Month: July 2020

Types of Bankruptcy Our Attorneys Can Help With

Attorney with scales, piggy bank, gavel, and house model

The novel coronavirus has shut down businesses of all sizes, many of which have also filed for bankruptcy. Even large companies such as Hertz, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew were no exceptions. One of the latest casualties is pizza chain California Pizza Kitchen, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to this New York Times article,

“More than 6,800 companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, and this year will almost certainly have more. The flood of petitions from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression could swamp the system, making it harder to save the companies that can be rescued, bankruptcy experts said.

Most good-size companies that go into bankruptcy try to restructure themselves, working out payment agreements for their debts so they can stay open. But if a plan can’t be worked out — or isn’t successful — they can be liquidated instead. Equipment and property are sold off to pay debts, and the company disappears.”

Interestingly, while the pandemic hit California hard, Chapter 11 filings are in flux. Bloomberg Law notes that

“confirmed coronavirus cases and Chapter 11 numbers rise and fall in their own rhythms. In fact, Chapter 11 cases steadily dropped in California from March (43) to April (30) to May (27) as confirmed cases increased from 8,221 to 41,897 to 61,821. The two only increased contemporaneously in June 2020.”

While big companies make the news when it comes to bankruptcy, the impact these filings have on the workers are not as reported. You may be an employee whose company is immediately facing bankruptcy. Perhaps you or someone you know is about to file for individual bankruptcy after debt consolidation is no longer a viable option.

If 2020 has taught us something, it’s that events like a pandemic can trigger such great economic uncertainty that puts even the most prepared at risk. Often, even major expenses such as health care bills, job loss and other financial loss can result in bankruptcy. But regardless of the reason, there are ways to recover from financial stress. Our bankruptcy attorneys can help find a solution that fits your needs so you can start over with your finances.

Types of Bankruptcy

Get the legal assistance you need and get your financial fresh start. Find out which type of bankruptcy you qualify for and how our bankruptcy lawyers can assist.

Chapter 7

This type is also called the straight or liquidation bankruptcy. A court will appoint a trustee who will then own your assets to sell and distribute the funds to your creditors. Under current bankruptcy laws, you must pass a means test before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your current monthly income is below the Southern California adjusted median income, then you automatically qualify. Our lawyers have helped many people file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy after other attorneys told them that they did not qualify. 

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may help you get out of debt by completing a repayment plan over a 3- to 5-year period. Chapter 13 is often the best option for those who cannot pass the Chapter 7 means test or those seeking to protect assets that would be placed at risk by Chapter 7. We explain your options for loan modifications versus bankruptcy and the prospects of reaffirming secured debts. 

Chapter 11

This type is a reorganization bankruptcy and is available to individuals and businesses. In contrast to Chapter 7, the debtor remains in control of business operations under chapter 11 and doesn’t sell off all of its assets. The process involved with Chapter 11 personal or business bankruptcy is far more complicated than either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. In fact, you or your business will have to be involved in the process for several years in most cases. We can help you through all of these steps and explain each option available to you.

Chapter 15

The main goal of Chapter 15 is to provide cooperation between a foreign debtor, foreign courts and the U.S. Bankruptcy courts. A foreign debtor who had assets in a number of countries would file Chapter 15. Our attorneys have experience assisting foreign debtors with their complicated debt problems. 

Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help

Our boutique law firm offers comprehensive legal services and years of proven experience to help you recover from debt. We also recognize that each case is unique. This is why we deliver creative solutions and fee structures tailored to each client’s needs. Financial relief is possible and we’ll help you navigate the legal process from start to finish. Contact us for a consultation today.


Is Now a Good Time to Start a Business?

With many businesses struggling or outright closing permanently, it may seem counterintuitive to start a new business in the middle of a pandemic or a recession. But did you know that some of the biggest companies today were started during an economic downturn? Today we take a look at why starting a new business in the midst of a pandemic is still a good idea.

Business Insider listed companies that got their start in the middle of a recession. The list includes giants such as Microsoft, General Motors, Hyatt, and Hewlett-Packard. Previous downturns also paved the way for mobile companies such as Square and Slack. NerdWallet was born during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and CEO Tim Chen lists these factors why a recession is the perfect time to start a business:

  • Better talent at cheaper costs
  • Inexpensive marketing
  • Less competition
  • Nimbleness of new businesses

Rashmi Menon, entrepreneur in residence at the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, echoes some of Tim Chen’s sentiments in a New York Times article. She notes that “there is less competition for resources” during these times and “whatever changes we face, positive or negative, bring up new customer needs. And customer needs are at the core of any business.”

Most economic signs seem to say it’s crazy to invest in a business or to start one during challenging times. However, there are still many out there whose entrepreneurial spirits are undefeated. There are still people applying for small business loans and requesting EINs, albeit at a slower rate than previous years.

“There have been more than 500,000 applications for an employer identification number since mid-March, according to the Census Bureau, although that is down nearly 20 percent from a year ago. Between mid-March and mid-April, the Small Business Administration issued nearly 300 start-up loans worth about $153 million, a 36 percent drop from a year earlier. Stripe, the credit card processing firm, said it had handled more than $1 billion in sales for businesses that started on the platform during that time.”


To do business well, consider legal counsel to make sure all aspects of your endeavor are in accordance with and protected by the law. 

How Our Law Firm Helps Businesses

Whether you’re considering pursuing a startup or already have a business that’s changing directions, our Southern California law firm strategically advises our clients on all phases of a business’ cycle, from formation to succession. Our clients may choose to retain us to serve as if we are their in-house general counsel or serve as consultants during the formation phase.

Entity Formation & Planning 

Hoffman & Forde is engaged in all aspects of our clients’ business formation and development, from conception through liquidity. We provide business and legal guidance to clients through all stages of development, from initial incorporation, to seed and angel investments, venture capital debt and equity financing, strategic investments, and more.


Contracts are key to any business. Our business consulting law firm has extensive experience in drafting tailored contracts to meet our clients’ needs, including terms and conditions, distribution agreements, customer contracts and non-disclosure agreements, breach of contracts, and more. 

Corporate Governance

Our business attorneys help clients develop and implement corporate governance policies and procedures, including employment policies, to foster best practices and to help meet clients’ obligations under applicable law. With policies changing more frequently because of coronavirus, employers need to be even more aware of their legal rights and responsibilities.


We counsel employers on regulatory, legal, and human resources issues to ensure compliance with employment laws. We also help our clients establish policies, procedures, and guidelines essential to their businesses. At Hoffman & Forde, we help business owners keep up with their legal requirements and duties, and provide superior legal advice and planning. Learn more about our business consulting practice or get in touch with our business attorneys for a consultation today.