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Bankruptcy Attorneys: Good for More Than Just Bankruptcy

By: Allison Carr, Associate - Bernstein-Burkley, PC

When people hear that an attorney specializes in bankruptcy, they often want to run in the opposite direction. Some people say that being a bankruptcy attorney sounds interesting, but they hope they will never need to employ one. “Bankruptcy,” however, encompasses so much more than just representing debtors who have filed for chapter 7, 11, or 13 protection. There are many other good reasons to keep a bankruptcy attorney on speed-dial.

First and foremost, bankruptcy attorneys can actually help an entity avoid the need to file for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy attorneys have extensive experience negotiating workouts, forbearance agreements, and debt forgiveness with lenders and creditors of all sizes. Involving a bankruptcy attorney early – before the entity has depleted its bank accounts – can preserve both the entity’s business and business relationships, and therefore negate the need for bankruptcy protection.

Venture capitalists and other acquisition companies can use the bankruptcy process to acquire a company or investment. Bankruptcy can help the existing entity renegotiate or unload debt and emerge as a new, profitable company under new management or ownership. Bankruptcy attorneys can also work jointly with business ventures to review pending bankruptcy cases to purchase prospective distressed assets.

Additionally, companies can use the bankruptcy process to restructure their real estate portfolio. Pursuant to section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, debtors may assume or reject any executory contract or unexpired lease of real property. Debtors can use the bankruptcy process to terminate an above market lease or sell a below market rate to generate extra income. Non-debtors can be the beneficiary of a debtor assuming and assigning an undermarket lease.

These just are a sampling of the many reasons why companies and individuals should not shy away from consulting with a bankruptcy attorney on a regular basis.

For more information or to schedule a conference with one of Bernstein-Burkley’s many experienced bankruptcy attorneys, please contact the author, Allison Carr by email or phone at 412-456-8100 or acarr@bernsteinlaw.com.