Debts Not Discharged Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

The Bankruptcy Code and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court can be very forgiving when it comes to the right debts and debtor. In the majority of cases, a debtor released from responsibility to debts (discharged from debts) is given a fresh start for building credit and a significant lightening of the demanded financial load. However, there are times when filing for bankruptcy is unadvisable given the type and circumstances of the debt in question. At Behm Law Group, our attorneys can guide and protect you when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

For many individual filers and some businesses, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the most beneficial type of debt relief. Under Chapter 7, the debtor is released from all debts deemed dischargeable and the debtor’s assets (excluding allowable exemption claims such as homestead, vehicle and others) are distributed to creditors as debt repayment. In most cases, however, a person will be able to retain all of one’s property because the exemption allowances are very generous.

In some cases, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not beneficial to the debtor because the debts owed are non-dischargeable and could likely be denied for discharge.

Non-Dischargeable Debts:

Several types of debt are not recognized as dischargeable in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. These include debts that obligate the debtor to the welfare of another person—for example alimony and child support debts or debts to the debtor’s employees. Similarly, debts for injury or death caused by alcohol consumption owed to another person are not discharged under Chapter 7. Educational debts such as student loans and several types of tax-related debts are also common types of non-dischargeable debts. However, student loans can be discharged if one is able to demonstrate “undue hardship” under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(8). In order to do this, one must go beyond the initial bankruptcy filing and one must actually sue the student loan creditor and request the bankruptcy court to discharge the student loan debt. The burden of proof regarding “undue hardship” is on the person seeking to have the student loan debt discharged.

Denial of Discharge:

While debts that do not fall into the non-dischargeable category are approved under Chapter 7 for release from the debtor more often than not, there are times when debts are denied for discharge. These cases include those where the debtor has not kept accurate financial records, has committed a bankruptcy crime, has inaccurately explained assets or the loss thereof, or any cases where the debtor has committed fraud related to bankruptcy, assets, or debts. All that one has to do to have one’s debts discharged is to be honest and forthright with one’s bankruptcy attorney and list all of one’s assets and liabilities in one’s bankruptcy petition and related schedules.

At Behm Law Group, we make it our goal to help our clients understand any possible reasons why debts may not be discharged during the filing process under Chapter 7. With the help of our attorneys, filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, doesn’t have to be an uncertain, difficult, or thankless process. For more information, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

Exempted Properties and Debts Involved with Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy used to address issues of bankruptcy for individuals and businesses. Almost all cases of Chapter 7 bankruptcy involve converting all of the debtor’s assets into a cash value—otherwise known as liquidity. Because Chapter 7 functions to turn a debtor’s property and assets into cash used to repay creditors, it is commonly referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we offer professional guidance and legal protection in all cases of Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

Chapter 7 is often the best choice for individuals filing for bankruptcy because it provides an efficiently-governed breakdown of assets. This gives the debtor a debt-free new start while also allowing for several properties exemptions. This means that the federal court allows the debtor to withhold necessities of life—such as housing and transportation—from the bankruptcy process.

The common assets that are exempt from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation process are considered basic needs for the debtor, in terms of survival and ability to function as a contributing member of society. In the state of Minnesota, these debts include, but are not limited to:

  • Homestead
  • Household car or other means of transportation
  • Pension or retirement benefits
  • Personal property (such as clothing, appliances, furniture, food, wedding rings, and tools of trade)
  • Insurance benefits
  • Assistance and other benefits
  • Wages

While the promise of these exemptions of property from the bankruptcy process are comforting, keep in mind that Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t allow for the liquidation of several kinds of common debts. Not every debt is forgiven, and there are many cases where filing for bankruptcy is not ideal. Chapter 7 does not involve the following:

  • Student loan debts
  • Debts from fraud
  • DUI and DWI debts
  • Child support debts
  • Tax debts
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not an answer for all debt situations, but if you choose to acknowledge the exemptions for the process and file for liquidation bankruptcy, our attorneys can guide you every step of the way. We do everything in our power to make filing for bankruptcy into a beneficial situation, giving you an opportunity to start fresh.

For more information about your options with liquidation bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200, or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

 

How to Recover from Filing for Bankruptcy in Worthington, MN

After you’ve filed for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN, your credit will be damaged, but it won’t ruin your financial future forever. Listed below are several tips the attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. would like you to consider to help you rebuild your credit and life after bankruptcy. Remember, if you’re contemplating bankruptcy, the compassionate professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you with your decision by providing solid answers to your questions and concerns.

  • Create a budget to help you stay on top of your finances. The attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. recommend NerdWallet. Non-profit credit counseling agencies offer free basic consumer help on topics such as budgeting. Simple budgeting forms can be downloaded from the Internet, too.
  • Begin building an emergency fund, even if it’s just a small amount at first. Research by the Urban Institute shows that having as little $250 in savings for an unexpected expense can protect families from resorting to payday loans or running up credit cards, which can start a new debt spiral.
  • Cautiously apply for a credit card. Try to obtain either a secured or unsecured credit card, and make sure to repay the entire balance every month. Doing this quickly establishes a timely payment history and improves your credit. Do not fall into the trap of obtaining too much credit.
  • Repair your credit. It’s unusual for your credit report to be 100% accurate following a bankruptcy, and some of your debts may not indicate that they were discharged in your bankruptcy. Its the creditor’s responsibility to update your credit reports to show that your discharged debts have a zero balance, but you obtain the best results if you dispute incorrect items on your credit report. The three major crediting reporting agencies offer free credit reports annually.
  • Open a new bank account. Opening a new checking or savings account will demonstrate financial stability. It can also give you a fresh slate to practice good financial habits. When you open your account, talk to the banker about signing up for automatic online bill pay. This will ensure that your bills are paid on time, which is a major factor in rebuilding your credit score.

If you have questions about what your life in Worthington, MN, will look like post-bankruptcy, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call at (507) 387-7200. We’re standing by to assist you with all aspects of filing for bankruptcy.

 

How to Buy Back-to-School Supplies in Owatonna, MN, Without Having to Declare Bankruptcy

Parents and kids in Owatonna, MN are getting geared up for the new school year. One inevitable expense is outfitting and supplying kids with what they need to head back to the classroom. It is possible to spend wisely on supplies without going broke and facing the prospect of bankruptcy, according to the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd.

Here are several money-saving strategies to lessen the financial burden of getting your kids ready for school this year:

  • Determine what you really need to purchase. Check each child’s closet and make a list of only what each one truly needs to head back to school. Round up all of the office and school supplies you already own. Put them in a central location so you can make a list of what you have. Take your lists with you when you shop.
  • Stick to your lists. The teacher’s supply list at the start of the school year is daunting enough, so don’t waste money on unlisted items.
  • Set limits. Draw up a budget and make a commitment to stick to it. Set limitations with your kids, and speak with them about money-based values. Try to stay away from trendy, cheaply made merchandise.
  • Spread your spending over two or more pay periods, if possible, to help you stick to your budget.
  • Shop end-of-summer sales. Snap up discounted clothing that can be worn well into fall and next spring.
  • Host a back-to-school swap. Round up a couple of moms with kids the same gender as yours, but different ages, and host an annual clothes swap. Trade books and tools, too.
  • Hit up the Dollar Store or Dollar General for great deals on basic supplies. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find and how much you’ll save.
  • Use coupons wisely. Scour your Sunday newspaper for coupons and search on-line coupon sites. To cut down on driving, remember that many stores offer price and coupon matching.
  • Pay with cash vs. credit cards. This allows you to keep a tight rein on your budget. Once your cash is gone, you’re done shopping.

If your back-to-school expenses and other bills seem unsurmountable and you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call at (507) 387-7200 to discuss your options. We’re standing by to assist you with this very difficult decision.

 

Why It Is Wise to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you live in Marshall, MN, and are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it makes the most sense to hire a bankruptcy attorney with Behm Law Group, Ltd. vs. doing it yourself. Filing on your own without the assistance of an attorney is a process known as “pro se” representation.

While some folks think it might save them some money by filing “pro se,” it’s actually not a wise thing to do for several reasons. They include the following:

  • A lot is at stake when you file for bankruptcy, and filing a bankruptcy petition by yourself can be a complicated and demanding process.
  • Attorneys have the experience and training necessary to give you the best advice possible for your specific bankruptcy situation.
  • Judges, trustees, and creditors’ lawyers are comfortable working with bankruptcy lawyers and aren’t always happy to be working with someone who is not familiar with the intricacies of the law. A trustee may even request that you hire an attorney if they believe that an attorney will benefit you.
  • A bankruptcy attorney looks out for your best interests at every step of the bankruptcy process and makes sure you receive the full relief to which you are entitled under bankruptcy law.
  • Bankruptcy can be an intimidating and time-consuming process. You will need to fill out many forms, research the law, and attend hearings. If you are not comfortable with any aspect of the bankruptcy process, consider hiring Behm Law Group, Ltd. We will prepare the forms, attend the hearings with you, and guide you through the complicated process.
  • An overwhelming majority of Chapter 13 cases filed without an attorney get dismissed by the court.

If you’re facing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy in Marshall, MN, it’s wise to give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call at (507) 387-7200 to discuss your options. We’re standing by to assist you with the complexities of filing for bankruptcy!

 

Slash Daily Expenses to Avoid Bankruptcy in Waseca, MN

Drastically reducing your daily expenses is one proven way to help your paychecks go further in today’s economy in Waseca, MN. However, if you’ve slashed your daily and monthly expenses to the bare bone but your debt load dictates that you still need to declare bankruptcy, the non-judgmental and knowledgeable team at Behm Law Group, Ltd. can assist you with all facets of your decision to file.

If you’re stumped about ways to save, here are four ideas you can use to help cut your monthly bills by several hundreds of dollars, according to a recent issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Taking any or all of the following steps could help you lower your debt, increase your cash flow, and eliminate the need to file for bankruptcy:

Save on groceries. A family of four spends up to $1,284 a month on food at home, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to stock up on sale items that are nonperishable or that can be frozen. Once you have a stockpile, you can plan weekly meals around what you have and perishable items on sale at the supermarket. Clipping coupons and shopping during double-coupon days and eliminating restaurant trips are other ways to save.

Eliminate your landline. Growing numbers of households are ditching their landline telephone service and relying strictly on wireless service. According to the U.S. Depart of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey, consumers spent an average of $353 per year on residential phone services in 2014. Eliminating your landline could put an extra $25 to $30 in your pocket each month.

Cut the cost of wireless service. If you are not locked into a contract with a service provider, you might be able to lower your monthly bill by switching to a smaller carrier that offers more competitive pricing than major carriers. If you don’t want to switch to a smaller carrier that might have a limited coverage area, you still might be able to lower your monthly bill with a major carrier by exploring plans with lower data allotments. Long-time customers can sometimes trim their bills with a call to the service provider’s loyalty department.

Cut or trim the cable cord. The Leichtman Research Group reports that the monthly spending on pay-TV is nearly $100 per month, a 40% increase since 2010. Cutting your cable cord could create savings that would add up quickly. If you’re not ready to give up on cable TV, you could lower your bill by opting for the most basic package.

If taking the above steps still doesn’t leave enough room in your budget, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call at (507) 387-7200 a call to discuss your bankruptcy options. We’re standing by to assist you!

 

The Differences Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN

If you’re struggling to pay your bills and being hounded by debt collectors in Fairmont, MN, you may be contemplating filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Fortunately, the compassionate and knowledgeable team at Behm Law Group, Ltd. can assist you with your decision to file for bankruptcy.

Below is a brief rundown of the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is referred to as a liquidation, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is called an adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income or a reorganization.

Your financial situation generally dictates which type of bankruptcy you will file for. Chapter 7 is for people with little or no income, while Chapter 13 is for folks who have a higher and regular income. Reportedly, the most common filing is Chapter 7. Companies, married couples, and individuals are allowed to file Chapter 7. Companies are not allowed to file Chapter 13.

A debtor filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essentially scrapping everything and starting over, hoping for a clean financial slate. Once the filing is underway, an administrator or trustee is appointed to manage the sale of the debtor’s assets. This does not mean everything that the person owns is sold. Both state and federal laws allow for certain exemptions, meaning that the debtor might get to keep some property, such as his or her private residence and/or personal items like clothing.

Once the debtor’s assets are liquidated, the trustee pays certain creditors a portion of the money raised. Of course, not all of the creditors receive money from the proceeds, so many of the debtor’s financial obligations are forgiven or discharged. Once a person has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, he or she can’t file again for eight years.

Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy designed for debtors with regular income who can pay back at least a portion of their debts through a repayment plan. If you make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have no choice but to file for Chapter 13. Many debtors choose to file for Chapter 13 because it offers many benefits that Chapter 7 does not. These benefits include the ability to catch up on missed mortgage payments or strip wholly unsecured junior liens from your house.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you get to keep all of your property, including non-exempt assets that you could otherwise lose in a chapter 7 case. In exchange, you must pay back a portion of your debts through a repayment plan. The amount you pay back depends on your income, expenses, and types of debt.

If you think you are a viable candidate for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call at (507 ) 387-7200. We’re standing by to discuss the intricacies of all four types of bankruptcy (7,11, 12 and 13) and to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

 

How to Know it’s Time to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN

If creditors are calling you daily, your credit card debt is rising, and you have little or no savings or assets, it may be time to let Behm Law Group, Ltd. assist you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN and surrounding communities.

Chapter 7, the most common type of bankruptcy, is often referred to as “straight” or “complete” bankruptcy. Depending on your situation, filing a Chapter 7 may help you eliminate all of your debt without having any obligation to repay any of it. Because all of your debts may be eliminated, it is also often referred to as a “fresh start” bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are generally best if you don’t have a significant amount of assets, such as substantial equity in your home or other investments.

How do you know if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you in Redwood Falls, MN? Here’s a roundup of red flags which signal a path toward bankruptcy:

Creditors are constantly calling you. If you are a chronic late payer or non-payer, you probably get numerous calls from your creditors, or their hired hands, wanting to know when they can expect payment(s). These calls can range from professional to downright harassing. Depending on the amount you owe and the lateness of the payment, the creditor might be willing to strike a deal with you regarding a payment plan. Be wary and consult a Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorney before agreeing to any deal.

You have rising credit card debt. If you find your credit card bill growing each month – despite your best efforts to pay it down – you’re headed for financial trouble. Making minimum payments and thinking you’ll eventually pay off your high credit card balances isn’t realistic. The way high interest charges are calculated and the associated fees with missing or late payments are added almost eliminates any value to making minimum payments on the debt. Also, if you’re using your credit cards to put food on the table and gas in the car, be very careful. Balances can add up quickly. If not managed proactively, they can become unmanageable in a short amount of time.

Your nest egg is small or non-existent. If you‘re living paycheck to paycheck, chances are you have not had the opportunity to save much or any money. Many people live their entire lives this way, always being vulnerable to happenstance and potential financial disaster when things go wrong. If you find yourself in this position, you could be on the road to bankruptcy.

If the above descriptions fit you and your family’s situation, call Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 and let us help you find an equitable resolution for your financial difficulties. We’re standing by to assist you with all of your bankruptcy needs.

 

Common Bankruptcy Myths Debunked in Mankato, MN

Sometimes hard-working and honest people in Mankato, MN find themselves mired in a financial mess and need to seek refuge from their hardships by filing for bankruptcy. If that description fits you, turn to the knowledgeable and compassionate professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We have the expertise and experience to help you get through the bankruptcy process step-by-step.

There are many myths that swirl around bankruptcy and the types of people who file for it. Listed below are four common bankruptcy myths:

  • Bankruptcy doesn’t affect that many people. The number of people who file for bankruptcy protection has decreased since the peak of The Great Recession. From 2008-2010, over 4.1 million U.S. families filed for bankruptcy. These days, the number of families who file hovers around the one million mark annually.
  • Bankruptcy only happens to the poor and uneducated. Sure, among the million or so families filing for bankruptcy protection every year, there are poor and uneducated people. However, it also strikes wealthy and highly educated people. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, business owners, teachers, and many others in highly respected and high-paying professions file for bankruptcy every day.
  • Bankruptcy is the result of irresponsible spending. There are some individuals who try to game the system, carelessly racking up mountains of debt and then filing for bankruptcy. However, the majority of filers are hard-working folks who may have become financially ruined by a job loss, pay decrease, divorce, or a serious illness and the subsequent pile of medical bills that creates. In many cases people rely on their credit cards to buy the necessities – food, gasoline, car repairs, clothing for the kids – and hope that their situations will improve. Sadly, things don’t always turn around, and bankruptcy is the only viable option.
  • Bankruptcy permanently ruins your credit. People who file for bankruptcy are often surprised at how quickly their credit bounces back and how fast they start getting credit card offers in their mailboxes again. To rebuild your credit, think about applying for a secured credit card with a low limit that requires a deposit to a bank. Once approved for the card, make regular, on-time payments, and check your credit report to ensure that everything that was discharged in bankruptcy is, indeed, marked as discharged.

If you or a loved one is facing the difficult decision of whether or not to file for bankruptcy, give us a call today at (507) 387-7200 to learn what your options are. Even if you decide not to file, knowing the available options can bring you tremendous peace of mind.

 

The Cause of the Gawker Bankruptcy in the St. Peter, Minnesota Area

In the St. Peter, Minnesota area and across the United States, people have access to all kinds of celebrity gossip. Whether it’s your grandma snagging a magazine next to the checkout or your little brother Googling information about the latest famous downfall, we have nearly unlimited access to gossip about the rich and famous.

Recently, however, this access to information has become a bit of an issue for some stars. A celebrity gossip source known as “Gawker” recently filed or bankruptcy as a result of a suit against Hulk Hogan. Here’s all you need to know about the case that led Gawker to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

  • Illicit Publications: Gawker recently published a private video of Hulk Hogan against his wishes. The content of this video was somewhat explicit, making Hogan seek legal action against the celebrity gossip site. Little did Gawker know, this suit would eventually lead to a bankruptcy filing.
  • Private Funding: Hogan was able to pay for this long, arduous lawsuit because Peter Thiel privately funded Hogan’s actions. Thiel is a major player in Silicon Valley, making his funds nearly endless for the purpose of Hogan’s suit.
  • Controversy: In the midst of this suit, there has been controversy amongst journalists. Some have argued that Hogan’s suit violates freedom of press and feel frustrated that Gawker had to file for bankruptcy. Others question Gawker’s news reporting, whether it relates to Hogan or other famous folks.

Expensive lawsuits can lead to bankruptcy in the St. Peter, Minnesota area and in the world of the rich and famous. If you find yourself in expensive legal trouble and you need the assistance of a professional regarding bankruptcy, we’re here to help. Contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today!