Filing for Bankruptcy Has Ups and Downs

For those who haven’t been able to meet debt payments on time for several months and suspect they may never be able to fully repay their debts, bankruptcy is always an option. Bankruptcy was designed to support consumers and businesses that can’t repay debts. It’s a failsafe support system that benefits filers, creditors, and the economy overall.

While bankruptcy helps thousands of Americans each year climb out of debt and find long-term financial stability, it’s not just a bailout, and it has its ups and downs just like any other legal process. However, in the majority of cases, the good vastly outweighs the bad. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we help clients work through the process of filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN and the local region. In fact, we’re the only law firm in South Central and Southwestern Minnesota that works exclusively with bankruptcy cases.

While the benefits typically outweigh the detriments, it is important to be aware of how bankruptcy can affect you overall.

The Good

Bankruptcy provides direct and permanent debt relief for many types of debts. When you file, the court will also place an immediate automatic stay on your creditors. They will not be able to collect debts or harass you in any way. You will also most likely be able to protect all of your property from liquidation with the many generous bankruptcy exemptions that are allowed in a typical case. You will find that you may have an increase in credit card solicitations/offers and more access to banking opportunities after your case is concluded. Additionally, negative credit marks against you from missed debt payments will be wiped from your credit record. Overall, bankruptcy can give you a completely clean financial state.

The Bad

Filing for bankruptcy can be reflected on your credit profile usually for 5 to 7 years.  Sometimes, after a bankruptcy is concluded, one must wait 2 to 3 years to get approved for a mortgage loan.  Sometimes, one will experience slightly higher interest rates on vehicle loans.  Also, you generally can’t qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy if your income is higher than the state average or median income for a household of your size.  However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to file for Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy. Also, some debts, such as student loans, are more difficult to discharge in any kind of bankruptcy and some debts, like most tax debts, child support debts and alimony, are generally not discharged at all. In a Chapter 7 case, you can lose some property if the value of that property exceeds your bankruptcy exemption allowances.  Also, if you have co-signers on a loan, the creditors could pursue them for collection on the debt.  Finally, bankruptcy can be costly when court fees and attorney costs are added together.  While there is no set fee for a bankruptcy case and while the fee one winds up paying depends on how complicated the case is, the typical range is between $1,500.00 and $3,000.00.  However, having to pay an attorney $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 is generally preferable to having to continue paying on thousands of dollars of credit card debt, medical debt and other debts.

If you’re unsure whether filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN and the surrounding communities is the right choice for your financial situation, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or today. Our attorneys can help determine which type of bankruptcy you qualify for and whether filing bankruptcy is even in your best interests.