Chuck E. Cheese on the Brink of Bankruptcy

Chuck E. Cheese on the Brink of Bankruptcy

Chuck E. Cheese on the brink of bankruptcy blog For years, Chuck E. Cheese has been a favorite for children, especially for birthday parties. The chain features pizza and other kid-friendly fare, along with video games, prizes, and play equipment. Unfortunately, like many restaurants and other businesses, COVID-19 has decimated profits for the past few months and for the unforeseeable future. The Kid’s Birthday Party/Restaurant may have to file for bankruptcy protection.

Company Information

Chuck E. Cheese was founded in 1977 in California, but currently runs out of Texas. There are 615 Chuck E. Cheese locations worldwide, with 610 of those being in 47 of the United States. The chain is owned by the brand CEC Entertainment.

Struggles Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Although many restaurants have been able to continue serving takeout and delivery, Chuck E. Cheese quickly realized its clientele patronized them for their atmosphere and activities, not the pizza itself. Public video games and play equipment aren’t acceptable during the pandemic, as it would prevent an easy opportunity for the virus to spread. The chain reports that profits are down 21.9% from this time last year, and it has had to lay off 17,000 employees since March. The company also included that it was considering bankruptcy in this report. Despite all of these problems the chain announced it would be giving bonuses to three top executives to guarantee they stay with the company. If Chuck E. Cheese files bankruptcy due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be joining the likes of big names like JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, and Pier 1 Imports. 

In an effort to recoup some losses and avoid laying off and furloughing all of its employees, the company took a unique approach to sales during the pandemic. Eagle-eyed pizza eaters on delivery services noticed that a chain called “Pasqually’s Pizza and Wings” had the same exact addresses as Chuck E. Cheese. The chain created a pseudonym based on one of mascot’s band members to sell to those too embarrassed to be seen eating Chuck E. Cheese pizza. 

Chuck E. Cheese and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

If the chain files bankruptcy, it will more than likely utilize Chapter 11. Chapter 11 can be used by individuals and by businesses, usually those with significant assets and debts that will be particularly complicated to reorganize. Chuck E. Cheese specified that it would be a Chapter 11 filing if the company does end up filing bankruptcy.

In Chapter 11, the filer’s top creditors will form a panel to assist in reorganizing the bankruptcy debts. Along with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case, the panel will make sure that the reorganization is fair for the company and all of its creditors. The company can remain operating and maintain basic management decisions, big business decisions have to be approved by the panel. Alternative debt repayment methods, like ownership and stock options, may be available in a Chapter 11. 

When filing bankruptcy, most companies choose between Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 liquidates unsecured non-priority debts. It also provides the option to surrender financed assets that are no longer a good investment. Only the trustee will oversee the case, and creditors can appear at the 341 Meeting of Creditors but not form a panel for the case. The drawback is that the company will be forced to cease operations. All of the company’s remaining assets must be surrendered and will be sold to be distributed amongst the company’s creditors. 

Personal Bankruptcy Chapter 13 and Chapter 7

Personal bankruptcy filers also have the option to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, along with Chapter 13. Filers will have their financial slate cleared of debts like credit cards and medical bills, but the benefits are not available to everyone. Assets must have not more equity in them than each state’s applicable exemption value. The filer must either make less than the state’s median monthly income for their number of family members, or prove their disposable monthly income is low enough through the Means Test. There are also waiting periods in between filing most chapters of bankruptcy. Those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 will usually qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes debts into a payment plan that lasts 3-5 years, depending on the filer’s income relative to the state median. Some debts, like the balance on a car loan, or arrearages on child support, will be paid in full in the plan. Some unsecured debts may only receive a portion of the debt they are owed. Filers must prove they have enough income to feasibly make minimum monthly payments. There are also limits on how much debt they can have: $419,275 in unsecured debt and $1,257,850 in secured debts. 

The spread of coronavirus has impacted businesses and individuals alike. If you are struggling, you should consider how bankruptcy may be able to help you. Our Mesa Bankruptcy Office offers free consultations to help you do just that. Call today to schedule a free consultation to speak to one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. We offer free consultations either in office or by phone. We look forward to assisting you. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY DEFINED

Because it provides dChapter 7 Bankruptcy, Mesa Bankruptcy Attorneyebt relief for people who have excessive debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as a “fresh start” bankruptcy or “liquidation” bankruptcy.  Individuals from all professions and economic statuses find themselves owing an overwhelming amount of debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate medical debt, credit card debt, judgements and/or lawsuits against you (thus, giving you a fresh start on your finances).

THE  CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY FILING PROCESS

The first thing you should do if you are considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is to call the law office of My AZ Lawyers.  Why?  An experienced bankruptcy attorney can asses your financial situation and evaluate your debt.  Take advantage of a [cryout-button-dark url=”#”]FREE CONSULTATION [/cryout-button-dark]in which a lawyer can help you go over your income, expenses, and all debt in order to get a true picture of your financial situation.  By doing this, you can visit your options and make good decisions. 

Determining if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you is something that needs to be discussed with an attorney. By meeting with a lawyer at My AZ Lawyers, and providing some financial information, you will be advised as to what would be the next best step to take in order to get you your fresh start.  Some clients discover that they would better benefit by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or sometimes bankruptcy is not necessary, (debt settlement) as the bankruptcy attorneys at [cryout-button-dark url=”#”]My AZ Lawyers[/cryout-button-dark] know the ins-and-outs of the process. The bankruptcy code is complicated, and you are allowed “exemptions” which allow you to keep certain property in your bankruptcy. So you want an attorney to look at they property you own. 

Arizona has its own set of exemptions and dollar limits on what you allowed to keep. There are exemptions for housing and vehicle.  A Mesa bankruptcy attorney can analyze and determine how and if these will work in your favor. Our attorneys are experts at Arizona bankruptcy law and know all the exemptions.

Chapter 7 BankruptcyIf you decide to  proceed with a bankruptcy, the law firm collects more information and you take an online credit counseling class (one hour) before then attorney can file your bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy court requires this to be done, but it is available to take 24/7.

You will need to provide paperwork to the office, and we will file with the bankruptcy court (typically a 2 week process). After reviewing the paperwork and signing that it is correct, it is filed, and you are assigned a case number. Many clients think once they come into the law office and retain an attorney, they will get filed the next day, but  it is a process that takes a few weeks.

If you have a need for an emergency filing, and cannot wait the 2-week period, contact My AZ Lawyers immediately if your filing is urgent. 

Many clients think once they come into the law office and retain an attorney, they will get filed the next day, but  it is a process that takes a few weeks.  Contact a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer and see if filing for bankruptcy protection in Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona is right for you.

Free Consultation, Mesa Bankruptcy AttorneysAn Automatic Stay will go into effect once your bankruptcy car is filed.  This bankruptcy provision means that all creditor collection activity is required to stop.  This includes phone calls, letters, repossessions, and home foreclosures.  If any of your creditors wish to make any further communications, they would have to go through the attorney.

Approximately 40 days after filing, you will attend a “first meeting of creditors” hearing at court. A bankruptcy trustee will review your petition and ask you questions.  Creditors are allowed to also attend this hearing. The hearings are informal and typically do not last long. Your lawyer from My AZ Lawyers will be at that hearing with you.  The hearing is a basic and simple process.  After attending the hearing, you must forego a 60 day waiting period.  This is just to give both creditors and bank trustees time if needed to follow-up on the hearing if they choose to do so.

During this 60 day time frame, you are then required to take a second online class  —- this needs to be completed in order to receive your discharge. There is a small fee and it takes a couple of hours.

Once you have completed all the requirements and waited the 60 days, you will receive a discharge:  an order form the court that eliminates all of your debt that can be eliminated legally. 

In total, from the time your case is filed to getting your discharge papers, expect the process to take 3-4 months.

IS CHAPTER 7 RIGHT FOR YOU?

You should seed advice from [cryout-button-dark url=”#”]My AZ Lawyers[/cryout-button-dark] about your financial situation.  An attorney who has practice with bankruptcy cases will help you to understand both the law and your options.  Maybe Chapter 7 is not available to you.  Maybe a chapter 11 or 13 would offer more effective debt relief for your case.  Maybe your issues can be resolved by debt negotiation.

My AZ Lawyers offers payment plans:  low-fee guarantee, file now, pay later — our law firm wants to give superb legal representation to Arizona clients at an affordable rate. 

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