Businesses File Bankruptcy Before the Holidays Too in Owatonna, Minnesota

Last week in Owatonna, Minnesota, we discussed the importance of filing for bankruptcy prior to the expensive December holidays, such as Christmas. This week, a number of businesses across the United States are doing exactly that.

A notable company is Rdio Inc., which is based out of San Francisco, California. This company is a free streaming service, much like Pandora or Spotify, with the option for ad-free listening to paid subscribers. They have been experiencing financial issues, and recently filed for bankruptcy. On Friday, however, Pandora offered Rdio.inc $75 million dollars to purchase the company entirely, thus expanding their company and assisting Rdio with some of their financial struggles.

Which other companies are working through or filing for bankruptcy before the holidays? Let’s take a look:

  • Energy Future Holdings Corp: This company, based out of Texas, is currently asking a bankruptcy judge for permission to pay bonuses to their employees.
  • Walter Energy: Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Walter Energy is presently struggling to pay employee benefits such as pensions. Tensions have risen amongst workers at Walter Energy, which means that employees are threatening to strike if their benefits are not paid.
  • Freedom Communications Inc: This publishing group based in Santa Ana, California, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. The Tribune Publishing Company, which is also based in California, is currently interested in purchasing this bankrupt company.
  • Colt Defense LLC: This gun making company is making a bankruptcy-exit plan at the moment, which will allow it to successfully recover in the future.

 Though it can be frightening to take the plunge and file before the holidays in Owatonna, Minnesota, it is important to file as soon as possible. There are many people, and many organizations, struggling with bankruptcy this holiday season. Why prolong your financial issues into 2016?

To get started on your bankruptcy filing, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

File for Bankruptcy Before the Holiday Festivities in Mankato, MN

It’s finally December in Mankato, Minnesota! That means it’s time to start prepping for your office celebrations, traveling for family events, and filling up your calendar with festive activities. With so much going on, most people’s schedules become especially hectic this time of year.

However, bankruptcy firms tend to have quieter Decembers than most. Oftentimes, potential filers do not want to disrupt the holiday season with thoughts of debt or bankruptcy, or their schedules become too busy to begin a filing. Who has time to work on a filing, between running to the mall and planning holiday events?

Though it’s understandable to want to wait until 2016 to file for bankruptcy, it may be important to address your filing before the holiday season. If your finances are in trouble going in to the holiday season, they will still be in trouble afterward. Rather than waiting to address the issue until after the tree is decorated, presents are opened, and carols are sung, it’s best to address the problem immediately.

If you’re struggling with debt in the Mankato MN area and have been considering bankruptcy, now is the time to address your bankruptcy filing. For additional information about starting a filing and examining your financial situation this holiday season, give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call today.

Black Friday and Bankruptcy in the Mankato, Minnesota Area, Part 2

Last week, we discussed a few key terms regarding Black Friday and bankruptcy in the Mankato, Minnesota area. Now that we know all about the history of this holiday, and about the importance of remaining “in the black,” it’s time to think about our own personal finances this holiday season.

Here are a few tips and tricks to avoid bankruptcy this holiday season, even in the midst of the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday:

  1. Set a Budget: In order to avoid bankruptcy this holiday season, decide how much money you plan to spend on gifts. If you have a plan, you’ll be less likely to splurge on an extra box of fancy chocolates for your co-worker or another pair of socks for your nephew. While you’re budgeting for the holidays, remember to factor in additional costs for food, traveling, and decorations, too!
  1. Pay With Cash: Rather than wracking up credit card debt and flirting with potential bankruptcy, withdraw your Black Friday shopping budget in cash. This way, you know that you’re staying within your budget for the day. Just make sure to keep the money stored safely in a wallet, purse, or car compartment in order to survive the long day of shopping!
  1. Mark a Route: If you’re out shopping on Black Friday, decide which stores you’ll visit, and in which order you’ll visit them. If Kohl’s is next to Best Buy, but across town from Wal-Mart, plan the order in which you’ll visit all three with limited doubling-back. This way, you won’t waste time or money driving back and forth between different areas of town. Think of it as your own personal shopping map, and make sure to include a hot chocolate stop!
  1. Just Pick One: Although it may be tempting to take advantage of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, you’ll be more likely to spend responsibly and avoid debt or bankruptcy if you limit yourself to one day of binge shopping. So, if you’re passionate about supporting local businesses or you love online shopping, spend Black Friday curled in a blanket and relaxing!

These four simple steps should help keep your finances in check this holiday shopping season, even in the midst of Black Friday debt and potential bankruptcy. However, if you live in the Mankato, Minnesota area, and you already feel like your finances are on clearance this holiday season, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

Black Friday and Bankruptcy in the Mankato, Minnesota Area | Part 1

Black Friday is just around the corner in the Mankato, Minnesota area, which means businesses and consumers are already starting to prepare. Usually, preparing for Black Friday means setting an early alarm clock, brewing extreme amounts of coffee, plotting a shopping route, and elbowing to get the best deals. Through all your planning, though, have you also prepared your pocketbook?

Bankruptcy can be a serious issue around the holiday season, especially when it comes to a day dedicated to spending money. In this two-part blog post, we’re going to first discuss the history of bankruptcy in regards to Black Friday. Next week, once we know what Black Friday is all about, we’ll pick up with a post about avoiding bankruptcy on Black Friday.

Here are a few facts behind Black Friday vocabulary:

  • All in a Name: The name “Black Friday” originated with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1966. They began referring to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” because, as a result of increased holiday shopping and traffic from the Army versus Navy football game, the city was thrown into chaos.
  • In the Black: The meaning of the changed in the 1980s. The phrase “in the black” typically means that stores are profitable, whereas “in the red” means that stores are either struggling financially, insolvent, or approaching bankruptcy.
  • Cyber Monday: Though Black Friday has remained important to annual retail sales, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Don’t want to wait in line for hours for that new T.V.? Better to wait until Cyber Monday, which takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving!

 In order for you to remain financially “in the black” this holiday season, we’ll be back next week with a few ways to avoid filing for bankruptcy this Black Friday. For folks in the Mankato, Minnesota area, the holiday season should be celebrated, not feared.

If you feel like your finances need a little help before the season starts, and that bankruptcy may be the best solution for you, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reinventing A Business After Bankruptcy in Mankato, Minnesota

It’s November in Mankato, Minnesota and all throughout the area, there’s already a sense of holiday excitement and cheer in the air. That’s because the first big November holiday is already happening this week, on November 5.

That’s right. It’s National Doughnut Day!

I’m sure the word “doughnut” brings a few visuals to mind. You may be thinking about glaze, frosting, and the words “Bavarian Cream” or “Bear Claw” might resonate with salivating celebrators. You may also be thinking about your favorite local bakery, or about a more national bakery such as Dunkin’ Donuts.

But there’s one doughnut bakery that may no longer be in the forefront of your mind: Krispy Kreme. Whatever happened to Krispy Kreme?

This doughnut day, we’re going to explore the history of this famous doughnut company. Krispy Kreme’s history with bankruptcy proves that it’s possible to go through a filing and successfully reinvent your business afterward. Let’s take a look at Krispy Kreme’s bankruptcy timeline:

  • 2003: In 2003, Krispy Kreme’s business was sweet! The company was heralded as “America’s Hottest Brand,” for both consumers and investors. This phrase made the cover of Fortune magazine.
  •  Post 2003: As a result of low-carb diet trends, the market for doughnuts decreased rapidly. While Krispy Kreme’s competitors rebranded or introduced coffee drinks to avoid decreased sales and bankruptcy, Krispy Kreme continued to operate the same way it always had.
  • 2007: Diet trends finally became too much, and in 2007, Krispy Kreme was forced to close a number of stores. Sales had decreased, and the company had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Now: Krispy Kreme emerged from bankruptcy a few years ago and is back on the doughnut scene. Now, however, the company is choosing to focus on specialty and international products in addition to their classic glaze!

Although Krispy Kreme may no longer be “America’s Hottest Brand,” the company has managed to come back from their Chapter 11 bankruptcy and refine their approach to deep fried dough. They will still be here to celebrate with you this National Doughnut Day, and they’ll also be celebrating with Canada and France!

Krispy Kreme is proof that it’s possible to successfully reinvent yourself after a bankruptcy filing in Mankato, Minnesota. Even after filing bankruptcy, life can still be sweet! If you would like more information about your own bankruptcy filing, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

Avoiding Zombie Foreclosure & Bankruptcy in the Mankato Minnesota Area

Foreclosure can make any house feel haunted in the Mankato, MN area, but there’s a certain type of foreclosure that’s especially chilling: zombie foreclosure. Although this type of foreclosure doesn’t include actual moaning zombies crawling down the street, it still feels scary to homeowners.

Just as in regular foreclosure, zombie foreclosure requires a certain timeline, especially in relation to bankruptcy. If you declare bankruptcy, your mortgage debt may be discharged to you personally (i.e. you are no longer personally responsible for it) but transfer of the property title and deed is done solely by the bank that controls your mortgage. Sometimes a bank will decide not to finish the foreclosure on the property and leave the title in your name, even though you believe you surrendered your house when you filed for bankruptcy. Thus a zombie foreclosure can wrack up numerous debts and tax expenses for homeowners if they are not careful, which can result in both financial troubles and, ultimately worsen your financial prospects with bankruptcy.

Fortunately, the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. can give you perspective on bankruptcy and zombie foreclosures. Follow these simple rules and you’ll easily survive zombie foreclosure and negotiate bankruptcy no matter how terrifying it may seem:

  • Rule #1: Know your enemy – Zombie foreclosure occurs after a homeowner has moved out of a foreclosed property too quickly. If the bank does not claim the property, the property deed remains in the homeowner’s name. This can also be known as a “zombie title” or a “zombie property.”
  • Rule #2: Know your area – There are a few states with especially heightened numbers of zombie titles. These states include Florida, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey because they have especially lengthy foreclosure processes, meaning homes can sit vacant for long periods of time. For the record, states with lower numbers include California, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington.
  • Rule #3: Know the risks – Homeowners remain responsible for zombie titles if they are not transferred to the bank. As a result, homeowners become responsible for a great deal of debt and expense, which may ultimately lead to a bankruptcy filing in addition to foreclosure. Therefore, before moving out of the house and filing bankruptcy, it’s important for homeowners to know the property title has been transferred.
  • Rule #4: Know the solutions – Before moving out of a foreclosed home, be sure to check with the county recorder’s office to ensure the title has been transferred. If it hasn’t, your foreclosure may begin showing signs of the undead!

By following these rules, you’ll survive zombie foreclosure and avoid deepening your bankruptcy situation in the Mankato, MN area. If you need backup help, the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help with all your bankruptcy needs. Give us a call today.

 

 

 

 

 

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy in the Mankato Minnesota Area

It’s officially October! With Halloween just around the corner, scary haunted houses are popping up around the Mankato, Minnesota area. Usually, these houses have spider webs on the door or Jack-O-Lanterns on the front porch. They are presented in good fun, intended to spook ticket-buying folks in search of a scare.

For some people, however, a house doesn’t have to be haunted to be scary. A house in foreclosure can be equally as frightening as one frequented by a witch, simply because it’s full of so many uncertainties and unknowns. For example, what exactly is foreclosure? Is it better to file for bankruptcy before or after foreclosure? And, should you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

If you’re facing foreclosure and considering bankruptcy, the professionals at Behm Law Group, Ltd. may be able to answer a few of your questions:

  1. What exactly is foreclosure?

Foreclosure occurs when a homeowner cannot make mortgage payments. As a result, the bank or lender has the ability to accelerate the mortgage debt and “foreclose” on the property, which means taking the property and evicting the current occupant.

  1. Is it better to file for bankruptcy before or after foreclosure?

If you have the option, it’s best to file before. Although not all of your debts will be relieved as a result of bankruptcy, your mortgage will be discharged to you personally.  Of course, the house itself will remain liable on the mortgage debt. Also, because bankruptcy filings and foreclosures can take months to process, you may be able to remain in your home for quite some time.

  1. Is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 a better option if foreclosing on a house?

Both options are available. However, it’s important to determine if you want to retain the home and if you can repay the mortgage delinquency through a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.  For instance, many people miss one or two mortgage payments and then the management of the entire mortgage spins out of control because late fees, escrow additions and other charges are piled on top of the past due regular mortgage payments.  Chapter 13 can be a “reset” of sorts because one can cure or pay back the mortgage delinquency over 36 to 60 months instead of having to come up with the whole amount in a much shorter period of time.  In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one is not able to do this.

Filing for bankruptcy before foreclosure in the Mankato, Minnesota area can be a daunting process. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., however, it shouldn’t have you spooked. Whether you need assistance filing for bankruptcy or clearing cobwebs from your financial history, contact our professionals today.

Thirteen Facts about Chapter 13 (Part Two) in the Mankato Minnesota Area

Welcome back scholars in the Mankato Minnesota area! Today, we’ll be completing our study guide of thirteen facts about Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Before we get started, let’s have a brief moment to review. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often called a “wage earner’s plan” because debtors are offered the opportunity to repay debts. This gives them approximately 3-5 years to repay creditors and, during that time, they must typically be employed.

So, now, let’s learn a little bit more about Chapter 13:

1. Q: Other than the creditor and debtor, who else is involved in filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
A: Typically, a neutral trustee must be involved in the filing.

2. Q: Are co-debtors protected under Chapter 13?
A: Yes, co-debtors are protected. Creditors are restricted from collecting “consumer debt” from anyone liable on a debt with the individual debtor. A creditor can get relief from the bankruptcy court to pursue a co-debtor if good cause warrants such relief.

3. Q: What is “consumer debt,” exactly?
A: The term “consumer debt” refers to individual debts acquired for personal, familial, or household reasons.

4. Q: What are the types of claims related to Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
A: There are three types of claims involved:
• Priority claims: These claims have a special status within bankruptcy law, and they include claims regarding taxes and filing costs.
• Secured claims: Creditors who have these claims have collateral securing the debts that they can take from a debtor if the debtor does not make payments.
• Unsecured claims: Creditors who have these claims do not have collateral securing the claims that they can take if a debtor does not make payments.

5. Q: What happens if a debtor is unable to pay?
A: Their Chapter 13 filing may be converted to a Chapter 7 filing instead or it may be dismissed.

6. Q: Can a debtor be discharged from Chapter 13 after repaying debts?
A: Yes, but only if the debtor has completed all payments required under the debtor’s chapter 13 plan, if the debtor has not received a chapter 13 discharge within 2 years before the present case was started, and if the debtor has taken a course in financial management.

Well, this concludes our two-week course in Chapter 13 bankruptcy! If you live in the Mankato Minnesota area and believe all this studying has prepared you for your own filing, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today.

Successful Business after Bankruptcy in the Mankato Minnesota Area

Donald Trump’s history with bankruptcy has been all over the news lately. It may seem odd that a high-profile name associated with wealth, apprentices, and successful business could also be associated with bankruptcy. Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s financial struggles are not uncommon and serve as proof that bankruptcy can happen to anyone.

If you’re living comfortably in the Mankato, Minnesota area, this may be an unsettling thought. There’s no need to fret, though, because many important, successful business folk have experienced bankruptcy and thrived as a result of it. Behm Law Group, Ltd. has compiled a short list of names you’ll likely recognize:

  • Walt Disney – Thanks to an untrustworthy distributor, Disney’s first, Kansas City-based company went under in 1923. Just five years later, though, Disney worked his magic with a new creation: Mickey Mouse. His new company in Hollywood, California quickly bounced back from bankruptcy.
  • Henry Ford – Ford proved to be his own downfall in 1901. He held his vehicles to such a high standard of perfection that, in one year, the company only made and distributed 20 cars. Only two years later, however, Ford took a new approach towards The Ford Motor Company and made it a post-bankruptcy success. 
  • Milton Hershey – The Hershey company hasn’t always been a sweet success. Milton Hershey filed for bankruptcy after his businesses in Philadelphia and New York both failed, which then brought him home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was here, after his bankruptcy filing, that Hershey struck gold in the form of milk-based caramels and secret recipe chocolate bars.

These famously successful business moguls prove that, no matter the circumstance, bankruptcy can happen to anyone. For each of them, though, success didn’t arrive until after they’d let go of past debts. If you like how that sounds, live in the Mankato, Minnesota area, and feel prepared to begin filing, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today.

 

Seven Facts about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Mankato Minnesota Area

School is about to start up in the Mankato, MN area, which means that students everywhere are looking ahead to homework and assignments. By the end of the month, they’ll be memorizing biology flashcards, solving algebra equations, and working through textbook chapters.

However, students aren’t the only ones working through chapters. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., our bankruptcy professionals are always ready to handle Chapter 7, a specific type of bankruptcy with a unique set of rules and restrictions.

If Chapter 7 is something you’d like to learn more about, take a peek at our notes. Behm Law Group, Ltd. has compiled a study guide of seven facts to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

1. Q: How long does it take to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: Typically, it takes about 3-4 months to file and obtain relief from debt.

2. Q: How long does a filing remain on my credit report?
A: A bankruptcy filing can remain for about five to seven years.

3. Q: What might I lose when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: It depends on each individual case but most possessions will be exempt and the exemption laws allowing you to keep property are quite generous.

4. Q: Will Chapter 7 take care of alimony or student loan debt?
A: If a debt is truly alimony, probably not but sometimes alimony is not really alimony and the right to receive it has been assigned to some other entity. In such a case, sometimes relief can be accorded. With respect to student loans, a person must go beyond the filing of a bankruptcy petition by filing an adversary proceeding against the student loan lender. Sometimes, student loans can be discharged if one can establish “undue hardship” but the process is very expensive and protracted.

5. Q: Am I able to file for bankruptcy a second time?
A: Yes! However, there are certain time restrictions involved.

6. Q: What kinds of time restrictions?
A: In most scenarios, you must wait at least six years between Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings.

7. Q: Do I still need to repay certain debts despite a Chapter 7 filing?
A: Sometimes. Certain types of debts, like some tax debts, child support or alimony obligations, aren’t generally discharged in a Chapter 7 proceeding.

Feel prepared for an exam on Chapter 7 bankruptcy? If you live in the Mankato, MN area, put down your number two pencils, throw away those test booklets, and give Behm Law Group, Ltd. a call today.