While no one likes to admit it, many companies are living “on the margin” these days. For those firms, a few crucial decisions can make the difference in survival. Too often, it comes to the dreaded Chapter 11, for the big companies. But for smaller firms, the time, money and resources necessary for a filing are all luxuries they can’t pile on top of necessary expenses. The truth is, unlike GM, some organizations are simply “too poor for bankruptcy”. Maybe Saab can work the system, pay 25 cents on the dollar to its creditors, and emerge from Chapter 11, but that’s’ the exception, not the rule.

So for those less “fortunate” but still struggling to keep afloat; here’s a question.

Do you really need to pay a pile of legal fees for the same result you might just as well achieve on your own?

It doesn’t take a linguist to tell your suppliers that you need help, and it doesn’t take a math whiz to offer twenty five cents for every dollar owed. What it takes is the nerve and the will power to build a plan and follow it through. Don’t assume that you need the hammer of the legal system to intimidate your payees, or a trustee to prioritize them.

Times are tough folks, your creditor’s biggest fear is that you’ll never pay. Their smallest fear is that you’ll pay late. Somewhere in between is the reality that you might only be able to pay a % of what you owe; in order to stay in business. While that’s an unsavory choice, a healthy customer down the road is better than no customer at all.

Think about it; and if you’re trying to keep the wolves from the door, maybe you don’t need a judge and a lawyer to protect you. Maybe you just need common sense.

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