The economic downturn that occurred in Kentucky and across the United States around 2008 hit many people quite hard. Lack of growth and a crash in certain markets led to loss of jobs for many, which led to depressed consumer spending, leading to more lay-offs in a negative feedback loop. Unfortunately, when this happened, many individuals found themselves unemployed and with poor job search prospects due to the lack of hiring that was happening.
Kentucky is almost as well known for its coal as for its horses. The coal industry has a long history in the state, with miners and mining towns having grown up in the mountains that make up a good portion of Kentucky's beautiful topography. Unfortunately, like in other areas of the country, cheaper natural gas is making it more difficult for companies that mine the carbon-based rock to compete in the energy marketplace.
A previous post here examined the basics of the "debtor education course" that all Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers must complete before receiving a discharge of their debts. At that time, we mentioned the fact that the course should not be conflated with "credit counseling," which is also mandatory, but is a different requirement entirely. Our readers need to know about credit counseling as it is under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Previous posts here have discussed some of the basic differences between filing a bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code and filing under Chapter 13. To refresh, Chapter 7 filings are often referred to as "liquidations," in which the debtor's property that is not exempt under the law is sold to pay off as much of the debt as possible. Chapter 13, on the other hand, is considered a "reorganization" and the debtor must have an income with which to submit a plan to pay back some portion of the debt in a three- or five-year time span.
There are many reasons for a business to struggle, even if it enjoyed years of success. A big box store could take customers away from a small retailer. A tornado could destroy a car dealership. A building contractor might have to shut down because of a divorce.
Entrepreneurs in Kentucky are likely all too familiar with the risks involved in starting a business. Depending upon the industry, failure rates can be anywhere from half of all start-ups to 80 percent or more. In many cases, there may be nothing the business owners can do about it; factors beyond their control may be involved, such as a crash in demand, or closing of a preferred supplier causing a mountain of business debt. However, in certain cases, owners may see a way out of financial distress, if only the business were given the time to recover and strengthen some of its weak areas.