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Portland Business Debt Relief Lawyers: Navigating Financial Hardship

Running a business is hard work. There are so many moving parts – managing employees, attracting customers, dealing with regulations, staying on top of finances. It can be overwhelming. And when an economic downturn hits, it can feel impossible to keep things afloat. What do you do when debts start piling up and creditors come calling? This is when it may be time to contact Portland business debt relief lawyers.Debt relief lawyers can provide critical help for Portland businesses struggling with too much debt. They have expertise in debt settlement, bankruptcy, and other strategies to get your business back on track financially. I chatted with Michael O’Brian, a debt relief lawyer in Portland, to get his insights on how attorneys can assist businesses facing financial hardship.

How Debt Relief Lawyers Help Businesses

When I asked Michael about the role of debt relief lawyers, he explained there are two main ways they help businesses in financial distress:

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1. Settling Debts

If your business owes money to multiple creditors – like suppliers, vendors, or lenders – debt settlement may be an option. “We can help negotiate and resolve debts for a lower amount than what is actually owed,” said Michael .For example, if your business owes $100,000 total to various creditors, an attorney could negotiate to settle these debts for $60,000 instead. This saves you a lot of money.Settlements often happen through payment plans spread out over time. “We set up a reasonable payment schedule that works for the business,” Michael explained . This makes it more manageable to get out of debt.

2. Declaring Bankruptcy

If debts are completely unmanageable, bankruptcy may be the best path forward. This legally discharges many debts and wipes the slate clean. “We file for bankruptcy on behalf of businesses to reorganize and get relief,” said Michael. There are different types of bankruptcy options for businesses:

  • Chapter 7 – This liquidates assets to pay creditors. The remaining debts are discharged.
  • Chapter 11 – This restructures debts and assets to repay creditors over time. The business continues operating.
  • Chapter 13 – This also reorganizes debts for gradual repayment while allowing the business to keep operating.

Bankruptcy stops collections, lawsuits, foreclosures, and more. It provides a fresh start.

Deciding If You Need a Debt Relief Lawyer

Not all businesses struggling with debt need to contact a lawyer right away. Michael told me there are a few signs it may be time to seek legal help:

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  • Creditors are threatening to sue your business or have already filed a lawsuit
  • Debt collectors are aggressively pursuing payment
  • Your business can’t pay monthly bills
  • Bankruptcy seems inevitable
  • You don’t know where to start tackling debt
  • Creditors won’t agree to reasonable repayment plans

If one or more of these apply, speaking with a debt relief attorney could provide clarity and solutions. They have experience navigating these situations.

What to Expect Working with a Debt Relief Lawyer

I asked Michael to walk me through the typical process when a business engages a debt relief lawyer:

1. Initial consultation – This first meeting allows the lawyer to review your financial situation and debts. They’ll explain your options and make recommendations about next steps.

2. Retainer agreement – If you want to move forward, you’ll sign a contract outlining the attorney‘s services and fees.

3. Information gathering – The lawyer will request financial statements, tax returns, profit/loss reports, creditor info, and other documentation to understand your debts.

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4. Strategy development – With a full picture of the situation, the attorney maps out the best strategy. This could involve settlement negotiations, bankruptcy preparation, or other solutions.

5. Implementation – The lawyer now executes the strategy, which may include corresponding with creditors, filing bankruptcy paperwork, defending against lawsuits, and more.

6. Resolution – The end goal is resolving debts through settlement or bankruptcy. Most businesses see big burdens lifted at this point.Michael emphasized that individuals and businesses should seek help from debt relief lawyers early on in the process. Don’t wait until things reach a breaking point.

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