The COVID-19 pandemic has generated not just a health crisis of global proportions, but an economic crisis as well. We are all painfully aware of the toll that it has taken on individuals and businesses throughout the nation, particularly small to mid-sized companies and those that were experiencing financial distress even before the pandemic. Just today, it was reported that the amount of distressed debt in the United States has doubled to $500 billion in just the past two weeks. Layoffs, shutdowns, and closings are the new norm.
The COVID-19 virus is proving to be an extraordinary threat both to our physical and economic health and well-being. Just as there is no cure yet for the virus, there is no “silver bullet” to address the financial havoc that it has begun to wreak. But there are many things that might be done to mitigate the economic and financial challenges facing businesses and individuals over the next months. Our Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors Rights attorneys, in close coordination with other professionals at our firm, are hard at work assisting our clients with the unprecedented challenges they are currently facing. We are continually monitoring all legal and regulatory developments and we are communicating directly with our bankruptcy court judges and court personnel to ensure that access to the courts remains available to our clients at all times. While the bankruptcy courts have implemented policy changes to ensure compliance with CDC guidelines, the courts remain open and are conducting business through 24/7 remote access and, when absolutely necessary, in-person proceedings.
As always, being proactive and seeking assistance sooner rather than later is of paramount importance. The legal landscape is changing daily in response to the crisis, with deadlines being extended and legal requirements being modified. Our business negotiations and litigation strategies on behalf of borrowers and lenders, landlords and tenants, buyers and sellers utilize these dynamic changes. Rest assured, we have the requisite tools to help you weather the economic storm that COVID-19 has generated and we are prepared to assist you through these trying times.
Kristen M. Chatterton