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Our last two posts have discussed the benefits of Chapter 11 filings by larger companies. Similar to Chapter 11, Chapter 13 filings allow for the reorganization of debt. This helps individuals and businesses retain some of their assets while also consolidating debt in order to regain financial stability in Florida. However, businesses and individuals may also have the option to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

After filing for Chapter 7 nearly three years ago, Bennigan’s restaurant may be making a comeback in Florida. According to Reuters, the owners of Bennigan’s filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2008. The company decided at the time that the restaurant chain could no longer thrive because of the decrease in consumer spending and the increase in gas and grocery prices.

Instead of filing for Chapter 11 and choosing to restructure the restaurant’s debt, the owners of Bennigan’s filed for Chapter 7. In the Chapter 7 filing, the restaurant liquidated assets, closing many Bennigan’s restaurants in Florida and in other states across the nation. However, with consumers gaining more confidence in spending and deals on property in the real estate market, several restaurant chains are looking to resume business in Florida.

Since the 2008 liquidation, a new chief executive officer is running Bennigan’s and is helping the restaurant chain emerge from its bankruptcy. This fall, the restaurant will reopen in Orlando at its old International Drive and BeachLine Expressway location. The revamped restaurant will boast flat-screen TVs, outdoor dining and recreational activities such as darts and Wii bowling.

Although many individuals facing financial hardship may be reluctant to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, bankruptcy protection does have its benefits. In Florida, Chapter 7 allows individuals to better preserve their financial future by eliminating debt so that they can regain control of their finances before it is too late.

If the owners of Bennigan’s had not filed for Chapter 7 when they did, the restaurant chain may have suffered greater financial loss, making it more difficult to turnaround the business in such a quick manner.


Orlando Sentinel: “Old restaurant brands get reborn in Orlando,” Sandra Pedicini, 4 June 2011