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Farm Bankruptcy on the Rise: Indianapolis Bankruptcy News

Indiana Farm Bankruptcy - field flooded

Farm bankruptcy filings are on the rise nationally, a trend that appears to be on the rise also within Indiana’s farming community. Farm bankruptcy cases come in different forms such as Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or even Chapter 11 filings depending on the size, needs, and complexity of the bankruptcy case. This trend is startling if you compare it to the general decline of bankruptcy that has been occurring for the last 8 years.

The Farmer’s Modern Secret: Large Operating Loans

Most large modern farms use substantial operating loans in order to purchase planting seed and acquire necessary pieces of farming equipment. This disturbing trend of “farm operation” loans has greatly increased over the years. If these loans are over-extended, they create a very dangerous situation for Indiana farmers. Payments for these large “farm loans” are many times due to a single time of the year: at harvest. Other farm loans such as for livestock farms are usually paid monthly or in other cyclical periods. If the farmer experiences a bad year or unexpected low grain prices, these farm loans sometimes go into default. This can cause the bank to threaten the liquidation of the farm assets. If a modification of the loan is offered by the bank instead, it usually just “kicks the can down the road.” The farmer eventually defaults on his obligations.

Causes Behind Farm Bankruptcy in Indianapolis Bankruptcy Courts

As stated above, grain prices can sometimes have a devastating effect on farmers who annually pay farm-operation loans. If the grain prices are not as high as expected, this can create the inability of the farmer to pay his cash-rent to landowners and his farm-operating loan payment. Over time, these farm loans grow larger. They grow until they simply cannot be serviced. Even the smallest downturn causes the borrower to default and be forced into bankruptcy.

The demand for farm products of all kind can greatly change due to national and international markets. This demand usually determines the price achievable in the market for any farm product. Tariffs and trade war problems, such as the ones coming from the battles of the current administration, can have a powerful effect on domestic farm-product pricing. In addition, farm product demands are constantly changing from internal movements and trends in the farming industry. Low prices can quickly cause a farmer to come up impossibly short: the farm operation is forced then to file for bankruptcy.

Farmer Bankruptcy Types Available in Indianapolis

Chapter 12 is a special form of bankruptcy that only “farmers or family fisherman” are able to file in the bankruptcy code. This type of bankruptcy is specially-tailored to farmers. This type of bankruptcy retains the more cost-effective and personal traits of Chapter 13 while opening up some of the flexibility and other features of Chapter 11. Chapter 12 is unique and requires a knowledgable attorney.

More common for farm bankruptcy many times are Chapter 7 and Chapter 11. Chapter 7 is filed when the debtor is able to get an advantage by filing a “full liquidation” bankruptcy. The farmer may even be able to continue farm operation in Chapter 7 if the land farmed is either cash-rented or encumbered by large mortgage loans. Other times, however, continued operation may not be available in Chapter 7.

Chapter 11 is sometimes filed by large farming operations who need the full protections of reorganization bankruptcy. Corporation-owned farms are also sometimes unable to file under Chapter 12 because of the eligibility requirements.

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Charlotte Russe Closing Indiana Stores: Indianapolis Bankruptcy News

Charlotte Russe Stores Closing Indiana

Fashion retailers are falling quickly, Charlotte Russe adding its Chapter 11 filing to the mix. Charlotte Russe filed for bankruptcy originally with a plan to close about 90 stores. However, this plan of reorganization eventually descended until the plans changed to include the closing of 500 stores and a full liquidation of the stores’ inventory.

Indianapolis Closings of Charlotte Russe Stores

Closings include the Castleton Square Mall location and the Circle Centre Mall location. There are 11 other locations across Indiana that are also closing. These stores will remain open for some time to liquidate the remaining merchandise. March 21 is the deadline for redeeming gift cards. The Noblesville and Plainfield locations will also be closing in the Indianapolis area.

A Greater Trend of Bankruptcies Emerging

Retail stores have been going through a greater trend of emerging bankruptcy filings. The physical-store retail model is constantly facing changing dynamics and online virtual-vending competition. This is leaving many traditional, well-established retailers in the dust unable to adapt quickly enough to survive these changes. Many of these stores have been open for generations. Charlotte Russe originated in the mid-1970s.

Retail Space is Also Affected

Many commercial retail spaces are becoming increasingly challenged by this change of dynamics. Shoppers are increasingly more interested in the “experience” of in-person shopping instead of the purchases acquired or by price factor alone. The commercial real estate market and attending corporations may also soon face ongoing waves of bankruptcy and reorganization. This major upheaval of traditional “mega retail” is also creating a reemergence of local shopping and small-business proprietorship. This further drains the retail megastructure that had become so popular during the 1980s. What was the new wave of mega-retail in the 1970s and 1980s may soon become the dusty dinosaur of the past.

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The Barrington in Carmel Files For Bankruptcy Protection: Indianapolis Bankruptcy News

Barrington Retirement Community Carmel Indiana

The Barrington, a high-end retirement community in Carmel, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 30th, 2019. The community is owned by Mayflower Communities of Dallas, the entity which filed for the bankruptcy relief. The development has only been open for roughly only six years, making this filing a surprise to many who live in the greater Indianapolis area.

What is Barrington?

The Barrington is a retirement and assistance community that offers a variety of housing and on-campus care options. Because of the variety of care and assistance types available, members of the community’s needs can differ greatly. The Barrington can assist with changing need-options over time. This type of varied-care environment offers security and freedom which is very attractive to the residents. This type of community is increasingly common throughout the nation. Similar communities are likewise popping up all over the greater Indianapolis area.

What Could This Mean For Residents or Creditors?

The Barrington community has filed for Chapter 11 and is planning on continuing operation. This could preserve the contractual rights and use of certain classes such as current or future residents. Residents or potential residents who have made deposits could have potential problems with their creditor rights. Attorney representation will likely be necessary for any creditor of the Barrington Community to explore any alteration or extinguishment of existing rights.

Will the Barrington Recover?

Although no prediction is fully accurate, the Barrington is a service and real estate based business. This could greatly increase the chances of the Barrington recovering: too much of the business is linked to real estate and attending services. If the Barrington does not recover, it is likely that another service provider will acquire the assets and continue operation. Therefore, the continued operation of some form is very likely. These communities also appear to be in high demand. 

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Payless Shoes Files Second Bankruptcy: Indianapolis Bankruptcy News

Indianapolis Bankruptcy News: Payless Shoes Bankruptcy

Beloved Indiana retailer Payless Shoes has filed for their second bankruptcy filing in the last two years. The current filing will likely be a total liquidation that will cause their stores to be closed throughout the United States.

Payless Shoes Failed Somewhat with First Bankruptcy Reorganization

Although the first Payless Shoes bankruptcy filed in 2017 was somewhat of a success, it left them with an untenable $400 million in debt. This debt load caused the ultimate failure, debts not being sufficiently reduced with the former filing. The retailer continued operations in hopes that they could continue their discount retail system throughout the country. Due to various changes in the retail economy and the large debt load still saddled to the company, this attempt failed to save the beloved retailer from it’s impending Financial collapse.

Indianapolis Stores Affected by the Bankruptcy

Payless Shoes has approximately 25 locations throughout Indiana. There are also approximately 12 locations in the Indianapolis greater area. All of these locations will be closing, affecting the availability of discount shoe retail options in the area. It will also cause a loss of numerous local jobs. This retailer has been a staple in Indiana for a quite some time, the business being in operation throughout the US for over 60 years.

The Retail Shift

Bankruptcies such as Payless Shoes have frequently been attributed to the fact that there has been a major retail shift throughout the country. Through the increase of online retail transactions, traditional retailers such as Payless are at a significant disadvantage. They are also finding themselves saddled with untenable debt situations due to the inability to adapt to the changing climate throughout the retail market.

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USA Gymnastics: Indianapolis Bankruptcy News

USA Gymnastics Bankruptcy

As you may have heard, USA gymnastics has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in the Indiana Southern District for bankruptcy. This filing which occurred in early December 2018 is certainly high-profile Indianapolis bankruptcy news. Recently a deadline of April 26, 2019 has been solidified so far for filing claims in the case.

USA Gymnastics: Why File Bankruptcy?

USA Gymnastics has filed for Chapter 11 relief in an attempt to properly address the large magnitude of the civil claims related to the victims of Dr. Larry Nasser. USA gymnastics filed in Indianapolis for relief under bankruptcy due to it being the proper geographical jurisdiction.

A large magnitude of the settlement money will likely be required to properly address the claims. The claims potentially far exceed the value of USA gymnastic’s total assets. Therefore, the entity opted for Chapter 11 protection, which will also cause additional third party and governmental oversight to be brought into this delicate situation.

What is the End-Game?

USA Gymnastics is likely hoping to reach a court-approved settlement of the claims through a plan of reorganization or other settlement method during the case. The settlement will likely ultimately include a contribution from USA Gymnastics’ insurance providers and possibly from the assets of the entity itself. Whatever the outcome, having the court supervision and open-style nature of a Chapter 11 could potentially afford a higher level of capacity for justice and full disclosure, at least from certain estimations. Even if the situation transitions into a total liquidation, the court will still provide a venue for allocation of funds to settle claims.

The Local Scoop

Respected local Judge Robin Lynn Moberly has been assigned to the bankruptcy case. The United States Trustee’s Office, a branch of the Department of Justice, will provide direct oversight in the situation. Media coverage has also been on the scene for the filings.

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