I’ve found that news stories can certainly serve as examples of the way bankruptcy law works. Here’s one from the Naples Daily News: “A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that Naples developer Jack Antaramian can’t collect on the hefty loan guarantees made by his three former partners.” Since, as a debt consolidation lawyer and small business bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, I deal with partners all the time, it doesn’t surprise me that “the case has pitted Anataramian against his former friends and longtime business partners.”
Indiana is a big state for partnerships and small businesses in general. In fact, what I and the other Indiana bankruptcy attorneys who work in the five Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices see is that most of the small businesses we deal with are either sole proprietorships or partnerships (sometimes LLCs or corporations).
From a financial point of view, that tends to mean several complicating factors will be present:
Business loans and lines of credit are typically backed by the personal assets of the partners (Some of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues find this to be the case in 90% of the businesses they advise)
Personal money has been invested into the business (Our Indianapolis bankruptcy attorneys find this is almost always the case!)
- Money has been withdrawn from the business for personal needs of the partners and their families .
From a human relations point of view, things also tend to get complicated quickly, particularly when the business itself is not going well.
From the standpoint of Indiana bankruptcy law, when one partner in a business files personal bankruptcy in Indiana, the bankruptcy trustee may assume control over the assets, including the business assets. Every agreement (leases for space or vehicles, or equipment, will need to be examined to see how the other partner(s) will be affected by the bankruptcy.
As I was reading the Antaramian story and deciding to share it with my Bankruptcy in Indiana readers, I couldn’t help thinking that when a spouse files individual bankruptcy in Indiana (either bankruptcy Chapter 7 or using Chapter 13 bankruptcy law), some of the same issues arise as with business partners. In fact, every single day in my Indianapolis bankruptcy law office, we deal with couples who are wrestling with money issues (and sometimes with each other over money issues!)
And just as business partners can fall into the trap of becoming enemies when problems hit, marriage partners often do the same. I’m neither a marriage nor a business counselor, but with more than a quarter century in the practice of law, I’ve seen it happen again and again. Once the burden of indecision about the financial situation has eased and bankruptcy has actually been filed, partners who can get back to supporting one another have an easier time as they transition into a fresh financial start.
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg