My name is John Bauer and I am a California licensed attorney who specializes in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and California Cannabis (Marijuana) Law. I am the President and presiding officer of Financial Relief Legal Advocates, Inc., a California law corporation. I have maintained my law practice since 2009 and have represented debtors exclusively (parties filing bankruptcy) in my bankruptcy practice. I have chosen not to represent any lenders or creditors in my practice. I have successfully confirmed multiple Chapter 11 cases, saving my clients literally millions of dollars, keeping their properties and keeping their businesses.
Regarding my Cannabis legal practice, I represent parties seeking general marijuana information, parties seeking to create a new business entity for your eventual cannabis company, prospective lessors and lessees regarding a specific premises for cannabis use, and clients applying for cannabis licenses with their local and California state agencies.
From 1995 through 2007, I was a very active real estate investor and, as a result, learned about the purchase and sale processes of properties in a number of states. In fact, during this time, I became a licensed real estate broker in California, Arizona, and Florida. I also became a Certified Real Estate Broker with the Federal Dept. of Housing & Urban Development in the State of California.
As a result, I became very knowledgeable in the areas of escrow, title, and appraisal and valuation of properties and businesses. This experience has been of great help in the practice of Chapter 11 reorganization as these reorganizations typically involve de-valuation of each property and an accompanying reduction in the secured loan’s monthly payment. As a result, the overall monthly budget is appreciably reduced so that my clients may retain their properties, their businesses, and their employees. This practice has been a wonderful success story for me.
In addition, as a Chapter 11 reorganization attorney, I came to learn that the possession and/or business of marijuana was legal in California (subject to statute) but remained illegal under Federal Law. I found this an interesting fact and sought to research this further as I actively practiced law in Federal Court. This led me to extensive research into the legal field of marijuana as I learned of a number of people who used marijuana extracts and products to assist them with their pain and medical conditions.
Cannabis Law was a natural addition to my Bankruptcy practice as I was also experienced with entity formation and entity choices (C-Corps and S-Corps and LLC’s, etc.) since I represented so many of these different entities in my Chapter 11 Bankruptcy practice. Entity choice is one of the first important decisions to make on the way to your chosen California Cannabis License.
I also became familiar with the structure and tax implications of these respective entities in my Chapter 11 practice. There are additional tax code sections which pertain directly to marijuana practice, IRS Code Sections 280E and 199A. These sections are critical to understand and evaluate when you are determining the potential profitability of your cannabis business.
In addition, my property purchase, sale, and lease background as an investor and as a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy counsel will be greatly helpful in assisting you with a purchase or lease of a property premises as necessary for your new cannabis business.
During our representation, we will also discuss with you how Federal Law directly conflicts with California law regarding the possession, use, and business activities related to Cannabis. We will further provide you with specific federal guidelines which you can review to help minimize the chance that your California activities will be targeted by Federal authorities.
In closing, we will answer your general marijuana possession or use questions in addition to offering you advice and assistance to procure your California state license to legally operate a cannabis related business.
Here are just a few examples of what we have accomplished for our clients in our Chapter 11 cases—
(1) Stripped a 2nd loan of $1.0 million from a client’s business property with agreement to the bank that he will pay it back 10 cents on the dollar over 60 months ($100,000.) He was then able to refinance the property and pull $600,000. in new cash out of that same property!
(2) Reduced the lease payments of multiple pieces of equipment for a national printing company, in addition to reducing the value of that equipment. As a result, the company’s monthly payments were greatly reduced and it could pay off the leases more quickly.
(3) Stripped a 2nd loan of $410,000. from a client’s personal residence so it became completely unsecured, got the 1st lender to reduce its interest rate from 4.5% to 2%, change the amortization schedule from 19 to 30 years, and reduce the payment of this expensive home by $3,000. per month. Now, she can keep her home as it is now affordable again.
(4) Got the IRS to agree to reduce its secured tax claim against a client by $80,000. after a brief 20 minute meeting in court.
(5) Confirmed a Chapter 11 Plan where my client was able to repay $130,000. in back due payments secured on her principal home over a 77 month period so she could keep this lovely home.
(6) Confirmed a Chapter 11 Plan where my clients were able to reduce the loan balances on their rental properties in Texas, Tennessee, and California in excess of $600,000. so they could now keep these properties because their cash flow would comfortably satisfy the monthly overhead.
Also, here is a sampling of some of the recent testimonials I have received as a practicing Chapter 11 attorney:
“I just want you to know how much Laura and I appreciate your skill, intellect, and ability in helping us out of an endless battle we have been in for years. I know we aren’t done but today you shined brightly.”
-Brad S., San Juan Capistrano CA
“You did great! You are amazing. Thank God that he brought us to the right and best lawyer. Me and my family will not forget the name, John Bauer!”
-Irineo F., Reseda, CA
“I would refer you to anyone who needed bankruptcy help!”
-Kam Y., Los Angeles, CA
“Well, I need to thank you for your past help as I was able to get confirmation in Garner last month. Believe me, it would not have happened without you. You helped teach me the bigger picture of how to package a deal for the judge, trustee, and creditors. With your help, I was ultimately able to get the U.S. Trustee on board. I always hope to use your in the future as I get new cases.”
-Mitch A., Attorney, Sacramento, CA.
If you think that you may need help to protect yourself against potential creditors, call me immediately so that I can fully preserve your legal rights and stop these creditors from harming you in any way.
In Chapter 11 Bankruptcy,we stripped off a $1.0 million loan from a client’s industrial property which reduced the monthly payments by approximately 40%.
In Chapter 11, we “crammed down” a client’s mortgage on his rental property from $625,000. to $380,000. which greatly reduced her monthly mortgage payment.
We obtained agreements for clients with their home lenders in Chapter 11 bankruptcies to accept repayment of their back due mortgages ($50,000. and $100,000+, respectively) over a 60 month period so they could keep their homes and avoid foreclosure.
In Chapter 11, we rejected a $10,000. monthly lease on a business location for a client so that he no longer had to make this monthly lease payment. The client could now profitably operate his remaining business location–without the negative cash flow from the unduly expensive location.
In Chapter 11, we obtained a court order that a client could repay her credit line formerly secured on her business property at just 10 cents on the dollar.
These are just some of the many things that we have done to assist our clients with their homes, their businesses, and their rental properties.
We can help you too! We offer a free 1/2 hour office consultation.