Since filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Tribune Co. (TBR), the Chicago-based parent company of both the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, has paid lawyers and other advisors more than $230 million to help reorganize the company. The company initially filed for bankruptcy after real estate billionaire Sam Zell bought the company in a leveraged buyout.
Bloomberg reports this week that Tribune Co. is valued at approximately $7 billion, but owes creditors around $13 billion. Since the bankruptcy filing, TBR has sought approval in bankruptcy courts for various plans that would divide the ownership among the lenders that financed the buyout led by Zell. However, creditors that were owed money prior to the buyout and subsequent bankruptcy have consistently opposed the plan.
The most recent plan was, yet again, rejected in bankruptcy court because U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey said that the plan contained flaws. In making his decision, Carey did indicate that the main part of the settlement can move forward so that the Chicago company can avoid a lawsuit against its main lenders that include JPMorgan Chase & Co. by unsecured creditors. This paves the way for TBR to rework the initial plan and to seek approval in May.
As far as the seemingly exorbitant legal fees already paid by TBR, it is normal for debtors in corporate bankruptcy cases to pay their own fees, as well as the fees of any creditor committees. In the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s legal fees have already totaled over one and a half billion dollars.
Fortunately, when it comes to filing for personal bankruptcy in Chicago, most individuals will not be dealing with the kinds of figures that are newsworthy for big corporations like the Chicago Tribune. Individuals can wipe the financial slate clean and find a fresh start by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is extremely helpful in those situations where a job has been lost, a divorce has caused financial difficulty, or a serious injury or illness has thrown a family into financial ruin.
Another option when an individual faces insurmountable economic troubles is Chapter 13 bankruptcy that allows for a tailor-made debt repayment plan to be developed that, in most cases, enables the home or a car to remain in the individual’s possession.
If you think that bankruptcy could be in your future, the only way to know for sure is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney here in the Chicago area. By scheduling an initial consultation that, in most cases is free, you can begin to determine if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a viable option for you.
Bankruptcy Chicago – Chicago Debt Solutions is committed to giving you the personalized attention you deserve as you consider bankruptcy. We know that the decision to file for bankruptcy can be difficult, and we will provide the counsel you need to make an objective decision and then advise you on an approach to bankruptcy that works best for the your situation. In Chicago, contact Chicago Debt Solutions at 312-445-9106 or visit our website.