Protect Yourself from Discrimination Against Bankruptcy Filers

When discrimination makes the news, people pay attention. We all like to think we are fair-minded individuals. Even fair-minded individuals have differences of opinion. If it weren’t for these differences of opinion, we probably wouldn’t need a set of laws to follow. But, we do. The Mankato bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., want you to be aware of the following:

“No. 11 U.S.C. sec. 525 prohibits governmental units and private employers from discriminating against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition or because you failed to pay a dischargeable debt.”

You have rights. It can be heart-wrenching and embarrassing enough to admit you need to file for bankruptcy, let alone having everyone else constantly remind you. Now you know there are rules on how others can treat you.

Of course, you still have obligations to fulfill. A bankruptcy plan can detail how and when those obligations are met. Looking at the bigger picture, you will have to own how you got to this point. If you don’t recognize why you had to file for bankruptcy, you may end up repeating this scene in the future.

For your own self-worth and knowledge, really dig deeply. If you have poor financial habits, take steps to change them. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Shop around to minimize costs for what you need. Save for inevitable surprises that might disrupt your cash flow.

Keeping your focus and energy directed toward positive steps will diminish any hurt and embarrassment you feel. You can’t change what has already happened. You can change how you deal with your dilemma though.

Forward momentum will catapult you past the bad feelings toward the good ones. Your positive action will result in the bankruptcy becoming a distant memory. Good habits will help keep you solvent in the future.

Those who have to file for bankruptcy relief have the power to change their outcomes for the better. We know what you want. Bankruptcy is all that we do. In Mankato, MN, call the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., to discuss the how, why, what, wherefore, and when of bankruptcy law today.

How to Limit Bankruptcy Risk When Starting a Business

Budding entrepreneurs fill the news pages daily. Everyone wants to create that next product or service others will want. The idea of starting your own business brings thoughts of glamour and excitement. And it should! Don’t forget that business skills are needed, too. If you haven’t carefully considered all aspects of your fledgling enterprise, bankruptcy may be a distinct possibility. Many famous entrepreneurs have declared bankruptcy along the way, including Walt Disney.\

According to an October 2014 report by CB Insights, the top five reasons start-ups failed are:

  1. There was no market need for the product or service.
  2. The entrepreneur ran out of money.
  3. The business didn’t have the right team in place.
  4. The competition won.
  5. There were issues with pricing and/or cost.

With so many possibilities for failure, you have to be very careful about developing your business strategy and marketing  plan.  It is essential that you study the possible competition and how they are pricing their products and how they are marketing themselves.

Do a little market research to determine the viability of your product. Or, like Walt Disney, you could create a demand for it. Perhaps you noticed three of the top five reasons involved marketing. That means entrepreneurship involves selling. It means you have to be visible to your potential prospects, assuming you have prospects for what you’re selling.

Mankato entrepreneurs: if you find yourself battling to stay afloat, you might want to contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., to consider your options.  If Walt Disney could pull through his setbacks, so can you.

Are Student Loans Discharged When Filing Bankrutpcy in Minnesota?

Everyone knows the cost of higher education has increased dramatically. Students grumble about the cost of their student loans, and rightfully so. According to Bloomberg, college costs have soared over 500% since 1985. Who wants to be in debt before they even start their first job? No wonder students might seek ways to erase this debt, even if it entails bankruptcy. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., want you to know that normally, student loans are not discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

However, 11 U.S.C. sec. 523(a)(8) notes two exceptions to this rule:

1. The student loan cannot be affiliated with a governmental unit or nonprofit entity. This means if a governmental unit insures, guarantees, or funds the student loan in any way, the loan cannot be discharged.

2. If the student, or debtor, incurs an undue hardship in order to pay the loan, it’s possible the student loan could be discharged.

Before October 1998, student loans could be discharged according to certain circumstances, provided the loan was over seven years old. That stipulation no longer applies for loans after October 1998.

Meeting an exception doesn’t automatically mean a student loan can be discharged. The court weighs all factors of each case before making a decision on what is considered dischargeable debt.

Before you incur any student loan debt, you should think very carefully about your academic interests and your possible career objectives. Student loan debt can pile up quickly. It is understandable and common that people must take more than four years to complete a degree. However, if you change course of study too many times, you could find yourself under oppressive student loan debt after you graduate. Education is important, of course, but you might want to explore more affordable options if your first choice in schools would break your piggy bank.

It wouldn’t hurt to make sure you major in a viable field that can generate sufficient income to pay for your living expenses as well as your debt. Finances can bring a real-world mentality to those ideals of simply following your whims. Sometimes, you either have to be creative in developing a job for yourself or you have to just accept an available position until you can afford to leap to something you would enjoy more.As stated, the court views several factors in student loan bankruptcy cases. If you want to explore your options in Mankato, Minnesota, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We restrict our practice to only bankruptcy.  You can expect the best from us.

How to Support Your Adult Children Without Going Bankrupt

Are your adult children “moochers”? At Behm Law Group, we find this term offensive, especially in light of today’s very challenging employment landscape. Do any of your children live at home, expense free? At Behm Law Group,  we call this “reality” because, due to very difficult economic times, it is very common that many adult children have moved back in with their parents just to get by. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, don’t want to interfere with your philosophy of family. However, irrespective of the very difficult present day economic realities, it could be time for you to make some changes, especially if you’re retired, so that you are not forced into bankruptcy yourself.

If you’re retired, you likely have a fixed income. You had planned to support yourself and perhaps a spouse in later years. But now, if the kids have moved to your house, why are you paying all of the bills? Shouldn’t parental obligations have limits? If by paying for the bulk of their expenses puts you on precarious slopes financially, you should make some changes. It would be reasonable for you to demand some sort of remuneration from your children in exchange for your kindness in allowing them to reside with you.

Mankato, the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group know you love your children. You want the best for them. We only ask that you seriously consider the financial landscape here. Fixed incomes are finite, and you know you’ll likely have health concerns in your later years. You need your money. If you don’t require money in return for what you’re providing at this stage in your life, you might be the one declaring bankruptcy.

You have a right to enjoy your life, too. When your children were young you were there as much as you possibly could be. But now, it’s your time to try and do what you want to do.

We advise you to put your agreement in writing. Don’t just rely on a verbal arrangement when it comes to money. Memories are unreliable. A written agreement should define the terms clearly.  A well-thought plan will protect you from slippery financial situations.

Make sure you work toward not having to file for bankruptcy relief, Mankato residents. If you find yourself in that situation anyway, call us at Behm Law Group. We would be happy to help you.

What to Do When You Lose Your Job in Mankato

Here you are, the image of success. You have a job that pays the bills, a house you own, a car, a spouse who works, and loving children. Everything’s great, right? Then one day, either you or your spouse gets that dreaded notice…you know, the message that states “We hate to do this, but you’re fired.” You didn’t even see any signs that would indicate all was not well.

You can get another job, because you’re talented. However, when weeks turn into months and more months, your family has to dip into savings just to stay afloat. One income, instead of the required two, takes its toll on you and your family. You can only tighten expenses so much.

Bankruptcy is the only practice area for the attorneys at Behm Law Group.

Behm Law Group will help you navigate the nuances of bankruptcy law. Our bankruptcy attorneys in Mankato not only limit their practice to bankruptcy but also care about people, people like you.

Bankruptcy occurs to people of all economic levels. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group assure you we can help you to your satisfaction and chart a course to reclaim your solvency in the Mankato area.

In the span of a lifetime, bankruptcy doesn’t have to play a major part. Think positively. Once you become solvent again, bankruptcy will become a distant memory in no time.

You’re talented. You have support at home. You have what it takes to succeed. Otherwise, you couldn’t have done it before. And now you have the expertise and support of the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group. Let us help you to gain momentum in finding success once again.

How Medical Bills Can Lead to Bankruptcy for Mankato Residents

In Minnesota, hockey is the sport to play. As with any sport, the risks have to be considered along with the benefits. Sometimes it gets rough. Checking or other collisions can result in a player falling and suffering a concussion. It may not be severe, but sometimes it is.

Concussions don’t just happen in hockey. You could fall on the ice and hit your head just by walking outside. You could slip in the bathtub and sustain a concussion as well. Regardless of the reason, a severe concussion could lead to mounting medical bills. Mounting medical bills can lead to bankruptcy.

It can be difficult to save for an unknown eventuality when so many possibilities exist. You do the best you can. Sometimes your best doesn’t take care of an unexpected outcome. When that happens, you can rely on the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group to give you courteous, professional advice catered to your best interests.

We all face bumps in the road occasionally. That’s just part of life. Those bumps needn’t be debilitating. Behm Law Group in Mankato wants you to get the care you need without undue sacrifice.

Facing bankruptcy can gnaw at you and pull you away from your center. You need a bankruptcy plan. Who better to help you with that than attorneys who practice only in bankruptcy? That’s why the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group are the solution providers to your dilemma, rather than intimidating attorneys to be avoided.

Even if you don’t suffer a concussion, rising healthcare costs can be problematic for the best savers. Until some cost reforms are integrated into the system, healthcare expenses can be a threat to your savings. Serious accidents may require costs above what your insurance covers.

If a medical injury threatens your fiscal health and well-being, and bankruptcy is the only viable financial recovery option, contact Behm Law Group in Mankato for your bankruptcy needs.

Long-Term Healthcare Planning & Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Behm Law Group provides bankruptcy advice for people with long-term healthcare expenses.

You grow older with every passing year. Those people you see regularly always seem to look the same. What about the family and friends you only see during the holidays? Sometimes the changes are dramatic. At some point, you, your family members and close friends may experience debilitating health issues. You would like to be there for them, but, can you? It takes money. A lot of money. Especially for long-term health issues.

When you’re battling medical issues, the last thing you want to worry about is filing for bankruptcy. We know folks never plan to be bankrupt. We also know medical bills and health concerns can be extremely expensive. Yes, you can save money ahead of time, but no one ever knows which health issues will strike them or their family members. It’s difficult to know how much you really need, since insurance doesn’t always cover total costs incurred.

You can only do the best you can and if you need to consider filing for bankruptcy relief and need skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorneys to do so, Behm Law Group is here for you. We are professional and courteous. We listen in order to understand your situation thoroughly. And believe us, when we say we want nothing but the best for you, we really mean it.

Healthcare planning requires some serious decision making. You can’t stop the age clock or change your genetic makeup. Therefore, you have to plan according to the circumstances you find yourself in. Should bankruptcy be one of those circumstances in Mankato, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group.

While some health issues are long lasting, bankruptcy doesn’t have to be. We know the nuances of bankruptcy law very well. We can explain the law in terms you’ll understand. If for whatever reason you find yourself facing bankruptcy in Mankato, please give us a call.

Delinquent Mortgages in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Behm Law Group provides bankruptcy advice for Mankato, MN residents.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., believe everyone deserves a second chance. You want your self-esteem and dignity back. You want to be a contributing member and a better citizen in society. You dream of financial solvency.

Make that dream become your new reality, for a second time. First, let’s consider your bankruptcy dilemma. You, like everyone else, need shelter. A home mortgage, however, can be quite pricey.

Let’s say you are delinquent with your mortgage by $10,000.00. You filed for bankruptcy. At this time, things have changed. While you now have an income, the mortgage is still delinquent. Under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 1322 and 1325 of the Bankruptcy Code, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can “cure” or pay back the delinquency over a period of 60 months. How? You would be submitting your monthly payments to the Chapter 13 trustee for those 60 months. The trustee would in turn ensure the payments were received by the mortgage lender in question. One stipulation is that you must remain current in your mortgage payments during your Chapter 13 plan.

Sixty months may seem like a long time, but the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., know that time will pass quickly. Just having a plan can be a big dream booster for that opportunity of a second chance. It won’t be long until making payments will become a habit for you. Pretty soon you’ll be out of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Your strengthened self-esteem will be waiting for you. You will have relinquished those bouts of not knowing what to do. You will have acquired some financial discipline. After those 60 months, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. If feasible, maybe you could continue those “mortgage payments.” Instead of giving them to a trustee, why not put them in a savings account as a payment to yourself. You will accumulate a buffer to hedge against future financial disasters.

We know you can’t predict the future. You can only plan the best that you can. Should you find yourself in financial difficulty, give us a call. Like we stated, everyone deserves another chance.

5 Financial Tips to Avoid Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Financial solvency gives you freedom, independence, and peace of mind. You get the freedom to be your own boss in financial matters. You purchase what you want, while living within your means. Bankruptcy may either be a thing of the past or something you’ve never experienced.

Financial independence and peace of mind are wonderful. They lift your spirits and keep stress away. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. believe that following five financial tips will help you to remain financially solvent in 2015:

1) Establish goals for 2015. What do you want to have accomplished by January 1st, 2016? How will those goals impact your finances? Will you have a financial cushion to protect you from bankruptcy? The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., want you to carefully consider your responses before making your final decision.

2) Prepare a monthly budget. Look at your expected 2015 income, and carve out those expenses that are essential for your family to live. Assuming you have a positive number after subtracting expenses from income, you are well on your way to avoiding bankruptcy. If your number is negative, double check your expenses. Did you only include needs, or have some “wants” slipped in?

3) Keep track of your monthly expenses. This is slightly different from #2. With a budget, you’re noting goal-post numbers that haven’t occurred yet. Here, you’ll want to document all of your actual expenses each month. Then compare and analyze those numbers with your budgeted items. If any problem areas are edging you toward bankruptcy, you’ll be forewarned.

4) Either spend less or earn more. Behm Law Group, Ltd., realizes this can be easier to write than to do. Basically, be determined to spend less than what you earn. If you don’t like that constraint, then find a way to increase your income in 2015.

5) Spend wisely. After your essential living expenses are covered, spend any remaining money wisely. Perhaps some could be saved or invested. You could consider any monies saved to be an investment in yourself and your family. Is each purchase contributing toward your goals, or deviating from them? You decide.

Mankato residents: we hope these tips will spur you on to greater financial freedom and independence in 2015!

How is Bankruptcy Like a Hockey Game?

Behm Law Group discusses bankruptcy with an analogy every Minnesotan will understand.

When fierce competition strikes in a hockey game, the puck goes wild. It’s slammed, bounced, struck, whipped, and even coddled by players striving to obtain that coveted goal. As a hockey fan myself, I stay riveted to my seat, especially when the home team scores!

Sometimes you  feel like that hockey puck when life’s circumstances catapult you in directions you never anticipated. Only this time, it isn’t a game. Bankruptcy never is. I would never treat it as such either.

You see, when you consult with me or Isabelle, you become part of our home team at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We specialize in bankruptcy. That doesn’t mean we don’t know how you feel or understand what you are experiencing. We’ve had many bankruptcy clients in Mankato, MN over the years. We’ve heard similar stories throughout.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. will treat your experience as the unique story that it is, and stand by you throughout the entire process. Your circumstances are unique to you. Mankato, this means, as bankruptcy attorneys, we owe you a professional, courteous solution that works for you.

Bankruptcy law can be complex, especially for the uninitiated. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we can break it down for you, so you can understand your options without the complicated legal jargon. We aim to work with you, not to alienate you.

It’s no fun feeling like creditors are brutally and continuously bashing you against the boards or slapping you about like a helpless hockey puck. Although you may find yourself in unfavorable circumstances even with bankruptcy, you have rights. Give Behm Law Group, Ltd., the chance to explain what those rights are.

As bankruptcy attorneys, we have witnessed other Mankato clients overcome bankruptcy. They have treated bankruptcy as the temporary setback that it is. Once overcoming this setback, they have gained a fresh start in life. So can you.

The game of life certainly doesn’t feel like much of a game, unless things are going well. Let’s keep the hockey puck on the ice rink where it belongs. Consult Behm Law Group, Ltd. Together we can put bankruptcy in its place.