If there’s any profession that’s enjoyed a measure of job security in recent years, it’s the bankruptcy attorney. Wayne Kitchens is co-managing partner at the law firm of Hughes Watters Askanase.
Kitchens says that, after three years of heavy filings, business bankruptcies are starting to level off.
“I think you are seeing, still, some weakness in the commercial real estate market. There are some undeveloped land projects getting ready to file bankruptcy. But I think there’s also a little bit of an easing in the credit markets — not a lot, but I think capital is slightly more accessible now.”
Such access to credit can make all the difference for companies already pushed to the wall. That’s particularly the case for small businesses.
“It’s really easy to get into a bankruptcy. It’s very hard to get out. But if the company can have access to that capital and can run through the lean times that a Chapter 11 normally means, they can emerge and can continue to grow.”
Kitchens warns that a large number of home foreclosures have yet to work their way through the system. For personal bankruptcies, there’s still no relief in sight.