Overview of the SBRA and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for Small Businesses in Jackson, MN

The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) was signed into law on August 23rd, 2019, and went into effect on February 19, 2020. For small businesses struggling with debts, this act could help them file for bankruptcy relief without the loss of their business in liquidation and without having to incur the extreme costs of a typical Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy case. The rules of the SBRA make it much less expensive for small businesses to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If you’re considering filing a case as an individual or small business, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you file for Chapter 13, Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief in Jackson, MN and the surrounding area.

The SBRA provides subchapter rules to Chapter 11 that essentially lower the total cost of filing for businesses with debt loads equal to or less than $2,725,625.00 (excepting debts to affiliated parties or business insiders). Before this act, Chapter 11 business debt reorganization bankruptcy was considered so costly that most small businesses weren’t able to afford it.

Since the enactment of the SBRA, many small businesses now have the ability to file Chapter 11 and keep their company operations running rather than filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and having their businesses liquidated.

The first and foremost way the SBRA reduces costs of Chapter 11 for small businesses is by eliminating all fees except the initial filing fee. Other ways that costs are reduced include the following:

  • The court assigns a trustee to the small business case. This trustee acts similarly to a trustee in a Chapter 13 (reorganization bankruptcy for individuals) and helps keep the business on track for repayment throughout the case.
  • There is no appointed committee of creditors, and this eliminates costs of creditors’ legal professionals that the filer could be partially responsible for.
  • The repayment plan confirmation process is streamlined because the court will not require a disclosure statement that provides repayment details to creditors. This prevents possible contested hearings and extensions of the case that could add additional costs.
  • Finally, the SRBA reduces strict confirmation requirements for repayment plans. Plans will be approved as long as they don’t discriminate against specific creditors and the repayment amounts are reasonable with respect to projected monthly business income and projected monthly business expenses and the current debts of the business. This quick confirmation process prevents drawn out, costly back-and-forth interactions between creditors and the business filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief.

This brief overview of the changes made to Chapter 11 bankruptcy through the Small Business Reorganization Act is just a general look into the new law. To learn more on how the SBRA may affect your ability to file, you can view all the details on congress.gov.

For more information about filing for Chapter 13, Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson, MN as an individual or as a business, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

How Objections to Discharge Are One of the Potential Risks of Bankruptcy

For many U.S. citizens, maintaining financial well-being is a difficult prospect, and any additional debt burdens can send a household into a serious financial situation. If you are finding it impossible to meet debt payments each month, you may want to take advantage of legal sources of debt relief, such as filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a government-sanctioned debt relief process that provides thousands of individuals with long-term financial stability each year. If you are planning on filing a petition, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you navigate each step and be aware of the potential risks of bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN, that might arise in your case.

 

While possible risks of bankruptcy are frequently overblown with hyperbole, the truth is that if your situation is the right one for the bankruptcy process, there are very little risks to filing. The two most common types of bankruptcy available to individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both bankruptcy types have pre-filing requirements and other conditions that limit possible abuse of the system and often prevent those whose financial situation isn’t right for bankruptcy from filing. Additionally, with the help of a Behm attorney, you can avoid or predict potential risks during your case.

 

One obstacle filers might face is an objection to the discharge of a debt. This occurs most often during a Chapter 7 case in which a filer typically receives debt discharge in exchange for the liquidation of non-exempt assets. Creditors or trustees can raise an objection to the discharge of a particular debt for a variety of reasons, most commonly due to some form of fraud. If the filer has attempted to abuse the bankruptcy system or has committed a fraud, such as purposefully listing incorrect information on the paperwork, an objection to a discharge may be warranted. If the objection to discharge is based on an unintentional act that led to a mistake in paperwork or a missing document, a discharge will likely still be awarded if that mistake is corrected.

 

In some cases, however, fraud is not the reason for an objection to discharge. Two main conditions that may lead to an objection of discharge even if the case is filed correctly and no fraud is present are:

 

  • A debt that was incurred close in time to the bankruptcy filing – usually within the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy filing date – for gambling, an expensive trip, the purchase of a luxury item such as a vehicle or jewelry, or the purchase of some expensive item for some other person.
  • Student loans, tax debts, alimony or child support obligations that paid off with credit cards.

 

Objections to debt discharge are a nuanced part of the process. With the guidance of Behm Law Group, you can be sure your case in New Ulm, MN, will be filed accurately and in the most beneficial way to your situation. To learn more about filing and what to expect, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. by calling (507) 387-7200 or emailing stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com.

How the CARES Act Affects Mortgage Forbearances for Those in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Since the beginning of 2020, and for the foreseeable future, everyone in the United States and across the world is dealing with some serious difficulties in the face of COVID-19. One of the most prominent issues many in the United States are struggling with is a lack of income due to shelter-in-place orders and nonessential business shutdowns. Combined with layoffs and other factors, the situation is worse for those who struggled with finances even before the outbreak of the virus. These people are having to take actions to protect themselves and they are working with creditors, banks, and other loan providers to come up with a sound financial plan.

 

The CARES Act was put into place this past March to provide relief to U.S. citizens and businesses through various means. For many, one of the most helpful parts of the CARES Act is the allowance of a mortgage forbearance for up to six months. However, for those working through a Chapter 13 repayment plan, the CARES Act may affect a mortgage forbearance differently than for other individuals. If you are considering filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, or the surrounding area during this time, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you understand how the CARES Act could change a mortgage forbearance and other aspects of your finances.

 

For those not in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the CARES Act allows individuals to request a forbearance on their mortgage lasting up to six months. There may also be an option to delay making payments on mortgages through forbearance of an additional six months. Requesting this forbearance for those in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, becomes a bit more complicated.

 

For any changes in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, including a mortgage forbearance, all parties involved must be notified. While requesting a mortgage forbearance on the bankruptcy filer’s end is almost the same as for individuals outside of a bankruptcy, the passing of information among the loan services, trustee, and bankruptcy attorney can be complicated. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation, the bankruptcy code doesn’t have in-place guidelines to handle issues related to it. Consequently, the reporting of mortgage forbearance requests to parties involved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on a local district bankruptcy court’s regulations.

 

To properly provide a temporary mortgage forbearance notification in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees has established a few basic ways mortgage lenders can provide forbearance information to parties involved in a bankruptcy proceeding.

 

  1. General notice: Mortgage lenders can file a general notice with the bankruptcy court outlining the forbearance terms in the court docket for a particular bankruptcy case.
  2. Claims register: Mortgage lenders can also file a claim on the claims register, which is typically more directly linked to the chapter 13 trustee’s system.
  3. Mail a letter: Mortgage lenders can send a physical letter to the bankruptcy filer, the chapter 13 trustee and all interested parties detailing the mortgage forbearance terms.
  4. Notice of payment change: Finally, mortgage lenders can file a notice of payment modification in the bankruptcy court claims register for a particular bankruptcy case.

 

All of these options have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the locality. Mortgage lenders should be working through whichever process is best for each bankruptcy judicial district.

 

To learn more about mortgage forbearance in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

4 Most Common Types of Bankruptcy Fraud

In the United States today, bankruptcy law has many rules that serve to prevent fraudulent cases. Despite these rules, there are times when trustees catch mistakes or intentional abuse, which results in a case being dismissed, the denial of debt relief or the filing of criminal charges.  With the exception of a filer intentionally committing fraud, the chances of one engaging in fraudulent conduct are low.  The guidance and advice of a bankruptcy attorney will ensure the filing of a clean, strong case where there would be less of a chance for mistakes which could be interpreted as fraudulent conduct. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, or the surrounding area, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you understand what can be interpreted as fraudulent conduct and how to avoid it in your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

 

As an individual filer, you have two primary options for bankruptcy: liquidation or reorganization. Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy works to discharge your debts in exchange for the sale of your non-exempt assets. Chapter 13 reorganization works to structure your debts into a manageable repayment plan lasting from a three- to five-year period. There are various nuances in the types of fraud between the two bankruptcy options, but in general, four kinds of fraudulent actions make up the most common causes of case dismissal and possible bases for legal action, including the filing of criminal charges, against you.

 

  • Intentional falsification of forms: Whatever chapter you file for, you will be required to submit a large number of forms, documents, and other paperwork detailing your financial history and current situation. False information or the intentional failure to provide any part of these documents can be considered fraud and result in a case dismissal. If you intentionally falsify information, you may even be charged with perjury, which could result in criminal charges being filed against you.
  • Asset hiding: One common type of bankruptcy fraud in Chapter 7 cases is asset hiding. Because some filers can lose assets in liquidation during a Chapter 7 case, they can be tempted to hide assets. While it’s possible that some filers may get away with this, you will be denied debt relief if the trustee discovers that even a small asset of low value has been hidden.
  • Multiple filings: You will be committing fraud if you file multiple cases with different information or in different jurisdictions either at the same time or within unacceptable periods of time between cases. You must adhere to court-regulated timelines between cases and provide requested information, or your case will be dismissed.
  • Bribes: Bribery of bankruptcy trustees is rare but it has happened.  The few who have at first gotten away with it are often caught later. Any bribery on your behalf will result in a dismissal of your case. Depending on the circumstances, there may be even more severe consequences for having offered someone a bribe.

 

If your case is dismissed for any reason, you may have to wait up to 180 days until you can file again. The easiest and most assured way to avoid any case dismissal or other issues with your case’s success is to work with a skilled and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney.

 

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

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.