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So you own a small business in Philly and you took out a merchant cash advance (MCA) but now you’re struggling to pay it back. Believe me, I get it. Those things can be crazy expensive with how the payments are structured. Don’t beat yourself up though – you did what you had to do to keep your biz going.But now you need some legal help to figure out your options. I feel you. This stuff can get confusing fast with all the legalese. Basically you want to know:

  • Can I negotiate with the MCA company to lower my payments?
  • What are my rights under the law to protect my business?
  • Should I just declare bankruptcy and be done with this?

This article will walk you through all that so you know where you stand legally. I’ll also hook you up with some great lawyers in Philly to talk to.

Negotiating with the MCA Company

First things first – have you tried talking directly to the MCA company to see if they’ll lower your payments? I know, they aren’t always the most flexible. But it can’t hurt to ask nicely and explain your situation.Sometimes they’ll agree to tweak the payment terms if it means they still get paid something rather than you defaulting entirely. Maybe they’ll let you skip a payment here and there or just slightly reduce each payment. Every little bit helps right?If you aren’t getting anywhere on your own, that’s when you call in the lawyers. They can put some pressure on the MCA company and use legal methods like:

  • Sending demand letters
  • Filing complaints claiming unfair/deceptive practices
  • Threatening to sue or file arbitration

This Avvo article has more details on negotiating tactics. The key is having an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to play hardball.

Your Rights Under the Law

Now I’m not gonna lie to you, the law is kinda stacked against small biz owners when it comes to these MCA deals. They aren’t considered “loans” so all the consumer protections for loans don’t apply. Shady right?But that doesn’t mean you have no rights either. Here are some of the main defenses attorneys use:Unconscionability – Basically arguing the terms of the MCA agreement are so unfair and one-sided that the contract should be void. Hard argument to win but possible.Deceptive Practices – Claiming the MCA company misled you on repayment terms, interest rates, etc. This can get the contract thrown out if proven.Usury Laws – Interest rates and fees above state maximums are illegal. Rates on MCA’s can sometimes violate this.This LawInfo guide goes over these in more detail. Your lawyer will assess if any apply in your specific case.

Bankruptcy: Should You File?

Finally, the nuclear option – declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy to wipe your business slate clean. I get why this appeals – if you could just erase this MCA burden, you’d probably recover fine right?Well bankruptcy has serious downsides too:

- -
  • Major hit to your personal credit score
  • Could still have to repay some of the MCA debt
  • Lose control of managing your business affairs
  • Lots of time and legal expenses

Most attorneys say bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort if negotiations fail and you have no other options. Don’t rush into it without exploring other avenues first.This FindLaw article goes deeper into the pros and cons of small biz bankruptcy.

Philadelphia Attorneys Who Can Help

Alright, hopefully now you’ve got a better handle on where you stand legally with your merchant cash advance. The key takeaway is you have options – it’s not hopeless. An experienced Philadelphia attorney can help negotiate, defend your rights, and strategize next steps.

Delancey Street is here for you

Our team is available always to help you. Regardless of whether you need advice, or just want to run a scenario by us. We take pride in the fact our team loves working with our clients - and truly cares about their financial and mental wellbeing.

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