Practice Areas

Everything you need under one roof

Myron E. Siegel & Associates recognizes that, in the representation of business clients, not all legal problems are directly related to business. In order to provide the ultimate in coordinated legal services we are prepared to accommodate other legal needs our clients and their colleagues may encounter.

This enables us to effectively address your legal and business needs wherever they may arise. We find this model to be far more efficient when we can engage the best professionals in that jurisdiction and oversee the work. This is one key reason that we are able to serve as your complete source for legal and business advice. Our practice areas are listed below.


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Sometimes it is impossible to pay off the debts you have accumulated. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy offers relief from creditors and can put a stop to debt-collection harassment at work and at home.

Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is a serious step. In an "asset bankruptcy," a trustee of the court will sell off non-exempt assets to pay creditors. But in reality, most Chapter 7 proceedings are classified as "non-asset" bankruptcies, meaning the debtor has no qualified assets and can discharge debt through the court with little or no payment to unsecured creditors.

When filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the person who is in debt must provide the court with the following:

  • Information about income, your employer, how much you make, how often you are paid.
  • A list of all creditors, the amount owed them, and what the reasons for the debt.
  • A list of all your property.
  • A detailed list of your monthly living expenses such as food, clothing, medicine, taxes, utilities and transportation.
  • Tax returns.

Filing the bankruptcy petition will immediately stop collection calls and most other collection actions. If you are hounded by collector's telephone calls, these will stop once a bankruptcy petition is filed.

An appointed trustee will set up a meeting with you and your creditors and you will be required to truthfully answer questions about your finances and ability to repay the debts owed. If it is determined that you meet the requirements for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the trustee will liquidate assets. You may be able to retain your home, car and other exempted assets. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy takes about five months before your debts are "discharged" or taken away. Creditors will not ever be able to come after you for the discharged debts. But there are some debts that won't go away with a bankruptcy, including some taxes, alimony and child support, and most student loans.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can also be filed for corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships. It is similar to personal bankruptcy in that the business assets are liquidated to pay creditors.

You will need to consult a qualified attorney about filing for bankruptcy. A lawyer can help walk you through the complicated bankruptcy laws and help provide you and your family with a new financial beginning.

The forms required for bankruptcy and more detailed information about bankruptcy can be found at

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

When a business is in debt but the owners or managers believe that they can turn the company around if given enough time, they may consider filing a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, businesses can "reorganize," buying time to pay creditors as the company generates revenue and restructures how they do business. When a company in debt files for bankruptcy protection, the company must file:

  • A list of assets and liabilities
  • A current income statement that includes revenues and expenses
  • A list of contracts and unexpired leases

In Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, the debtor comes up with a reorganization plan. Creditors can also propose a plan for reorganization. The plan needs to be voted on for approval by the creditors. If it is not, then the court will not confirm the plan and the bankruptcy could be converted to a Chapter 7, which will liquidate the assets. But Chapter 11 Bankruptcy often makes sense when a viable business can generate more income to pay off debts through reorganization than it could by liquidating assets.

Businesses continue to operate during a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. And many companies have emerged from Chapter 11 to continue as strong and viable businesses ready for growth and expansion after bankruptcy reorganization.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is a serious step and getting creditors to agree to accept the terms can be difficult. But, for many companies that have good growth potential, Chapter 11 can provide a fresh start. If the reorganization fails, liquidation is always an option and the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy can be converted to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

In order to file a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy the company owners need legal assistance. Even for a small business, this is not a matter that can be handled without an attorney. A qualified Miami Bankruptcy Attorney can advise you and your business on the best course of action.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The federal laws on bankruptcy are designed to help people who can't pay their creditors, allowing them to erase their debts and reclaim their financial lives. Bankruptcy can also give people a longer period of time to pay their debts without being hassled by creditors. People who are making money but can't pay their bills and debts might want to consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, because it buys time to pay bills under an affordable repayment program.

With this type of bankruptcy, sometimes called a "wage earner's plan" a person who declares bankruptcy is allowed to pay off or partially pay their debts over time and at a rate they can afford while staving off the collection efforts of their creditors.

The range of the repayment plan is typically three or five years, depending on your income. Once a person files a petition for Bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, collection calls should stop as will most garnishments of wages and any foreclosure proceedings.

A Trustee is appointed who will sort out your debts and help determine who is owed. A Trustee will hold meetings between the person (or couple) who files the Chapter 13 bankruptcy and representatives of the companies or individuals who are named as creditors. This meeting will help determine how much the person owes, how much he or she can pay back and in what time frame.

After the creditors meeting, there is a court hearing on the repayment plan. Under the plan, the person makes payments to the Trustee – usually every other week or once a month. The Trustee pays the creditors according to the plan which could be for less than the money they are owed. Debts such as taxes or the costs of the bankruptcy proceedings are called "priority debts," and are therefore paid first. Next are "secured debts" which have property (a car, land, etc.) as collateral. And the last in line are unsecured debts like store credit cards.

People without regular income should consider Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In that type of bankruptcy debts may be completely discharged – meaning the person will never be held responsible for paying borrowed money back. Each person's financial situation determines what type of bankruptcy filing is best suited for their situation.

Bankruptcy and the IRS

When filing for bankruptcy, tax obligations get complicated. For instance, can tax obligations be forgiven or treated like other debts? If creditors accept lower payments and don't get paid the full amount owed, do you have to pay tax on the difference? And what tax returns are due after a bankruptcy? These questions and the many others that arise about dealing with the IRS after bankruptcy are best left answered by a legal professional who has experience in tax matters and with the IRS. When the bankruptcy filing is made all collection actions must immediately stop. In this way, the IRS is similar to any other creditor you may have and it is subject to the automatic hold on collection actions. If they are garnishing your wages, that has to stop too. There are also other ways that the tax man is no different than other creditors and that includes the fact that some of the debts may be discharged even if they are tax debts – but that depends on a number of variables including:

  • The type of tax
  • How old the debt is
  • Whether or not a return was filed
  • If there was fraud or tax evasion involved
  • The chapter of bankruptcy (7, 11, or 13 for example) filed.

In general, however if a tax is more than three years old there was no fraud in the return, and it was filed on time, the debt can be discharged. Some IRS charges, such as interest, may be discharged even if the entire tax debt is not in a bankruptcy filing.

You will likely have to pay tax on most forgiven debts, but that is dependent on certain circumstances. A bankruptcy attorney experienced in dealing with the IRS is best qualified to help you determine the best course of action for your particular legal situation.

If much of your debt is tax debt, you might want to consider an offer in compromise with the IRS. With an offer in compromise, the tax liability might be settled for far less than you owe and in the long run save money and get a better deal than in a bankruptcy.

Business Debt Restructuring

Struggling businesses burdened by debt may have alternatives to bankruptcy. One of those alternatives is business debt restructuring. Restructuring of the debt can involve:

  • Changing or stretching out the terms of a debt repayment
  • Reducing or settling the amounts on delinquent accounts
  • Exchanging obligations for partial ownership in the company

Debt restructuring can keep a struggling enterprise alive, especially if the reason the company is in financial trouble is a temporary circumstance such as a slow-down in the economy, slow collection of receivables, or a one-time unexpected expense such as a natural disaster.

A company can hire a firm to begin debt restructuring, consult on where and how to cut costs and help manage creditor payments. In order to begin the debt restructuring the company must be examined on every level to determine where cuts can be made so that the newly restructured debt can be paid. Creditors are contacted and negotiations begin to determine what terms they will accept. When a creditor realizes that the company may go bankrupt, they may be willing to offer reasonable terms.

Having a qualified Miami business litigation lawyer on your side is invaluable when negotiating terms of a restructure with creditors.

Landlords can be approached for better lease terms. When losing a tenant that goes out of business, the remainder of the lease is an unsecured debt – last in line when the bankruptcy payments are doled out. An attorney experienced in debt restructuring can bargain with your landlord from a position of strength. Debt restructuring may also involve finding investors or lenders who will accept promissory notes.

Another advantage of debt restructuring, especially for smaller enterprises, is that it frees up time for the owners to actually run the business rather than dealing with creditors and ducking calls from attorneys and bill collectors, which any small business owner knows can not only be stressful but time-consuming. Debt restructuring is also less expensive than bankruptcy which requires significant up-front filing fees for businesses seeking protection.

Creditor Rights

In today's economic climate, bankruptcy filings are soaring, as businesses and consumers struggle to meet their financial obligations. Pohl & Short is uniquely positioned to represent lenders, businesses and individual creditors who are required to seek enforcement of loans, contracts and other agreements. Contact the law firm to schedule your appointment regarding creditor-oriented bankruptcy legal representation.

Debt Enforcement

The scope of services provided by Pohl & Short concerning debt enforcement is broad, and includes the representation of parties in state and federal court who are seeking to recover a judgment against a business or individual, and continues into the bankruptcy arena should it be necessary to pursue a business debtor or a consumer debtor who invokes bankruptcy protection.

Collection in State and Federal Court

Our state and federal court representation includes litigation from the filing of a complaint through the entry of judgment and then to the collection of the judgment. The attorneys of our firm are well versed in all aspects of judgment collection, including levying on real property and personal property, wage garnishment, replevins and the recovery of vehicles, bank account garnishment and the pursuit of fraudulent conveyances, equitable liens and proceedings supplementary.

Foreclosure, Lease Collections and Landlord Rights

Other state and federal court matters that we pursue for our clients include mortgage foreclosures, landlord and tenant disputes, including evictions, and a wide variety of business litigation in which the objective is to obtain a judgment and then to convert the judgment into money.

Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy

Our bankruptcy practice is multi-faceted. We routinely represent lenders and creditors of all types in bankruptcy cases under Chapter 7 (liquidation), Chapter 13 (debt adjustment), and Chapter 11 (reorganization).

Disputes in Bankruptcy

The magnitude of our representation of our clients in bankruptcy cases is without limitation, and includes the following activities: attending Meetings of Creditors; filing Proofs of Claim and monitoring the case for possible distributions; objecting to the discharge of the debtor or to the dischargeability of a particular debt: participating in the formulation of a Plan of Reorganization; filing Motions for Relief from Stay to enable the recovery of collateral; challenging property a debtor improperly claims as exempt; and pursuing fraudulent conveyances and preferential transfers.

Contact Myron E. Siegel & Associates at (847) 831-2950 or (954) 703-1673 or go to our contact page.