When the Automatic Stay Doesn’t Apply and Navigating Through It With a Bankruptcy Attorney in Marshall, MN

When you file a petition for bankruptcy, your case will immediately see the effects of an automatic stay. Whether you qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy or choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can benefit from the court-ordered halt to creditor action that takes the form of an automatic stay. The power of an automatic stay can provide a wide range of advantages to the filer in addition to its ability to prevent creditor harassment and further missed debt payments. Halting wage garnishments, evictions, foreclosures, and more are possible under the restrictions of an automatic stay. With the help of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN, you can successfully navigate the rest of your case.

While the benefits that an automatic stay provides are numerous, there are some circumstances where it doesn’t apply. Primarily, you cannot receive the full benefits of an automatic stay if you’ve filed for bankruptcy more than once within a year.

  1. Limited Automatic Stay Period: If you’ve filed for bankruptcy once before in the same year, you will have an automatic stay period limited to 30 days the second time you file. This is because the court will assume your second case is filed in bad faith and may be dismissed. With the help of Behm attorneys, you may be able to prove your good faith to the court and receive the full automatic stay period for the creditors you need to prevent from collecting.
  2. No Automatic Stay Applied: You will not be granted any automatic stay period if you have already filed twice or more in a year and then file again. With three or more bankruptcies, the court still presumes that you’re filing in bad faith and will not provide a stay to halt any of your creditors. Again, you can work with our attorneys to prove your case is not in bad faith with accurate and plausible evidence.

If you have the evidence to prove your bankruptcy case is filed in good faith, our attorneys will work to draft your motion for requesting that your automatic stay be granted in full. You may not be granted the stay if your previous case was dismissed because you failed to file certain documents or if your financial situation has not changed since the last time you filed. Additionally, if you’ve filed for bankruptcy within the year and now choose to file jointly with a spouse, the restrictions on an automatic stay apply only to you.

If you aren’t granted an automatic stay in your bankruptcy case, your best means to successfully file for bankruptcy is with the help of a professional attorney. Without the stay, creditors can continue to collect debt payments and may even attempt to take action against your property. To get the help and support you need when you file for bankruptcy, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 and get started today with an expert bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN.

Understanding a Hardship Discharge with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts will be restructured into a three to five-year repayment plan that fits your income and financial situation. For those with incomes too high to pass the Means Test or who wish to hold on to most of their nonexempt properties, Chapter 13 is a highly effective way to resolve debts and get a fresh financial start. Organizing your documents, files, forms, and information into a structured repayment plan proposal that the court will accept is a difficult task to manage without the help of a trained bankruptcy professional. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the legal support and assistance you need to file a strong case for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

After you propose a Chapter 13 repayment plan that’s accepted by the court, the bankruptcy trustee administering your case will collect monthly payments that may vary based on the disposable income information you provide. The amount you’ll be required to repay in your plan depends on your creditors and your disposable income. For example, you must fully repay your priority unsecured creditors, such as certain tax debts, child support debts, alimony and court fines, while your unsecured creditors only need to be paid much less as determined by several factors. Changes may be made to your plan depending on other claims, income, and financial gains or losses. To prevent your case from being dismissed within your three to five-year repayment period, continued communication with your attorney and the bankruptcy trustee is key.

You may also find yourself facing unforeseen circumstances that make it impossible for you to complete your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

If you find yourself in these circumstances, you may be eligible for the Hardship Discharge. This discharge works similarly to a discharge granted in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  You will no longer have to make a plan payment.  Like in a Chapter 7 case, certain debts, including unsecured debts like medical bills, credit card debts, and more, are discharged. However, priority debts like tax debts, child support debts and alimony are not subject to the Hardship Discharge.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Hardship Discharge, you have to prove your conditions render you unable to continue with your repayment plan. If you’ve failed to meet repayment requirements for more than a month due to burdens that are out of your control (“for which you should not justly be held accountable”), you have the chance to make your case for a hardship discharge. You improve your chances of the court granting you a Hardship Discharge if you can prove your circumstances are permanent (physical disability, for example) and if you’ve already repaid to your unsecured creditors what they would have received if you’d filed for Chapter 7.

For more information about the Hardship Discharge and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at

Key Factors that Affect the Repayment Plan Structure of Bankruptcy in Windom, MN

Today, Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy for both individuals and businesses. Because the Chapter 7 process is only available to those with income-to-debt ratios lower than the Minnesota median, bankruptcy is often associated with unemployment or even financial ruin. However, bankruptcy is an option to people and businesses with a wide range of incomes and debts in the form of debt restructuring—Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and guidance to help you decide which type of bankruptcy in Windom, MN, would be the most beneficial to your current financial situation.

 

If you have a stable job and your debts weigh heavily enough for you to consider bankruptcy, chances are you’ll gain the most out of a Chapter 13 case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy works to structure your debts into a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that’s suited to your income. The process is designed to give your creditors as much of a return on your debt as possible without crippling your finances or severely damaging your quality of life.

 

In a Chapter 13 repayment plan, your debts are broken down into several categories based on the priority claim those creditors have on repayment. First, secured creditors are generally the creditors with property secured through a promissory note and security agreement such as mortgages, car loans, or any other debt concerning a physical property. These creditors can be repaid in different ways during your Chapter 13 plan period. In some cases, you will continue to pay these creditors directly rather than through your bankruptcy plan.  For instance, if you have a mortgage with Wells Fargo and you are current with the mortgage payments, you would continue to pay that debt directly to Wells Fargo.  However, if you are delinquent with your mortgage payments, you can pay the mortgage delinquency back to Wells Fargo throughout the 36 to 60 months of your chapter 13 plan rather than all at once.  Of course, you would still have to continue making your regular monthly mortgage payments to Wells Fargo but the delinquency owed before your case was filed would be paid back by the chapter 13 trustee with the payments you make through your chapter 13 plan.  Second, priority debts involved in the bankruptcy process (bankruptcy fees, for example) must also be paid in full.

 

You’ll also be required to repay certain debts in full regardless of any type of plan period, income, or bankruptcy you file for. These commonly include child support and alimony, most tax debts, and debts from personal injury or death you caused while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

 

The rest of your debts will be considered unsecured or nonpriority debts, and these may be paid at a determined portion from 0% to 100%. The amount you’ll be required to repay to unsecured creditors in your Chapter 13 plan varies based on your disposable income, the exemptions you can claim, and the minimum amount those creditors would receive if your assets were liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

Overall, the amount you repay all your creditors, including priority, secured, and unsecured, depends on several financial components. Your debts and other claims you owe that factor into a Chapter 13 plan include:

 

  1. Mortgage owed and arrears
  2. Other home loans and arrears
  3. Car loans owed and loan arrears
  4. Personal property loans
  5. Debts on other property loans
  6. Alimony and child support
  7. Priority tax debts
  8. Other priority debts
  9. Death or personal injury claims against you
  10. Administrative bankruptcy fees
  11. Attorney fees

 

Some debts, like medical bills and credit card debt, may even be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. For more information about creditors, repayment plans, and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

Breakdown of Payments to Unsecured Creditors for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN

When you file for bankruptcy, the people or organizations you owe money to are broken down into several different types of creditors. Generally, these creditors are considered as priority, secured, and unsecured. Within these categories, there is a simple hierarchy: priority creditors are repaid in full, secured creditors are paid the value of their collateral after exemptions are taken into account or the collateral is surrendered back to them, and unsecured creditors are paid with varying amounts depending on your case. While these creditors are considered similarly in both Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the outcomes of their repayments are different. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers expert counsel and support when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, to help you navigate through your creditors and case.

 

For most Chapter 7 cases, the creditors are treated based upon which debts can be discharged and which exemptions can be claimed. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, the creditors must be treated differently based on the types of debts and the significance of those agreements.

 

When a Chapter 13 case is filed, the end goal is to restructure the filer’s debts into an appropriate repayment plan. This plan provides for the full repayment of priority debts and the payment of the value of secured debts, but often offers the filer the benefit of partial repayment of unsecured debts. The creditors of unsecured debts are written into the repayment plan in two fundamental ways.

 

  1. The first basic requirement for the treatment of unsecured creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan is that they will be paid at least as much as they would if the filer had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  2. Secondly, the filer must pay all disposable income – surplus income left over after reasonable and necessary living expenses are paid – to their unsecured creditors throughout the duration of their three to five-year repayment plan. This income amount may fluctuate throughout the plan period, and the chapter 13 plan must be updated to reflect these income changes.

 

The repayment plan period for any Chapter 13 bankruptcy case depends on the filer’s income. If your income is less than the Minnesota median of a household similar to your own, your plan will last three years. If your income is higher than the median, you must file a five-year plan. The amount you repay your unsecured creditors will also depend on how long your plan lasts. For example, if you owe an unsecured creditor $5,000 and your disposable income adds up to $100 a month, you will repay 72% of that debt in a three-year plan or repay 100% of that debt in a five-year plan. In some cases, you will repay 0% of an unsecured debt when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

What you repay your unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 will vary greatly depending on your income and your additional debt payments and expenses. For most filers, these debts will be alleviated at least in part. For more information about your unsecured creditors and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

What Happens When Retirees File for Bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN

Financial difficulties can occur for any number of reasons at any time in one’s life, but with the accumulation of debt into retirement and a decrease in income, retirees are increasingly becoming more likely to file for bankruptcy. Several studies have shown that in the past twenty years, the percentage of 65 or older bankruptcy filers has increased by more than 5%, and many of these petitions outlined medical debt as the primary financial burden of senior citizens. Debts gathered over a lifetime, a drop-in income after retirement, and the issue of medical bills with increased risks of health problems in advanced age all add up to severe financial struggles for many retirees across the country. Behm Law Group, Ltd. serves to protect you throughout the filing of your bankruptcy petition and help you understand what happens when retirees file for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN.

 

The common concern for retirees and senior citizens who file for bankruptcy is how it will affect their retirement funds. Fortunately, most types of retirement accounts are protected from asset liquidation in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the amount in your fund will not affect your repayment plan in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Protected accounts include 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and Keogh plans. The majority of other profit-sharing or benefit plans are also protected. Funds saved in an IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, or Roth IRA are protected from bankruptcy with a set exemption limit. The amount you can exempt from the bankruptcy process changes as the cost of living changes.

 

Another concern for seniors and retirees filing for bankruptcy is whether their Social Security will be involved in the process or not. Social Security is protected from wage garnishments along with disability income, but when that income is deposited into your bank account, it can sometimes be subject to garnishment. However, banks are required to know if federal benefits are in your account before they can take garnishing action, and even then, a two-month value of your Social Security and other benefits are protected.

 

If you are struggling to make ends meet in retirement and face looming medical bills or other debt, bankruptcy can be a valuable option. The majority of your retirement income is protected by federal law, and your retirement funds will most likely be completely protected in the process. With the help of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorney, you can free yourself from medical debt, credit card debt, utility debt, property debt, personal loans and more when you file for bankruptcy.

 

Live your retirement in peace and take full advantage of your freedom free from financial stress. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 to learn more about whether filing for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, is right for you and start your petition today.

Facing the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel With the Help of a Bankruptcy Attorney in Jackson, MN

For many people, the prospect of facing legal issues in any type of court is a daunting one. Because most legal actions can affect your life for the long-term, it’s natural to be apprehensive about going through any court proceeding. The process of bankruptcy is no exception, but with the help of a reliable legal professional, you can be protected and guided from start to finish. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides support and assistance with the preparation of your petition, the accurate recording of your financial information, protection from creditors, case structuring, and help navigating the bankruptcy process every step of the way. Before you launch into this complicated process, take full advantage of the help of a Behm bankruptcy attorney in Jackson, MN.

When you file a bankruptcy case, it gets filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in your location. In Minnesota, there is only one District for the bankruptcy court – the District of Minnesota.  However, there are several Minnesota bankruptcy court divisions, including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, and Fergus Falls.  Whether you choose to file for liquidation bankruptcy – chapter 7 – or debt reorganization bankruptcy – chapter 13 – and whether you’re filing on behalf of your business or as an individual consumer, your bankruptcy case will be processed through one of these divisions, depending on where you reside in the state.  The filing of a bankruptcy case is a federal legal proceeding, as opposed a legal proceeding brought under Minnesota state law.  The Bankruptcy Court is a specialized federal court that was specifically created by Congress to process bankruptcy cases.  It was the sense of Congress that bankruptcy matters were so specialized, detail oriented and nuanced that a highly specialized court system was needed to process them.

With the guidance of a Behm attorney, our clients are able to successfully file a bankruptcy petition that provides them a fresh financial start, freedom from creditor harassment, and relief from crushing debt.

Occasionally, however, a case must be appealed after the court makes a decision that doesn’t rest well with either the filer or the creditors involved. If this occurs, your bankruptcy case will be taken to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP). This is a panel of three bankruptcy judges that reviews the initial decision of the bankruptcy court. Minnesota is located in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and bankruptcy appeals would be processed through the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis, MO.

The process of resolving bankruptcy appeals is an undertaking that’s complicated and nuanced to an exacting degree. How these cases are handled depends on the financial past of both filer and creditors, the arguments of the parties involved, and a wide variety of other current circumstances. For those who have little to no experience with bankruptcy law, self-representation is a dangerous choice especially if a case is put to the test of the BAP.

Don’t put yourself at risk if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy. Instead, schedule a consultation with Behm Law Group, Ltd. Even if your case isn’t sent to the BAP, the guidance of an experienced attorney is a critical benefit during this trying time. For more information about our work as bankruptcy attorneys in Jackson, MN, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.

Handling Debt Sale When Filing for Bankruptcy in Worthington, MN

When an individual or business fails to meet debt obligations without excuse, they may start to experience more aggressive collection actions from creditors. If you have been struggling to make your debt payments for several months, filing for bankruptcy might be the best option to end creditor harassment and get a fresh financial start. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides the legal support you need when filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN and get optimal results in your case.

 

Generally speaking, when  filing for bankruptcy you’re immediately protected by the automatic stay for the period of time it takes to resolve your case. This means the creditors of the debts that will be handled in your case can’t perform any collection actions. However, things can get complicated when one of your creditors sells one of your debts while you’re filing for bankruptcy or in bankruptcy.

 

A creditor may choose to sell a debt to another creditor at any time, even while you’re in the middle of a bankruptcy case. A creditor might choose to sell the debt if they don’t want to wait for your bankruptcy case to be completed to see if it will get paid anything by the trustee administering your case. By selling your debt, they will receive a small immediate sum, and the buyer of the debt will stand in the place of the original creditor.

 

How does this affect filing for bankruptcy?

 

In most cases, the sale of a debt doesn’t affect your bankruptcy case. Whether you owe a debt to the original creditor or to a debt buyer, you still owe the same amount for that debt. From your perspective, it will be handled in bankruptcy as if there was never a sale. However, the original creditor or the debt buyer must notify the bankruptcy court of the sale so that the party in charge of the debt can receive payments in the event that you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and are scheduled for a three to five-year repayment plan.

 

A debt sale may affect you if the debt in question is discharged or scheduled to be discharged. Because the selling of a debt included in a bankruptcy is an act that is in violation of either the automatic stay injunctive provisions of 11 U.S.C. §362 or the discharge injunctive provisions of 11 U.S.C. §524, you may need to take action if this occurs. For example, presume you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and your credit card debt was discharged in the process. Presume further that, soon after, you’re contacted by a creditor who claims they bought one of your debts and is attempting to collect payments. In this case, you should provide the creditor with a copy of the Notice of Bankruptcy Filing that was issued by the bankruptcy court when your case was commenced.  If your bankruptcy case has been concluded, you should provide the creditor with a copy of the Discharge Order that the court issued.  If the creditor continues to harass you and continues collection activities, you may be forced to contact your bankruptcy lawyer and sue the creditor in bankruptcy court.

 

The sale of a debt will often not concern you as a filer and is simply business between creditors. To learn more about this process and to receive legal support when filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

Understanding Assignment and Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Businesses struggling with unmanageable debts have a range of options for debt relief at their hands. While debt consolidation and debt management plans are popular options that’ll keep a debtor’s overall credit in good standings, there are often situations when these debt relief options only act a bandage instead of a true healing process. When you’re unable to pay your debts and don’t have any way of increasing your income in the next few years, filing for bankruptcy is your best option. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the legal advice and assistance you need to successfully file for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

 

Bankruptcy is designed to help both debtors and creditors out of a sticky situation, but some creditors may try to dissuade you from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and instead liquidate your business outside of court with an assignment process.

 

ABC

 

Assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) is an option for business debtors to privately sell assets and return the value of those sales to creditors. When creditors are awarded these sales, they’ll release debtors from payment obligations. This option might be a way to avoid attorney fees and court proceedings, but the process overall is more beneficial to your creditors than to you.

 

Why is Bankruptcy Better?

 

Filing for bankruptcy, despite its effect on your credit, is a better option for business debtors than ABC for a number of reasons:

  1. In bankruptcy, creditors are forced to allow asset liquidation for all dischargeable debts, but in an ABC, they can choose to forgo approval of discharge on debts higher than the secured collateral value. For example, if you owe $5,000 on an auto loan, but the car is only worth $4,500, the creditor would not have to discharge the debt in an ABC.
  2. Unincorporated businesses are not protected during an ABC against creditors seizing the business owners’ personal assets. This means you could be forced to liquidate your personal car or other property in an ABC. In bankruptcy, however, the debts and the assets of incorporated and unincorporated businesses are generally not involved with the liquidation of one’s personal property.
  3. Personal collateral guarantees and other forms of personal security interests on business debts are not removed in an ABC as they would be in bankruptcy. This means if your property was used to secure a loan, creditors can force you to liquidate that property even if it’s not connected to your business in other ways. Bankruptcy allows for exemptions to prevent you from losing your property even if it’s tied to your business debt.

 

ABCs have their benefits, but most of those benefits inure to your creditors. Filing a bankruptcy is the most effective way to remove debt with minimized liability to you and your property. To learn more about the advantages of filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN and to find out how we can help, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

Action and Advice: The Benefits of a Bankruptcy Attorney in Pipestone, MN

The process of filing for bankruptcy has a poor reputation for its effect on property and long-term damage to credit. The legal process of bankruptcy, however, is designed to help filers emerge from crippling debt with a fresh start and a manageable approach to finances. Whether you choose to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 as an individual consumer or small business, you gain more than counsel when you work with a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Pipestone, MN.

While it’s possible to file for bankruptcy without the help of a trained legal professional, it’s not advisable unless you have a thorough understanding of the process. Bankruptcy attorneys are invaluable for filing a successful case and navigating the highly nuanced bankruptcy process. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are not able to supply legal advice to non-attorney bankruptcy filers, which makes a bankruptcy attorney your most valuable source of counsel and guidance.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys are committed to helping our clients navigate through the complexities of bankruptcy. Our goal as bankruptcy attorneys is to work with clients to build a successful case that has as little impact on their quality of life as possible.

To put together a strong and accurate bankruptcy petition and put that case through the wringers of the bankruptcy process, everything must start with the right choices and actions to build a viable foundation.

Actions and Advice with an Attorney

When you work with a Behm attorney, your case starts with wise actions and choices made from training and experience. Our counsel will provide professional guidance and expert advice to help you with the following:

  1. Understanding the process of bankruptcy from start to finish.
  2. Choosing the right type of bankruptcy for your financial situation and the types of debts you hold.
  3. Understanding which debts are discharged and why.
  4. Understanding how creditors and debts are defined.
  5. Completing the necessary standard bankruptcy forms for the chapter you choose.
  6. If necessary, completing specialized forms unique to your case.
  7. Building a repayment plan proposal suited to your financial situation if you file for Chapter 13.
  8. Choosing the most beneficial set of exemptions to claim if you file for Chapter 7.
  9. Protect you from negative creditor action.
  10. Eliminate mistakes and chances for accidental fraud in the highly nuanced workings of bankruptcy.
  11. Work with you from start to finish on your case, no matter what obstacles you meet during your bankruptcy process.
  12. Help you understand the short and long-term consequences of filing for bankruptcy, including effects on your taxes, credit score, and life overall.

Working through a bankruptcy case with the help and protection of an attorney creates positive outcomes that will affect your life and finances for years to come. Start your case with the experience and knowledge of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Pipestone, MN, today by contacting us at (507) 387-7200.

Judgment Liens and Handling Them With a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Fairmont, MN

Filing for bankruptcy is an option available to almost every consumer and business in the US. However, despite the layman’s access to filing for bankruptcy, the fact remains that it is a complex, highly nuanced legal process. While a debt from which a judgment lien is obtained is discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding, a judgment lien can still remain after a bankruptcy is concluded and a bankruptcy filer must take certain steps to fully remove it. This responsibility is best approached with the help of a professional. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the counsel of an expert bankruptcy lawyer in Fairmont, MN, throughout your petition.

 

What is a Judgment Lien?

 

In a state civil court case, after a judge or jury hands down a decision, or after a court-approved settlement, a judgment is entered by the court. As part of a typical judgment, the court orders the payment of money from one person to another. But the person who owes the money (the debtor) doesn’t always pay up. A judgment lien is one way to ensure that the person who won the judgment (the creditor) gets what he or she is owed. A judgment lien gives the creditor the right to be paid a certain amount of money from proceeds from the sale of a debtor’s property.

 

In Minnesota a judgment lien can attach to any real estate a person has an ownership interest in (farm, house, condominium, etc.).  A judgment lien is automatically entered against any real estate that a debtor (the person against whom the judgment has been assessed) owns in the county in which the judgment was awarded.  If the person owns property in another county, a creditor can take a judgment and docket or file it in that county at which time it becomes a judgment lien against any real estate a debtor owns in that county, too.  A judgment lien can last up to ten (10) years and it can remain a lien on a debtor’s real estate for that entire time.  A judgment lien can also be renewed for successive ten (10) year periods.  If a judgment lien is levied against someone’s real estate, any sale of the real estate can’t be completed unless the judgment lien is paid or expunged/removed.

 

Judgment Liens and Bankruptcy

A discharge obtained through bankruptcy nullifies the debt giving rise to a judgment lien.  However, a discharge does not require a judgment creditor to take affirmative steps to remove a judgment.  In other words, a creditor is not required to go to the county in which it obtained the judgment and ask the court to remove the judgment lien from a debtor’s real estate.  Thus, even after a bankruptcy has concluded, a judgment lien becomes a nuisance lien that still clouds title to a debtor’s real estate and prevents any sale of the real estate from being consummated.

 

In order to remove a judgment lien from the real estate, a debtor must, after the bankruptcy has concluded, file an application to discharge or expunge the judgment lien with the state court in which the judgment and judgment lien were obtained in the first place.  Generally, one can only do this with regard to a judgment lien on real estate that one owns and actually occupies as one’s homestead.  Minn. Stat. §548.181 is the statute that one must use to remove or discharge a judgment from real estate that one owns.  There is a specific protocol that must be followed.  Navigating the procedure and making sure it is done correctly is extremely difficult without the help of a knowledgeable, trained professional. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. and the expertise of a Behm bankruptcy lawyer in Fairmont, MN, filing for bankruptcy can be a successful experience that offers financial recovery. We can assist you with the removal of judgment liens following the completion of a bankruptcy case.  Contact us today at (507) 387-7200 today for more information.