The U.S. federal government works in many ways to protect the rights and wellbeing of military veterans, recognizing their work and sacrifice for our country. Despite this, many veterans still struggle in different ways. Unless you’ve served the required minimum of 20 years, it’s likely that you aren’t on a government pension or health care plan that provides the support you need.
If you’re a veteran struggling to make ends meet financially, you are not alone. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can file a successful bankruptcy case for long-term stability. Thanks to the bankruptcy code, in Owatonna, MN and across the country, veterans have certain rights throughout their bankruptcy filing process.
In August of 2019, the HAVEN (Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need) act was passed, allowing the protection of veteran disability payments as disposable income in bankruptcy cases. Creditors, trustees and debt collectors now cannot seize those funds if a disabled veteran files for bankruptcy. This bankruptcy code legislation means that these funds cannot legally be considered as the disposable income in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
In a Chapter 13 case, a filer’s debts are reorganized into a manageable repayment plan suited to their income. In this plan, disposable income and discretionary income are treated differently. If the filer’s veteran disability income is no longer considered disposable, the filer can use that money however they want during their repayment plan. In other words, the filer won’t have to use their veteran disability funds to make payments on their bankruptcy repayment plan unless they choose to do so.
In a Chapter 7 case, filer’s debts are discharged in exchange for the liquidation of their non-exempt assets. They are also allowed to claim various exemptions depending on their debt amounts to protect their home, car, and other properties. However, to qualify for Chapter 7, filers have to pass the Means Test. To pass this test, their income-to-debt ratio has to be below the state median income for a similar sized household. In the Means Test, the filer’s disposable income plays a part in determining their income-to-debt ratio. If a filer’s veteran disability income cannot be considered as disposable income, it might tip that ratio to qualify them for Chapter 7 when otherwise they would not be eligible.
The HAVEN act will protect the funds disabled veterans receive if they file for bankruptcy during the next four years. In 2023, the act will be reconsidered for potential changes, renewal, or termination. Learn more about the details of the 2019 HAVEN bill here. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and are a disabled veteran receiving funds from the government, you can rest easy with the knowledge that the bankruptcy code in Owatonna, MN will protect that source of income.
To learn more about bankruptcy or to get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at email@example.com today.