August 24, 2022

What Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?

It is an unfortunate reality that many businesses throughout the United States fall into financial distress. The reasons can vary widely, but the stress and anxiety of the situation are always the same. Some businesses are unable to continue operating because of financial hardship, and filing for bankruptcy ends up being their only option.

In the farming and fishing industries, the United States courts have established a unique option to assist these operations to overcome problems with their financial affairs. This is the creation of Chapter 12 bankruptcy, as developed by Congress in 1986. A family farmer or commercial fishing operation can work to escape the shackles of financial distress while also keeping their business operational by filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy.

Our legal expert has vast experience dealing with Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases, and we can help you keep your fishing operation or farming operation functional while also assisting you in dealing with secured creditors and their debts. Contact our law firm in Media, PA, to find out if your fishing or farming operation may qualify for filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy in bankruptcy court.

What Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 12 bankruptcy was designed to allow family farmers and fishing operations to continue their operations while restructuring their debt. It is comparable to Chapter 13 because it is known as a restructuring and reorganization of your total debts for farming or fishing operations.

As long as they continue to have a regular annual income, they will have protection from the bankruptcy court. The way in which Chapter 12 bankruptcy was created eliminates the barriers present in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and greatly reduces both the time and cost of having a reorganization bankruptcy plan approved.

Who Can File a Chapter 12 Claim in Bankruptcy Court in Media, PA?

Only a family farmer or commercial fishing operation can file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy under bankruptcy law as long as they still have regular annual income. There are specific criteria that need to be met regarding a farmer or fisherman’s eligibility to file under the Chapter 12 bankruptcy code and fight for bankruptcy relief.

These criteria under the Chapter 12 bankruptcy code and approved by the bankruptcy court include:

  • Existing as an individual, family, corporation, or partnership that owns a farming or fishing operation
  • Over 50% of gross income comes from farming or fishing
  • 80% of fishing debts or 50% of farming debts come from the operation itself (not including mortgage payments)
  • Total debts in secured claims do not exceed $1.8 million for a fishing operation or $4 million for a farming operation
  • At least 50% of corporate or partnership assets are owned by a single family

If you are a family fisherman or farmer who meets these criteria, you may be eligible to embark on a bankruptcy proceeding in Media, PA. A Chapter 12 bankruptcy can help you find relief from the harassment of secured creditors and unsecured creditors as you create a repayment plan that is authorized by a bankruptcy judge.

How Does Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Law Work for Media, PA, Family Farmers, and Fishing Operations?

When you contact our experienced bankruptcy attorney in Media, PA, we will begin with a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and determine if you may be able to pursue a Chapter 12 bankruptcy filing. Our legal team will walk you through the bankruptcy process and make sure you understand how the repayment plan will work.

  1. Once we’ve decided that Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a good fit for your financial situation, we’ll start putting together a thorough petition and all the necessary paperwork to make sure the bankruptcy court approves your repayment plan.
  2. We will next work with you to propose a repayment plan that is favorable for all parties involved, including the secured creditors. Our attorney will make sure that you will be able to make the plan payments while also continuing to keep your farming or fishing operation functional.

If there are any court hearings, we will aggressively represent your best interests and make sure that your needs are communicated accurately to the court and trustee. This can be a very intimidating part of the process, especially when in front of the bankruptcy judge, so that is why we will always be there for you throughout the entire process.

  1. Finally, we will guide you through the rest of the process and make sure you receive a hardship discharge by the end.

Benefits of Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

Chapter 12 bankruptcy has many benefits that are designed especially for family fishermen and family farmers.

You get an automatic stay.

One of the most important things is that you get an automatic stay. This means that most collection actions are halted during the bankruptcy process, and most secured creditors will not be able to collect, foreclose, or repossess assets during that time.

Your co-signers are also protected from creditors.

Another essential benefit is that your co-signers are also protected from creditors unless the bankruptcy court has stated otherwise. You may also be able to pay down your debt based on your assets through your bankruptcy plan.

To learn more about the many benefits of filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Media, PA, contact our experienced and skilled attorneys at the law offices of Michael Siddons.

Work With Our Bankruptcy Attorney Today!

If you are a family farmer or a family fisherman whose operation has come under serious financial hardship, filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy may be an option for you. Our bankruptcy attorney, Michael Alan Siddons, understands that your farm or fishing operation is vital to the success and stability of your family, and we are here to help you overcome the challenges of your financial affairs.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and learn how Chapter 12 can help family farmers and fishermen like you find debt relief in Pennsylvania!