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How Subchapter V Empowers Nashville Business Owners to Maintain Control and Right-Size Debt

Managing a business comes with its fair share of challenges, and one of the most significant hurdles for many entrepreneurs is dealing with debt. While debt can be a useful tool for growth, it can also become overwhelming and hinder a company's progress. However, thanks to Subchapter V, a new streamlined form of Chapter 11, business owners now have a powerful tool at their disposal to maintain control while effectively right-sizing their company's debt. In this article, we will explore how Subchapter V assists business owners in navigating the complexities of debt restructuring while preserving their authority and ultimately leading to a stronger, more sustainable future.

Understanding Subchapter V

Subchapter V is a recent addition to the Bankruptcy Code, created by the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) in 2019. Its primary objective is to streamline the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and make it more accessible and affordable for small business owners. It is specifically designed to help companies with debts under $7.5 million reduce their debt burden and adjust to more favorable repayment terms. It can also be used to accomplish an orderly business sale or wind down. As long as business meets the debt limit and is not a single asset real estate project, most businesses in Nashville, across Tennessee, and throughout the country, are eligible for Subchapter V.

Expedited Process

One of the key advantages of Subchapter V is its expedited and cost-effective process compared to traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It enables business owners to retain control and actively participate in the restructuring process while benefiting from the expertise of the bankruptcy court, experienced Chapter 11 attorneys, and a new breed of bankruptcy trustee. The Subchapter V trustee's role is to facilitate negotiations and help mediate disputes, all toward getting a consensual reorganization plan approved.

Retaining Ownership and Decision-Making Authority

Unlike traditional Chapter 11, where creditors often have significant influence over the business's fate, Subchapter V allows business owners to maintain ownership and decision-making authority. Owners can propose a reorganization plan that outlines how they intend to repay creditors while ensuring the viability and future success of their business.

Nashville Business Debt Restructuring

Subchapter V encourages debt restructuring through a plan that is more favorable to the business and its owners. The plan typically involves modifying existing debt obligations, including reducing interest rates, extending repayment periods, and often reducing the principal amount. This allows the company to achieve a more sustainable capital structure and better align its debt with its cash flow capabilities.

Cramdown Power

Under Subchapter V, business owners have the power to "cramdown" a plan on creditors, even if they don't agree to it. This means that as long as the plan is feasible, fair and equitable, and creditors receive at least as much as they would in a liquidation scenario, the court can confirm the plan over objections. This provision gives business owners greater leverage in negotiating with creditors and ensures they have a say in shaping the future of their company.

Simplified Reorganization Plan

Subchapter V simplifies the reorganization plan process, reducing paperwork and administrative burdens for small businesses. It eliminates the requirement for a separate disclosure statement, and also eliminates the possibility of an unsecured creditors' committee, thereby boosting efficiency and streamlining the process.

Subchapter V is Still Relatively New in Nashville and Elsewhere

Subchapter V only went into effect in 2020, so it is a relatively new law. Most business owners remain unfamiliar with the relief it provides, and in fact, even many Chapter 11 attorneys lack specific experience and expertise on how to effectively use Subchapter V. EmergeLaw's partners are recognized leaders in utilizing Subchapter V. They have written extensively and presented numerous seminars to other attorneys on the nuances of Subchapter V restructurings. Most importantly, they have run the most sophisticated Subchapter V cases in Middle Tennessee and have guided countless companies and owners through successful restructurings.


Subchapter V has emerged as a game-changer for small business owners facing financial distress. It provides a practical and accessible mechanism to navigate the complexities of debt restructuring while preserving the entrepreneur's authority and control over their company's future. By utilizing Subchapter V, business owners can right-size their debt, negotiate more favorable terms with creditors, and set their businesses on a path to long-term success. With this empowering tool, entrepreneurs can overcome financial obstacles, regain stability, and build a stronger, more resilient enterprise.


EmergeLaw, PLC - Nashville Chapter 11 Attorneys

About EmergeLaw, PLC

EmergeLaw is a boutique law firm that represents small and middle market businesses and their owners in debt workouts, Chapter 11 reorganizations, Subchapter V restructurings, and other proceedings to help them deleverage and reposition for future success. Applying decades of experience and a specialized toolkit, our Nashville insolvency attorneys help entrepreneurs, family businesses, private equity funded companies, and real estate investors maximize value in ways that many clients find unexpectedly efficient and effective.


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