Limit Spousal Input Before Starting a Business or Declaring Bankruptcy for Your Mankato, MN Area Business

When starting a new business, you need to carefully consider many decisions such as where to locate, what type of services to offer, how much equity each owner gets, and what pricing and business models to use. But did you ever think you should be concerned about your partner’s spouse? The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. believe such a consideration should be duly noted in the Mankato, MN area.

 

You might think this doesn’t matter because you are going into business with your partner, not their spouse. But consider these questions before you sign on the dotted line and commit your capital to the business venture.

  • What if the spouse has undue influence over your partner’s decision-making abilities?
  • Does the spouse have any experience in or knowledge about running a business?
  • What if the spouse is designated as a successor in the business should your partner suffer an untimely demise?
  • Is spouse difficult to work with when in a position of power?
  • Does the spouse share your and your partner’s vision for your business?

 

Of course, you want to trust that your business partner will be able to keep their professional and personal relationships separate for the good of your business. But you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you don’t take some precautions in your business agreement:

 

1) Make sure all business owners in your venture sign a business agreement which addresses all aspects and possibilities for your business. Leave nothing to chance.

 

2) Define the spouse’s role in your business. How much influence, if any, a spouse would have? Can he or she make decisions? Can a spouse become an owner? If an owner, what are the terms for selling the spouse’s share?

 

3) Address the potential need for bankruptcy. At what point should the discussion of bankruptcy be brought up? Who makes the final decision to declare bankruptcy?

 

Whether you’re contemplating a business agreement or have already filed for bankruptcy, seek our counsel at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We specialize in bankruptcy in the Mankato, Minnesota area and can offer you sound advice for making the best decision regarding bankruptcy for your business before it’s too late.

Bankruptcy During Tax Season

While bankruptcies occur year round, timing is everything. Once you have determined you need to file for bankruptcy, consult with local attorneys, especially those whose practice focuses exclusively on bankruptcy. Factors such as assets, upcoming life changes (like marital status), and pending judgments you might have affect when you should file.

As you can see in the table below, people tend to file for bankruptcy predominantly around tax season. These statistics represent the 2014 bankruptcy filings according to the U. S. Courts:

Month in 2014 U.S. Total Filings Business Filings Non-Business Filings
January

70,491

2,233

68,258

February

74,508

2,228

72,208

March

70,491

2,233

68,258

April

90,670

2,563

88,107

May

87,966

2,467

85,499

June

76,223

2,253

73,970

July

79,239

2,218

77,021

August

77,190

2,098

75,092

September

75,312

2,039

73,273

October

81,179

2,295

78,884

November

64,250

1,830

62,420

December

65,161

2,094

63,067

Total

936,795

26,983

909,812

The highest number of total bankruptcy filings in the U. S. for 2014 was in April. In fact, according to Bob Lawless, bankruptcy filings consistently top out in the beginning part of the calendar year. Typically, January and February tend to accumulate at least 15% of the total filings, as is the case here.

Although the reasons could be numerous, let’s take a look at a few possibilities for why the beginning of the year and, in particular, the tax season may garner so much attention:

  • With taxes due April 15, people focus more on their finances and are apt to make significant changes then.
  • People think bankruptcy will lessen their tax burden.
  • Folks feel they can’t be audited if they file for bankruptcy.
  • Some think they can go on a spending spree before April 15, file for bankruptcy, and then owe nothing.
  • They expect a large tax refund and believe they can simply use that to pay toward a bankruptcy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if bankruptcy were that simple? It’s not. That’s why you should contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. Here’s why:

  1. In a bankruptcy, certain debt called priority debt cannot be discharged. Priority debt includes child support, DWI charges, some penalties, plus more.
  2. A bankruptcy does not stop an audit. The IRS gets priority here.
  3. If you go on a spending spree before declaring bankruptcy, that could be construed as intentional fraud.
  4. If you have filed for bankruptcy, you may or may not be able to spend your tax refund.

These are just a few examples where legalities can get tricky. You need to understand there are enough nuances within bankruptcy law that could really cause you problems if you don’t know what you are doing.

When to file tax returns regarding bankruptcy has its own issues. One thing that is certain is you cannot discharge taxes that haven’t been filed in the first place. For specific advice, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We serve mankato, MN and the surrounding areas, including Marshall, Worthington, Owatonna, New Ulm, St. Peter, Redwood Falls, Waseca, and Fairmont.

One good thing to keep in mind is that discharged debt doesn’t really affect taxes because it isn’t considered to be taxable income.

This April 15, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure you have the facts. It may not be in your best interest to file now. Any important financial change deserves careful thought. For further advice, contact your local bankruptcy attorney.

Mankato Bankruptcy Support

Behm Law Group provides more than just legal bankruptcy support for Mankato residents.

“How are you?” is a pretty common question. Akin to “Hello!” this question usually presumes a positive response. If negative, we tend to assess how negative and how much of our time will be required in listening to another’s problems. We have difficulties of our own. The mere mention of another’s problems may cause us to reflect on our own. If your friend fell on hard times and had to declare bankruptcy, nothing else is on this person’s mind. It can be overwhelming, especially if it was unexpected.

The best thing you can do is to be a friend and to listen. If that particular time doesn’t work well for you, suggest an alternate meeting. Let your friend vent for a while, but not too long. Gently steer the conversation toward active steps that could help your friend succeed. Be patient. Reassure your friend that you still value him or her as a human being. If he or she hasn’t already contacted a bankruptcy attorney, suggest Behm Law Group, Ltd. We’ll take care of your friend as though he or she were our friend, too.

Support doesn’t stop there, however. Your Mankato friend may experience depression or confusion thinking he or she is all alone. The best thing you can do is to continue to be a friend. Constantly reassure your friend that all will work out well eventually. Ask questions about how his or her journey is going and on what steps he or she is taking. Be the friendly guide that someone needs. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. demonstrate compassion and patience as well.

Show your friend that he or she can rely on you to be there when he or she needs you the most. Too many people make a quick getaway when they receive a negative response to “How are you?” A true friend wouldn’t do that.

A true friend in Mankato responds rather than reacts to another’s admission of bankruptcy. If your friend gets stuck in a continual negative loop, help him or her climb out by providing positive steps he or she can take.

When Behm Law Group, Ltd. and you both work to be that positive influence a bankrupt person needs, eventually future conversations will take a turn for the better. The next time you ask one of your friends “How are you?” he or she will likely respond, “Fine, thanks.” Maybe you’ll even get a “great” or an “awesome.”

Your friend will feel better. You’ll feel better. Behm Law Group, Ltd. will feel better. Call us to start that positive journey.

I Went Bankrupt: Now What?

Behm Law Group helps you recover and move forward after filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

You can be your own worst enemy. Thinking about what you should have, could have, would have done can overwhelm Mankato, MN residents who have gone bankrupt. Simply kicking yourself or spinning negative thoughts will do more to hamper your forward momentum than anything else. As they say, you are what you think about. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. suggest you change your paradigm.

Instead of spiraling downward, treat your bankruptcy as a puzzle problem. If you want to analyze the “whys,” we can help you sort the pieces into a sensible order. No blame is needed, only a determination to help yourself move forward. Finances got out of hand? Okay. Maybe learning how to create and follow a budget is in order. Your spouse spends too much? Maybe having separate checking accounts would work. Your child always wants the most expensive clothing? Perhaps saying “no” once in a while wouldn’t hurt either.

The point is, bankruptcy in Mankato, MN doesn’t signal the end, only another beginning. Your frame of mind is your number one asset you can use to improve your situation. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. would be more than happy to discuss your opportunities. That’s right; if you allow yourself to think of possibilities, you can climb up and out.

We would be remiss if we led Mankato residents to believe no work would be involved. Let’s face it. If all the optimal choices and decisions were made, it’s likely bankruptcy wouldn’t have occurred. Therefore, some changes are due. Behm Law Group,  Ltd. can help you sort through the mass of information, so you can differentiate between the trivial and the important.

Nothing worth achieving is easy. If that were the case, you would have already mastered your predicament. So from now on, think of the present as a challenge. Mankato, MN residents have overcome other challenges. Let the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group Ltd. help you overcome bankruptcy. Let’s get going!

Bankruptcy Relief in Mankato, MN

Behm Law Group bankruptcy relief in Mankato, MN and the surrounding areas

When the IRS audits you, you defend yourself. When someone offends you, you defend yourself. When you make a mistake, you defend yourself. When someone doesn’t like your individuality, you defend yourself. Why should bankruptcy be any different? It’s highly unlikely you’ve had practice defending yourself in the legal arena of bankruptcy court. Let the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. handle your case, provide the required defense to your financial situation, and offer you bankruptcy relief.

You might think bankruptcy can cause trauma in individuals. You’d be correct. Sometimes businesses use it as a strategic ploy. Whatever the reason, Behm Law Group, Ltd. specializes in bankruptcy law in the Mankato area, surrounding communities and all of Southern Minnesota. We understand the nuances of bankruptcy law, and we work exceptionally hard for you toward a satisfactory resolution.

At least in most cases where there is a plaintiff and you are the defendant, you know what the specific accusation is. In the case of a Mankato bankruptcy, financial matters may have snowballed outside of your control. Perhaps economic conditions sideswiped you. It happens. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. do not focus on you as the cause. Instead, we focus on a best resolution for you with your circumstances in mind.

The reason the highly trained and experienced attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. have had so much practice in bankruptcy law is that you are not alone. Hundreds of people have filed for bankruptcy. We have helped them, and we can help you, too. We practice bankruptcy law, but we focus on people.

Mankato residents and those living in all of Southern Minnesota can expect nothing less than professional and confidential service. We at Behm Law Group, Ltd. take our servant role very seriously. You will come to us with anxiety; you will leave with relief. Call us right now!

If Detroit Can Do It, So Can You | Mankato, MN Bankruptcy

Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides bankruptcy attorneys in Mankato, MN and surrounding areas

Late in May, the City of Detroit made the case for its bankruptcy restructuring plan via a court filing, an event made all the more surreal since Detroit is the only United States city to ever file for bankruptcy protection. As bankruptcy law goes, it doesn’t get much bigger, or unusual, than this.

Just consider that the city argued it has the legal justification to transfer ownership of the Detroit Institute of Arts to a third-party non-profit organization. That’s right; a city is in jeopardy of losing a museum due to bankruptcy. Most individuals have to worry about losing a vehicle through bankruptcy, but the City of Detroit is trying to figure out a way to keep its museum intact. Talk about pressure.

Or, consider that the City of Detroit has been arguing that its pension annuity payments are “excessive” and those excessive pension distributions are tantamount to a Ponzi scheme. It takes a certain astonishing level of systemic financial mismanagement to refer to your city’s own pension system as a Ponzi scheme.

Not surprisingly, the City of Detroit is facing considerable pushback as it makes its legal case for the justifications surrounding its bankruptcy filing, but it should prove fascinating to watch as it unfolds.

Thankfully, individual bankruptcy filings don’t entail nearly the same seemingly impossible legal hurdles the City of Detroit faces, although individual bankruptcies can be incredibly daunting in their own right.

While chances are you won’t be trying to save your own personal museum from being liquidated to appease creditors, you will want to protect some of the most personally meaningful items and property, and that’s incredibly important to you.

Behm Law Group  understands how stressful individual bankruptcy can be, and we’ll work to ensure your bankruptcy journey is as smooth and efficient as the law allows. Our professional and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys have helped countless clients just like you to navigate the incredibly confusing bankruptcy landscape.

You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, go through a bankruptcy ordeal on your own. If you reside in Mankato, MN or anywhere in Southern Minnesota, and you require bankruptcy guidance, contact Behm Law Group today. We’ll be alongside you every step of the way to successfully guide you through this complicated process.

And, if you do happen to have a museum you’d like to hold on to, we’ll see what we can do about that, too.

Let Behm Law Group Help You with Bankruptcy Problems in Mankato, MN

Behm Law Group | Bankruptcy Attorneys in Mankato, MN

You never know when you will be faced with navigating the maze of bankruptcy laws.  All it takes is for one very expensive medical bill to give you a financial headache.  We recommend you contact the best bankruptcy attorneys in Mankato, Minnesota, Behm Law Group Ltd., to ease the pressure.

Have you ever wondered how the term bankruptcy originated?  The exact origin is a bit unclear.  Perhaps it was derived from banco rotto, or “broken bank” in Italian.  In Medieval Italy, bankers transacted their business on benches.  When one could no longer lend or fulfill commitments, the bench was broken to display the banker’s inability to continue negotiating.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group want to help you from sliding into a morass of financial ruin, and we won’t use scare tactics.  We are honest, yet concerned and friendly, and are glad to answer any questions you may have. Behm Law Group specializes in bankruptcy law, whether it’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  We are willing to meet with you when it’s convenient for you:  evenings, weekends, or at your home.

Instead of endlessly worrying, contact Behm Law Group.  The issues surrounding bankruptcy law can be complex.  We can simplify it for you, so you can better understand what your options are.

Whether you are accumulating massive medical debt, credit card debt, or other unforeseen expenses, call the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group in Mankato, Minnesota, to see how you can best resolve your dilemma.

 

How Natural Disasters Influence Bankruptcy Claims in Mankato, MN

Filing for Bankruptcy in Minnesota | Tips from Behm Law Group, Ltd.

Since Hurricane Katrina, there have been changes and adjustments to bankruptcy laws. This is especially important for people that have been the victim of a natural disaster and lost all of their possessions and potentially their income. With the recent tornadoes and weather events in the South, Behm Law Group, Ltd. wanted to revisit the nuances of bankruptcy for disaster victims.

When an enormous weather event, such as Hurricane Katrina, strikes, the government may relax some of the laws associated with bankruptcy. In the instance of Katrina, the strict rules of Chapter 7 bankruptcy were relaxed to take into account the increased expenses and loss of property and income that disaster victims and their families experienced. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for debts to be completely erased. If the looser rules were not put into place after such large events, some families with higher income than the state’s median may have to repay their debt over a five year period.

Of course, these exceptions are due to extreme cases, like natural disasters and other events that impact an entire geographic area. It is still applicable to residents of Minnesota that sometimes experience tornadoes and flooding statewide.

To help you navigate the intricacies of bankruptcy law, call Behm Law Group, Ltd, your local bankruptcy attorneys based in Mankato, Minnesota. Filing for bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is never an easy decision, and it certainly isn’t a simple process. We are here to help you through the hardest times in your life, whether they are naturally occurring or caused by a natural disaster.

Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score

How does bankruptcy affect your credit score? Behm Law Group Ltd. explains.

It should go without saying that filing for bankruptcy can carry with it certain consequences. While bankruptcy protections are in place to relieve many of the burdens of crushing, intolerable debt, filing for bankruptcy can impact your life in many ways over the next several years.

Perhaps most notably is the impact bankruptcy will have on your credit score. Following a bankruptcy, it’s still possible to obtain credit cards and loans. However, creditors will sometimes ask that you have a co-signer (someone with good credit who will assume responsibility for the debt with you). People who file bankruptcy will have the bankruptcy reflected on their credit histories anywhere from 1 to 7 years, irrespective of whether one files a chapter 13 bankruptcy or a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both types of bankruptcy will reflect the same on credit histories. Sometimes people who have filed for bankruptcy relief or who have gone through a foreclosure will have to wait 3 years after the bankruptcy or foreclosure to qualify for a home mortgage through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

While bankruptcy can negatively impact your credit history—which may not have been too great to begin with—you can start to repair your credit history almost as soon as you complete your bankruptcy process. Be sure to accurately and honestly reflect your bankruptcy situation. Potential creditors will want that information noted up-front so they can assess your credit risk. To most creditors, a bankruptcy filing simply represents a point in time. To them, the time predating the bankruptcy filing represents a time full of economic chaos and incredible financial uncertainty. The time after a bankruptcy filing represents financial order and economic balance. Most creditors will work with you following a bankruptcy because they know that they will not have to compete with pre-existing bankruptcy creditors for your payments because those creditors will have been discharged; they know that they will be first in line. Also, they will know that you will not be able to file for bankruptcy relief again for several years. They know that they could pursue collection action against you for several years if you do not pay them.

Unsecured credit after bankruptcy can be obtained. However, to improve your credit, you should look to secured credit, if possible, by placing money in the bank that’s equal to or more than the credit limit you’re looking to secure. Putting money away for a secured loan or credit can be challenging, particularly following bankruptcy, but the goal is to repair your credit history as much as possible and getting a secured line of credit is a good way to do it.

Any student loans you have will likely not be discharged through bankruptcy, so those debts will remain and they can be a ticking time bomb to your credit history if they go unpaid. Pay them on time, and pay over the minimum payment when possible, because that will likewise improve your damaged credit history.

There are companies that specialize in repairing credit history and credit scores, but they can be very expensive, and they’re not all reputable. In fact, some even engage other people who voluntarily allow the companies to “ghost” credit histories. The companies do not engage in identity theft. However, some people with good credit will, for a fee, allow credit repair companies to use their good credit standings and “ghost” those good credit standings for people with poor credit histories. Do your research before approaching a credit repair outfit but the best course may be to just stay away from them.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group Ltd. are experts at advising how best to rebuild your credit history following bankruptcy, and we’re happy to guide you accordingly. If you’re facing a bankruptcy situation of your own, Behm Law Group Ltd. can provide expertise in guiding you through the process and explaining what you can expect following filing for bankruptcy. We proudly serve Mankato, MN, and all of Southern Minnesota. We stand ready to help you through your stressful financial ordeal. Give Behm Law Group Ltd. a call today!

Defining “Undue Hardship” – Bankruptcy Law in Mankato, MN

Mankato, MN Bankruptcy Law with Behm Law Group, Ltd.

Generally speaking, discharging student loans via bankruptcy can difficult endeavor. However, when you’re facing outright bankruptcy—which can be challenging and stressful enough—it can’t hurt to explore all your options. It may surprise some people to learn there is a section of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. Sec. 523[a][8]) which addresses student loans specifically. It basically states: “Student loans can be discharged as long as one can show that excepting [excluding] such debt from discharge (debt relief provided through bankruptcy) would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides professional bankruptcy counsel in Mankato, MN in your time of need.

The key term here is “undue hardship,” a term which only government lawmakers could conjure that sounds ridiculously simple.  However, what constitutes “undue hardship” is a very factually intensive inquiry.  In order to establish “undue hardship”, one must review all of the circumstances surrounding someone’s financial situation.  Serious medical conditions, job losses, the likelihood of being able to get higher paying employment and one’s other living expenses and sources of income are only a few factors that need to be considered.  Discharging student loans in bankruptcy can be done and, indeed, has been done in many cases.

One example of a fact substantiating “undue hardship” is to show you’ve incurred a disability since graduating from college that prevents you from being able to realistically carry out the necessary tasks that are part of any job aligned with your college degree. Let’s say you graduated with a degree in astronomy that requires you to look through a telescope, but after graduating you became permanently blind. You may be able to show and convince a bankruptcy judge that this constitutes “undue hardship.”

If you’re filing for bankruptcy protection, and you’re interested in exploring whether you qualify for a student loan bankruptcy discharge, you should seek out professional bankruptcy counsel. In Mankato, MN and the surrounding communities, Behm Law Group, Ltd. should be your first point of contact when considering your bankruptcy options. We have highly trained bankruptcy attorneys with extensive experience when it comes to making sense of the Bankruptcy Code and how it applies to our clients’ unique situations.

Let us guide you through the bankruptcy process. We know how bankruptcy law works and how it can work for you. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today to discuss your bankruptcy options.