We have a small business which has a lease. We also know eviciton will be served on us shortly. When filing bankruptcy, will it provide us any protection, even if just temporary?
If at all possible, file the bankruptcy (in the name of the legal entity that is the Lessee) before the eviction case is filed. An automatic stay will issue when the bankruptcy is filed, however, landlords can seek relief from this and the amount of time you have before that is granted will vary by area and jurisdiction. You may have to provide security for payment of rent. If the business is at all viable going forward, consider filing a Chapter 13 (if it is an individual d/b/a) or a Chapter 11 if a corporate entity is the Lessee. You will have more flexability in dealing with the Landlord than in a Chapter 7 Liquidation.
This area of bankruptcy proceedure can be complex and you will need a competent attorney.
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Contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area immediately--today--every situation is different. There is no way to tell what YOU mean by 'protection'--or whether being 'protected' temporarily is even in your best long term interests. SOrry you couldn't get a specific answer, but your situation depends on many factors you did not post. Call your county or state bar association IMMEDIATELY and request referral to an attorney in your area who practices bankruptcy --there are many.
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Your personal bankruptcy would not protect the corporate business. If it is just a d/b/a, then it could for a short time. You would possibly have to deposit rent with the court upon filing. You do need an attorney who is familiar with your bankruptcy court and how it deals with this issue.
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