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Wall Street Journal: Using Bankruptcy To “Rebirth” Companies

Typically lawyers use a bankruptcy filing to avoid a company shut-down or as a way to prepare for going out of business. In rare cases bankruptcy is used to bring a dead company back to life, spending money to jump-start operations in the hopes of finding a buyer for the floundering business.

Charles M. Forman, dubbed “The Master Of Disaster” by the Bergen Record a decade ago, has restarted operations of numerous companies in a wide variety of industries over the years. He’s handled more than 17,000 bankruptcies and is the only Trustee honored by the United State Department of Justice for his work as a panel trustee.

So why take the time to revive a dying company?

This Wall Street Journal article highlights the case of EC Offshore Properties and how unpaid contractors benefit from this rebirth through bankruptcy approach; when a company stays in business, even if operations are minimal, it leaves the door open for the right buyer to come along.

“If you have a company that’s on death’s door, the most likely direction it’s going to take [in the bankruptcy process] is to be buried. You need someone who’s a bit of an entrepreneur and a little bit of a risk taker who’s willing to invest time and energy in something that might not pan out,” Charles M. Forman, The Wall Street Journal

By combining creative thinking with a determination to keeping things running, there’s hope for a business to emerge from bankruptcy under new ownership, with creditors paid and countless jobs saved.

Download the article in its entirety here (PDF)