Dismissal Versus Discharge in the Worthington, Minnesota Area

In the Worthington, Minnesota area, going through the bankruptcy process can be a bit confusing. There are papers to complete, assets to assess, and numerous monetary concerns to consider. Which document means what, and how exactly does one get through the process with the most success? Where to begin a filing and where to end it?

Though the process can be troublesome, it’s important to make sure that you understand the language used throughout your personal bankruptcy filing, especially when it comes to the difference between “discharging” or “dismissing” debts.

In today’s post, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll examine the distinctions between these two separate processes, one of which is fittingly known as “the pot of gold.”

Discharge: This process is truly the pot of gold at the end of a bankruptcy filing. If your case is discharged, that means that all former debts are satisfied and creditors may no longer hold you responsible for past expenses. In this outcome, the filer is truly free of their debts and is clutching onto that pot of gold, successfully walking away from their bankruptcy case.

Dismissal: Dismissal is somewhat more complicated than discharge. There are three specific reasons for this:

  1. Dismissal means that the entire bankruptcy filing is deemed void.
  2. Dismissal can sometimes occur before, during, or after a bankruptcy discharge. This can yield different results depending on the personal situation and can be either a positive or negative outcome.
  3. Dismissal means creditors still have the ability to pursue past debts. This means that filers are not free of their debts.

Of these two options, those filing for bankruptcy typically hope for a discharge rather than a dismissal. Especially around this time of year, everyone is searching for a pot of gold!

In the Worthington, Minnesota area, your personal bankruptcy filing should be clear and easy to understand. For all your concerns regarding bankruptcy, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

The Case for Discharging Student Loan Debt in the Mankato Minnesota Area

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been examining how to discharge student loan debt in the Mankato, Minnesota area. Bankruptcy is an option in specific circumstances, but does not always apply to every student. So, how are you supposed to know whether or not your case is valid?

This week, we’ll take a look at a few cases of student loan debt that arrived in bankruptcy court. Although some were more successful than others, each of these cases offers an important look into the world of discharging student loans through bankruptcy:

  1. Case One: This case involves a telemarketer working for $8.50 per hour. At fifty years old, barely making enough to get by, this person was released from their student loans through bankruptcy because they were trapped in a cycle of poverty and debt.
  2. Case Two: A part-time cellist and music instructor came to bankruptcy court after years of attempting to pay student loan debt. This person was denied their claim because, despite their college degree, they had chosen to accept low paying work. The courts ruled in this case that the individual could be capable of earning more money.
  3. Case Three: A married couple obtained a discharge through bankruptcy because they were both working part time jobs and paying private school tuition for their children. The courts ruled this couple could follow a future repayment plan for their student loans.
  4. Case Four: Generally speaking, if the borrower attended a school deemed fraudulent, or if their education was not ultimately beneficial to them, the courts often rule to discharge the borrower’s loans through bankruptcy.

There are a number of ways in which student loans can impact people in the Mankato, MN area. Whether you’re trapped beneath your student loans, or curious whether or not you may have a bankruptcy case, the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. are here to help. Give us a call today.

Bankruptcy Relieves Student Loan Debt in the Waseca, Minnesota Area

For many students nearing graduation in the Waseca, Minnesota area, it can be overwhelming to consider their impending student loan debt. Although many believe that this particular type of debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, there are actually a few specific circumstances where bankruptcy can grant individuals relief from their debt.

If you’re struggling to repay student loans or fearful about the future of your upcoming debts, it may be time to take an important examination to determine whether or not you’re eligible for bankruptcy.

In Minnesota, the standard for determining whether or not you’re able to discharge student loan debt through bankruptcy is known as the “totality of circumstances” test. Though school is full of exams and quizzes, this may be one of the most helpful tests you’ll ever take. So, let’s do a little studying up on the totality of circumstances test:

The totality of circumstances test addresses all relevant factors influencing your ability to pay back student loan debt rather than just a few specific ones. Here are a few personal, relevant factors that may impact your ability to pay back your debt:

  1. Are you able to purchase necessities such as food and housing? You need food, water, and housing in order to survive. That goes without saying! However, if you’re unable to afford these basic items as a result of your debt, it may be time to consider bankruptcy.
  1. Are you trapped in a cycle of debt? This means that you’re continually unable to pay off your loans. If so, this may be a circumstance that can contribute to a bankruptcy filing.
  1. Are you working towards repaying your debt? Making regular payments certainly shows that you’re putting in the effort to be rid of your debt, but if that effort is not enough, bankruptcy may be a viable option!

In the Waseca, Minnesota area, discharging student loan debt through bankruptcy may be the best option for people who pass the totality of circumstances test. To determine your eligibility, or to learn more about bankruptcy filings, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

Two Ways to Discharge Debt in the Marshall, Minnesota Area

In the Marshall, Minnesota area, students may find repaying their student loan debt challenging. For those former students struggling to overcome the weight of crippling expenses and education-related debt, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help!

Last week, we discussed how to examine whether or not substantial student loan debt could be discharged through bankruptcy. The first step is to take the Brunner Test, and after determining your personal financial situation regarding your ratio of debt to credit, it’s important to take a look at your options for discharging student loans through bankruptcy.

Here are two different options for discharging your personal student loan debt:

  • Privacy Issue: Did you utilize student loans to help pay for your private college education? If so, you may be able to discharge your student loans by redefining their purpose! Federal aid is often not available for students attending private or smaller schools, which makes private student loans a necessity rather than a choice. Since the choice to use federal student aid was not available, these private loans can be considered something other than an “education” loan and can be discharged legally through bankruptcy.
  • Attendance Record: Did you use federal student loans in order to pay for anything other than tuition or school fees? In the past, some folks struggling with student loans and bankruptcy have argued that non- “cost of attendance” expenses, or non-tuition related expenses such as computers, can be discharged from their student loan debt. However, borrowers beware! Oftentimes, loans require that students initially agree to consider additional expenses within the “cost of attendance” when getting their student loans.

Although student loan debt and bankruptcy can be equally frightening to folks in the Marshall, Minnesota area, there are options to consider. By examining the definition of these loans and considering the classification of “cost of attendance” loans, students can save themselves from years of challenging payments or debt.

For more information regarding student loan debt and related bankruptcy, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd.!

Avoiding Ponzi Schemes and Bankruptcy in the Mankato, MN Area

In the Mankato, Minnesota area and throughout the rest of our country, folks have heard stories about Tom Petter’s infamous ponzi scheme involving false electronic sales. Although the case was filed approximately seven years ago, difficulties in processing this complex case have caused a series of delays and a number of bankruptcy filings from Petter’s victims. Fortunately, this case recently had another day in court, bringing Petter’s victims closer to justice and financial stability.

To maintain your own financial health and well being, it’s important to understand the warning signs related to fraud or ponzi schemes. Here are a few signs that a deal is likely too good to be true and that it may lead you to bankruptcy:

  • Advise Safely: If you are consulting with a financial advisor, make sure that they’re accredited and truly qualified to help you with your money. Allowing others access to your banking information and statements requires a great deal of trust, so in order to avoid potential bankruptcy, be sure to do your research!
  • Custodian Versus Manager: Before selecting an advisor, understand the distinction between an advisor and a custodian. A custodian only possesses your accounts, whereas a manager actually makes transactions. These two positions should be separate, otherwise you’re allowing one person far too much access to your finances, and you could ultimately be heading towards bankruptcy!
  • Be a Skeptic: Does something about your banker seem odd? Are you receiving a pitch for a strange product or service that seems too good to be true? It likely is too good to be true, and it may cause you personal financial woes or even bankruptcy. It’s important to be aware of all the risks and to have all the information before committing yourself financially!

Before making these important financial decisions in the Mankato, Minnesota area, be sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into and who is getting into it alongside you. With a discerning eye, you’ll be able to avoid ponzi schemes and the resulting bankruptcy or financial woes.

For further information regarding bankruptcy, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

Bankruptcy is All Relative in the Fairmont, Minnesota Area

When you’re watching television in the Fairmont, Minnesota area, what do you usually think about? Are you focusing on the plotline and characters, the filming techniques, or perhaps something else entirely?

Though much of television drama happens onscreen, there is a fair portion that happens behind the scenes. There are actors and directors and writers, all with unique perspectives that help build the content that arrives onscreen. For one especially dramatic media company, the reality of bankruptcy has been written into their path to success, forcing them to rescript their financial structuring to remain afloat.

This recent off-screen television drama deals with the bankruptcy of Relativity Media, a case with hearings this week in New York, Delaware, and California. If you’re curious about this company‘s turbulent ride through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, here are a few interesting details to consider next time you turn on the tube:

What is Relativity Media? Relativity Media is a recently bankrupt media company with ties to the television shows Limitless, Catfish, and Kim of Queens, and movies such as The Fighter, Limitless, Safe Haven, and Act of Valor.

What Happens Next? As a result of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Relativity Media has been divided into TV and film divisions. The television portion of the business has already been sold, which will hopefully preserve some of Relativity’s content!

Who is their Leader? Prior to this bankruptcy filing, Ryan Kavanaugh was the CEO of Relativity Media. After a financial restructuring, however, there’s talk that Kevin Spacey will be the next commander of this multimedia company.

When will Relativity Media emerge from bankruptcy? The company will continue working on their bankruptcy hearing through the end of February. We’ll see what happens after that!

Relativity media is just as fallible as the rest of us in the Fairmont, MN area. Although we can attempt to protect ourselves from bankruptcy, there are certain incidents that we simply cannot anticipate.

If you have been surprised by a recent turn of financial events that may have you considering filing for bankruptcy, or have questions about your financial health, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. today!

 

The Right Time to File for Bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN and Popular Businesses That Nearly Filed for Bankruptcy

Knowing when to file for bankruptcy is a financial decision that can make or break the bank. You may feel like you’re sinking and just floating with your head above the water. Behm Law Group, Ltd. can give you the insight you need to know if your financial situation might necessitate filing for bankruptcy.

The right time to file for bankruptcy is when you realize you’re in a financial slump that you may not be able to get out of for years to come. If your debts surpass your income, if you use your credit cards to pay for necessities like groceries, gas, and utility bills, or if you only make the minimum payments on most or all of your credit cards, you may have to consider declaring bankruptcy.

Here are a few examples of companies that faced similar questions about whether to file for bankruptcy or not.

GM and Chrysler

The famous government bailout of the automotive industry kept them from filing for bankruptcy in 2009. The bailout was part of a plan to prevent the Midwest from going into a depression. The bailout kept an estimated 2.6 million jobs alive in 2009 and 1.5 million jobs in 2010, which also kept unemployment rates lower than they would have been.

American Apparel

The company was still just floating above water when its financers were ready to drop American Apparel. The company went into a debt-for-equity conversion and escaped filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Lenders have taken $230 million in debt in exchange for ownership of the company.

Apple

The famous powerhouse company nearly went bankrupt in 1997 before its co-founder, Steve Jobs, stepped back in to save the company and came out with “cool” products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Apple is now the most profitable company in history.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

Kentucky Fried Chicken hasn’t gone bankrupt, but it is lagging behind against its competitor, Popeye’s. The company hasn’t introduced a new successful menu in quite some time and its southern fried chicken competition is blowing it away. In 2012, twenty-eight KFC franchises were bought out by Popeye’s in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area.

Many times a company or an individual may have to come to terms with the fact that filing for bankruptcy is the only way to relieve themselves of financial distress. Knowing your financial situation well and determining whether you should file for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN is a dilemma that Behm Law Group, Ltd. can give insight on.

If you do decide to file for bankruptcy, the professionals at Behm Law Group can help you through the daunting process. Contact us today!

You’re Not Alone Going Through Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN: A List of Big Businesses That Have Gone Under in the Past Five Years

Going through bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN can be an intimidating process, one that might make you feel like you’re the only one going through that kind of struggle. Rest assured that is not true, and not only are you not alone in filing bankruptcy, but there are also well-known businesses that have filed for bankruptcy. Everyone, no matter how big or small, can file for bankruptcy when hard times hit. Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you get regain some piece of mind when going through the bankruptcy process.

Blockbuster

The famed video rental giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September of 2010. The company was simply unable to pay their debt. Of their 3,000 stores, they closed 110. In total, 402 underperforming stores closed in the wake of Blockbuster’s bankruptcy.

Borders

Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2011. Its main downfall was taking far too long to create an e-reader, like the Nook and the Kindle. Borders fell behind its competition and closed 30% of its 642 stores.

Hummer

The company was hit hard in the recession. With rising gas prices, the Hummer’s mileage—10 gallons per mile that is—and the movement for more environmental friendly machines made the Hummer an obsolete vehicle.

Jennifer Convertibles

The trendy furniture store was also hit hard during the recession and due to a lack of funding, the company filed for bankruptcy in July of 2010 and has closed 78 of its original 142 stores. Today, the largest financer, Haining Mengu, owns approximately 90% of the company.

RadioShack

The electronics retailer announced that it would be closing 1,784 of its stores last year. It first opened 94 years ago, and in 2015 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

It’s good to note that bankruptcy did not mean certain doom for some of these businesses. Jennifer Convertibles is still around; however, the majority of the company is under new ownership. This shows that you can get back on your feet after filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN. The attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. will help you realize that bankruptcy is not as intimidating as it’s made out to be. Contact us today!

Knowing When and How to File For Bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN

Filing for bankruptcy may be a daunting task in New Ulm, MN, and knowing how and when to do so can be overwhelming. The attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. will help you with your bankruptcy process by making it flow smoothly and easily.

The timing for when you file for bankruptcy can be an advantage or detriment to the bankruptcy process. For instance, there is a popular belief that one can splurge with a large amount of money right before filing for bankruptcy and not have to pay it back.

This is simply not true.

The money will have to be paid back and, in addition to that, the legitimacy of the bankruptcy claim may be questioned. Our attorneys will inform you whether you qualify for bankruptcy and which bankruptcy option is best for you.

There are two ways one can file for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN. The first is voluntary and the debtor chooses to file for bankruptcy. The second is when a debtor is forced by a court order to file for bankruptcy.

How to file for bankruptcy depends on the type of debt you have. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we assist with filing for Chapter 7, 12, and 13 bankruptcies. Since Chapter 12 is for fishermen and family farmers with a regular annual income, most people choose Chapters 7 or 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not allow the debtor to repay their debt using a payment plan. Rather, the debtor’s non-exempt assets are sometimes sold in order to pay some of their debt.  While much of the analysis would depend on the value of property and the amount of debt, if any, against that property, some non-exempt property may include a second home or car, family heirlooms, or an expensive musical instrument. A person eligible for Chapter 7 does not have an income to pay off or materially reduce over time the debts that have accrued.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors with a regular income to repay all or a portion of their debt based on their income. The debtor will repay the debt for the next three to five years. This process can be a tad more complicated, but the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. will make the bankruptcy process easier and understandable.

Knowing your options during your bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN will help make for a smoother process. The professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. will take you through the process and thoroughly inform you every step of the way.

 

Make a New Year’s Resolution to File for Bankruptcy and Get Out of Debt in Mankato, MN

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:

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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!