Recent Histories of Chapter 12 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN and How It Affects Farmers Today

Farming as a profession has experienced more drastic changes to economic standing in the U.S. during the past 50 years than almost any other types of industry. In the 1970s, farming in Minnesota and across the U.S. was reaching an all-time high, with the value of land meeting higher heights than ever before. Export of goods increased, and farmers were able to get more credit with goals to grow their operations.

 

Unfortunately, the farm crisis in the 1980s quickly led to a downfall of many Minnesota farms and a spike in agriculture bankruptcies. This farm depression is still affecting family farmers and fishers even 20 to 30 years later, and Minnesota’s agricultural industry is walking a difficult road, especially given the ongoing trade dispute with China. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy as a family farmer or fisher, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you build a strong case for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

 

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a process designed specifically for family farmers and fishers (those who earn over 50% of their gross income from their agricultural operations) who are in debt but maintain a steady income. This bankruptcy process works as a reorganization of debts into a manageable repayment plan suited to your income and expenses lasting three to five years.

 

Though the process of bankruptcy for farms has changed slightly since the 1980s farm crisis, the concept is the same, and Chapter 12 bankruptcy has helped many individuals find debt relief when desperately needed. However, the effect of that crisis is still on the table for a wide majority of farmers. During the time of the crisis, land values dropped an average of 50% towards the end of the 80s, equipment costs rose almost 25%, and the U.S. dollar value weakened considerably.

 

In 1986, Chapter 12 was added to the bankruptcy code under the Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act. By 1999 over 9,550 farms across the U.S. filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Despite this, by 1987, the government issued subsidies to Minnesota farms with a total of just over $712 million.

 

In addition to these changes, the price of milk, wheat, corn, and soy fell gradually over the next decade, adding to the difficulties family farming operations face even now. In 1978, Minnesota was home to about 98,600 family-owned farms. Today, those numbers barely meet 75,000, despite the growth in population and crop demands.

 

The residual effects of the 1980s farm crisis still impact Minnesota farmers today, and the debt relief and long-term security that Chapter 12 bankruptcy provides is a valuable option to many famers. The help of an expert attorney when filing can make all the difference. To get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 and begin your petition for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

Five Things You Might Not Expect About Bankruptcy in Windom, MN

Because the average individual is not an expert on the legal nuances of bankruptcy, it’s understandable that most people use the internet as a guidebook for the process. While there are a few accurate sources of bankruptcy information online, there are also a lot of myths and general misinformation.

 

When it comes to correct and reliable information, nothing beats a professional opinion. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides that expert opinion. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, or the surrounding area, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can offer advice and more throughout the process.

 

You can find much about the basics of bankruptcy online, but the basics aren’t quite enough to file a successful case and see it through. Bankruptcy is an old practice, going back to ancient times, though it has evolved over time. Today, bankruptcy has many conditions that can change the course of a case, making it one of the most nuanced legal processes.

 

Because of this complexity, there are many unexpected things about bankruptcy, even as a nationwide occurrence. For example:

 

  1. About 1 in every 70 households file for bankruptcy each year. If you look at your community based on this information, it’s possible you may know someone who is working through bankruptcy.
  2. Almost 50% of households in the U.S. spend more than half their yearly income and have up to $15,000 in credit debt. This addition of credit debt to an already common pile of debts including student loans, mortgages, car loans, and more has led to a rapid increase in the number of consumer bankruptcies per year.
  3. The vast majority of people who file for bankruptcy relief don’t lose any property and only lose their debts.  The bankruptcy exemptions that are available to you to protect your property are typically very generous.  The bankruptcy exemptions you can use and the limitations of those bankruptcy exemptions vary from state to state.  Generally, you must reside in a particular state for two (2) full years before filing a bankruptcy case in order to use or benefit from the bankruptcy exemptions of that state.
  4. The amount of average debt per bankruptcy case has increased over in the past 10 years. An American Bankruptcy Institute report released in 2009 showed that cases averaged $100,000 in debt for individual bankruptcies alone. Business bankruptcies had even greater debt averages per case. This shows there is a notable increase in the time households and businesses are barely making ends meet before filing for bankruptcy.
  5. Bankruptcy has increasingly affected those with a college education as tuitions rise. Each year, college tuitions increase to match the growing inflation our economy experiences. Student loans must be listed, like any other creditor, in the bankruptcy process but they are generally difficult to get discharged, except under specific circumstances.  Student loan debts, in combination with the weight of others, still significantly contribute to bankruptcy filings, however.

 

To learn more about the process of filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, or to get started on your case, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Lien Avoidance vs. Lien Stripping When Filing for Bankruptcy in Waseca, MN

Anyone struggling to meet monthly debt payments has more options than just slipping deeper beneath the water of financial difficulties. Instead of facing the stress of debt and the emotional toll it creates, those working through financial troubles can find relief within the government sanctioned process of bankruptcy.

 

If you think bankruptcy might be right for your financial circumstances, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide professional guidance and support. When you choose to file for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, as an individual or business, you can gain the benefits of a debt treatment process that will lift the stress of a heavy financial burden.

 

When you file for bankruptcy, you may have many different types of debts to your name. Broadly speaking, the types of debts included in the bankruptcy process are generally secured and unsecured. Your secured debts are tied to or secured by an item of property or real estate, and it’s almost certain that the property or real estate will have liens attached to them.

 

Liens are tied to property loans like mortgages, car loans, and other commonly secured debts that are arranged through lending companies. These liens give the lenders the right to repossess or foreclose on the properties tied to the debts until the debtor pays the debts or the debts are discharged. In the bankruptcy process, mortgage liens can be stripped or avoided, depending on the situation.

 

Lien Avoidance in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re entering into a liquidation process that works to provide your creditors the value of your non-exempt property in exchange for debt relief. You can protect your properties from liquidation with your available bankruptcy exemptions, however. If there was a lien on a piece property, claiming the exemption is not considered lien avoidance.  Your available bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect the equity – the value of an item of property above the debt you may owe against it – in your property.  Sometimes, you can avoid a creditor’s lien in full or in part regarding a certain piece of property and use your bankruptcy exemptions to protect the equity you gain from such lien avoidance.  In order to avoid a lien on property, a secured creditor’s lien must be a non-purchase money lien.  This means that the creditor did not give you any financing for the purchase of the subject asset itself.  For instance, if a creditor gives you a loan for home improvements and you give that creditor a lien or security interest in your furniture or a vehicle, farming equipment or some other assets, that creditor has a non-purchase money lien as to those items because it did not give you a loan to purchase them.  Rather, the creditor gave you a loan for some purpose that was completely unrelated to the assets on which you allowed the creditor to have a lien.  Presume that One Main Financial gave you a $10,000.00 loan for home improvements and further presume that you granted it a security interest in your furniture, appliances, and your car.  In a bankruptcy proceeding, you could avoid the entire $10,000.00 lien on those items and use your bankruptcy exemptions to protect the resulting $10,000.00 equity you would then have as a result of having avoiding the lien.

 

Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are reorganized into a manageable repayment plan lasting three to five years. If you have multiple mortgages on your property, you may be able to strip off second and third mortgage liens, if there is no value or equity to the real estate above and beyond the first mortgage.  If the amount of the first mortgage is greater than the value of your home, you’re considered “upside down” on that mortgage debt, and you can strip the junior liens away.

 

To learn more about the different types of bankruptcy chapters and how your liens are handled when you file for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

How A Bankruptcy Lawyer Supports Your Pipestone, MN, Case

Bankruptcy is a process that affects a higher percentage of families, individuals, and businesses each year as many aspects of our economy change. There is absolutely no reason to feel shame in filing bankruptcy. In fact, bankruptcy is a government sanctioned process designed to help U.S. citizens find relief from debts, unexpected or otherwise. While some take on bankruptcy without a professional at their side, this is not recommended as filing for bankruptcy is one of the most complex and condition-based procedures an individual or business can undergo. Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you work through a case with the advice and support you need from a professional bankruptcy lawyer in Pipestone, MN.

 

Any bankruptcy trustee or legal professional will advise individuals and businesses to take advantage of the invaluable help a bankruptcy lawyer provides, and for good reason. No matter how much research you do to understand the process and your own circumstances, a bankruptcy lawyer provides legal protection in addition to the expert guidance and support you need in any type of case.

 

When you partner with a Behm attorney, you can expect knowledge, experience, outside-of-the-box thinking, and true caring for you, the client.

 

A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Guidance

 

The key role of a bankruptcy lawyer is to provide guidance throughout a case. This includes:

 

  1. understanding aspects of your circumstances and determination of the best course of action when it comes to the type of bankruptcy you should file
  2. comprehensive assistance in gathering documentation for your case, including all financial information about income, debt, accounts, expenses, and more
  3. advice throughout credit counseling and other preliminary requirements outlined by the court
  4. support at the 341 hearing (meeting of creditors) or in court in the event your case advances beyond standard procedure
  5. advice and assistance in creating a Chapter 13 repayment plan proposal that fits the requirements of the court and your own financial situation
  6. support throughout the Chapter 7 liquidation process and assistance in claiming exemptions
  7. help in establishing a long-term plan for post-bankruptcy life

 

A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Protection

 

Not only do bankruptcy lawyers provide guidance and insight from start to finish in your case, they also give vital protection from any parties involved. This includes:

 

  1. protection from creditors’ harassment that might occur
  2. support and protection in the event you may face a judgment claim from court or creditor
  3. defense against many reasons your trustee may attempt to dispute your case
  4. assistance during the meeting of creditors, the first critical time your case is introduced to the bankruptcy court

 

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, Behm Law Group Ltd. can offer you the support and protection of a professional bankruptcy lawyer in Pipestone, MN. To learn more or to get started with us today, contact us at (507) 387-7200.

Reduced Pay for Educators Increases Cases of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN

Across Minnesota, K-12 school budgets are dropping, and funding for private colleges is also suffering in several departments. This trend has had a marked effect on students, teachers, and administrators alike. For teachers and professors, the effect can be immediate or gradual. Specifically, those employed as educators at all levels have experienced an overall reduction in salaries, meaning their finances have changed for the worse. This shift has been a large part of why we’ve seen increased cases of educators filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, and across the state. If you are an educator struggling to meet debt payments, Behm Law Group Ltd. can provide the guidance and assistance you need to file a successful case and find long-term debt relief.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Educators

If you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy as an employed educator, you are most likely restricted to filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While lowered salaries may be what brought you to the point of filing for bankruptcy, the fact remains that you still have an income. This means you won’t qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy unless your debts significantly outweigh your income.

 

On the bright side, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often more desirable for those who want to keep their home and other possessions. Instead of liquidating your non-exempt assets in exchange for debt discharge like Chapter 7, Chapter 13 works to reorganize your debts into a reasonable monthly payment that you make to a chapter 13 trustee.

 

The reorganization process structures your debts into a repayment plan that lasts three to five years, depending on your income. If your income is lower than the median Minnesota income for a household of your size, your plan will last only three years. If your income is higher than the state median income for a household of your size, your plan is must last five years. In our experience, educator incomes do not typically exceed the median, even when filing jointly with their spouses. This means you can typically expect to have a three year repayment plan and pay a lower percentage of many types of debt.

 

How Chapter 13 Handles Debt

A Chapter 13 reorganization plan handles debt in several ways. First, you generally will continue to make your monthly payments to most of your secured debts, such as mortgage loans and vehicle loans, directly to those creditors.  Sometimes, however, if you have become delinquent with your mortgage payments or vehicle payments, any pre-petition or pre-bankruptcy filing delinquencies can be paid or “cured” through your chapter 13 plan.  For instance, if you have become $5,000.00 delinquent with your mortgage payments, this amount can be paid to the creditor by the chapter 13 trustee through your chapter 13 plan over the duration (36 to 60 months) of your plan.  You must, however, be able to make the ongoing, regular post-petition mortgage payments that come due after your case has been filed.  Second, priority debts such as certain tax debts, alimony and child support arrearages or even criminal fines, must be paid in full. Third, general unsecured creditors, such as credit card debts, medical debts, etc., do not receive interest, late charges or service fees.  Any amounts that are paid to those creditors go against the principal that you owed those creditors when your bankruptcy case was filed.  Typically, unsecured creditors are only paid a percentage of the total you owed them when your case was filed.

 

When the debt amounts are calculated and structured into your plan, you’ll be able to see the amount required to be paid monthly to your bankruptcy trustee. You can rest assured this amount will fit your income, though keep in mind your discretionary income will depend on a budget relating to your reasonable and necessary living expenses and your disposable income (income over and above what is necessary to cover your monthly reasonable and necessary living expenses) must be paid to unsecured creditors through your plan. This monthly payment may change if your monthly income and monthly reasonable and necessary living expenses change.

 

To learn more about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, as an educator, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Authors, Artists, and Other Creatives Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN

For the majority of creators and others working in the arts, finding a source of steady income is often a difficult part of the vocation. From visual and performance artists to authors and musicians, work is hard to come by, and these jobs are highly competitive.

 

Because of this hardship, it’s understandable that there are several cases of bankruptcy a year filed by creatives. Even famous artists are not safe from financial struggles, as told by the 2009 circumstances of famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz. If you’re struggling to make ends meet as a creative, Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides guidance and support to help you file a successful case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN.

 

For the most part, artists filing for bankruptcy don’t have a steady income to qualify for Chapter 13 reorganization. Because of this, Chapter 7 liquidation is the most common type of bankruptcy for those relying on their art, writing, performance, or other creative abilities for income. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a valuable debt discharge process overseen by a bankruptcy trustee, with fair treatment of both the filer and the creditors.

 

Assets in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

For the most part, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the same process for creatives as it is for those making a living from more typical vocations. The trustee sells off non-exempt property and distributes the sale proceeds to the creditors involved.  In most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, however, filers are able exempt and they retain all of their property; typically, the only things they lose are their creditors.  Priority debts such as child support debt and tax debt have to be listed in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding but, for certain public policy reasons, those types of debt are more difficult to get discharged.

 

For artists, there may be some differences in the Chapter 7 asset liquidation process. Specifically, any income you make from your work is counted as an asset. If you’re a painter, for example, unsold paintings created at any point before you file for bankruptcy are considered business inventory that must be disclosed. Typically, there is a “tools of the trade” and a “wildcard” exemption with which such business inventory and brushes, canvasses and other “tools” used to produce the paintings can be protected.

 

As a writer, if you have intellectual property rights to a book or a play you’ve written, any income from the sales of that book or from the royalties of your work will be included in the bankruptcy process. If you can’t exempt all of that intellectual property, you may lose some of the rights to it and to some of the future income it may provide.  Your creditors may benefit from the non-exempt values or portions of those rights and future income.   This is commonly seen with musicians filing for bankruptcy. The intellectual property will go to the purchaser of that asset (to a record label, for example).

 

In a nutshell, if your art, craft, or other creation is providing you with income but you still need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those creations can be included in and are relevant to the Chapter 7 process.

 

To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, as an artist, author, musician, or other creative, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

When Corporations, LLCs, and Other Businesses File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Running a business is a difficult venture, and even with support systems in place, the enterprise can go wrong. Whether it’s sudden or gradual, debts can overcome a business income and leave no other option than some form of debt relief. Debt relief options vary, but the most effective solution for the long term is to file for bankruptcy. Corporations, LLCs, and other businesses that are not sole proprietorships or partnerships can file for two forms of bankruptcy: Chapter 11 (reorganization bankruptcy) or Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy). Individuals and businesses alike can find guidance when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, with the help of Behm Law Group Ltd.’s attorneys.

 

Chapter 7 works similarly for individuals and businesses, but with slight differences. The primary function of Chapter 7 is to liquidate the filer’s assets in exchange for debt discharge. Individual filers may claim exemption allowances to protect certain properties (e.g., the homestead exemption protects the filer’s home from liquidation), but businesses have no such exemptions to claim.

 

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Corporations, LLCs, and business formats that are not tied to the owner’s personal debts can petition for Chapter 7 to discharge all of their business debt. Compared to an individual consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, business bankruptcies are fairly cut and dry.

 

Filers work with an attorney to build their case, including all the required documents and financial records. When the petition is submitted to the court and all necessary bankruptcy fees are paid, the court appoints a trustee to handle the liquidation of the business assets. Properties, equipment, business accounts, and any other components of the bankruptcy estate are sold. Creditors are paid with the value of those sales, and the trustee takes his or her commission based on a percentage of the values received.

 

When the assets are liquidated and the trustee distributes the sale proceeds among the creditors of the business, the court will then discharge unsecured business debts, including credit card debt, utilities owed, lease obligations, loans, and other business debts. When this process is complete, the business filing is shut down, effectively ending operations.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a highly effective debt relief process for businesses, though it’s undeniable that your company will be closed down. Many large U.S. businesses, such as Lehman Brothers in 2008, have used Chapter 7 to rid themselves of debt and shut down. Lehman Brothers filed with $691 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt. This was a case that affected hundreds of employees, but for the long term, was a positive solution for all involved.  In many cases, after the bankruptcy process is completed, one can create a brand new business operation that does the same work as the business that filed for bankruptcy relief and one can operate much more efficiently and smoothly without all of the debts that encumbered the former business.

 

If your business is struggling to keep the lights on and hasn’t had success negotiating with creditors or finding other ways of resolving debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the final option. Filing will release you from all your business debt effectively, though it will just as effectively close down your business operations.

 

To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, as a business or individual, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, When Self-employed

Self-employment is often a rewarding way to create income for you and your family. However, self-employment doesn’t always guarantee a regular income, especially if you work in an industry that has fluctuations in demand. If you are self-employed and have found it difficult to meet debt payments each month, you have several options for debt relief, including bankruptcy. For those with a steady self-employed income who also want to keep their home and other properties, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, is a realistic and highly effective option. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., self-employed filers can build a successful case and start a repayment plan that fits their financial circumstance.

Filing for bankruptcy, especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy, requires a collection of financial documents, income verification, expense reports, and much more. These documents can sometimes be difficult for some people to track down and organize, particularly for those who are self-employed.

The help of an expert bankruptcy attorney is often critical for self-employed filers to compile a case with a repayment plan proposal that the court and bankruptcy trustee can accept. Many self-employed filers are required to provide more extensive documentation of income and expenses when they file for Chapter 13.

 

Income Verification

Verifying your income received from self-employment can be tricky depending on the nature of your work. Tracking your income carefully, even if you don’t plan on filing for bankruptcy, is a good idea for those who are self-employed. This tracking can include:

  1. Check Stubs: When your clients, customers, or other parties who commissioned your work pay by check, saving those checks from the last 12 months is an excellent start to income documentation.
  2. Invoices: If you request payment in the form of invoices, filing those invoice documents (digital or physical) is also key.
  3. Contracts: Contracts are legal proof of your work with a client. Without that proof, you may have a difficult time explaining forms of payment such as checks, cash, or transfers.
  4. Tax Returns: Records of your self-employment income and the yearly taxes paid on it is also required for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
  5. Bank Statements: Deposits, withdrawals, credit card transactions, account records, interest, and most other bank statements are necessary to build a strong Chapter 13 case.
  6. Signed Statements: In many cases, unconventional, random, or odd signed statements can often also prove up a contractual agreement. These signed statements are frequently required for your bankruptcy case, and missing the information they provide might break, rather than make, your case.

 

Overall, the more financial information self-employed filers can provide their attorney and the court, the better. Every transaction you encounter that connects to your income as a self-employed individual as far back as a year may be involved in your case.

 

To learn more about gathering the necessary financial information and building a strong case for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

How Bankruptcy Debt Relief Can Stop Legal and Illegal Creditor Debt Collections in Jackson, MN

Whenever you take a loan, whether it’s in the form of a mortgage, car loan, credit card, or otherwise, you become a debtor, and the loan provider becomes a creditor. The relationship between you and your creditors is generally a perfectly amiable, professional one if you’re able to meet your monthly payment requirements. If you find yourself in a position of being unable to meet those monthly payments, that relationship may start to change to something less amiable, and in some cases, less professional. With the protection of Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys, you can put a stop to creditor debt collections and find debt relief in Jackson, MN by filing for bankruptcy.

 

Anyone who has been in the position of being unable to repay their debts may know something about just how ugly creditor debt collection practices can get. Filing for bankruptcy can quickly resolve any issues you may be facing from your creditors’ collections attempts as well as provide a long-term solution for debt relief. Whether you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have your debts reorganized into a repayment plan that is suited to your financial circumstances, or for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have your non-exempt assets liquidated in exchange for a discharge of your debts, you receive the benefits of an automatic stay.

 

The moment you file for any type of bankruptcy, the court automatically places a stay on your creditors’ ability to collect debt. This stay, with the additional protection of a bankruptcy attorney, should put a stop to any creditor debt collection attempts, legal or illegal.

 

Legal Creditor Actions 

Before you file for bankruptcy and receive automatic stay protection, creditors are allowed to collect debt according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This means they can directly attempt collections and negotiations with you for the first six months you are delinquent. After that time period, your creditors can bring in a third-party collection agency. These collectors can communicate with you directly unless you have attorney representation, in which case that agency must work with your lawyer. If your original creditor sells your debt, the buyer of the debt must also abide by the FDCPA laws.

 

Illegal Creditor Harassment

The moment your creditors or collection agents attempt to collect outside of the laws the FDCPA outlines, they enter harassment territory. Illegal harassment actions include anything from calling you repeatedly at inconvenient times or places, calling you when they should be calling your lawyer, contacting your family members, threatening you, misleading you about their identity, threatening you with jail time and much more. Learn more about illegal debt collection here.

 

Illegal and legal debt collections alike are halted with an automatic stay that goes into effect the moment you file for bankruptcy. For more information about bankruptcy and debt relief in Jackson, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

What You Can Learn from Public Listings of Bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN

In the U.S., the majority of court cases are put on public record. This includes all bankruptcy filings which are often listed in local newspapers and are always available on the government-administered online database PACER (Public Access Court Electronic Records). The listings available on PACER are not easily accessed by any individual, but they are available to bankruptcy attorney, creditors involved in bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcy trustees and bankruptcy judges.

 

If you’re struggling to meet debt payments and think that bankruptcy might be right for you, it’s important to understand why and how your case may be listed publicly and could be accessed by a limited number of parties. If you are considering filing, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide the guidance and assistance you need when working through bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN.

 

Bankruptcy is given a poor image both in financial and social terms, but the fact is that it’s a vital process for those who are unable to recover from severe debt. For many, bankruptcy is the best way to debt relief and long-term financial recovery.

 

Those planning on filing for bankruptcy can learn some of the basics of the process just from looking at listings local to their area. If your local newspaper lists monthly bankruptcies, it’s likely they will be written out like this:

  • Name of filer
  • Name of any joint filers
  • Address of filer
  • Chapter they filed
  • Date they filed
  • Their assets
  • Their liabilities

 

This is what you can learn from this listing:

  • The name of the filer may tell you if it was a business or individual.
  • The joint filer names tell you that either a spouse or a business partner filed jointly.
  • Their address tells you what region they filed in, and may give you some more information about the financial demographics of that area if there are multiple bankruptcy filings. If you live in the same region, it may give you some peace of mind to know you’re not alone.
  • The chapter they filed for will give you an idea of the bankruptcy process (i.e. whether it was liquidation or reorganization).
  • The date they filed may give information about fluctuations of increases or decreases in bankruptcy cases throughout the year.
  • Their asset amount tells you how much their properties and accounts were worth. This includes physical property, bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, and any other sources of income.
  • Liabilities represent a blanket term for debts and other unpaid financial obligations. This amount tells you just how much debt might have been resolved through bankruptcy, and it gives you a good comparison of asset to debt ratios.

 

Overall, public postings of local bankruptcy cases give you a great way to compare your own situation with those who found recovery through the bankruptcy process. Generally speaking, Minnesota newspapers choose not to list local bankruptcy filings.  However, newspapers in North Dakota and Iowa do choose to list local bankruptcy filings.  For many reasons, including the possibility of identity theft, newspapers are becoming much more circumspect about listing local bankruptcy filings.  If you believe filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN, might be the right choice for you, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.