Working through COVID-19-Related Delays, Cancellations, and Court Closings with a Bankruptcy Attorney

During this time of a global health crisis, everyone is dealing with shutdowns of nonessential businesses, government organizations, and nonprofit services. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has also effectively forced the shutdown of most court operations in Minnesota. So, for example, if you are working through a civil case, contesting tickets and other civil infractions, or filing for bankruptcy, you will most likely have to adapt to some new court stipulations until the spread of the virus and infection rates decrease enough to merit the reopening of courts for normal operations. For those working through dire financial times that require filing for bankruptcy relief, the shutdown of businesses and loss of primary income can put them in an even more difficult financial footing. If you are struggling with a COVID-19-related case issue or are looking to file for bankruptcy, you can benefit from the guidance and advice of a Behm Law Group Ltd. expert bankruptcy attorney in New Ulm, MN.

Although the majority of shutdown statuses for nonessential operations are a day-to-day condition that may be extended or shortened with little notice, some rules currently outline the bankruptcy court and other legal processes.

Court Timeline from March to April

1. On March 13, the President declared a national emergency.
2. On March 27, the President signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act into law.
3. On March 29, the U.S. Court District of Minnesota declared the CARES Act will affect court actions generally in the coming future.
4. From March 30 to April 10, general orders No. 5 through No. 8 adjusted and outlined various ways COVID-19 will affect and change the court operations, including delays, cancellations, rescheduling, remote hearings, and closings.
5. On April 15, the court released general order No. 9, which delayed the majority of civil hearings, including bankruptcy court hearings, until after May 17.

While the court is officially “closed” for in-person bankruptcy hearings until after May 17, you do not need to wait until then to file for bankruptcy relief and any presently pending bankruptcy cases can be continued. In fact, you can file a petition with relative ease electronically through the court website. Additionally, you can work with a bankruptcy attorney via phone and remote communications to build a case that may be stronger and easier to file than an electronic non-bankruptcy case.

The issues you will most likely run into if you cannot wait to file for bankruptcy relief until the national emergency is lifted are any requirements that involve in-person contact with an attorney and the bankruptcy trustee. These requirements may include completing the credit counseling course, attending the meeting of the creditors, and any meetings with your attorney or trustee. To handle these potential issues, the majority of attorneys, creditors, trustees, and court representatives are offering remote meeting services through online conferencing programs.

If you are struggling with the financial hardships of the current pandemic, filing for bankruptcy is still an option even though the physical court is closed. To learn more about filing and working with a bankruptcy attorney in New Ulm, MN, during this time, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

How the 2020 CARES Act Affects Individual Consumer Bankruptcy

In March of 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced stay-at-home orders in most states, temporary closures of many businesses, and financial turmoil for many U.S. citizens. Unemployment rates soared over 4% nationally in March, and many more will continue to need government unemployment support until they can return to work.

If you’re one of the 22 million+ individuals who filed for unemployment due to the effects of the novel coronavirus crisis, you may still be struggling to meet debt payments even if your unemployment application was accepted. Fortunately, the 2020 CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) offers many forms of support, including several impacts on bankruptcy as a form of debt relief. If you’re filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide guidance and protection during this difficult time.

When it comes to direct impacts on the bankruptcy code, the CARES Act has several effects that are currently in place:

Monthly Income: In order to determine eligibility and the various economic circumstances of a bankruptcy filer, the court needs information about a filer’s current monthly income. However, many filers have an altered income during this time of national crisis due to the support of the CARES $2.2 trillion stimulus package. Most citizens will receive a stimulus check up to $1,200 in addition to other state and federal payouts. These government financial aid payments are NOT included in your monthly income and will not prevent you from qualifying for bankruptcy based on that income.

Disposable Income: In addition to eliminating government payments related to COVID-19 and the CARES package, these amounts will not be included as disposable income in your bankruptcy case. This means those filing for, or currently in, a Chapter 13 repayment plan will not have to dedicate stimulus checks or other CARES payments to repaying creditors.

Chapter 13 Modifications: For those who are already working through Chapter 13 repayment plans, there are some options for plan modifications based on changes to their financial circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For both direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Chapter 13 filers can request plan extensions up to seven years as well as other various plan modifications.

Creditor Claims: In a typical bankruptcy case, creditors will file a claim on the debt owed to them and on any property involved regarding that loan. While the CARES Act doesn’t modify creditor claims in a new petition or a current bankruptcy case, it does allow filers to request payment deferments and cure defaults on liens. These conflicts will likely be resolved on a case-by-case basis during this time.

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN and want to know more about how the CARES Act may affect that process, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

Part 2: Costs of Filing and Hiring Bankruptcy Assistance

Part 1 of this blog covers the bankruptcy fees involved in filing an individual consumer petition and breaks down what each fee applies to. Part 2 covers the costs of hiring an attorney and why the fees are what they are. As a provider of bankruptcy assistance in Mankato, MN, Behm Law Group Ltd. understands the difficulty that many filers have in trying to come up with the legal fees to file for bankruptcy relief. Our goal is to offer a better explanation of what these fees cover and why it is still important to take advantage of the expertise of an attorney no matter what type of chapter you file for.

 

In Part 1 of this blog, we generally placed the cost of a Chapter 7 case between $1,000 and $3,500, and a Chapter 13 case between $2,500 and $6,000. The largest part of that cost will typically be the fee for hiring an attorney. Despite this cost, it is almost always recommended that you take advantage of an attorney to assist you.  The bankruptcy code is a very complex system that can be extremely difficult to pick apart without experienced assistance. Many filers have their cases dismissed or be otherwise unsuccessful, wasting time and money, when this wouldn’t have happened with the help of an experienced lawyer. But why should I pay a lawyer? Put simply, a bankruptcy lawyer will do a lot more than you may initially realize and the lawyer will be there for you from the start of your bankruptcy case to the end.

 

What Lawyers Do

Bankruptcy attorneys build your case for you: organizing documents, gathering financial information, examining all your debts and properties, and creating a financial plan for your future. They also help you meet pre-bankruptcy requirements and protect you from creditors. In addition to all of this, they take on the vast majority of communication and organization among all parties involved (you, your creditors, the trustee, and the court). Overall, a bankruptcy attorney takes a significant burden off of your shoulders in many ways.

 

 

Attorney Costs

The cost of an attorney largely depends on your financial circumstances and any anticipated complexities involved in your case. It may also depend on the attorney involved, since some more experienced attorneys – attorneys who specialize only in bankruptcy matters — can charge more than lesser experienced lawyers who may not have been practicing as long and who may not be nearly as experienced with the bankruptcy process. Minimum costs are around $1,000, while maximum fees can exceed $5,000. To prevent excessive charges, the bankruptcy court reserves the right to examine the charges and make sure that they are reasonable. Many attorneys offer free consultations, and there are lawyers that reserve some of their time to offer pro-bono services to filers who absolutely cannot pay for bankruptcy assistance. In Part 3 of this blog, we’ll cover how you can pay bankruptcy court fees and attorney costs.

 

To learn more about receiving bankruptcy assistance in Mankato, MN, or to get a fee quote today, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

Receiving Debt Relief as a Personal Guarantor

In 2008, the housing crisis changed a lot about how mortgages and other loans are handed out. Credit and income requirements are much higher, and many borrowers need another person or entity to sign as a personal guarantor in order to receive a loan.

 

Establishing a personal guarantee on a loan means you’ll be required to repay that debt in the event the primary borrower cannot. If you’re left to pay a debt and find yourself in a situation where you also cannot repay it, filing for bankruptcy may be the best solution depending on the type of debt involved and your additional financial circumstances. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can file a successful bankruptcy case and receive long-term debt relief in Fairmont, MN.

 

Bankruptcy is a highly effective legal process that treats many types of debt. While there are some debts, such as child support, alimony and some tax debts, that are typically not included in a bankruptcy discharge, the majority of common individual consumer or business debts will be discharged. Some of the most prevalent debts for a typical person are mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts. All of these can be discharged through bankruptcy, and this is also true for personal guarantors that are responsible for another person’s or business’s mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, or any other debts.

 

When you sign as a personal guarantor, you’re accepting the fact that you could be asked to make payments on that debt if the primary borrower defaults by missing a payment. If the primary borrower defaults for an extended period of time, the continued debt payments owed could accumulate to an amount that you yourself are unable to pay. If you file for bankruptcy, this debt will be discharged in a Chapter 7 case or included in a repayment plan in a Chapter 13 case.

 

Many people or other parties could find themselves in this situation. Almost anyone can sign as a personal guarantor including friends and family, businesses, or other parties with good financial standings. Personal guarantors help borrowers receive loans, reduce interest rates, and get better financing options overall.

 

If you’ve been asked to sign as a personal guarantor, it’s important to take several things into account about the primary borrower’s and your current and future financial situations. Take into consideration if your credit score will be affected and how and why the bank is requiring a guarantor.  Also, consider if you have the funds to repay the debt if the primary borrower defaults, what might happen to your credit if the primary borrower defaults, and your relationship with the primary borrower.

 

If you feel comfortable signing as a personal guarantor after taking into account your options and situation, remember that you can most likely discharge that debt if needed through a bankruptcy proceeding. To learn more about personal guarantees and how to receive debt relief in Fairmont, MN through bankruptcy, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com

Understanding Co-debtor Roles in Bankruptcy

When an individual is in a financial situation ripe to be resolved with a bankruptcy case, it’s likely they have a lot of debt they can’t repay and may even have one or more co-debtors. Debt accumulation over time usually shows a bread crumb trail of having to take on more debt to cover debts already owed. For instance, many debtors open new lines of credit to pay off an auto loan or a mortgage, and that tends to snowball into more credit card debt with interest rates quickly increasing the amount owed.

If your debt has become overwhelming, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can guide and protect you throughout the process of individual consumer bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN.

Bankruptcy can be a complex legal process, and it can be very different from case to case. The bankruptcy code has many specific rules that may or may not apply depending on individual financial circumstances. One example of this is the co-debtor role and the laws that apply to this in a bankruptcy case.

 

What Happens in Bankruptcy

There are two exactly opposite things that happen to a co-debtor depending on which chapter you file. In Chapter 7, you may have the debt discharged, but the co-debtor will still be responsible for repaying the full debt. However, in Chapter 13, you assume responsibility for the debt in a three- to five-year repayment plan, and thus your co-debtor may only be partially obligated on it.   For instance, if you have a $5,000.00 Discover credit card debt and only $3,000.00 of it is paid through your chapter 13 plan, the co-debtor would be liable to pay the remaining $2,000.00.

 

Who Is a Co-debtor?

Any person that has legally agreed to pay the debt owed in the event that you can’t repay it is a co-debtor. Co-debtors include:

    • Spouse: Even if your spouse is not filing for joint bankruptcy with you, they can be responsible for the debt if they signed the lending paperwork. Common examples of this are mortgages, credit cards, and car loans.

 

    • Co-signer: If your relative, friend, or other individual co-signs a loan, rental, or other borrowed value with you, they become your co-debtor if you default on repaying that debt. This commonly happens if you don’t have sufficient credit or a lengthy borrowing history to take out a loan, rent a property, or open an account.

 

    • Personal Guarantor: If you provided a personal guarantee to a lender on behalf of a small business or a start-up, you are considered a co-debtor for the loan that the business receives. If the business files for bankruptcy, you may still be liable for that debt.

 

  • Community Property State Resident: If you and your spouse lived in a community property state in the eight years prior to filing for bankruptcy, your spouse is your co-debtor even if they don’t file a joint petition. Community property states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

 

To learn more about your co-debtor’s roles or to start filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

How a Bankruptcy Insider Affects Debt Relief

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides debt relief to thousands of individuals and businesses across the United States. If you’re struggling to meet debt payments each month and you feel like your quality of life is significantly affected by this, it may be beneficial for you to consider filing for bankruptcy. Not only does bankruptcy discharge common debts like credit cards and medical bills, it also addresses debts that are tied to properties, including mortgages and car loans. This means some of the most common debt types in America are resolved with a bankruptcy case. If you want to receive debt relief in Redwood Falls, MN, through bankruptcy, Behm Law Group Ltd. can guide you through the system, help you build a strong case, and protect you in the nuanced system of bankruptcy.

 

For the typical individual consumer, there are two types of bankruptcy that can provide debt relief in different ways: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

 

Chapter 7 is more suited to people with low incomes who will not be able to repay their debts. It works to liquidate non-exempt assets in exchange for discharge of one’s debts. For example, the trustee administering your case may sell a snowmobile that you may not be able to protect with your bankruptcy exemptions and pay that value to your unsecured creditors.  This is the exception, however, rather than the rule.  However, the bankruptcy exemptions are quite generous.  In the vast majority of chapter 7 cases, one’s bankruptcy exemptions will be sufficient to protect all of one’s assets.

 

Chapter 13 is best for those who don’t want non-exempt assets liquidated and have a steady, stable income. This filing works to restructure or reorganize the filer’s debts into a three- to five-year long repayment plan. Secured debts (debts tied to a property) will be repaid over that time but they are usually repaid under adjusted terms that are more favorable than the original loan terms.  Unsecured debts will be paid only a percentage of what they were owed before the bankruptcy case was filed.

 

When you file for bankruptcy, people and agencies considered “bankruptcy insiders” are taken into account and may affect your case. Bankruptcy insiders include relatives, friends, partners, partner’s relatives, or a company in which the filer has some control/involvement, or business individuals such as directors, business partners, or other business individuals who have a special or close relationship the filer in some way.

 

The court considers bankruptcy insiders in the determination of preferential payments and fraud. For example, if the debtor owed his or her mother $1,000.00 and paid the mother off within one year before he or she filed for bankruptcy relief, the bankruptcy trustee administering the bankruptcy case could demand that the mother pay the $1,000.00 back to the trustee.  The trustee would then divide that $1,000.00 among all of the debtor’s unsecured creditors.  Additionally, if the filer sold some property at below market value to the insider before filing, the entire transaction could be undone or reversed by the bankruptcy trustee.  For instance, if a filer sold a vehicle that was worth $10,000.00 to his or her mother for $1,000.00, the bankruptcy trustee could undo or reverse the transaction because fair value was not given for the vehicle.  The trustee could demand that the vehicle be turned over.  The trustee could then sell the vehicle for fair market value.  The trustee would then divide up the sale proceeds among the filer’s unsecured creditors.

 

To start your bankruptcy process today and receive debt relief in Redwood Falls, MN, or to learn more about bankruptcy insiders, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

Handling Bankruptcy Audits with the Help of a Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy is a nuanced process that can be difficult without the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. No matter what type of bankruptcy you file for, the process can be greatly improved and filed without mistakes when you take advantage of the protection and guidance of a professional. Bankruptcy cases for individual consumers are typically formatted into Chapter 7 (non-exempt asset liquidation in exchange for debt discharge) or Chapter 13 (debt reorganization into a three- to five-year repayment plan). Both of these Chapters can be further complicated with the introduction of a bankruptcy audit. If you choose to file for bankruptcy, the help of a Behm Law Group Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Owatonna, MN, can counsel and protect you in the face of an audit or any other legal hurdles you may face.

 

Bankruptcy audits are rare, but they are done routinely each year by the U.S. Trustee’s office, which can audit up to 1 in every 1,000 Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases and is required to audit a minimum of 1 in every 250 cases per district. The audits are randomly selected, but the office can also audit unusual cases based on an income or debt alert system.

 

In a bankruptcy audit, the Trustee’s office delegates an external auditing company to verify aspects of the case, including income, expenses, debts, and assets. You, as the filer, do not have to pay any fees in the audit, but you are required to provide copies of any requested financial documents.

 

The audit firm has 21 days to submit the audit report to the court, and the court uses that data to determine how the audit affects your case.

 

If your case is audited by random selection or based on the office’s alert system, a few outcomes can happen. If the court finds any issues in the audit with your case, you may have your case dismissed, your right to a discharge may be denied, or your case may be marked as fraudulent and criminal proceedings could be commenced if you have tried to use the process to hide assets. In most cases, if a bankruptcy filing is audited randomly, there are no issues and your petition continues through the court process normally and you get a discharge of your debts.

 

In some circumstances, filers may have made mistakes in their paperwork that appear fraudulent or must be remedied by reopening the case. With the support of a bankruptcy attorney, however, corrections can be made in the course of an audit and your case will not be dismissed and you will get a discharge of your debts. To file a case with integrity and receive long-term debt relief, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com to get started with a bankruptcy attorney in Owatonna, MN, today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are finding your quality of life compromised due to the difficulty you have meeting monthly debt payments, it may be time for you to consider seeking debt relief. While there are many forms of debt relief available to individuals, the most effective option for long-term, permanent debt relief is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a system that has long been put into place by the government to protect debtors from destitution, provide fair treatment to creditors, and promote a healthy economy overall. If you are considering bankruptcy, Behm Law Group Ltd. attorneys can help you file a strong case for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN.

 

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most frequently filed types individual consumers. While Chapter 7 provides liquidation of non-exempt assets in exchange for debt discharge, it’s not a chapter that most wage-earning debtors can qualify for because their incomes are often too high.

 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, offers a way to restructure your debts into a manageable repayment plan lasting three to five years. Although Chapter 13 is a common bankruptcy format, there are still many frequently asked questions we receive including:

 

  1. How much of my debt will I have to repay?
    1. You will have to pay all of your secured debts (i.e., mortgages and auto loans) that you want to retain in full, but the payment arrangements may be under different and under more friendly terms.
    2. You will have to pay priority debt (i.e., child support and tax debt) in full.
    3. You will most likely have all or much of your unsecured debt (i.e., credit card debt and medical bills) discharged after your chapter 13 plan is concluded. The amount you will pay depends on how much your monthly income exceeds your monthly reasonable and necessary living expenses and how much you would be able to repay creditors with the value of your non-exempt, liquidated assets in hypothetical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
  2. How long will my plan last?
    1. Your plan will last three years if your income is below the state median income of a similar household size.
    2. Your plan will last five years if your income is above the state median income of a similar household size.
  3. Will I have any income for personal use?
    1. The remainder of your income after you meet payment requirements for your secured and priority debts will be split into two types, disposable and discretionary.
    2. Your disposable income will go to your household needs, including income tax, utilities, food, and gas.
    3. Your discretionary income is yours to spend as you see fit.
  4. What happens if my income changes?
    1. Fluctuations in income and expense obligations are taken into account throughout the duration of your repayment plan. Three to five years is a long time, and your trustee will understand if changes occur.
    2. If you do have a job change or other significant life event that might affect your plan, notify your attorney and the trustee right away so your monthly plan payment can be altered accordingly.

 

Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process without the assistance of a trained professional no matter what chapter you file. Contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com for help getting started with Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If your low income is preventing you from meeting financial obligations like debts and bills, you might benefit from looking into the process of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is available to individuals who have come into difficult times, whether that means unemployment, sudden medical costs, long-term accumulation of debt, or any combination of circumstances. Unlike other types of debt relief, bankruptcy is a formal legal process with permanent results. This means you will be protected by things like the automatic stay, a trustee, and other provisions of the bankruptcy code. With the additional guidance of a Behm Law Group Ltd. attorney, you can file a strong case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation type of bankruptcy. It’s the most commonly filed U.S. chapter for individuals and corporations alike. For those who haven’t filed before, there are often many frequently asked questions (FAQs), including:

 

  1. How does it work?
    1. Chapter 7 bankruptcy works to liquidate your non-exempt property and repay creditors with the value gained from the sale of non-exempt property.  Most cases, however, are “no asset” cases where no assets are liquidated by the chapter 7 trustee and all of one’s assets are protected by one’s available bankruptcy exemptions.
    2. In exchange for this liquidation of non-exempt assets, your debts are discharged and you are permanently released from having to repay them.
  2. Will I get to keep my house?
    1. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates non-exempt properties, the bankruptcy code and Minnesota state law provide an allotment of exemptions you can claim to protect assets from sale.
    2. This includes the homestead exemption that protects the equity or value you have in your home and other exemptions that can be used to protect the equity or value you have in your car, additional real estate, personal items, or other properties.
  3. How will it affect my credit?
    1. While bankruptcy can be extremely beneficial for permanent, long-term debt relief, it will have a negative effect on your credit score.
    2. Your credit score will improve over time – indeed, it starts to improve the day after you file for bankruptcy relief – and a bankruptcy notation will generally be removed from your credit profile seven to ten years post-filing, although it is sometimes removed much earlier.
  4. How long does it take?
    1. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are generally closed in about three to six months depending on the case circumstances.
  5. How do I qualify?
    1. Individuals who pass the Means Test are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    2. The Means Test measures income-to-debt ratios against the state median income. If your income is lower than the Minnesota median income of a similar filer with a similar household size, you can qualify for Chapter 7.
  6. Which debts will be discharged?
    1. Your unsecured debts, including credit card debt and medical bills, will be discharged.
    2. Your secured debts that are tied to properties that are liquidated or surrendered will be discharged.
    3. Your secured debts related to property that you cannot exempt because there is no equity or value, since the amount of debt you may owe exceeds or is equal to the value of the property, will not be discharged if you choose to voluntarily reaffirm (reassume personal liability)  the related debts.
    4. Your priority debts, including most tax debts, child support, and criminal fines, will not be discharged.
    5. Student loans can be discharged but the process can be very expensive and protracted.  A person must actually sue the student loan lender in bankruptcy court, prove undue hardship , as that term is defined and interpreted under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(8), and ask the bankruptcy court to discharge the student loan debt.

 

If you want to learn more about how the bankruptcy process will work and how it will affect your life, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com for information about Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

What Happens to Timeshares When One Owner Files for Bankruptcy

No matter what type of bankruptcy chapter you file for, all your properties will be examined in addition to your debts and income sources. This includes any real estate you own, such as your regular homestead, business real estate, and vacation homes like timeshares. When it comes to the unique system of owning a timeshare property, it can be difficult to predict what might happen to that property if you file for bankruptcy. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can work through any type of individual bankruptcy in Windom, MN, and file a strong case that will provide long-term debt relief.

 

The two common types of individual consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, treat properties very differently. Chapter 7 liquidates non-exempt assets like non-homestead real estate with some opportunities to assert exemption claims to some properties. This liquidation of non-exempt assets is done in exchange for the discharge of the related debts. Chapter 13, on the other hand, reorganizes debts into a repayment plan that provides for the payment of any debts secured by a property on adjusted loan terms.

 

In filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can sometimes use the Wildcard Exemption to protect your timeshare from the liquidation process. If you use this exemption for other properties instead, your bankruptcy trustee will sell your timeshare and return the value of that sale to your timeshare lender. However, if your timeshare value is equal to or less than the debt you owe, your trustee won’t bother selling the property, and you can maintain possession of it if you continue making payments on the related debt.

 

In filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your timeshare will most likely be included in your repayment plan as a secured debt to be repaid under adjusted loan terms or surrendered. You will have to prove that your income will allow the amount of the debt to be included in your plan without compromising your disposable and discretionary income. If you can’t prove that your income will allow your timeshare to be included in your plan, you will have to surrender it in exchange for the discharge of that debt.

 

In the event that your bank forecloses on your timeshare before you file for bankruptcy, you can still resolve any remaining debts related to that property. This includes debts from maintenance fees or debt from the deficiency between what you owe and the proceeds of the foreclosure. A timeshare can also be surrendered voluntarily for liquidation in any type of bankruptcy if you do not wish to keep it. If you do surrender your timeshare, you won’t be liable for maintenance fees or any other debts related to the property in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case.  However, such timeshare related debts are not generally subject to discharge in a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.

 

If you have a timeshare that you want to keep or surrender in your bankruptcy case, Behm Law Group can help you work through the process of claiming exemptions, organizing a repayment plan, and any other actions that need to be taken depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact us at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.