Small business debt? Consider filing for bankruptcy, cutting deals

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A chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy calls for you to repay some of what you owe over time, but get to keep the doors open. Speak to your lawyer to see which may be best for you.

Q: From reading your columns, I see that you used to be a bankruptcy attorney. For various reasons, my business has accumulated a lot of debt. But the thing is, I don’t want to file bankruptcy. Any other suggestions?

A: Too much debt can definitely make life and business very difficult. But you will notice I said, “too much debt.” I say that because one thing I also know is that not all debt is bad debt. If you took on some debt to fund a profitable expansion, for instance, that is good debt. If, on the other hand, that expansion went south and you charged a week-long trip to Hawaii, that, needless to say, is bad debt.

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