Debt and Stress: How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Make You Healthier with Prescribed Debt Relief in Jackson, MN

Whenever we kick off a new year, most of us take a look at our lives with the intention of finding a way to improve ourselves, relationships, living conditions, careers, and many other areas of our lives. One area many of us can look to improve is our financial well-being. Because the majority of us hold some type of debt such as a mortgage, credit card debt, car loan, medical bill, or otherwise, rethinking our financial situation can be an effective approach to improving our lives with a new year resolution. If you’re struggling with your finances, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you get long-term debt relief in Jackson, MN by filing for individual consumer or business bankruptcy.

 

Filing for bankruptcy is a highly effective way to recover from financial difficulties, but getting debt relief is valuable in more ways than one. Because financial struggles and debt are one of the leading causes of underlying stress for people across the country, filing for bankruptcy can seriously relieve both debt and stress in your day-to-day life.

 

Debt and Stress

 

When you have debts that become more and more unmanageable over time, you’re dealing with a legal responsibility that creates a similar type of stress as other negative life conditions including the death of a loved one, chronic illness, social stigma and bias, or mental illness. Dealing with the stress of debt can significantly increase your exposure to difficult emotional problems resembling those created by other traumatic life experiences, including:

 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Resentment
  • Decline in physical health

 

These emotional states and a stress-related decline in physical health can also put a strain on your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. These stress factors can also compromise your career and make each day more difficult in general.

 

Filing for bankruptcy is an option any individual consumer or business can use to recover from severe debt. As a government-structured process that treats your debts in a way designed to be fair to all parties involved, bankruptcy is a realistic option for many struggling with accumulated or unexpected debt.

Find Professional Help when Filing for Bankruptcy

If you’re feeling the stress of unmanageable debt, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today to learn more about filing for bankruptcy and getting debt relief in Jackson, MN.

Why Filing for Bankruptcy is an Effective Long-Term Solution for Credit Repair in Marshall, MN

Every day, American adults are faced with the cost of living no matter where they’re located or what job they have. A large portion of the cost of living we all face is the existence of debts as a regular factor in many parts of our lives. From mortgages to cars, we all hold some debt that requires monthly payments. Without a structured budget and plan for repaying the debt in accordance with other monthly expenses, it’s easy to accumulate more and more financial pressure. If you find yourself facing unmanageable debt and don’t know what path to take to recover, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can give you the help you need to file for bankruptcy and start the process of long-term credit repair in Marshall, MN.

 The Truth About Bankruptcy & Credit Repair

Filing for bankruptcy has a poor public image when it comes to credit repair. While this is in part a realistic concern for those considering filing, it has often been overshadowed by the long-term benefits it provides. Bankruptcy is a highly effective, government-sanctioned remedy for resolving and recovering from a wide variety of debts.

 

Whether you choose to file for debt reorganization or liquidation bankruptcy as an individual consumer or a business, you can start down the path to stabilizing your finances while learning about how debts and incomes function in your life.

 

Consider the following facts that occur when you file for bankruptcy:

 

The Bad:

  1. Bankruptcy will damage your credit score. Based on the FICO credit score calculation model, filing may lower your score from 100 to 200 points.
  2. Records of a bankruptcy filing will stay on public record for up to ten years, depending on which chapter you file for.

 

The Good:

  1. Despite affecting your credit negatively at first and being on your public record for years, the damaging effect that filing for bankruptcy has on your credit will start to diminish immediately after filing.
  2. Your credit score may be improved to its original standing or recover to an even better score within a few years of filing. Some filers even report a restored credit score five years after filing.
  3. Whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have debts discharged in exchange for asset liquidation or choose Chapter 13 debt reorganization and a three to five-year repayment plan, you can start rebuilding your credit right away.
  4. Rebuilding your credit during and after bankruptcy takes as little effort as budgeting, making debt payments on time, taking note of what you learn in pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, and making cautious spending choices.
  5. When bankruptcy is removed from public record, it can never affect your credit or financial standing again.

 

Bankruptcy is designed to help the individual consumer or business recover from debts and re-enter the economic system as a valuable participant. It is not designed to trap debtors or leave Americans destitute, despite popular belief.

 

If you’re ready to resolve your debts for long-term credit repair in Marshall, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Qualifying as a Family Farmer or Fisher to File for Chapter 12 Debt Repayment Bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN

Agricultural industries in the U.S. have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, developing to meet the needs of a growing population and global market while battling many other obstacles. Today’s agricultural industrial complex is equipped to provide abundant food year-round to virtually every community, but because of its structure, it has also made it difficult for family farmers and other family agricultural businesses to stay afloat. For family farmers or family fishermen struggling to make ends meet, Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and assistance to file for Chapter 12 debt repayment bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN. We can help you understand why bankruptcy is a valuable option to recover from financial problems that affect your family and business alike.

 

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers Chapter 12 debt repayment bankruptcy as a system tailored to fit the unique requirements and livelihoods of American family farmers and family fishermen. This bankruptcy chapter works similarly to Chapter 13, taking the filer’s debts and income into consideration and, with fairness to the creditors involved, restructuring those debts into a manageable three to five-year repayment plan.

 

However, Chapter 12 differs from Chapter 13 in several ways that make it more suitable to filers who make their living through their own farming or fishing practices. These benefits range from greater debt allowances to cramming down secured debts, but in order to gain the advantages Chapter 12 debt repayment bankruptcy provides family farmers and family fishermen, you have to qualify to file.

 

What Makes a Chapter 12 Candidate?

 

To prevent abuse when filing for debt repayment bankruptcy, the bankruptcy code outlines strict conditions for filers to qualify as family farmers and family fishermen. These requirements include:

 

  1. You or you and your spouse together own and operate a commercial farming or fishing enterprise.
  2. The income you gain from your farm or fishing operation must be over 50% of your total gross income as a household. This is measured from the previous tax year or from the previous three tax years (the latter is only applicable for family farmers).
  3. The total of your debt directly connected to your operation (property, equipment, seed and supply contracts, vehicles, tax debts, etc.) can’t be higher than $4,153,150 for a farm or $1,924,550 for a commercial fishery or fishing business.
  4. If you are a family farmer, you must have 50% of all your debts as an individual or household directly connected to your farm.
  5. If you are a family fisherman, you must have 80% of all your debts as an individual or household directly connected to your fishing enterprise.

 

If you’re unsure whether you qualify for a Chapter 12 debt repayment bankruptcy, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you examine your finances to determine if the debts and income connected to your farming or fishing operations meet the requirements.

 

Don’t wait to recover from severe debt and restabilize your family’s farm or fishery. Contact us today at (507) 387-7200 to learn more about your options for Chapter 12 debt repayment bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN.

Understanding Personal Guarantees and Liability When You File for Business Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

If you own a small business anywhere in the U.S., your livelihood depends on countless factors ranging from market competitors to economic recessions. Maintaining a business with a steady flow of income and output of products or services is difficult, even with a strong foundation. No matter how old or young your business is, it’s possible to face financial struggles. If you’re having a hard time making debt payments from month-to-month, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you decide whether filing for business bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, is the right choice for your business.

Filing for business bankruptcy is a highly effective way to recover from severe debt. When you file for a business bankruptcy, you can choose Chapter 7 and liquidate your assets (shutting down your business in the process), or you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and propose a restructuring of your debts into a manageable repayment plan (allowing your business to continue operating as you repay debts under the supervision of a bankruptcy trustee).

Whichever type of bankruptcy you file for, your trustee will rigorously examine your case for information about your past finances, business format, debts, income, living expenses, and contract agreements with your creditors. This examination determines how your assets will be liquidated and your debts discharged or restructured. Once your trustee has all the necessary information submitted with your petition and you have met all pre-bankruptcy requirements (credit counseling, bankruptcy fees, Means Test, and 341 hearing), the liquidation process will being in a chapter 7 case or you will propose a repayment plan in a chapter 13 case.

Behm attorneys can work with you to draft a repayment plan taking into account all your debts (priority, secured, and unsecured) and determine which debts you are liable to repay in full or have discharged in part from 0%-100%. One concern many business owners have in bankruptcy is whether they’ll be personally liable for the debts their business cannot repay. In the majority of cases, you will be personally responsible to pay debts your business can’t because it’s likely you made a personal guarantee agreement with your creditor when the loan was given.

Personal Guarantee: When you make a business loan agreement, the creditor needs to know they are protected in the event you cannot repay that debt. To resolve this issue, most creditors will not extend loans to businesses without requiring the owner to sign a personal guarantee agreement stating they are responsible as an individual to repay that debt in the event their business can’t meet payments.

Personally Liable: In short, you will be personally liable for your business debt when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:

  1. You have a sole proprietorship
  2. You have a partnership
  3. You made a personal guarantee on a debt

To learn more about filing for business bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, or to find out about personal guarantees and debt liability, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Why Some Debts Are Exempt from Your Case When You File for Bankruptcy in Windom, MN

For hundreds of years, bankruptcy was wrongfully associated with morally unsound citizens who could not manage their finances. The reality, however, is that people are stuck with debt because of a wide range of circumstances. Today, individuals can accrue debt from more sources than ever before—from credit cards to student loans to medical costs. You are not alone if you are struggling to meet debt payments each month, and like many other debtors in the United States, you can recover financial stability in your life by filing for bankruptcy. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. in Windom, MN, you can decide which type of bankruptcy is right for you and build a strong case to resolve your debt.

Filing for bankruptcy is a viable solution for many debts but be aware that some debts are not dischargeable through the bankruptcy process. The majority of debts the common U.S. individual holds can be included in all bankruptcy formats, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These bankruptcy formats include debt from credit cards, medical bills, mortgages, bad checks, old utility bills, and car loans—all debts that cause individuals to file for bankruptcy at the highest frequency.

Unusual Debts When You File for Bankruptcy

Debts that may not be discharged when you file for bankruptcy range from unusual debts, like malicious misconduct debts, to even the most common type of debt in America, student loans. Sometimes student loans can be discharged but one must actually commence a law suit against the student loan company and prove to the bankruptcy court that the student loan will impose a financial undue hardship going forward. Such law suits can be both expensive and protracted.

Exempt Debts

The following list of debts is not comprehensive, but covers the most prevalent in the United States that are typically not discharged in the bankruptcy process:

  1. Student Loans Where Undue Hardship is Not Proven
  2. Child support and alimony debts
  3. Most tax debts
  4. Some debts owed to government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency for environmental hazards
  5. Reckless or malicious misconduct debts (for example, a debt in a lawsuit against you for injuries caused by drunk driving)
  6. Other forms of restitution debt
  7. Wages owed to your employees

So why are these specific debts not discharged in the bankruptcy process when so many others are? When considering each type of debt individually, the answer is a complex legal issue that takes into consideration other debts, other parties involved, location, and much more. However, if we take a look at all these debts together, we can see they have one thing in common: All these debts directly affect the well-being of another person or the well-being of the government as an entity that protects and supports the individual American.

If the bankruptcy process allowed the discharge or restructuring of these debts, it could significantly harm another person who has no direct responsibility for the cause to file for bankruptcy. While there are certain exceptions that include some of these debts in your bankruptcy case, they are most often excluded to protect innocent people in your life and the government that, in turn, protects people across the country.

Find Professional Help When You File for Bankruptcy

If you are uncertain whether or not you should file for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 to learn more about the process and your own situation today.

Understanding When and Why a Trustee Looks for Fraud and How to Avoid Mistakes in Filing for Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN

Bankruptcy is a balanced system designed to help debtors recover from severe financial struggles and reenter the economic system as a productive consumer while remaining fair to creditors to whom debts are owed. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court oversees the outcome of bankruptcy cases for both individuals and businesses filing for bankruptcy, but the case details are handled through an appointed bankruptcy trustee. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you build a strong case.

 

One of the things trustees are highly efficient in finding within a bankruptcy case is evidence or potential for fraud. While most incidents of fraudulent behavior in a bankruptcy case are intentional, there are times when mistakes or misunderstandings can lead to a technical fraud. Understanding when and why a trustee determines an action is fraud is an important step to protecting yourself when filing for bankruptcy.

 

What is Considered Fraud When Filing for Bankruptcy?

 

There are several actions and events that can be directly or indirectly considered fraud in an individual consumer or business bankruptcy case. When this fraud is intentional, it’s generally straightforward for a trustee to dismiss a case based on those actions and events. Direct, intentional bankruptcy fraud most often includes:

 

  • Lying and falsifying documents of financial records such as records of personal loans
  • Purposefully filing incorrect bankruptcy forms
  • Falsely reporting income amounts
  • Hiding assets and accounts
  • Lying under oath
  • Transferring accounts and assets to other parties to hide them from creditors and your trustee
  • Creating a fake identity to hide assets or otherwise lie
  • Bribing your trustee, creditors, or court officials to your benefit
  • Embezzling any amount from your bankruptcy estate

 

These actions and events are the common types of fraud a bankruptcy trustee will base a case dismissal on, but there are other fraudulent behaviors that may occur. Indirect fraud is often caused by ignorance of your circumstances or mistakes in your bankruptcy documents. With the expert advice and assistance of Behm attorneys, you can avoid unintentional fraud including:

 

  • Missing bankruptcy forms or financial document records from your petition
  • Forgetting to pay bankruptcy fees or not understanding which fees apply to your case
  • Filing incorrect or incomplete financial information and bankruptcy forms
  • Missing deadlines or appointments accidentally
  • Building an infeasible Chapter 13 repayment plan
  • Failing to report changes in employment or income (as long as it was not intentional)
  • Attempting to apply exemptions where they cannot be applied
  • Any other unintentional signs of fraud that are caused by a lack of understanding of the requirements of filing for bankruptcy or simply by mistake

 How Professional Counsel Helps You When Filing for Bankruptcy

When you work with Behm attorneys, you can trust us to help you build a strong case and eliminate any potential for mistakes in your documents and forms. With the protection and counseling we provide, you can rest easy on your road to debt relief through the bankruptcy process.

 

To get started with Behm Law Group, Ltd. or to learn more about filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

Differences Between Discharge, Settlement, and Dismissal for Debt Relief in New Ulm, MN

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to rack up a lot of debt from various sources. Whether you have debts from mortgages, cars, credit cards, medical bills, or any number of other sources, you have the obligation to repay those debts. If you’re unable to meet debt payments each month, there are several methods to resolve debts, but the most effective for those struggling with severe debt is through the process of bankruptcy. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the expert advice and protection you need to receive debt relief in New Ulm, MN by filing for bankruptcy.

 

The three primary methods individual consumers and businesses can receive debt relief are debt settlement, discharge, or dismissal. These processes happen very differently and will affect your legal standing differently in both the short and long term.

 

Discharge of Debt

 

Debt discharges are only possible through the process of bankruptcy. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your debts will be discharged during the asset liquidation process. This means your debts will be dissolved in exchange for the sale of your non-exempt property. The value of your non-exempt assets sold will be paid to your creditors. You may also receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case for some unsecured debts (you will be required to repay 0% to 100% of those debts in your Chapter 13 repayment plan). Discharge through bankruptcy is permanent and government sanctioned.

 

Debt Settlement

 

Some debtors choose to find debt relief outside of bankruptcy through debt settlement. To settle a debt, you must negotiate that process with your creditor without the protection of a court process. This can be tricky and will reflect negatively on your financial records. Additionally, you may still have to pay taxes on the original amount of a reduced or settled debt, and any late payments or owed taxes on this debt will also become a detriment to your credit.

 

Debt Dismissal

 

This is a more unusual form of debt relief that only occurs if you can prove that your creditors are harassing you, abusing their authority (for example, charging extremely high late payments), your identity was stolen to gain the debt, your information on debt paperwork is incorrect, the items or services you took the debt on for were never received, or if your creditors can’t prove you owe the debt. If you suspect you may be able to prove these things, debt dismissal may be a viable option for debt relief, but in most cases, debt settlement or bankruptcy are more realistic choices.

 

Debt settlement has its place, but filing for bankruptcy is often the best long-term, concrete solution for debt relief. To learn more about receiving debt relief in New Ulm, MN and filing for bankruptcy, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Minimum and Maximum Debt Amounts Allowed to File for Bankruptcy in Worthington, MN

If you’re preparing to file for bankruptcy, it’s important to understand the limitations before entering into the process. Bankruptcy is an extremely beneficial tool for those struggling with debt, even with a high income. Despite its effect on your financial credit rating, bankruptcy is an effective solution for immediate financial recovery and long-term stability for an individual consumer or business. The requirements of bankruptcy are strict in order to prevent abuse, but with the help and protection of Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys, you can successfully file for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN.

 

Because most individuals and small businesses that file for bankruptcy don’t have the legal knowledge of a trained attorney or a team of lawyers a larger company might have to help them through the process, it’s critical to take advantage of professional assistance in the form of a bankruptcy attorney. Behm attorneys are highly knowledgeable and capable of working through your case for a positive outcome as well as protecting you from creditor harassment and advising and educating you along the way.

 

One common concern we hear from our clients is about debt amounts when entering the bankruptcy process. Some of our clients worry they may have too little debt to file, while others face the opposite. When it comes to minimum and maximum debt limits, the requirements are, fortunately, quite straightforward.

Minimum Debt

 

There is no court-set limit on the minimum amount of debt you need to file for bankruptcy. You may have limits on your income if you plan on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but all filers must pass the Means Test, which will determine your eligibility. The only limits on a minimum debt will be put in place by your own judgment. If you have a debt amount so low that it doesn’t justify bankruptcy and attorney costs, you may want to resolve your debts another way. Additionally, if you have high debts but they are excepted from the bankruptcy discharge, you won’t gain much from a case. High credit card debts, medical bills, mortgages, and car loans are all common debts that will be relieved in the bankruptcy process and will certainly justify a case even if they’re as low as $5,000.

 

Maximum Debt

 

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court does set a maximum limit on the debt amounts that can be resolved in a bankruptcy case. These limits are very high, but occasionally we see clients that struggle with this compromise. For a Chapter 13 case, this maximum amount currently stands at $1,184,200 for secured debts and $394,725 for unsecured debts. Chapter 7 doesn’t have a current maximum debt limit, but again, you must pass the Means Test to be eligible for a petition.

 

 Find Expert Help When You File for Bankruptcy

If you have debts you would like to resolve through bankruptcy and want to learn more about your eligibility and the process as a whole, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 for more information about filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN.

Debt Domestication and How Foreign Debts Resolve During Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN

Debt laws vary from country to country, and within the U.S., those laws even vary from state to state. The legal minutia around the debts you owe can quickly become complicated even within Minnesota regulations, but when out-of-state debts and foreign debts are introduced, those difficulties can increase ten-fold.

 

These complications may never become a problem for the debtor if they continue to make regular payments month to month, but if the debtor misses payments or chooses to file for bankruptcy, it can be extremely difficult to wade through those legal waters without professional help. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, and you have foreign debt in addition to your U.S. debts, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can protect you from creditor action and guide you through the process.

 

If you hold foreign debt, it can be discharged in your bankruptcy case. However, that debt is only officially discharged if your foreign creditors domesticate and enforce that debt.

 

Enforcing Foreign Debt

 

When you move from another country, your creditors in the original country cannot pursue collection actions unless they domesticate that debt, or you return to that country. This rule applies to bankruptcy as well, which means that if you want to discharge a foreign debt, your creditors must domesticate that debt or drop the debt completely. It may be easier to convince your creditor to domesticate a debt if they’ll gain some reimbursement from asset liquidation or a repayment plan.

 

Domesticated in Bankruptcy

If your foreign debt is domesticated, it will be handled in bankruptcy depending on the type of chapter you file. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your non-exempt assets with value in excess of your allowable bankruptcy exemptions are liquidated and your debts are discharged. Complications with foreign debts arise if the country you owe debt in has differing bankruptcy laws. In most cases, these issues are related to the portioning amount of the values from liquidated assets, but this is an issue the courts will resolve for you.

 

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, similar issues arise with your foreign creditors in the repayment plan structure. Chapter 13 works to restructure your debts into a manageable repayment plan where you repay priority and secured debts in full and all other debts in predetermined portions from 0%-100%. If your foreign debts are unsecured, the courts may have issues deciding how much you’ll repay those creditors when their country’s legal system dictates higher or lower repayments.

 

Your foreign debts can be resolved in your case, but it’s important to understand how they’re enforced and what complications may arise in bankruptcy. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, or to get started on your case, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Benefiting from Bankruptcy in Windom, MN, and Recovering Your Credit After Filing

Bankruptcy in the U.S. is a system designed to pull individuals and businesses out of severe debt while resolving those debts with creditors as best as possible. In this way bankruptcy is a highly effective process for recovering from severely crippling debt and getting a fresh start financially. However, filing for bankruptcy does have its side effects despite the many advantages it provides. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you prepare a strong case, successfully petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and fully understand the results that bankruptcy brings.

 

When you choose to partner with Behm Law Group, Ltd. for your bankruptcy case, you’re choosing highly-skilled, experienced professionals who understand your need for guidance and counsel before, during, and after you file. While bankruptcy offers a viable way to work through financial difficulties, there are some negative consequences as well, and we want our clients to be aware of all the effects a bankruptcy filing can have.

 

The primary problem those who file for bankruptcy face after their case is completed is the effect it has on their credit. There’s often a certain amount of damage to your credit when you file, and although you emerge from bankruptcy relieved from debt, it may take a while to rebuild your credit.

 

Recovering your credit after you file may seem like a daunting task, but the truth is it’s entirely possible for everyone who files for bankruptcy to fix their score over time. With the advice of our attorneys you can regain control over your credit and finances even after we work with you through a bankruptcy. Rebuilding your credit simply takes time and responsible practices including:

  1. Make all your payments on time and keep clear communication with your creditors if you’re unable to meet a payment. Most lenders are understanding of extenuating circumstances and are willing to make exceptions.
  2. Keep your accounts open despite the impulse to close them all at once. Instead, work on slowly closing the accounts you no longer want over an extended period of time.
  3. Check your credit often and keep an eye out for errors you may be able to dispute.
  4. Create and follow a budget with a savings plan integrated into your monthly income and spending patterns. Our attorneys can help you build a post- bankruptcy budget that’s effective, reasonable, and long-term.
  5. Hang on to all of your bankruptcy paperwork and keep it filed in an organized, logical place. You may need this paperwork down the road for loans or mortgage applications.

 

Above all, it’s important to remind yourself that your credit will improve over time. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, and what to do after you file, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.