Chapter 12 Bankruptcy and the Family Farmer Relief Act

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This year – 2020 – has brought many changes to everyone, no matter who they are or what they do.  If you are a family farmer, or involved in a family fishing business, you may have an option not available to other debtors seeking relief under the Bankruptcy Code: namely, Chapter 12.  The United States Senate passed the “Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019” (H.R. 2336), which substantially increases the debt limit for agricultural producers and family fisherman seeking to file for relief under Chapter 12 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, from approximately $4.3 million to $10 million. In addition to the increased debt limits, persons that qualify and file under Chapter 12, and are able to confirm a plan, are allowed significant tax benefits that are not available to debtors under other chapters of the Bankruptcy Code.

Even before the current COVID-19 pandemic, the small family farmer, trying to support themselves as well as the U.S. agriculture industry, had been dogged by years of low farm income, crop overproduction, increased debt loads, natural disasters, extreme weather events, and, more recently, retaliatory tariffs.  The current pandemic will likely result in many more family farmers and fisherman looking into filing for bankruptcy as a way to obtain some breathing room and deal with their debts and businesses.

If you or someone you know believes that Chapter 12 may be an option for you, our attorneys have skill and experience in this area, and are prepared to meet with you and discuss your options.  Please contact Elizabeth Stephens at stephens@sullivanhill.com in our Las Vegas office or Kathleen Cashman-Kramer at cashman-kramer@sullivanhill.com in our San Diego office for more information.

Sullivan Hill’s Insolvency and Commercial Bankruptcy practice group is well-known both locally and nationally for its extensive experience in the representation of creditors, debtors, trustees, creditors’ committees and receivers.

About Sullivan Hill:

Sullivan Hill has provided efficient, aggressive and responsive legal representation for more than 50 years. The firm provides full service representation to clients in a variety of industries with an emphasis in insolvency, construction disputes, insurance coverage, real estate, employment, business disputes, civil litigation, and transactional work.  The firm has offices in San Diego and Las Vegas.

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On June 2, 2020
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