Say you have a small business. You do everything right, your business prospers. But you are not the only owner. You share the business with a partner. And it’s common practice for business owners to have business credit cards. With such plastics you can control all company’s expenses and get business related bonuses. It’s convenient and profitable.
But choosing a partner you are not just to weigh all his or her business and personal qualities. Imagine that you are choosing a future wife or a husband. You need to be 100% sure in your partner, maybe even more confident than you are about yourself. Only in case you can rely on your partner and entrust him or her the company’s management, you will succeed.
But sometimes, no matter how careful and particular you are in your choice, and no matter how hard you try to achieve your goals, you can’t read another man’s soul. And you can never be absolutely protected from some unexpected surprises your partner can spring you. One fine day he or she can shaft you, or get into a car accident at some extremely important moment, or get into jail. And, you know, it is not that easy to run a business being sentenced to serve time.
So, if you turned out to be a partner of a criminal, instead of giving way to despair, try to concentrate on solving problems. If you feel that you can afford running the business on your own, your “community debts” with your partner is one of the major issues of your concern then. You will barely be able to pay off all the debts you have accrued together while ruling your company. Paying off just your part will lead you directly to a debtor’s prison, if not to a bankruptcy.
So, first you need to contact your ex-partner and figure out the gravity of his or her crime, the length of the sentence, and the custody conditions he or she is subjected to. Pretty much depends on the prison system. If it allows nonprofit social service agencies to visit prisoners, this might be a great option for you and your ex-partner to settle the debt problems. What you should remember is that an imprisonment by no means relieves your partner from debt obligations.
If you decide that you want to straighten out the situation just between you and your ex-partner (which, according to experts’ opinion is not the best way out) you will have to arrange all the meeting with councilors, creditors, his or her attorney, in one word, go through all the red tape on your own. And you are not guaranteed to succeed in all that.
If your ex-partner has a chance to communicate with a counseling agency, let him of her participate in handling the situation. The best resolution possible under such circumstances is if your partner gets charged off the debts. This might happen if a credit counselor manages to persuade some collection agency or department to inherit or buy the debt from the original lender.
If this does not work, your partner might try to get the creditors freeze his or her account until he or she is able of making payments. However, at best your partner might get a 12-13 months freeze.
Resorting to a bankruptcy attorney’s help is another way to settle your debt problems. Your partner’s filing for bankruptcy will not affect your credit history. His or her credit report will be damaged. But, looking at the bright side of it, your “ex” can regard it as a new, fresh start.
Unfortunately, he or she, being convicted, will be unable to get a balance transfer credit card, or maintain any other kind of borrower-creditor relationship. But even after all that has happened to your partner you keep believing in his or her innocence, if you still feel like you can entrust this person with your life, you can undertake his or her debt obligations on condition that your partner will compensate for all your losses. But remember, look before you leap. And a man is known by the company he keeps. And a partner-prisoner is not the best reputation for your business.