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Newland & Newland Moves into New Chicago Office

When a law firm is doing things right, it grows. And in recent years, Newland & Newland, LLP, has grown to the point of needing a new office to efficiently handle all of its clients' cases. In February 2016, Newland & Newland moved into its new location on the 37th floor of 180 North LaSalle Street in Chicago, Illinois. With the move came four new attorneys and an “of counsel” relationship with the Honorable James Etchingham, who retired from the Illinois Supreme Court after 20 years of service. With its new team members and new Chicago location, Newland & Newland is starting 2016 better equipped to advocate for Illinois residents dealing with bankruptcy, food poisoning, foreclosure defense, personal injury, and workers' compensation claims.

Who Joined the Team?

Four Things Not to Do Before You File for Bankruptcy

In an earlier blog post, we discussed the steps you should take before you file for bankruptcy. If you are at the point where your personal debt has become so unmanageable that you are considering bankruptcy, there are ways that you can either seriously hurt or help your financial situation before you file your bankruptcy with the court. Some of these things you can do are specific to your situation and can be explained to you in detail by a financial advisor or an experienced bankruptcy attorney. For most people, avoiding the following actions in the weeks, months, and days leading up to filing for bankruptcy can make the process much easier.

Do Not Move Your Assets

Your assets, which can include physical possessions like cars and recreational items, and your financial assets, like your bank accounts and investments, are used to determine your net worth. When you file for bankruptcy, the court assesses your net worth and your disposable income level to determine a realistic debt repayment plan for you. Moving your assets in an attempt to “protect” them from the court can result in your discharge being revoked.

What Do I Need to Do Before I File for Bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you plan for it accordingly. There are ways you can better prepare for the bankruptcy process to make it easier for yourself. Your attorney can walk you through the steps you need to take to prepare yourself for bankruptcy and determine any special considerations you need to make because of your unique circumstances. But in general, there are certain considerations that most individuals who are considering bankruptcy must take. They are as follows:

Determine the Right Type of Bankruptcy for You

If you are an individual struggling with personal debt, like credit card and medical bill debt, you are limited to filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your circumstances might further limit you to only being eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you, speak with your attorney. You will need to take the means test to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7, but keep in mind that even if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be better off filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Sports Authority Will File for Bankruptcy in Near Future

A recent report from Bloomberg News states that Sports Authority, Inc., once the largest sporting goods store in the United States of America, is currently in the process of discussing Chapter 11 bankruptcy with its lenders, including TPG Capital Management LP. This is because the company is currently facing a debt payment due on February 15th.

In our capitalist economy, brands and stores rise and diminish with the interests of the public. Recently, our blog discussed famed surfwear brand Quiksilver's bankruptcy, which happened because of the company's sagging sales after the market moved away from surf and skate apparel and toward fast fashion. Sports Authority is similarly facing pressure from competitors like Dick's Sporting Goods and Lululemon, an activewear retailer best known for its sheer fabrics and yoga pants. Chapter 11 bankruptcy presents an opportunity for struggling companies to reorganize and become profitable once again. In its negotiations, Sports Authority has said that it plans to close more than 200 of its 450 current locations. It currently has approximately $643 million in debt.

Pressure from Online Retailers

Quiksilver Approved to Leave Chapter 11 Protection

Surfwear brand Quiksilver, Inc., which owns apparel brands Roxy and DC shoes, was granted permission to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late January 2016. The California-based apparel and retail company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015 after years of slumping sales, largely due to the rise of fast fashion brands like H&M and a decreased interest in the surf and skate lifestyle.

In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a company restructures to repay its debts and allow it to recover. For Quiksilver, this meant selling lower-performing labels and focusing on its core three brands, Quiksilver, Roxy, and DC. It has now reached an agreement by which its senior creditor, Oaktree Capital Management LP, has paid $14 million in cash and a percentage of equity in the company to become its largest shareholder.

Time will tell whether the company will recover from its economic difficulties and thrive. Only the American Quiksilver brand filed for bankruptcy – this filing does not affect Quiksilver's European or Asian brands.
Leaving Bankruptcy Protection

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