Benefits of Choosing Behm Law Group, Ltd. as Your Bankruptcy Lawyer in Owatonna, MN

In the southern Minnesota, Behm Law Group, Ltd. is a law firm that devotes its practice exclusively to bankruptcy cases.  Stephen J. Behm is also a certified consumer bankruptcy specialist certified by the American Board of Certification.  We provide representation and guidance for Chapter 7, 13, and 12 cases.  If you’re struggling with debt, bankruptcy is often an effective option for long-term debt relief and financial stability and financial rehabilitation.  Although it helps thousands of Americans get back on their feet financially each year, bankruptcy can still be a complex and nuanced legal process. While it’s possible to file without an attorney, it’s not something we recommend. The help of a Behm Law Group bankruptcy lawyer in Owatonna, MN and the surrounding areas can be critical in navigating the bankruptcy code and filing a successful case.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. is a family-owned law firm with the best interests of all our clients always at the forefront. Our attorneys are skilled in helping people facing many different kinds of financial circumstances. Stephen J. Behm has worked with clients in the local region for twenty-three years, supporting those struggling with accumulated or sudden debt. Our goal as bankruptcy lawyers is to work our clients through a bankruptcy case from start to finish as quickly and as stress-free as possible.

When we hear back from previous clients about their experiences with a Behm Law Group bankruptcy lawyer, we hear a lot of the same great feedback. At Behm Law Group, the peace of mind of our clients is always something we are concerned about and try to promote and improve.  We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a scary process.  We work hard to be direct with our clients and to apprize them of what they need to do and what documentation they need to produce to get through the bankruptcy process as efficiently and with as little disruption to their lives as possible.  However, we also remain sensitive to our clients’ fears and insecurities about the process.

These terms come up the most frequently from our past clients:

  • Professional: Our attorneys have the education, legal training, and expertise to handle even the most difficult bankruptcy cases. Behm Law Group is also a law firm that many other legal professionals in the area will contact for advice and guidance on financial and bankruptcy court matters. Both our clients and the legal community can rely on our professionalism and experience.
  • Direct: We don’t beat around the bush with our clients. Instead, we believe in delivering an honest evaluation about a case while remaining kind and sensitive to our clients’ worries and fears.
  • Fast: Depending on the chapter filed, our attorneys will work to complete a case from start to finish as efficiently and as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of results for our clients.
  • Knowledgeable: Our staff is proficient in handling a range of financial circumstances with sensitivity to the different life circumstances of all our clients.
  • Understanding: We’ve worked with those struggling to meet debts while also handling many life stresses. From raising children as a single parent to facing unemployment, we are empathetic to all client situations throughout a bankruptcy.
  • Caring: Not only do we wish to see our clients safely through a bankruptcy process with long-term stability for the future, but we also truly care about the emotional and mental well-being of our clients and we care about our community as a whole.

When you choose Behm Law Group, Ltd. for your bankruptcy lawyer in Owatonna, MN, you can trust us to guide you from start to finish in any case. To learn more about our services, contact us today at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

 

Why You Can No Longer Choose to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN Anymore

Bankruptcy has long been an option to individuals and businesses that cannot repay their debts. In the United States, bankruptcy is designed to be the fairest possible process to filers, creditors, and other parties involved. However, since 2005, the consumer bankruptcy process changed significantly with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) and the establishment of the Means Test and other laws. This act limited individual qualification for chapter 7 bankruptcy, but it also helped streamline and simplify parts of the court process as a whole. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and don’t know where to start, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help. We provide comprehensive legal protection and guidance for Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings in Mankato, MN, and the local areas.

 

For at least ten years before the BAPCPA was put into place, the issue of bankruptcy abuse in the United States was becoming more significant. Filers could choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with little to no limitations on their income-to-debt ratios and have debts discharged quickly. Because of this, it was the impression of many in Congress that people were taking advantage of the bankruptcy system and were too flippant about filing for bankruptcy relief.  In short, many in Congress believed that filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief had become too easy and that the process had become very unfair for the creditors involved.

 

In addition to fewer limitations for one to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief before the BAPCPA was enacted, filers were not required to undergo a pre-bankruptcy filing credit counseling course. According to the BAPCPA, filers must now undergo a credit counseling course with a court-approved agency within 180 days before filing their bankruptcy petition.

 

The most significant change the BAPCPA enacted was the Means Test, which created a mathematical formula of determining whether a filer qualifies for Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 13 reorganization. The Means Test measures a filer’s income and debt amounts. If a person’s projected monthly income for a household of their size is equal to or  lower than the state median or average income of a similar-sized household, the person will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If their projected income is higher than the state median or average income for a similar-sized household, the filer can only file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

In addition to stricter rules for qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the credit counseling requirement, the BAPCPA also extended the period of time that needs to pass before one can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief again.  With the enactment of the BAPCPA, the waiting period was extended from six to eight years.  So, if someone filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief on January 1, 2016, that same person could not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief again until January 2, 2024.

 

These are two of the main changes the BAPCPA created in the bankruptcy law, but there were several other changes made to protect creditors, such as limiting automatic stay provisions and lien avoidances, establishing stricter case dismissal rules, and changing bankruptcy exemption allowances.

 

Overall, with the passage of BAPCPA bankruptcy filers are unable to choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless they satisfy the means test and meet certain other requirements. These limitations help the bankruptcy process maintain fairness and balance between the interests of creditors and bankruptcy filers and they help to prevent many types of potential bankruptcy fraud.

 

To learn more about how filing for Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and the surrounding areas will impact your debts and other financial circumstances, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. by calling (507) 387-7200 or emailing  stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.