A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a "reorganization" bankruptcy.
An individual may file under chapter 11; however, the provisions of chapter 11 are generally used to reorganize a business. Chapter 11 allows the debtor to continue its business operations by means of a plan of reorganization, which must meet certain statutory criteria. By enacting chapter 11, Congress gave the debtor a chance to restructure its finances so that it may continue to operate, provide its employees with jobs, pay its creditors, and produce a return for its stockholders. Because chapter 11 envisions an ongoing business, the most likely persons to have knowledge of the operation and details of the business are the existing managers who normally continue operations during the chapter 11 process. A major rationale for business reorganizations is that the value of a business as an ongoing concern is greater than it would be if its assets were sold. When a business develops financial difficulties, such as not being able to pay its creditors due to cash flow problems, it may consider filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy. If the business can extend or reduce its debts or drastically lower its operating costs, it often can be returned to a viable state. Generally, it is more economically efficient to reorganize than to liquidate, because doing so preserves jobs and assets.