San Francisco's famed Chrome Lotus nightclub recently filed for bankruptcy, but the beat goes on - the club's owner said its bankruptcy plan will allow it to stay open and, hopefully, settle its balances with creditors in a reasonable amount of time.

Owner Bill Cutting said he understands his bankruptcy strategy to allow him up to five years to pay off his debt. He said he thinks he can settle the score in less than a half-decade, but only thanks to the debt restructuring his bankruptcy filing provided. "Everyone wants to get paid right at once, and there was no way we could do that," he said.

The area in which the Chrome Lotus operates is no stranger to companies falling victim to the inability to pay off bills. Many nightclubs or restaurants have tried to make it in the same neighborhood and have come up short. It seems the Chrome Lotus might sidestep their fate by having reached a debt management strategy that works.

Business owners across the Bay Area might consider taking a page from Cutting's playbook if their own companies start to flounder financially. Many people have an instinctual aversion to bankruptcy, but that is probably because they do not understand how it works or are not aware of the benefits it can provide. A conversation with an attorney who practices bankruptcy law could leave you with a better idea of what bankruptcy could do for someone in your situation.

Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "Chrome Lotus nightclub files bankruptcy to reorganize," Cathy Bussewitz, Sep. 1, 2011