Panel calls GM an aberration when it comes to bankruptcies

July 11, 2009 – In The News
PressofAtlanticCity.com

© 2009 PressofAtlanticCity.com, author Erik Ortiz.

General Motors Corp. was out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, after just 39 days, but the news did not surprise Michael Viscount, an Atlantic City attorney specializing in financial reorganizations.

"GM is an aberration," he said Friday. "The only reason they got through (Chapter 11) was because of the government and the taxpayers helping it out."

For many businesses contemplating bankruptcy now, it remains an arduous and drawn-out process, said Viscount and others at a panel on retail bankruptcy at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. (The casino was perhaps a fitting setting, as both it and its former parent company, Tropicana Entertainment LLC, spent time in bankruptcy court this year.)

When businesses file for Chapter 11, "they don't pay their rent or lenders because they have to build their war chest to pay lawyers," said Viscount, of the firm Fox Rothschild LLP. "It's very expensive."

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