Bloomberg news is reporting that retail stores such as clothing stores, electronic sellers, and department stores are filing for bankruptcy protection at a record place in 2017. The rise in filings is attributed to a drop in traditional walk up retail business due to online retailers. 14 retail chains have stated they will seek bankruptcy protection in the year 2017 so far which is almost the same amount of retailers who sought bankruptcy protection for the entire year of 2016.
Many retailers are closing stores to eliminate the cost of retail space and concentrate their efforts on online business. The number of retail stores closing is somewhat similar to the housing bubble seen several years ago and the bubble appears now to have burst. There are too many stores that sell the same merchandise was the opinion of one retail chief executive office, who believes this trend will most likely continue and may even accelerate. Other experts that analyze this type of risk are suggesting that there is no quick recovery for retailers in sight. Sears has even acknowledged recently that its future is in doubt. Well known stores including The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG Max Azria, and Payless have filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017.
It is important to note that these companies are seeking protection that is afforded them by the bankruptcy code. Many times this will help the company through a difficult period financially and they can come out of the bankruptcy in a much better situation so that they can continue operations and employees will not lose jobs. The key word being “protection”. Many clients that I see are concerned about the negative implications of bankruptcy and almost everyone has stated to me they feel like they failed. Everyone makes mistakes and filing a chapter 7 straight bankruptcy or a chapter 13 debt reorganization is not a sign of failure. The bankruptcy laws are there to help good people through a difficult time and provide them protection from their creditors. Just as creditors have rights you do as well. If you are facing overwhelming debt, harassing phone calls from collectors, lawsuits, garnishments, repossession, or foreclosures, the bankruptcy laws are there to protect you and your family.
At Bond and Botes, we want to explain to you how this protection works. We always offer a free initial face to face consultation with an experienced attorney. The only cost of this consultation will be your time. Remember bankruptcy does not mean you have failed, but failing to seek experienced and trusted advice is not wise.
Robert Reese is a Managing Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Birmingham, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Jacksonville State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. Robert is also a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). Read his full bio here.