If you have a franchise business that is closed and cannot operate remotely due to the coronavirus closings (COVID-19), we have no doubt that this is extraordinarily stressful and that it is very much uncertain whether you can emerge from this with an intact business.
We are happy to get on the phone with you and discuss options. Having your questions answered—or if they cannot be answered, having the opportunity to kick things around—may be helpful to you. But what we are generally telling businesses worried about survival is that the best course is likely to just wait, while trying as best you can not to go into a deeper hole. Conserve cash. Reduce expenses, including laying off employees or even temporarily closing up as necessary. It is really unlikely that we are going to recommend “Bankruptcy Now.”
Everybody is on this sinking ship—debtors and creditors alike. For creditors who want their money, there are no good options. Suing is pretty much pointless right now. Landlords and banks have few options. Kicking a tenant out means an empty building. The Washington State Supreme Court yesterday directed that all non-emergency civil matters in state courts be postponed to at least April 24.
It may be that when we emerge on the other side of this, creditors are in a mood to negotiate and not litigate. Debts may get compromised and/or paid out over time without any need to resort to the bankruptcy courts. Or not. We do not know and, because this is uncharted territory, we can’t predict.
For now, let us know if you want to set up a call to talk about how to handle angry creditors, how to decide what to pay or not pay, etc.