Meet Steven Raiser, ESQ
Chief Legal Officer / Legal Counsel @ Delancey Street
Steven Raiser is Chief Legal Officer, and Legal-Counsel at Delancey Street. Steven is a native of Long Island and has also resided in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Since being admitted to the New York Bar, Steven has represented the city of New York, serving as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel. He handled all aspects of litigation in child neglect cases there, representing the interests of the children and the city. He then served as an Assistant District Attorney, where he successfully prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases, from violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to homicides. During his time as a prosecutor, Steven was involved in high-profile cases such as those involving Rapper DMX and NY Rangers’ Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh.
While serving as a prosecutor, he joined the U.S. Army. As a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Steven volunteered for active duty in Iraq. There he served in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate, defending soldiers from actions instituted by the federal government, making probable cause determinations for the command, and assisting in the training of Iraqi soldiers in legal proceedings. In recognition of his service in Iraq, he earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for meritorious service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Army Commendation Medal for exceptional meritorious service during combat operations. He, along with his unit, received the New York State Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Public Service and was presented with our state flag by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
Steven M. Raiser is admitted to practice law in the state courts and federal court in the Eastern District. On November 14, 2010, he was sworn in to the United States Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington, D.C. Steven has appeared as a legal analyst for FOX, CNN, and Court TV (TRU TV). His interviews on CNN and FOX have been posted to their websites and have been showcased under “must see videos.”
Running a small business is tough. Between managing employees, serving customers, and keeping up with regulations, it’s easy to lose track of finances. Before you know it, you’ve racked up business loans, credit card balances, accounts payable, and more.If debt starts piling up, it can feel totally overwhelming. You may stick your head in the sand, hoping unpaid bills will just disappear. Unfortunately, that only makes things worse. The good news? You have options in San Diego for finding business debt relief so you can get back on stable ground.
Understanding Business Debt Relief
Business debt relief refers to strategies that reduce or restructure financial obligations you can no longer afford. The three main options include:
- Debt consolidation – Combining multiple debts into one new loan with lower monthly payments. This simplifies finances into a single payment.
- Debt settlement – Negotiating directly with creditors to pay a lump sum that is less than what you owe in exchange for forgiving the remaining balance. This provides immediate savings.
- Bankruptcy – Using court proceedings to eliminate debt through liquidation or reorganization. This wipes the slate totally clean but severely damages credit.
Other alternatives like payment plans and debt management programs exist too. The right approach depends on your specific situation and financial goals.
Key Pros and Cons to Weigh
Business debt relief delivers urgent financial breathing room when you owe more than you realistically pay. However, each strategy also comes with lasting consequences. Carefully weighing the pros and cons helps determine the best path forward for your company.
Consolidating multiple debts into one loan or line of credit simplifies finances into a single monthly payment. It also allows you to pay off high-interest credit cards with lower-rate financing. This saves money over time. On the other hand, consolidation feeds rather than fixes poor spending habits that created the debt initially. Transferring balances can also incur fees that add to overall costs.Pros
- Simplifies finances into one monthly payment
- Lowers interest rates to save money
- May improve credit utilization
- Doesn’t address overspending problems
- Balance transfer fees can add costs
- Closes original credit accounts
Settling directly with creditors for less than you owe brings immediate savings and relief. However, it requires stopping payments which devastates credit. Plus, creditors can still sue for the remaining balance or sell it to aggressive collectors. Any forgiven debt also becomes taxable income.Pros
- Quick savings from reduced payoffs
- Avoids bankruptcy court
- Stops collection calls
- Severely damages credit
- Risks litigation from creditors
- Causes tax liability from cancelled debt
Filing for bankruptcy provides the most complete debt relief. It eliminates financial obligations through liquidation or restructuring under court protection. However, it wrecks credit for years and closes all business accounts. The stigma also scares away prospective customers, creditors, and partners.Pros
- Eliminates eligible debt
- Stops all collection efforts
- Allows keeping certain assets
- Devastates credit for 7-10 years
- Closes all business accounts
- Very bad for reputation
As you weigh options, consider both short and long-term consequences across credit, operations, reputation and more. The right business debt solution depends largely on your future goals and if access to financing may be needed again.
Finding the Right Attorney
Navigating business debt relief is challenging. The laws, options, and impacts change constantly. Rather than go it alone, lean on a skilled San Diego attorney in your corner. Debt relief lawyers help create customized plans while protecting your legal rights.Look for an attorney well-versed across debt consolidation, settlement, bankruptcy, and alternative options. Ask specifically:
- How many years have you practiced small business debt relief law?
- What is your success rate negotiating debts down for small business clients?
- What strategies have you found most effective for different business situations?
The right legal guidance lightens your load so you can focus on priorities like serving customers, retaining talent, and rebuilding sustainable growth.
Critical First Steps to Managing Cash Flow
While long-term debt relief solutions get negotiated, take immediate steps to preserve cash flow. This helps make payments in the short-term while creating breathing room for your attorney to negotiate settlements.
#1 – Slash Discretionary Expenses
Cutting discretionary costs preserves cash for paying down debt. Review budgets with a fine-tooth comb to pinpoint where fat can trim. Consider reductions across:
- Software subscriptions
- Office perks
Reduce excess spending without impacting daily operations or revenue generation. For example, put employee happy hours on hold but avoid layoffs that would slow customer service.
#2 – Negotiate Extended Payment Terms
Ask vendors for more time to pay bills. Most want to preserve the relationship rather than lose your business. Be proactive and transparent about the situation and timeline for getting back on track.Prioritize payments to vendors critical for ongoing operations. For example, you must keep ordering inventory and materials to fulfill customer sales. Stretch terms on fixed costs like utilities or software licenses first.
#3 – Explore Financial Assistance Programs
Federal, state and local programs provide financial relief, loans and grants to struggling small businesses. For example:
- The federal CARES Act offers low-interest loans to cover operating expenses. These loans become grants you don’t repay if meeting certain conditions.
- California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program offers $500 – $25,000 to eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic.
- San Diego County’s Small Business Stimulus Program makes $10,000 grants available based on lost revenue and expenses.
Check qualifications to apply for relevant aid to ease cash flow constraints as you tackle debt.
Dealing with overwhelming business debt feels scary but you have more options than you think. Connecting with an experienced attorney simplifies navigating the pros, cons and alternatives to find the best relief strategy for your situation. Arm yourself with information so you can make smart, empowered decisions to resolve debt and get your finances back on track.