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Milwaukee Business & Commercial Law Blog

An overview of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for businesses

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be able to provide some relief for businesses in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area that are struggling with financial issues. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is often referred to as a reorganization of debts. While it is possible for small businesses or even individuals to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it is primarily used by larger businesses in need of debt relief.

A business may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by petitioning the bankruptcy court. There is both a filing fee and an administrative fee, which are paid at the time of filing. Failure to pay the fee can result in dismissal of the case. Along with the petition, debtors are required to file a list detailing income versus expenses, a list of assets and liabilities, a list of unexpired leases and contracts, and a financial affairs statement. Additionally, the debtor shall file a written disclosure statement, a plan of reorganization and a request for relief from the court. If the reorganization plan is not available at the time of filing, the debtor can instead submit an intention to file a plan of reorganization.

Famous casino may be preparing for Chapter 11

For businesses in Milwaukee, circumstances can make it necessary for the owners to consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While many believe that Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a method some will use to shirk their responsibilities in paying their creditors and other debt holders, it is a strategy to get the business back on better financial footing. There are issues that must be considered before moving forward with a business bankruptcy, and it can happen to businesses large and small.

The casino Trump Taj Mahal may be on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In existence for 24 years, the casino with the famous name has recently been breaking some of its loan agreements. Owner, Trump Entertainment Resorts, has been unsuccessful in trying to settle the matter sans litigation. Activist investor, Carl Icahn, owns a large portion of the debt owed by Trump Entertainment Resorts and has yet to make a deal for the debt to be turned into equity. All of the casinos in the area have been having financial trouble, and the Taj Mahal may be the latest to head toward Chapter 11 to reorganize its debts.

Acquisitions can turn complex quickly

Growing your business sometimes means acquiring other businesses. When this occurs, it is vitally important to make sure that your business is covered. Whether you are acquiring businesses through bankruptcy sales, foreclosure or other situations involving insolvency or simply acquiring a business that complements your business, you have to have someone on your side who understands how to apply specific Wisconsin laws to your acquisition.

Acquiring a business doesn't come easily, especially when you consider that you might have to deal with shareholders, employees and creditors, as well as other people who have a vested interest in the business. Not knowing how to deal with unique concerns and situations that might arise is something that could keep you awake at night. By drawing on the experience of someone who has handled similar situations, you might be able to execute the acquisition with as little stress as possible.

What do I need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is something that most business owners don't prepare for when they are first starting a business. For some business owners, however, the need to file for bankruptcy protection becomes very real when they are unable to meet their financial obligations. If you are at that point, there are some requirements you should consider prior to turning over your bankruptcy petition to the court.

Do I have to pay to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Wisconsin woman sues Delta over 'Best Fare Guarantee'

A Wisconsin woman is suing Delta Air Lines in federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin over the company's "Best Fare Guarantee." She is claiming, among other things, breach of contract and fraud, asserting that Delta actually hides the lowest fares from its customers.

The company's guarantee says that customers will get the cheapest available fares on Delta if they book through the airline's website. The policy states, "If you find a lower published fare for the exact same Delta itinerary as the ticket you purchased on delta.com, you have the choice of either receiving credit for the difference in fares and a $100 travel voucher or receive a refund for your ticket."

Meat industry merger protested in Wisconsin

A desired merger has been announced between The Hillshire Brands Co and Tyson Foods, Inc. These are two giants in food production, especially when it comes to the processed meat industry. Hillshire started out in Wisconsin, originally.

However, not everyone wants to see the merger go through. Many are afraid that allowing these two companies to combine will create a monopoly so that the resulting company will have far too much control over the meat market. In protesting this, those who are worried about the merger are asking the government to examine the situation.

2 new bills could protect trade secrets

Trade secrets are usually things that are not able to be protected under patent laws, so companies hold them so closely that they do not even give the information to the government to apply for a patent. However, if those trade secrets are then stolen or compromised, the current laws may not be set up very well to protect them.

Examples of trade secrets abound. While many of them are connected to technological advancements, there are some that have been around for decades. For example, the formula that Coca Cola uses to make its soft drinks is a complete secret from everyone.

Frequently asked questions about Wisconsin bankruptcy

Anyone facing bankruptcy is going to have a lot of questions. These are some of the most common ones that are asked, and it is important to take a look at the answers before filing for personal bankruptcy, business bankruptcy or anything else along those lines.

1. What are the benefits of bankruptcy?

Wisconsin bowling alleys close doors, prior Chapter 11 bankruptcy

People who enjoy bowling for fun or in leagues might soon find that they have to find another way to pass the time because bowling lanes are closing. Bowling has long been a beloved sport. In the 1960s, when the sport was at its peak, there were around 12,000 bowling centers. By 2011, the United States Bowling Congress reports that certified centers around the country numbered only around 5,160.

In Waukesha and South Milwaukee, the AMF bowling centers, both of which were large, have closed their doors. This comes on the heels of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that occurred less than two years ago. In an effort to keep the centers open, AMF and Strike Holdings LLC merged into a new company. The bowling centers that recently closed in Wisconsin were some of the 300 bowling centers the company put up for sale. Sadly, no buyers for the centers were found.

Credit union merger could benefit Wisconsin members

Advia Credit Union and Southwest Michigan Federal Credit Union might soon be joining forces help provide better services to people in several states, including Wisconsin. The two entities have approved a partnership with intent to merge agreement. Finalization of the deal is expected to occur in the fall of this year.

Before the deal can be finalized, the members of the SMFCU have to vote on the merger. It is also subject to regulatory approval. It isn't expected that the merger will result in job loss or branch closures. If the deal is finalized, the merged entity will have assets of more than $1.1 billion and over 110,000 members.