If your business is not bringing in enough money to pay the rent, it will eventually have to be closed. This is an unavoidable fact.
What is your legal question, please? (What would you like to know?)
OBVIOUSLY I KNOW THAT... MY QUESTION IS CAN I FILE BANKRUPTCY, HOW DO I GO ABOUT DOING IT, I AM NOT BEHIND IN PAYMENTS YET DO I HAVE TO BE BEFORE I CAN FILE? WHAT CHAPTER DO I FILE FOR?
"DON'T WANT TO CLOSE BUSINESS OR RUIN MY CREDIT BY FILING BANKRUPTCY, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO ANY SUGGESTIONS." You asked if there was any way to avoid closing your business, or at least that is what I thought you were asking, and I couldn't think of any other way to say "no".
In any event, are you asking about filing a Bankruptcy with or without an attorney?
NOT SURE HOW IT WORKS, DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY? IF SO DO I NEED TO BE PRESENT WHEN FILING? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST WITH OR WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY? WHICH CHAPTER DO I FILE FOR? IS THIS THE BEST WAY TO GO ABOUT IT. ARE THOSE DEBT CONSOLIDATION PROGRAMS BETTER THAN BANKRUPTCY?
Debt consolidation companies only prolong the agony. The reputable ones can arrange payment plans, but not all creditors accept the plans. The disreputable ones take your money, and keep it. And there is no way to know whether you are dealing with a reputable or disreputable company.
The best Bankruptcy to file is a Chapter 7. This one eliminates debts without having to pay (with a Chapter 13, debts are paid off over 3-5 years). If you use an attorney, you can expect to pay around $1,500 attorney's fee, plus $299 court filing fee, plus $50 for mandatory credit counseling online courses. You should call the NY Bar Association to ask for a recommendation for a Bankruptcy attorney. The number is 518-463-3200. Don't be afraid to "shop around" for the best price, because I have seen Bankruptcy attorneys charge $1,200 - $3,000 for the same service, and a higher price does not mean a better attorney.
You can file without an attorney, but this is not recommended unless you absolutely cannot afford the attorney's fee, because it is very difficult to file on your own.
You do not need to be at the court for the filing, but you do need to show up for one "trustee meeting" about one month after filing.
I think I answered everything. If not, please let me know.
DO I NEED TO BE BEHIND ON MY BILLS BEFORE I CAN FILE?
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