Former Padre Steve Finley bankrupts his restaurant business then he changes his mind- Good idea?

Hold the peanuts, cracker jacks and hot dogs.  Steve Finley the former San Diego Padre had declared bankruptcy on Jan. 5th 2010 for his “Flight” restaurant in Del Mar.  It became another victim of this down economy.  The restaurant was owned by BRG Restaurant LLC which is the entity that filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy (and not Steve personally).  The bankruptcy was then later dismissed on April 23,2010.

According to the docket report of the filing there were a number of required statements missing in the original filing that were added later.  According to an interview Steve did for SignOnSanDiego he filed hastily originally because of an auction that was scheduled to sell the restaurant equipment.  Bankruptcy is a good technique to stop these types of actions.

The question I have though is whether it’s a good idea to allow a bankruptcy case to be dismissed.  Steve was most probably advised that if he allowed this case to be dismissed and then he re-filed the case within a year of filing the original case then he stands to lose his automatic stay.  The automatic stay is wha prevents creditors from attempting to collect debts while you are in bankruptcy.  Therefore if Steve files again within a year he will only benefit from the stay for 30 days.  After that period the creditors could presumably again attempt to collect his debts.

Don’t allow your case to be dismissed because you need the automatic stay and it’s usually smart to complete your bankruptcy once you start it for that reason.  Steve said in the article that he was going to re-file if a new investor he was bringing in did not work out.  Just remember that the 2005 bankruptcy reform law included this provision to cancel the automatic stay for those, like Steve, who file and then dismiss and then re-file.

Think carefully before you allow your bankruptcy to be dismissed.  You may not like the no stay provisions of the 2005 law.

I am a bankruptcy attorney practicing bankruptcy law in San Diego.  Please visit mt websites at or

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