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Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Attorney in Modesto, CA

Family Farmer or Family Bankruptcy

The Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a “family farmer,” or a “family fisherman” as those terms are defined in the Bankruptcy Code.


Chapter 12 is designed for “family farmers” or “family fisherman” with “regular annual income.” It enables financially distressed family farmers and fisherman to propose and carry out a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under chapter 12, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. Generally, the plan must provide for payments over three years unless the court approves a longer period “for cause.”  If you think you or your business may need to file for chapter 12 bankruptcy, contact an experienced and successful Modesto, CA chapter 12 bankruptcy lawyer for a free legal consultation.

In tailoring bankruptcy law to meet the economic realities of family farming, chapter 12 eliminates many of the barriers such debtors would face if seeking to reorganize under either chapter 11 or 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. For example, chapter 12 is more streamlined, less complicated, and less expensive than chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is better suited to large corporate reorganizations. In addition, few family farmers find chapter 13 to be advantageous because it is designed for wage earners who have smaller debts than those facing family farmers.

The Bankruptcy Code provides that only a family farmer with “regular annual income” may file a chapter 12. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the debtor’s annual income is sufficiently stable and regular to permit the debtor to make payments under a chapter 12 plan. But chapter 12 makes allowance for situations in which family farmers have income that is seasonal in nature. Relief under chapter 12 is voluntary, and only the debtor may file a petition under the chapter.

A chapter 12 is extremely complex.  The Modesto bankruptcy attorneys at Greenwell Law have the knowledge and expertise to handle any type of bankruptcy case, including chapter 12 bankruptcy cases.  It is essential that a family farmer considering a reorganization, consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.