A relatively new addition to the Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 12 Bankruptcy only became permanent in 2005. Before that time, it was considered a temporary measure. Since its creation, Chapter 12 has been providing relief to farmers whose livelihood was impacted by various pressures from creditors and a highly variable market. Below, bankruptcy attorney Mike Hall explains how filing Chapter 12 Bankruptcy can help family farmers find relief from debt.
“Bankruptcy is an interesting practice because some point in everyone’s life there are financial problems. These can arise from a death, an illness, divorce, or something else that comes up. Bankruptcy is one area in which we can provide real benefit for people by helping them to address their financial problems. We work in personal bankruptcy, Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. We also handle Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. Chapter 12 is for farmers.”
Relief From Debt for Family Farmers
Throughout our country’s history, agriculture has been a principal part of our economy. Family farming, in particular, has been key to keeping our nation thriving. However, circumstances sometimes arise that cause the weight of debt to bear down on farmers and their families. In these cases, bankruptcy law has provided a means for them to find relief. Mike continues,
“Filing Chapter 12 helps farmers by really getting the pressure off of them so that they can think again. It enables them to adjust their debts, realize what’s important, determine what assets they should retain and what assets, such as boats, motors, trailers, they can surrender so that they can adjust their financial problems to benefit their income and their need to provide for the families.”
Who Qualifies as a “Family Farmer”?
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy is very similar to a Chapter 13 case. However, Chapter 12 applies to farmers and fisherman and extends to commercial farming and fishing partnerships and corporations with 50% of the stocks or equity interest owned by one family. It allows farmers with a regular annual income to file for bankruptcy. Although much of the income they receive may be seasonal, it must be stable enough to allow for the debt to be settled through a repayment plan. If you are a farmer struggling to find a way out of the overwhelming debt, the law offices of Hall & Navarro are here to help. To get started, just fill out our FREE Bankruptcy Case Evaluation. This will help us determine how we can best help you. Once you have submitted the short evaluation to us online, one of our representatives will contact you to schedule your free bankruptcy consultation. If you need help filling out the form, or are ready to just get started, you can request your free bankruptcy consultation here.