Minnesota Bankruptcy Advice- Are Student Loans Eligible for Discharge?

Tips from Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorneys- Behm Law Group

Student loans are generally understood to be “exempt” when it comes to bankruptcy protection. If you have student loans, you are required to pay them back in full, and the federal government has put rules into place to ensure that debt is collected. There are provisions that can help ease student loan debt, but the burden of proof is on you to prove you are in a position that makes it practically impossible for your to pay your loan. Filing for bankruptcy in Minnesota is a viable option. The Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group offer advice on how to navigate these tricky waters.

Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys behm law group

Student loan debt is a huge concern nationwide. As college tuition continues to skyrocket, hundreds of thousands of graduates and perhaps their parents are saddled with debilitating student loan debt that can equal or exceed the price of most starter home mortgages. Private and federal student loan debt exceeded credit card debt in 2010, hit the $1 trillion mark in 2011, and as of this year stands at $1.2 trillion dollars. Meanwhile the economy is struggling to regain past employment levels and starting wages are generally lower, leaving college graduates with burdensome debt and little opportunity to get back on track.

Up until 1976 all education loans could be discharged through bankruptcy. That year the bankruptcy code was changed which disallowed college or government loans to be discharged during the first five years of repayment. After five years of payment the loans could be discharged though bankruptcy or if “undue hardship” was being experienced by the borrower. In 2005 Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which gave further protections to student loans, both federal and private, from bankruptcy protection.  The only “door” left open for bankruptcy protection was if the borrower could demonstrate to the court that repayment of the student loan would cause an “undue hardship.”

Undue hardship can be exceptionally difficult to prove. Just the simple fact that you don’t have the funds available to pay your loan generally does not qualify as undue hardship.

Navigating through this complicated legal landscape is something best left to a professional bankruptcy attorney. Though full bankruptcy protection is still far from an attainable goal regarding most student loan debt, legal avenues do exist for at least a partial discharge of the overall debilitating debt burden that’s all too common for today’s college graduates.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. employs a professional team of bankruptcy attorneys who can help you through the daunting legal world of bankruptcy protection. With our years of dedicated training in the field of bankruptcy we can advise you about your student loan debt options and whether or not you meet the demanding criteria for having your student loans discharged through bankruptcy.

Serving Mankato, MN, and surrounding areas, Behm Law Group, Ltd. is available to help clients maneuver their way through financial difficulty and avoid the stress and uncertainty of unnecessary, burdensome debt. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. to discuss your bankruptcy options.

They Are Not on Your Side- Credit Cards Can Lead to Bankruptcy

Considering bankruptcy in Minnesota? Behm Law can help.

Commercials for big credit card companies make it look and sound like their only intent is provide you with an easy alternative to cash or checks to help all your “wants and needs” come true. The commercials show happy people buying bag-loads of goods at high-end stores, retiring to a beach-front home, or treating friends to an expensive dinner at a pricey restaurant. But are they really on your side? Are they really there to help you make your dreams come true? A look at their net incomes give you a glimpse of what they’re really out to do, and who truly benefits from their services.
minnesota bankruptcy behm law group

One recognizable company, Capital One, which gets half of its income from credit cards, reported a $1.1 billion net income for third quarter, 2013. Think about that—$1.1 billion in one quarter. The biggest credit-card issuer, American Express, reported a $1.37 billion net income for third quarter, 2013. Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, reported a third quarter net income of $5.58 billion. One thing is certain; these companies can’t achieve net incomes in the billions of dollars each quarter by giving money away. They make their exorbitant profits by charging high interest rate
s, massive late fees, and ridiculous overdraft fees. In other words, they lure you with friendly promises of luxury and convenience, and then snag you with highly predatory interest rates and insurmountable fees and penalties.

Credit card companies love to advertise “easy, affordable” credit. But, when times get tough and you’re financially struggling, they can make resolving your financial hardships unbearable and hopelessly unaffordable. Have you been entrapped by the large credit card companies? Is your income being sapped by high-interest payments? Are you over your head in debt? If so, do everything you can to get out of their snare. Your financial future depends on it. But if you are in so much financial trouble you cannot escape on your own, bankruptcy might be your only option. To see if bankruptcy is the right solution for you, call the personal bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group Ltd. Unlike the big credit card companies, we really are there for you.

 

The Government Shutdown and Bankruptcy

How does the government shutdown affect Minnesota Bankruptcy?

minnesota bankruptcy behm law groupUnless you’ve been on an extended vacation in a far-away land with limited access to television, radio, or internet, you have heard about the U.S. government shutdown. The media calls it a “partial shutdown.” You may be wondering, “How does the government shut down relate to Minnesota bankruptcy?” Well, for the countless people who are affected by the government shutdown, there’s nothing partial about it; many are left completely without wages and pay. Not only are government employees affected, but also government contractors. Furthermore, there will be a financial domino effect. Companies that do business with the government won’t get paid. In addition, the restaurants, coffee shops, and retails stores that cater to government employees will see a reduction of business, and could end-up laying off employees, or worse, even be forced to shut their doors for good. And, when the unemployment benefits and savings accounts for these people dry up, many will have no option but to file for bankruptcy.

All of these victims of the government shutdown who end up filing for bankruptcy will have to do so not because they are careless, shopaholics, or addicted to gambling, but because of something over which they have no control: the decisions of a handful of powerful legislators. At Behm Law Group Ltd, we understand that this is true not just for furloughed government workers, but for most people who file for bankruptcy. Their financial problems were caused by forces and events over which they had no control, such as a CEO’s bad business decisions, skyrocketing medical costs, or the lagging economy.

At Behm Law Group Ltd, you will find understanding bankruptcy attorneys who will handle your case with compassion and professionalism. We know it’s not your fault. All we want is to help end your personal financial crisis. If your finances are being ruined by forces out of your control and you’re not sure what to do, call Behm Law Group. We can help you.

 

Why Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? Advice from Behm Law Group

Mankato Bankruptcy Tips

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Behm Law Group, Mankato BankruptcyFor some people, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option to consider when deciding which type of bankruptcy to file. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges people from all of their unsecured debts, Chapter 13 allows you to renegotiate your debts into more affordable payments which you make over the next three to five years. Chapter 13 isn’t for everybody, but it just might be the right option for you. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group can help you decide which option is right for you.

Ineligible for Chapter 7

Not everyone is eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To be eligible, you have to pass the means test, which we have discussed in a previous post . However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers you some protection that Chapter 7 does not.

Protect Your Property

If you want to retain your property, such as a house or a car, you will want to file for Chapter 13. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy only discharges debt, Chapter 13 can allow you to reorganize your debt on secured property under much more favorable terms. Also, Chapter 13 allows you to protect property that you might not be able to keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Protect Your Conscience

Even though they are in a bad situation through no fault of their own, some people feel guilty about filing for bankruptcy. They want to feel like they have kept their obligations. For these people, Chapter 13 provides the opportunity to reorganize their debt  into more manageable payments and may afford them greater peace of mind. 

We’re Here to Help

The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. are dedicated to helping people make these difficult decisions. We can help you decide whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is best for you. If you need help deciding between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, give us a call.