Resolving Medical Bills and Other Debt Relief in Mankato, MN, with Bankruptcy

In the United States, the cost of healthcare is high, even with medical insurance. This expense is often a cause of much hardship for those who encounter medical costs of any kind, expected or otherwise. These expenses put pressure on household finances during an already stressful and often emotional time. If you are facing unmanageable hospital bills and medical expenses on top of other common debts (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, car loans, taxes), you can find debt relief that offers long-term, effective results by filing for bankruptcy. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can file a successful case and receive debt relief in Mankato, MN, from your medical bills and other debts.

 

While filing for bankruptcy may seem drastic, it is the most effective and direct way of resolving your medical expenses in addition to many other debts. Instead of working through the red tape of most hospital administrations without the assurance that your debts will be resolved at all, consider filing for bankruptcy, which kills several birds with one stone with the treatment of many debts and a guarantee that your medical bills will be completely dissolved.

 

Because medical bills are considered an unsecured debts, they will be fully discharged in any type of bankruptcy you can file for as an individual.

 

Chapter 7

As a liquidation type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 discharges debts in exchange for the liquidation of your non-exempt assets. In most cases, the bankruptcy exemptions that are available to you are more than sufficient to protect all of your property from liquidation.  Unsecured debts such as credit card debts, and of course, medical bills, are discharged in full. Chapter 7 is the quickest and most expeditious type of bankruptcy to treat unsecured debts because the process usually takes only three to four months to complete.  However, you must pass the Means Test in order to prove you qualify for chapter 7 debt relief by showing that your household income is not greater than the state median income for a household of your size.

 

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is a debt reorganization form of bankruptcy. Also referred to as wage-earner bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is an option available to those with an incomes too high to file for Chapter 7 or for those who want to protect their non-exempt assets from possible liquidation.  Chapter 13 reorganizes your debts into a manageable three- to five-year repayment plan. This means that you will pay your unsecured debts what you can afford to pay for a limited time with no interest, no late fees and no penalties.  At the end of your three- to five- year plan, whatever amounts of your unsecured debts that remain are discharged.

 

In a nutshell, filing for bankruptcy will ensure your relief from medical bills, and in most cases, many other debts as well. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy and receiving debt relief in Mankato, 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.

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.

When Filing for Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN Is Your Best Option

If you are facing financial difficulties, you are not alone. Individuals in all types of circumstances can find themselves deep in debt because of numerous factors. In fact, the chance of severe debt is not an impossibility for anyone, and you should not feel shame for having financial troubles or for considering bankruptcy as an option for debt relief. If you are wondering whether you should file for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you answer any questions that you might have as well as counsel you throughout your case.

 

Bankruptcy is an excellent option for finding your way out of serious debt. It can resolve your debts in a liquidation process through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or in a reorganization process through Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

Although bankruptcy is a highly effective solution for many debtors, it is not always the best solution for certain financial circumstances.

 

 

How to Know When to File

To determine whether filing for bankruptcy is the best option for your financial circumstances, you need to ask yourself some questions:

  1. Are you unable to meet debt payments or are you meeting them with a severe detriment to your necessary living expenses?
  2. Are most of your debts treatable in the bankruptcy process? (There are some types of debts that are not subject to discharge.)
  3. Are you able to pay the bankruptcy fees and an attorney fee?
  4. If you plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, will you satisfy the Means Test?
  5. If you plan to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, are you prepared to be responsible for a repayment plan for up to five years?
  6. Do your debts fall into the accepted limitations for bankruptcy? (For example, debt limits in chapter 13 cases.)
  7. If you plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, will you be able to protect the properties you want to keep with the allotted exemptions?
  8. Are you prepared to attend credit counseling and meet other pre-bankruptcy requirements?
  9. Are you able to organize, with the help of a Behm attorney, all the necessary documents of your finances and property for the bankruptcy petition?
  10. Do you understand and accept the effect that bankruptcy will have on your credit?
  11. Do you accept the fact that a  your bankruptcy filing could be known by the general public?
  12. Do you have a long-term rehabilitation plan for your finances after you file for bankruptcy, and are you willing to work with a Behm attorney to assist you in that regard?

 

If you can answer all of these questions and still believe that you could benefit from bankruptcy, then it’s likely that filing will provide a valuable opportunity for debt recovery. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

Long-Term Financial Effects of a Government Shutdown and Getting Help from a Bankruptcy Attorney in Marshall, MN

Starting in December of 2018 and ending more than a month later, the recent government shutdown was the longest in U.S. history and impacted more government employees across the country than any other shutdown before. The ripple effects of the shutdown grew by the day and had severe effects on many employees’ finances. The lack of income for government departments, programs, organizations, and employees alike caused, for many, a rapid decline into debt.

 

If you were affected financially by the recent government shutdown and are facing unmanageable debts because of this, filing for bankruptcy is a viable option to receive government-sanctioned debt relief. Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you file a strong case with the guidance and counsel of an expert bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN.

 

Reports of shutdown-related debts and expenses have come from all kinds of sources. All types of government employees suffered financially from the shutdown. A month without a paycheck can lead quickly to all kinds of poor financial conditions simply due to an inability to pay bills. Government employees found that they were unable to make payments on a wide range of common bills or debts including:

 

  • medical bills and health insurance
  • utilities, including water, electricity, and gas
  • rent or mortgage
  • car payments or car repairs
  • automotive and related insurance
  • life insurance
  • retirement plans
  • student loans
  • credit cards
  • taxes

 

Businesses and organizations that relied on government funding also suffered badly, and the individuals employed by these businesses and organizations experienced a range of difficulties such as not receiving a paycheck and benefits or being laid off. Though the shutdown only lasted for a month, the long-term effects will last for years. Recovery from unexpected, sudden, and complete cutoff from an income and government support for an unknown amount of time is still causing a real struggle today for many U.S. citizens and businesses.

 

In comparison with the 2013 government shutdown, for example, the recovery process has proved to be more difficult and longer simply due to the suddenness, time frame, and nature of the 2018-2019 shutdown. The lack of structure and planning in this recent shutdown created an outcome resembling an economic recession that was crammed into a 30-day period.

 

In times like these, it’s important to remember that consulting a bankruptcy attorney is a real option that you should consider seriously. If you were unable to pay your bills because of the government shutdown and are still trying to overcome the negative effects, bankruptcy may provide realistic, long-term recovery from debt.

 

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy and how an expert bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN, can help you get back on your feet after the shutdown, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Resolving Sudden Financial Crises with the Right Bankruptcy Attorney in Waseca, MN

The economy we live in allows for rapid financial shifts for individuals and businesses alike. While these changes can be positive, there is often a greater chance that you or your business will face negative outcomes as a result. For those who own and operate a retail business in the U.S., the reality of how quickly their financial status can change is recognized across industries. If you’re facing a recent change to your finances and have had hardship in meeting debt payments, it might be time to tackle these issues. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can find debt relief through bankruptcy with the guidance of an expert bankruptcy attorney in Waseca, MN.

 

For businesses and individuals alike, bankruptcy is frequently painted in a negative light, but the truth is that both reorganization and liquidation bankruptcies are viable and highly effective long-term processes if applied to the right situation with the help of a bankruptcy attorney.

 

One example of a situation in which two separate types of bankruptcy first failed to fix and then successfully remedied a business in debt are the recent cases of the Scheherazade Jewelers in Edina, MN.

 

The Scheherazade Jewelers were an upscale shop specializing in high-end jewelry ranging from the $500-$50,000 range. The company was well-established in the Galleria mall, and up until recently was located in a prime spot that allowed for exposure to major mall traffic. However, after the store moved to a lesser trafficked location in the mall, revenue started to decline.

 

In 2010, the store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had their debts reorganized into a repayment plan suited to their then-current income. This chapter works similarly to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a common bankruptcy process that is limited to individuals, spouses, sole proprietorship businesses, and partnership businesses. The benefits provided to Scheherazade Jewelers through Chapter 11 proved to be less effective than desired, and the business continued to lose profits.

 

In March of 2019, the store filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. For both individuals and businesses, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a gradual or a sudden necessity. The process liquidates assets in exchange for debt discharge. Essentially, while Chapter 11 only provided a short-term attempt at long-term debt resolution, Scheherazade Jewelers could not stay afloat in the current economy. Instead, Chapter 7 provided a valuable way for the owners to cut losses and gain a fresh financial start.

 

For the creditors of Scheherazade Jewelers, this Chapter 7 bankruptcy may have been a sudden blow, but the financial patterns displayed over the past 9 years reveal a long buildup to liquidation. If you’re struggling with your debts, you can decide whether you want to resolve them now or have a long buildup to a bankruptcy that seems sudden.

 

Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today for more information about filing and how an expert bankruptcy attorney in Waseca, MN can help you build a successful case for long-term relief.

 

The Basic History and Purpose of Bankruptcy Law, and Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney in Mankato, MN

 

The concept of bankruptcy as a form of debt relief has been incorporated into governments across the world for centuries. These past formats of bankruptcy law have each altered the way we view debt and come together to form the way the U.S. Bankruptcy Court outlines and administers a bankruptcy case today. Though the United States is a young country relative to most of the world, the system of bankruptcy in the U.S. has seen a rapid succession of changes within the last 200 years.

 

Today, bankruptcy is designed to pull debtors out of crippling debt and help them recover in the long-term from financial difficulties. If you’re struggling to make monthly debt payments, filing for bankruptcy and working with a bankruptcy attorney might be the right choice. With the help of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Mankato, MN, you can navigate the bankruptcy process and file a successful case.

 

Bankruptcy may seem like a bailout system that’s too good to be true for debtors. “A way to get rid of most of your debts for good, and the government says it’s OK?” If you’re considering bankruptcy, you might be wondering: what’s the catch? The fact is that bankruptcy is not as black and white as it’s often painted to be. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the debtor and creditor involved. Despite the fact that there are insular ups and downs affecting the debtor and creditors, some may question why the government has created opportunities for debt relief at all.

 

Why does it exist?

In a nutshell, bankruptcy exists to help the national, state, and municipal economy. A healthy economy relies on consumers to buy products just as much as it relies on commercial enterprises to source and sell those goods. If individual debtors are unable to pay their debts, they are equally unable to contribute to the economy as consumers. Likewise, businesses who are struggling to cover their debts have a rapidly-lessening ability to produce and sell goods. Bankruptcy exists superficially, in the best way possible, to protect debtors and give them the relief they need, and fundamentally to support a growing, healthy economy.

 

Why do I need a bankruptcy attorney?

While it’s true that individuals and businesses can work through a bankruptcy case on their own, it’s also undeniable that bankruptcy law is incredibly nuanced and poses difficult tasks and questions at every stage. The experienced counsel of a bankruptcy attorney is critical to reaching a successful outcome in the majority of cases largely because each case is so unique. A bankruptcy attorney can provide protection, guidance, and expert assistance in any bankruptcy case.

 

If you’re finding hardship in debt and finances, bankruptcy may be the right path to take. To learn more about filing and the role of a bankruptcy attorney in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Living with Success on a Repayment Plan Budget after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

March is the time when determination for New Year’s resolutions start to waver. If you’ve made your New Year’s resolution based on your budget, that wavering can significantly damage your financial well-being. Those who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past know they don’t have any other option than to adhere to the budget outlined in their repayment plan. If you’re struggling with your budget, filing for Chapter 13 might mean long-term debt relief and better spending practices. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and structure a repayment plan that will set you up for success.

Chapter 13 reorganizes your debts into a three- to five-year repayment plan. This is a great option for those with a steady income who want to receive court-approved debt relief with a structured budget for the repayment plan period. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers will have to repay their priority debts, like amounts owed for taxes, criminal fines, child support and alimony, in full, but most can receive a debt reduction up to 100% on unsecured debts.  Even secured debts, like vehicle loans and mortgage delinquencies, can be paid under different and more favorable terms.

 

After you file, you have the opportunity to restructure your debts into a plan proposal. The plan lasts three or five years depending on your income. When the court approves your plan, you will make monthly payments to a chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee.

 

Although the concept of a Chapter 13 repayment plan is highly attractive, some might find it difficult to adhere to that plan, especially if a wavering budget sent them into bankruptcy in the first place. Sticking to your repayment plan means you have to take some things into consideration:

 

  1. Your plan is structured around your income, so any income changes (a new job, for example) must be reported immediately to your bankruptcy trustee or your plan may be dismissed for lack of good faith.
  2. Because your plan is structured around your income, it also takes in the fact that you have monthly expenses for food, travel, utilities, rent, and more. The money you will have to spend to live each month is accounted for in your plan.
  3. While your necessary spending is taken into account in your repayment plan, your unnecessary spending is not. All of your disposable income (any money left over after reasonable and necessary monthly expenses) will have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee for your unsecured creditors involved in your repayment plan.  You and your lawyer can work with the chapter 13 trustee on your budget to determine your reasonable and necessary expenses.  While the chapter 13 trustee is a fiduciary for your creditors, the trustee is not intransigent or inflexible in this process.
  4. Sudden income sources like tax refunds, bonuses and commissions may or may not have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee and into your repayment plan. This is something that can be negotiated at the time it occurs.

 

It is completely possible to live month to month during a Chapter 13 repayment period. In fact, the entire goal of reorganization bankruptcy is to allow filers to live their lives as normally as possible while they repay debt. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and are concerned about sticking to a tight budget, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information today.

How to Use Your Tax Refund While Filing for Bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN

As tax season approaches, everyone filing has to take time to look at their finances in more detail than usual. For many individuals and businesses, a financial overview may show just how much they are struggling with the weight of debt. For those with too much debt than they know what to do with, tax season may be the perfect time to consider a long-term solution. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we’ve found that there are many cases where tax season was the most effective time for those considering filing for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN to take the next step forward.

 

Whether you have credit card debt, mortgages, or most other forms of debt, filing for bankruptcy can act as a recovery system that helps you resolve those debts under government protection. For most with a steady income that overbalances their debt-to-income ratio, the process of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most effective as it restructures your debts into a three- to five-year repayment plan suited to your own financial situation.

 

Because of the demand that a Chapter 13 plan puts on all your disposable income, you will most likely have to forfeit some of your yearly tax refunds you receive to your trustee for the repayment of your unsecured debts. While your trustee may allot some of that refund for you to spend or save, you will not be able to retain all of it.  To get the most use out of your tax refund if you plan to file for bankruptcy, you should plan to use it before you file your petition.

 

If you use your tax refund prior to filing for bankruptcy, you will have to spend it all or you may have to surrender some of your tax refund to the trustee. To get full use of your refund without being at fault when the time comes to file, you should expect to only use the refund for:

 

  • food and prescription medicine
  • mortgage or rent
  • home maintenance and repairs
  • utilities
  • education costs
  • clothing
  • insurance
  • medical or dental costs
  • car payments, repairs, and maintenance
  • homeowners association fees

 

The best use of your tax refund if you plan on filing for bankruptcy is for it to go to these expenses. When you use your refund for these purposes, it’s also critical to keep accurate and legitimate records of all your spending. With the help of a Behm attorney, you can record and collect necessary information and documents that will fully demonstrate your use of your tax refund for these expenses rather than other debt payments. Your trustee will most likely require a tax return for the year prior to and the year you file for bankruptcy on top of the additional bankruptcy petition documents.

 Find Professional Help When Filing for Bankruptcy

To learn more about how to use your tax refund before filing for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.