After bankruptcy. Help! They're suing my LLC!
Many people who file bankruptcy are small business owners. Especially owners of one-person small businesses. People like the freedom of being their own boss, but it can be a tough way to make a living.
Operating a small business can be a tough way to make a living
(Now starting out, nearly everyone you do business with will want you to sign a personal guarantee. So that protection doesn’t go as far as you’d like. And those personal guarantees for a lot of people are the reason for the personal bankruptcy.)
The advantage of setting up a corporation or LLC turns against you, if you have to file bankruptcy. Why? Just like you are not liable for the business’s debts, the business is not covered by your bankruptcy. You are not the corporation; the corporation is not you.
That hits home hard after the bankruptcy, when creditors keep sending bills, or even send court papers, in the name of your corporation or LLC. What to do?
Well, if the business is closed, do nothing! Go back to square one. Why did you set up the corporation or LLC in the first place? Because you are not liable for the corporation’s debts. So if they bill the corporation, you don’t care. If they sue the corporation, you don’t care. That was the whole point. You are not the corporation. You are not liable for the corporation’s debts.
If the business is closed, why do the bills keep coming? Why would collection agencies go after closed businesses? To scare people–specifically to scare people into paying. The key thing here is, don’t be scared into paying.
“I’ve filed bankruptcy, so I don’t have to pay. The XYZ Company is out of business, so it can’t pay.” Keep those two things in mind and you’ll be fine.
(Suppose you are still operating. Now that’s trickier. We need to talk about that in person. If you had a lawyer, accountant or business advisor when you started up, you need to go back to that person again, too. It’s really important to do that right.)
But if you have closed, then it’s simple. You don’t care.