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PopExpert Files for Bankruptcy, Searches for Buyers

PopExpert, a tech startup that was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating an online space where members could connect with career coaches, mentors, and other professionals, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2016. In its early days, PopExpert was wildly successful, bringing in approximately $900,000 in 2015 and an initial $3 million from investors. After approximately one year under Chief Executive Aaron Kahlow, the company suffered severe financial troubles. Now, it is working with the bankruptcy court to restructure. Part of this restructuring is finding a buyer for the company who can turn it around and make it profitable once again.

PopExpert is one of the many tech startups that have characterized a new cultural wave in the American workplace in the first two decades of this century. By definition, “startup” simply refers to a newly-established business. But the term has a much more nuanced connotation for many. It refers to a company, generally a service that harnesses smartphone technology, that starts with a small workforce and a modern, sometimes unconventional, approach to work. For example, a startup might advertise an unlimited vacation policy or a foosball table in the break room to attract job applicants.

Why Startups Fail

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Peabody Energy Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The biggest coal company in the United States, Peabody Energy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-April 2016. Multiple factors contributed to the company's slowed sales, such as the economic slowdown of China and increased regulations for the coal industry. The company has been in operation since 1883.

Peabody is not the only coal company suffering from high costs and low profits. Other pressures on these companies include low natural gas prices and high costs related to their healthcare and pension plans for current and retired employees. Coal production in the United States has been dramatically reduced in recent years, with a projected 752.5 million tons projected to be produced in 2016. This is approximately 25% lower than the amount of coal produced just two years ago. Peabody has suffered four consecutive years of losses. Paired with its $10.1 billion in debt, it has reached the point where it needs to restructure in order to become profitable once again. This is why it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Is This Item Exempt from Chapter 7 Liquidation?

If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you know that you will need to have your nonexempt assets liquidated to come up with the money to repay your creditors. This is done under the supervision of your court-appointed trustee, whose job is to recover as much money from you as possible to pay off your creditors. In exchange for this liquidation, your debts are forgiven.

Liquidation means that any assets that are not deemed to be necessary for your day-to-day life may be sold. Sometimes, disputes can arise about whether a particular item may be exempted or not. This is why you need to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can protect your interests.

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Illinois Woman Permitted to Keep Rare Book of Mormon in Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, part of the process is the liquidation of your nonexempt assets to come up with money to pay off your creditors. These assets are those that are not essential to your daily living or working needs. In some cases, disputes arise regarding whether an item should or should not be exempt from the liquidation process.

This came up fairly recently in a case from Illinois. Recently, the court ruled that a woman who had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could keep her rare copy of the Book of Mormon. The book was published in 1830 and worth tens of thousands of dollars as a historical piece. She was permitted to keep it because under Illinois law, bibles and other religious texts are exempt from the items that may be sold to satisfy a filer's debt. This ruling came after her case's trustee requested permission from the court to sell the book, stating that she had other copies of the text available to use as worship aids. But the court found that the book could be exempt because of its personal value to the woman, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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Reasons Why a Bankruptcy Claim May Be Denied

When you file for bankruptcy, your claim is not automatically approved. It is possible for the court to deny your claim, putting you in a position in which you continue to face difficulty managing your debt and are subject to collection attempts from your creditor. Why would the court do this? There are a few reasons why a bankruptcy claim may be denied, which are discussed below. For further information and guidance through your bankruptcy case, work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can act as an advocate for your rights and interests.

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