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Author Archives: Michael J. Berger

Using Cash Collateral to Pay Expenses During a Chapter 11 Case

Most Chapter 11 bankruptcies involve a number of “first day” motions, which are applications made to the court at the very start of the case to give some immediate relief to the debtor. These motions might seek approval of financing for the debtor, preference of certain creditors over others and other changes in how the […]

What Happens at the Creditors’ Meeting in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The creditors’ meeting is a required procedure in all Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. The idea of facing your creditors in person may seem intimidating, but in practice most of these meetings are quick and painless. In fact, even though it is called a creditors’ meeting and they have the right to appear and ask questions, […]

How DIP Financing in Chapter 11 Can Help Turn a Company Around

The goal of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is to help struggling businesses reorganize and become financially viable again. But every company — even one in Chapter 11 — needs adequate cash flow to keep operating. Debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing is a feature that can help a company get access to the cash it needs to remain operational […]

Overcoming the Presumption of Abuse in a Chapter 7 Case

Debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are subject to a qualifying “means test.” The purpose of the test is to confirm that the debtor is truly incapable of paying his or her outstanding debts. The means test requires disclosure of the debtor’s income and expenses. If the debtor’s current income is greater than the median […]

Keys to a Successful Chapter 13 Reorganization

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy — also known as a wage earner’s plan — a portion of the debtor’s outstanding unsecured debts are paid over a period of three to five years, with the remainder then being discharged. Chapter 13 is often an attractive option for debtors with steady incomes because it allows them to […]

Pros and Cons of Filing Bankruptcy Jointly With Your Spouse

Married couples who are financially distressed have a choice whether to file for bankruptcy individually or jointly. Generally, a joint bankruptcy is most beneficial for both spouses, but in some situations it makes sense for only one spouse to file while the other stays out of bankruptcy. Several factors should be weighed in deciding on […]

What Can Delay Completion of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a financially struggling business to get back on its feet by reorganizing its debts. But there is no definitive timeline for the Chapter 11 process. Depending on numerous factors, winding up a reorganization plan can take anywhere from six months to five years or even longer. There are multiple procedural stages […]

Adversary Proceedings to Deem Debts Nondischargeable

A bankruptcy ends with a cancellation of all debts except for those determined to be nondischargeable. Sometimes a separate trial — known as an adversary proceeding — is required to decide a creditor’s claim that a debt should not be discharged. A creditor may raise objections to discharging certain debts, such as these: Debts obtained […]

Obtaining Credit in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

If your company is unable to turn a profit and has run out of lenders willing to finance it further, Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be the best way to allow the company to stay in business. A Chapter 11 also can open up other sources of credit for you. This might seem counterintuitive, because your […]

What Determines the Length of Your Chapter 13 Plan?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, otherwise known as a wage earner’s plan, allows you to discharge your debts by repaying a portion of them over time and on more favorable terms. When you have completed the plan, the court will eliminate most or all of your remaining unsecured debts. Chapter 13 repayment plans last either three […]


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