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Coal business files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The sixth-largest coal business in the United States recently decided that it needed to tackle its debt situation aggressively. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Companies in Massachusetts that are experiencing similar debt problems can likewise seek bankruptcy protection in an effort to break free from their overwhelming debt.

Westmoreland Coal Co. has mines in several states and listed debt totaling $1.4 billion in its bankruptcy filing. Part of the problem apparently stems from the fact that several of Westmoreland's major customers said they would not continue to use coal going forward. Company officials said their decision to file for bankruptcy came after they had productive and thoughtful conversations with creditors.

The company was able to develop a plan where it can keep operating normally while simultaneously re-positioning itself in order to achieve success in the long term. Company officials said they do not intend to lay off their nearly 3,000 employees as part of the reorganization plan. The business, which is based in Colorado, has a total of 19 mines in both the United States and Canada.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing allows a business to restructure its debt in order to more easily manage its debt obligations and plot a course toward achieving financial stability once again. As a result, companies that pursue this type of bankruptcy filing often emerge from the bankruptcy process in a significantly stronger economic position. An attorney can help a struggling business owner in Massachusetts to file for bankruptcy protection with the goal of staying in business and being profitable in the years ahead.

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