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Bankruptcy Attorneys Help Pennsylvania Family Farmers And Family Fishermen Stay Financially Afloat

Chapter 12: Family Farmer Or Family Fisherman Bankruptcy

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is intended for “family farmers” or “family fishermen.” Similar to Chapter 13, Chapter 12 enables financially distressed family farmers and fishermen to establish a repayment plan to address their debts. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is tailored to meet the financial realities of family farming and fishing, by eliminating many of the obstacles such debtors would face if seeking to reorganize as a corporation under Chapter 11 or as an individual under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Are You An Eligible ‘Family Farmer’ Or ‘Family Fishermen’?

Under the Bankruptcy Code, “family farmers” and “family fishermen” fall into one of two categories: (1) an individual or individual and spouse or (2) a corporation or partnership. Both categories must meet the following criteria:

Individuals or Individual and spouse Corporation or partnership
Maximum total debts Farmer: $3,792,650 Fisherman:$1,757,475 Farmer:  $3,792,650 Fisherman: $1,757,475
Minimum percentage of debts related to the operation Farmer:  50% Fisherman: 80% Farmer: 50% Fisherman: 80%
Minimum value resulting from operation More than 50% of gross income More than 80% of company assets

For corporations or partnerships to fall within the second category, they must meet the following additional criteria:

  • More than half of the outstanding stock or equity in the business must be owned by one family (or the family and its relatives).
  • The farming or commercial fishing operation must be conducted by the family and/or its relatives
  • If the corporation issues stock, the stock cannot be publicly traded.

What To Expect In Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

Chapter 12 has many of the same procedural aspects as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

  • Filing the petition – The bankruptcy proceeding is initiated by filing the petition with the court, including a list of debts and creditors, list of income, list of property and list of living and farming/fishing expenses.
  • Appointment of trustee – Like in Chapter 13, the trustee evaluates your case, collects your payments and distributes payments to creditors.
  • Creditors’ meeting – Between 21 and 35 days after the petition is filed, you must attend the meeting and answer questions regarding your financial affairs and the proposed terms of your repayment plan.
  • Repayment plan and confirmation hearing – Unless granted an extension by the court, you must file a plan of repayment with the petition or within 90 days after filing the petition.

Our skilled attorneys can help you sort through all of the issues with Chapter 12 bankruptcy. To get your bankruptcy questions answered, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Contact Our Eastern Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorneys

Case & DiGiamberardino, P.C., offers unparalleled legal representation in Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. Contact our experienced bankruptcy law firm today to discuss your case. Our three offices are conveniently located in Lancaster, Malvern and Wyomissing. Contact Case & DiGiamberardino, P.C., at 610-936-6650 or online.