The current world pandemic has affected everyone, including small business owners. Recent shut-downs have forced the closure of many small businesses. Unfortunately, attempts to create financial stability in the United States, haven't done enough to protect small business owners. If the current crisis has affected your small business, it might be time to consider bankruptcy. A bankruptcy discharge can provide you with the breathing room you need to step back and regroup. If you've decided to file for bankruptcy, here are four steps you'll need to take right away.
Attempt Payment Plans
If you're going to file for bankruptcy, try to negotiate with your creditors first. They may be willing to accept smaller payments or to forego payments until the crisis is over. Payment plans are a good way to remain solvent while continuing to pay down your debt. If your creditors refuse to accept payment plans, you'll need to move onto the next steps in your bankruptcy plan.
Protect Your Personal Assets
When you own a business, you may think that you only need to file bankruptcy for your business debt. That's not necessarily the case. If you've used any of your personal assets to secure your business debt, you may need extra protection. Your creditors could argue that your personal assets should be used to secure payment for your business debts. Because of that, it's important that you file for personal bankruptcy at the same time. Filing for both business and personal bankruptcy will prevent business creditors from accessing your personal assets.
Include Your PPP Loan Funds
If you've received a loan from the Personal Protection Program through the CARES Act, don't forget to include those funds in your bankruptcy filings. If you've already received the funds, they can be discharged through your bankruptcy. But, if you've only recently applied for the loan and you haven't received the funds yet, then you'll need to contact your lender. PPP loans can't be disbursed to individuals who are in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. Because of that, you'll need to have your PPP loan application canceled before you can proceed with your bankruptcy filing.
Leave the Filing to an Attorney
Finally, if you have no choice but to file for bankruptcy right now, hire an attorney. Bankruptcy laws are complex and confusing. If you make a mistake during the filing, there could be frustrating financial consequences. A bankruptcy attorney will help you to avoid the legal pitfalls.