2016 has arrived, and that means that people in Mankato, MN and across the nation are making resolutions to change their lives for the better in the new year. If you have been struggling with debt in the past, the big question on your mind might be, “How will I handle my finances for the new year?”
Whether you’ve already filed for bankruptcy or you’re still considering your options, starting the new year with a “get out of debt” mindset will help you come out of the financial hole you’re in.
Here are a few ways you could make your debt-cutting process easier:
- Put yourself on a budget. Yes, you’ve probably already heard that, but setting and adhering to a budget is imperative to getting out and staying out of debt. Identifying and curbing your spending on surplus or unnecessary items will help keep you from using your money on the same purchases that most likely put you in debt. For instance grocery shop on a budget and adhere to it and search for discounts and try your luck with thrift stores when buying clothing.
- Avoid using credit cards for the most part. While in debt, you need to save the money you spent that created the debt. Breaking some of the bad habits starts with ceasing the use of credit cards. They are part of the source of your debt, thus, saving as much as you can, will help you pay off your debt faster.
- Make the process fun. It never hurts to have a little fun, right? Being optimistic about cutting down your debt will make the task seem less daunting and drawn out. Create incentives for yourself every time you pay off a credit card, utility bill, or loan.
- Reach out your family and friends for emotional support. At Behm Law Group Ltd., we do our best to help you file for bankruptcy quickly and efficiently so you can find relief from debt. However, being in a state of bankruptcy still causes some stress and emotional strain, so reaching out to friends and family can help relieve the stress and give you more peace of mind.
Contact the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. in Mankato, MN. We can provide you the bankruptcy services you need to start off fresh in 2016!
Last week, we discussed the power of music to influence your purchases and bankruptcy in Worthington, MN. The music that businesses typically play during the holiday season and other festive times throughout the year is often referred to as “muzak.”
This nickname comes from a company that specializes in gentle, instrumental background music. The company, called Muzak, likely created some of the sounds you’ve heard in waiting rooms and the elevators.
However, though Muzak’s music can damage your wallet during the holiday shopping season, this company has gone through their own financial struggles. Muzak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2009. So, here are a few interesting facts about Muzak’s bankruptcy filing to consider while bobbing your head to their instrumental tunes:
- History: Muzak has been around since 1934. Although they’re best known for their instrumental works, their company has also explored the genres of soft rock and pop.
- Reach: According to the company’s Chief Executive, Muzak’s tunes reach approximately 100 million people every day.
- Bankruptcy: Although Muzak entered bankruptcy without a plan in place, they reduced their debt by $230 million dollars in the course of a year.
- Recovery: Currently, Muzak operates in three separate divisions: media, sensory branding, and technical systems. They have recovered from bankruptcy and still deliver the head bobbing, instrumental tunes in the background of your nearest department store or elevator.
Although bankruptcy can be frightening, Muzak is proof that it’s possible to recover from financial troubles.
In Worthington, MN, the same is possible. With the help of the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd., filing for bankruptcy can start you on a new path towards financial success in 2016. Soon, your financial troubles can fade into the background, just like some smooth, instrumental muzak.
For more information about your personal bankruptcy filing this holiday season, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd.
You’ve likely visited a number of stores in Marshall, Minnesota this holiday season. Though stores often look similar to each other this time of year, decorated in red, green, silver, and gold, there’s another similarity between these stores that you may not have noticed: the music playing in the background.
Sure, it’s common to tap your feet or nod your head while strolling through a store. But there’s an industry behind the music you hear this time of year, and that industry wants you to buy, buy, buy! For many folks—especially those in debt or filing for bankruptcy—this can be a dangerous trick.
So, pay attention to those tunes! Here are a few ways that companies are using music to impact your holiday bills, debt, or bankruptcy filing this season:
- Manipulative Music: During the holiday season, stores often play only uplifting, positive, and holly jolly tunes for shoppers. These types of songs make you more likely to spend larger quantities of money, thus increasing debt and the potential for holiday bankruptcy.
- Slow Shopping: Music in stores is also occasionally slowed down, which makes customers feel as though less time has passed since entering the store. As a result, shoppers will take more time strolling through all the aisles and perusing potential purchases.
- Instrumental Inspiration: Stores also play instrumental versions of popular songs. These songs can be played fast or slow, depending on how managers want shoppers to behave inside their stores. If you find yourself pushing your cart quickly to keep up with the music, be wary of frivolous spending!
- Muzak Melodies: Background music, such as that played in stores, is often called “muzak.” This name is taken from a company famous for their soothing instrumental melodies. Though the purpose of their tunes is to increase customer expenses, the company actually filed for bankruptcy themselves in 2009. Still, the nickname has stuck!
If you’re in debt or filing for bankruptcy this holiday season in Marshall Minnesota, be wary of manipulative holiday music. Though it can be fun to tap your foot to the tunes while shopping, be conscious of how it’s impacting your overall holiday budget.
For help with your bankruptcy filing this holiday season, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today!
Last week in Owatonna, Minnesota, we discussed the importance of filing for bankruptcy prior to the expensive December holidays, such as Christmas. This week, a number of businesses across the United States are doing exactly that.
A notable company is Rdio Inc., which is based out of San Francisco, California. This company is a free streaming service, much like Pandora or Spotify, with the option for ad-free listening to paid subscribers. They have been experiencing financial issues, and recently filed for bankruptcy. On Friday, however, Pandora offered Rdio.inc $75 million dollars to purchase the company entirely, thus expanding their company and assisting Rdio with some of their financial struggles.
Which other companies are working through or filing for bankruptcy before the holidays? Let’s take a look:
- Energy Future Holdings Corp: This company, based out of Texas, is currently asking a bankruptcy judge for permission to pay bonuses to their employees.
- Walter Energy: Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Walter Energy is presently struggling to pay employee benefits such as pensions. Tensions have risen amongst workers at Walter Energy, which means that employees are threatening to strike if their benefits are not paid.
- Freedom Communications Inc: This publishing group based in Santa Ana, California, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. The Tribune Publishing Company, which is also based in California, is currently interested in purchasing this bankrupt company.
- Colt Defense LLC: This gun making company is making a bankruptcy-exit plan at the moment, which will allow it to successfully recover in the future.
Though it can be frightening to take the plunge and file before the holidays in Owatonna, Minnesota, it is important to file as soon as possible. There are many people, and many organizations, struggling with bankruptcy this holiday season. Why prolong your financial issues into 2016?
To get started on your bankruptcy filing, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today.
It’s finally December in Mankato, Minnesota! That means it’s time to start prepping for your office celebrations, traveling for family events, and filling up your calendar with festive activities. With so much going on, most people’s schedules become especially hectic this time of year.
However, bankruptcy firms tend to have quieter Decembers than most. Oftentimes, potential filers do not want to disrupt the holiday season with thoughts of debt or bankruptcy, or their schedules become too busy to begin a filing. Who has time to work on a filing, between running to the mall and planning holiday events?
Though it’s understandable to want to wait until 2016 to file for bankruptcy, it may be important to address your filing before the holiday season. If your finances are in trouble going in to the holiday season, they will still be in trouble afterward. Rather than waiting to address the issue until after the tree is decorated, presents are opened, and carols are sung, it’s best to address the problem immediately.
If you’re struggling with debt in the Mankato MN area and have been considering bankruptcy, now is the time to address your bankruptcy filing. For additional information about starting a filing and examining your financial situation this holiday season, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call today.
Last week, we discussed a few key terms regarding Black Friday and bankruptcy in the Mankato, Minnesota area. Now that we know all about the history of this holiday, and about the importance of remaining “in the black,” it’s time to think about our own personal finances this holiday season.
Here are a few tips and tricks to avoid bankruptcy this holiday season, even in the midst of the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday:
- Set a Budget: In order to avoid bankruptcy this holiday season, decide how much money you plan to spend on gifts. If you have a plan, you’ll be less likely to splurge on an extra box of fancy chocolates for your co-worker or another pair of socks for your nephew. While you’re budgeting for the holidays, remember to factor in additional costs for food, traveling, and decorations, too!
- Pay With Cash: Rather than wracking up credit card debt and flirting with potential bankruptcy, withdraw your Black Friday shopping budget in cash. This way, you know that you’re staying within your budget for the day. Just make sure to keep the money stored safely in a wallet, purse, or car compartment in order to survive the long day of shopping!
- Mark a Route: If you’re out shopping on Black Friday, decide which stores you’ll visit, and in which order you’ll visit them. If Kohl’s is next to Best Buy, but across town from Wal-Mart, plan the order in which you’ll visit all three with limited doubling-back. This way, you won’t waste time or money driving back and forth between different areas of town. Think of it as your own personal shopping map, and make sure to include a hot chocolate stop!
- Just Pick One: Although it may be tempting to take advantage of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, you’ll be more likely to spend responsibly and avoid debt or bankruptcy if you limit yourself to one day of binge shopping. So, if you’re passionate about supporting local businesses or you love online shopping, spend Black Friday curled in a blanket and relaxing!
These four simple steps should help keep your finances in check this holiday shopping season, even in the midst of Black Friday debt and potential bankruptcy. However, if you live in the Mankato, Minnesota area, and you already feel like your finances are on clearance this holiday season, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.
Black Friday is just around the corner in the Mankato, Minnesota area, which means businesses and consumers are already starting to prepare. Usually, preparing for Black Friday means setting an early alarm clock, brewing extreme amounts of coffee, plotting a shopping route, and elbowing to get the best deals. Through all your planning, though, have you also prepared your pocketbook?
Bankruptcy can be a serious issue around the holiday season, especially when it comes to a day dedicated to spending money. In this two-part blog post, we’re going to first discuss the history of bankruptcy in regards to Black Friday. Next week, once we know what Black Friday is all about, we’ll pick up with a post about avoiding bankruptcy on Black Friday.
Here are a few facts behind Black Friday vocabulary:
- All in a Name: The name “Black Friday” originated with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1966. They began referring to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” because, as a result of increased holiday shopping and traffic from the Army versus Navy football game, the city was thrown into chaos.
- In the Black: The meaning of the changed in the 1980s. The phrase “in the black” typically means that stores are profitable, whereas “in the red” means that stores are either struggling financially, insolvent, or approaching bankruptcy.
- Cyber Monday: Though Black Friday has remained important to annual retail sales, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Don’t want to wait in line for hours for that new T.V.? Better to wait until Cyber Monday, which takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving!
In order for you to remain financially “in the black” this holiday season, we’ll be back next week with a few ways to avoid filing for bankruptcy this Black Friday. For folks in the Mankato, Minnesota area, the holiday season should be celebrated, not feared.
If you feel like your finances need a little help before the season starts, and that bankruptcy may be the best solution for you, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today.
It’s November in Mankato, Minnesota and all throughout the area, there’s already a sense of holiday excitement and cheer in the air. That’s because the first big November holiday is already happening this week, on November 5.
That’s right. It’s National Doughnut Day!
I’m sure the word “doughnut” brings a few visuals to mind. You may be thinking about glaze, frosting, and the words “Bavarian Cream” or “Bear Claw” might resonate with salivating celebrators. You may also be thinking about your favorite local bakery, or about a more national bakery such as Dunkin’ Donuts.
But there’s one doughnut bakery that may no longer be in the forefront of your mind: Krispy Kreme. Whatever happened to Krispy Kreme?
This doughnut day, we’re going to explore the history of this famous doughnut company. Krispy Kreme’s history with bankruptcy proves that it’s possible to go through a filing and successfully reinvent your business afterward. Let’s take a look at Krispy Kreme’s bankruptcy timeline:
- 2003: In 2003, Krispy Kreme’s business was sweet! The company was heralded as “America’s Hottest Brand,” for both consumers and investors. This phrase made the cover of Fortune magazine.
- Post 2003: As a result of low-carb diet trends, the market for doughnuts decreased rapidly. While Krispy Kreme’s competitors rebranded or introduced coffee drinks to avoid decreased sales and bankruptcy, Krispy Kreme continued to operate the same way it always had.
- 2007: Diet trends finally became too much, and in 2007, Krispy Kreme was forced to close a number of stores. Sales had decreased, and the company had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Now: Krispy Kreme emerged from bankruptcy a few years ago and is back on the doughnut scene. Now, however, the company is choosing to focus on specialty and international products in addition to their classic glaze!
Although Krispy Kreme may no longer be “America’s Hottest Brand,” the company has managed to come back from their Chapter 11 bankruptcy and refine their approach to deep fried dough. They will still be here to celebrate with you this National Doughnut Day, and they’ll also be celebrating with Canada and France!
Krispy Kreme is proof that it’s possible to successfully reinvent yourself after a bankruptcy filing in Mankato, Minnesota. Even after filing bankruptcy, life can still be sweet! If you would like more information about your own bankruptcy filing, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.
One dark, stormy night in the Mankato, Minnesota area, Kevin sat alone in his den. He was looking through bank statements, wondering how he’d be able to cover both his medical bills and his son’s college tuition for the rest of the year.
Lightning flashed in the distance. Kevin started, looking from the dark window towards the ticking cat-eye clock on the kitchen wall. The time had come. He was prepared to file his skeleton petition for bankruptcy.
At this point in the story, you should be screaming, “Stop, Kevin! Don’t do it!” Kevin is about to make a mistake. Filing a skeleton petition for bankruptcy is dangerous, and almost always inadvisable.
So, how can you become a hero in your own scary story? Here are three things to do in order to avoid skeleton petitions:
- Do your research: What, exactly, is a skeleton petition? These petitions, often referred to as “skeletons” or “ghosts,” are filed in bankruptcy court with minimal information, in order to avoid foreclosure. These documents are usually three or four pages long, whereas typical petitions are twenty to thirty pages long.
- Do find a professional attorney: Folks usually don’t file a skeleton petition if they’re working with a trained, professional bankruptcy attorney. If you are advised to file a skeleton petition, it’s a sign that your attorney is either inexperienced or unprofessional.
- Do go through the process: Often, people file skeleton petitions in order to avoid the entire bankruptcy process or to delay foreclosure. However, skeleton cases are typically dismissed. This means that you’ll need to file again, and ultimately, you’ll need to go through the traditional bankruptcy procedure within a court.
If you live in the Mankato, Minnesota area, don’t make Kevin’s mistakes. You can avoid skeleton petitions, and as a result, your scary story might not be so scary after all.
In fact, with the help of the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd., it could be a story with a very happy ending. So take control of your plotline; contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today!
This time of year, costumes, masks, and spooky makeup line the shelves of Mankato, Minnesota area department stores, beckoning folks to come along and alter their appearances. Putting on a costume or disguise can be exciting, especially for partygoers and trick-or-treaters on this one night each year. But what about the other 364 days?
Telling the truth, rather than hiding behind a costume or mask, is vitally important to a bankruptcy filing. As an example, let’s take a look at Abby Lee Miller from the popular television show Dance Moms, who came under investigation this week for fraud.
Although you may have heard about this infamous bankruptcy case over the past few days, let’s take a deeper look at Miller’s case to examine the benefits of a truthful bankruptcy filing:
- The Disguise: Miller filed for bankruptcy with over $300,000 in debt. At the time, she was also making money from the television show Dance Moms, but failed to disclose this income to the judge.
- The Reveal: A few years later, the judge on this case happened to be channel surfing when he came across Miller’s television show. He took another look at her case and quickly realized that she had been making significant income during the time of her bankruptcy filing.
- The Truth: Over the past few years, Miller concealed more than $700,000 in income, all made from her television show.
- The Consequences: Miller may spend five years in prison and receive a fine of approximately $250,000 for each count of fraud she pleads guilty to.
- The Lesson: Always, always, always be honest with your bankruptcy filing. Although it may seem tempting to disguise income and hide the truth, the consequences far outweigh the short-term benefits!
Folks in the Mankato, Minnesota area, it’s always best to save the disguises, masks, and costumes for Halloween. When it comes to your bankruptcy filing, opt for honesty instead. The professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. can help, and that’s the truth. Contact them today.