bankruptcy filing is necessary to accomplish the necessary breathing room and take advantage of the other tools only available under the United States bankruptcy code.

To understand all options and avoid actions that may impair the ability to accomplish a more fulsome solution to the problem, it is best, if possible, to retain qualified restructuring counsel while the business still has some liquidity and prior to entering into any significant debt modification agreements with existing creditors. In addition, understanding the risks and likely outcomes for all parties in a corporate bankruptcy proceeding is often necessary to achieve an effective out of court restructuring.  The Houston business bankruptcy lawyers at Seiler Mitby, with co-counsel as necessary, can provide you with sound advice about your options both in and out of court.

Seiler Mitby, working with counsel from LFDS Law*, provides quality legal services and strategic advice to business debtors, creditors, and trustees involved in corporate out of court restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings in federal court. All clients – from small businesses and lenders to publicly traded companies – receive hands-on law firm senior shareholder involvement.  We jointly handle bankruptcy matters with Craig Simon, an experienced bankruptcy litigator, and Dan Winikka, a restructuring lawyer with nearly 25 years of experience.  Craig Simon and Dan Winikka are currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, by BL Rankings, LLC.

Types of Corporate Bankruptcy

If a satisfactory restructuring of the business’s obligations cannot be accomplished out of court, filing for bankruptcy may provide the safe haven from creditors necessary to negotiate with creditors and restructure obligations in a manner sufficient to enable the business to survive.  This is accomplished through a filing under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.  If it is necessary or desirable to cease operations and liquidate and distribute the business’s assets in an equitable manner, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A business Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding.  In a bankruptcy proceeding under Chapter 7, an independent third party trustee will be appointed, the business’s assets will be sold, and creditors will be paid to the extent possible from the proceeds in accordance with the priorities set forth in the bankruptcy code. This type of proceeding is typically used only as a last resort when all other alternatives have been explored and exhausted.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 11 business bankruptcy is a reorganization proceeding under which the business may continue to operate while a plan for restructuring the business’s debts is negotiated. In a Chapter 11 proceeding, the existing owners of the business retain control over the business subject to bankruptcy court oversight. Immediately upon filing, creditors are stayed from taking any actions to collect on debts that were incurred prior to bankruptcy or exercising any actions in respect of the company’s assets without first obtaining relief from the bankruptcy court.  This automatic stay gives the business breathing room to negotiate and seek approval of a reorganization plan under which its debts can be restructured in a manner that will enable the business to continue operating.

In 2019, Congress enacted a small business subchapter (subchapter V) under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code aimed at reducing the costs and increasing the flexibility for reorganization of small businesses with less than $2.725 in aggregate debt. The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) recently increased that debt limit to $7.5 million.  Unless permanently increased, however, the small business subchapter debt limit will revert back to $2.725 million on March 27, 2021.

Our firm handles bankruptcy matters including:

  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Related Litigation
  • Out of Court Workouts
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Debt Renegotiations
  • Liquidations
  • Reorganization

Houston Corporate Bankruptcy Lawyers

Seiler Mitby represents corporations, creditors’ committees, shareholders, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, court-appointed trustees, and parties involved in disputes arising from business dissolutions or restructurings.  For more information on how our lawyers can counsel your business on its best course of action, contact us.

*Loewinsohn Flegle Deary Simon LLP has its principal office in Dallas, Texas and is available by appointment only at its Houston, Texas office.