Insolvent home building business seeks new lease on life

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When a company becomes insolvent, the demise of the business is not a foregone conclusion. This is illustrated in the case of a 60-year-old B.C. home building manufacturer Viceroy Home. Despite filing for bankruptcy protection last June, Viceroy is seeking to restart operations following a change in its ownership structure.

The business that once employed 250, is currently being run by a much smaller staff. As they begin production on projects, including some unfinished homes, they are seeking to hire more employees. Whether previous employees of the business will return is not clear as despite being paid back wages, there are some former employees who are owed vacation benefits and severance. Such claims will need to be resolved as part of Viceroy’s ongoing insolvency process.

There are multiple approaches that may be taken when a B.C. company experiences financial difficulties. In many one-industry towns, to reduce the financial impact on a community the least desirable approach is outright bankruptcy. Reorganizing the business, or selling the business assets to a new operator , are ways in which this may be accomplished.

Businesses facing financial difficulties should take steps to address the issue while they still have some control of the situation. Working with a lawyer who has experience in cases of this nature is generally the best way to proceed.

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