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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Tulsa Bankruptcy Law Blog

Another casual dining restaurant seeks bankruptcy protection

A rating firm claims that restaurants are at the head of the list of businesses that are distressed. Over the past year, several in Oklahoma and other areas of the country have sought ways to manage overwhelming debt, often due to a decline in the popularity of casual dining establishments in general. Recently, another company announced its decision to follow the path set by other restaurants; it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company, Romano's Macaroni Grill, opened in 1988. It has locations in 25 states and employs approximately 4,600 people. However, court papers indicate that the company is struggling with debts in the range of` $50 million to $100 million with assets only in the range of $10 to $50 million. Prior to making the announcement, the company closed 37 locations that were underperforming; the company is involved in litigation with landlords regarding several of those closed locations.

Bankruptcy in Oklahoma: Impact on credit rating

Adults in Oklahoma, as business owners and managers of their personal finances, often face difficult decisions. Some of these decisions often involve how to respond to overwhelming debt -- debt that can accumulate due to circumstances beyond a person's control. Often, debt is so great that the best option may be to seek bankruptcy protection.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions involving the decision to file for bankruptcy. For example, some people or businesses may be hesitant to seek such relief because of their concerns about their credit score. While it is true that seeking such protection will likely have an impact on a credit score, it may not be as devastating as some people think.

Choosing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Oklahoma

Over the course of the last few years in Oklahoma and across the country, multiple businesses, including Toys R Us, Radio Shack and The Limited, have opted to seek bankruptcy protection. Businesses are often forced to make such a decision based on market changes that they have little -- if any -- control over. However, without the guidance of a professional with experience concerning such proceedings, businesses may be confused about the benefits of such action and whether to file for Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy will typically allow the business to discharge all of its unsecured debts. However, the business will no longer exist once proceedings are complete. As a result, many businesses seek other options.

Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 bankruptcy

It is easy to become overwhelmed with debt. If a person loses a job, he or she may be forced to live on credit cards while searching for another position. Even when those who have a job may be so far behind on card payment that they will never be able to catch up. In some cases, a person in Oklahoma may experience a serious illness or injury, and between lost wages and medical expenses, may be swimming in debt. Many in similar circumstances often wonder whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the best option for them.

There are many benefits to seeking debt relief through a bankruptcy filing, but some people are confused about the differences between the different personal bankruptcy options. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all or most of the person's debts will be consolidated into one payment. Certain debts, such as utility bills, could be excluded for the repackaging. The typical length of the repayment plan is five years but could be completed in as few as three years. While such a filing will impact a person's credit rating, the flag regarding it is typically removed from the report after seven years.

Toys R Us seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy

For many businesses in Oklahoma and across the country, there often comes a time when important decisions must be made in order to ensure long-term success. For example, a company struggling with debt may have to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to better manage its debt. Toys R Us has recently taken such action to help it in terms of future success and financial security.

Part of the decision to seek bankruptcy protection was based on significant debt that is left over from a 2005 acquisition deal. Currently the company is carrying $4.9 billion in debt -- an amount that has a significant amount of interest due in the next two years. Representatives for the company claim that the operations of its approximately 1,600 stores will not be impacted by the recent filing.

Seeking debt relief in Oklahoma through Chapter 13 bankruptcy

People in Oklahoma who have an overwhelming amount of debt often feel an extreme amount of stress. Often, their debt is the result of issues beyond their control, such as the loss of a job or a serious medical condition. In addition to having the debt, many people start to receive harassing calls from debt collectors, prompting them to seek relief. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best one option to manage debt and stop harassment.

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate debt, Chapter 13 allows a petitioner to reorganize his or her debt into a payment plan that then must be paid of in 36 to 60 months. While the debt cannot be erased in this form of bankruptcy, it can be renegotiated or reduced. The benefits of pursuing this option include adjusting payments for debts and preventing the government from applying tax refunds to the overall amount owed, halting the repossession process and reducing alimony and child support payments.

Bankruptcy often more beneficial than debt settlement

Many people in Oklahoma have debt that is overwhelming. Often, this debt is a result of medical expenses or a lost job. Once the debt accumulates to a certain point, many began to consider their debt relief options. While using a debt settlement company may seem like a good option, bankruptcy is often the better choice.

The premise behind debt settlement companies is that they will attempt to persuade creditors to forgive a portion of debt, often with a large payment. While a relatively recent increase in the regulation of these types of companies means they are more likely live up to their promises, seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is often a better fit. For example, when a consumer files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into place, protecting the petitioner from wage garnishment and lawsuits. The debt settlement process can take years to complete, and the debtor could be sued by creditors in the meantime.

Bankruptcy: Perfumania joins companies seeking to restructure

As more and more people become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, companies with stores that rely on brick and mortar locations have begun to struggle. Several different businesses, including Sears and KMart, among many others, have experienced difficulties. Recently a company with a location in Oklahoma has recently made the decision to file for bankruptcy.

The company, Perfumania, specializes in fragrances and perfumes. A representative for the company claims that efforts have been focused on amending its business model and reducing expenses and its cost structure, among other goals. The spokesperson claims that the recent decision to seek bankruptcy protection will allow the company to move toward its goals faster in order to protect the long-term success of the company.

Oklahoma restaurant locations closing after bankruptcy filing

The popularity of certain businesses seems to cycle over the years. For example, many brick and mortar clothing stores and chain restaurants had a great deal of popularity years ago. However, many of these businesses have experienced financial struggles due to waning popularity. Many choose to file for bankruptcy to help cope with expenses related to a decline in sales.

Joe's Crab Shack announced its intention to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early June. According to a spokesperson for the owner of the company, Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc., neither Joe's Crab Shack nor the other restaurant chain it owns, Brick House Tavern + Tap, would close any locations. However, reports indicate that three locations in Oklahoma have closed. Closures of locations across the country have also been reported.

Established company seeks bankruptcy protection

Many people in Oklahoma who are not involved in the day-to-day running of a company may not be fully aware of all of the expenses involved. For many companies, selling a product or service is not the only major concern. Employers must ensure that all debts are paid as well as pension and vacation funds. These complications can quickly lead to overwhelming debt, resulting in companies making the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.

A long-established company in another state has recently sought such protection, filing papers with a federal bankruptcy court on a day in early August. The company, Robert T. Winzinger, Inc., began in 1958 and provides services related to improvement, demolition and construction. Court papers listed more than $10 million in assets.

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