Understanding the Pros and Cons When Filing for Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

If you’re struggling with debt, you’re not alone. Many people you may see every day at work, on the street, or within your circle of friends may be working through financial difficulties just like you. Unfortunately, there’s so much social stigma around debt that many of us may feel shame and a need to hide our debts. While it’s true this may protect you from the judgment of others, it may also prevent you from facing your debts as a real issue. If debt is negatively affecting your life, you can benefit from taking direct action to resolve those financial problems. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can achieve debt relief by filing for bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

 

Because of the negative images the word debt brings to mind, it’s not unexpected that bankruptcy also receives its own kinds of undesirable judgment. Whatever images bankruptcy has socially, in reality it’s a highly effective way to recover from debt with what is essentially a government blessing. If you’re struggling with some of the most common debts in the U.S. (i.e. credit card debts, medical bills, mortgages, and car loans), you can benefit from filing for bankruptcy.

 

While bankruptcy is often a remedy for debts, it comes with its own negative effects like many other legal processes. The pros often outweigh the cons, but occasionally, bankruptcy might not be right for you. Understanding the full weight of what bankruptcy means is important for anyone who is struggling with debt.

 

Pros

 

  1. You receive an automatic stay that prevents your creditors from collecting debts as soon as you file for bankruptcy.
  2. Your unsecured debts will be discharged in full in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and discharged 0-100% in a Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy.
  3. Your secured debts will be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and sometimes you’ll be able to keep the properties serving as collateral for those debts by engaging in post-bankruptcy agreements with the creditors that have more favorable terms.
  4. Your secured debts will be reorganized into a Chapter 13 repayment plan that fits your budget and limits the repayment period to three to five years.
  5. Overall, you receive debt forgiveness and are offered a way to work through debt issues with court administered remedies.

 

Cons

 

  1. Your credit will drop, and a bankruptcy remains on your public record for up to five years.
  2. Some debts are more difficult to discharge during the bankruptcy process, including two of the most common debts in America: student loans and tax debts.  These debts are not discharged after the ordinary bankruptcy process has concluded.  In order to try and get such debts discharged, one must commence an adversary proceeding and sue the creditors and such proceedings can be both expensive and protracted.
  3. You will have to pay a bankruptcy filing fee to the bankruptcy court, and to truly file a successful case, you will have to pay attorney’s fees to a bankruptcy attorney.

 

Though there can be downsides to filing for bankruptcy, many who file experience positive benefits that far outweigh the negatives. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today for more information about how it will affect you as an individual or business.

 

Handling Lawsuit Judgements When Discharging Debts Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN

There are many reasons to file for bankruptcy—from resolving credit card debts to reorganizing a mortgage into a repayment plan. And bankruptcy can be a highly effective way to fix financial problems that would otherwise fester and grow worse. Because every part of the bankruptcy process is handled through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, filing for bankruptcy is a protected legal process and one of the most effective immediate and long-term solutions for financial difficulties. If you are struggling with debt in your life as an individual or a business, filing for bankruptcy can help. For those with a low income or a failing business, Behm Law Group Ltd. can work with you to build and file a successful case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation process for individual consumers or businesses. In exchange for debt discharge, Chapter 7 trustees can sometimes sell certain assets you own and return the value gained to your creditors. This process may seem like a drastic measure, but the court protects you from losing any properties that you need for day-to-day life (home, car, etc.) with exemption allowances. Plus, your debts connected to unsecured loans will also be discharged (credit card debt, hospital bills, etc.).

 

In addition to debt recovery, filing for bankruptcy provides several other financial and legal remedies. One more unusual legal issue that can be resolved through bankruptcy is any lawsuit your creditors file because of your lack of debt payments. These suits become judgement lawsuits in a bankruptcy case, and they can be treated in one of two ways.

 

  1. Your lawsuit progress is halted as soon as you file for bankruptcy and is eventually dissolved in your Chapter 7 case. This occurs if your lawsuit is connected to a low-impact debt. For example, credit card debts, car loans, medical bills (with an exception addressed later), personal loans, mortgages, and more are all low-impact debts when they are put into the light of a pending lawsuit and bankruptcy case. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, these lawsuits are halted and you will not be held responsible for any costs.
  2. Your lawsuit progress is halted as soon as you file for bankruptcy, but is deemed a high-impact case and is not dissolved in your Chapter 7 case. High-impact cases typically involve actions you made that directly affected another person’s health, life, or well-being. For example, common high-impact suits connected to a debt you owe include those involving your payment of alimony or child support, any fraud or criminal activity, your drunk or reckless driving that caused injury, or other causes of injury to another person (two reasons your medical bill-related debts might be non-dischargeable). These cases can also be connected to priority debts like tax debts.

 

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, and have a lawsuit connected to a debt, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 to learn more.

 

Living with Success on a Repayment Plan Budget after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

March is the time when determination for New Year’s resolutions start to waver. If you’ve made your New Year’s resolution based on your budget, that wavering can significantly damage your financial well-being. Those who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past know they don’t have any other option than to adhere to the budget outlined in their repayment plan. If you’re struggling with your budget, filing for Chapter 13 might mean long-term debt relief and better spending practices. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and structure a repayment plan that will set you up for success.

Chapter 13 reorganizes your debts into a three- to five-year repayment plan. This is a great option for those with a steady income who want to receive court-approved debt relief with a structured budget for the repayment plan period. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers will have to repay their priority debts, like amounts owed for taxes, criminal fines, child support and alimony, in full, but most can receive a debt reduction up to 100% on unsecured debts.  Even secured debts, like vehicle loans and mortgage delinquencies, can be paid under different and more favorable terms.

 

After you file, you have the opportunity to restructure your debts into a plan proposal. The plan lasts three or five years depending on your income. When the court approves your plan, you will make monthly payments to a chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee.

 

Although the concept of a Chapter 13 repayment plan is highly attractive, some might find it difficult to adhere to that plan, especially if a wavering budget sent them into bankruptcy in the first place. Sticking to your repayment plan means you have to take some things into consideration:

 

  1. Your plan is structured around your income, so any income changes (a new job, for example) must be reported immediately to your bankruptcy trustee or your plan may be dismissed for lack of good faith.
  2. Because your plan is structured around your income, it also takes in the fact that you have monthly expenses for food, travel, utilities, rent, and more. The money you will have to spend to live each month is accounted for in your plan.
  3. While your necessary spending is taken into account in your repayment plan, your unnecessary spending is not. All of your disposable income (any money left over after reasonable and necessary monthly expenses) will have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee for your unsecured creditors involved in your repayment plan.  You and your lawyer can work with the chapter 13 trustee on your budget to determine your reasonable and necessary expenses.  While the chapter 13 trustee is a fiduciary for your creditors, the trustee is not intransigent or inflexible in this process.
  4. Sudden income sources like tax refunds, bonuses and commissions may or may not have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee and into your repayment plan. This is something that can be negotiated at the time it occurs.

 

It is completely possible to live month to month during a Chapter 13 repayment period. In fact, the entire goal of reorganization bankruptcy is to allow filers to live their lives as normally as possible while they repay debt. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and are concerned about sticking to a tight budget, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information today.

What Happens to Your Business When Filing Bankruptcy in Windom, MN?

Running a small business is one of the most difficult ways to make a living, no matter where you’re located. Startups close down even before they gain momentum, family-owned businesses go under, partnerships collapse, and countless businesses of all kinds file for bankruptcy as a result of a wide range of factors.

Anyone who owns a business knows these difficulties for themselves, and many business owners view the last gasp of failure as a bankruptcy filing. The fact is, however, that bankruptcy may be a viable solution to keeping your business running successfully in the long-term. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal counsel and protection for businesses filing bankruptcy in Windom, MN, and we can guide you through the process of saving your business for the long run.

The type of bankruptcy that most business owners think of when they view it as a “failure” resulting in closing up shop is Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. While it’s true that the majority of Chapter 7 business bankruptcies will end with a closed down business, there are exceptions and other types of bankruptcy that can support debt relief without forcing a shutdown.

 

Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7

If you want to keep your business in operation with a goal of long-term debt relief, then filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy is most likely the best option. Both of these types of bankruptcy work to reorganize your debts into a repayment plan that fits your business budget. Businesses that are not sole proprietorships (LLCs, partnerships, or corporations) are generally not appropriately addressed in Chapter 13 but for those businesses Chapter 11 has its own advantages. For sole proprietorships, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option than Chapter 11 because you can include both your business debts and personal debts in the repayment plan. Additionally, in a Chapter 13 repayment plan you have the option to protect your business property with exemptions, reduce overall debt amounts for unsecured nonpriority debts, and structure your debts overall into a court-approved repayment plan.

Even though most Chapter 7 business bankruptcies result in a closing of that operation, there are times when that shutdown doesn’t occur in a liquidation bankruptcy. Specifically, sole proprietorship businesses can continue to operate their business after a Chapter 7 filing, and like with a Chapter 13 plan, filers can include their personal and business debts in the liquidation process. The types of businesses that continue to operate most successfully after a Chapter 7 liquidation are those with few assets. For example, personal trainers, therapists, consultants, freelancers, and other similar service providers can continue to operate successfully in the face of asset liquidation.

If you’re a business owner struggling to repay debts, filing for bankruptcy can help you continue to operate your business and gain long-term debt relief. To learn more about filing bankruptcy in Windom, MN as a business owner or individual, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Benefits of Choosing Bankruptcy over Debt Adjustment in Waseca, MN

There are many ways to incur debt, from credit cards to car loans. If you are struggling to make ends meet each month because of your debts, don’t despair. There are several ways you can get debt relief, whether that means you work out an agreement with your creditors, or take legal action and file for bankruptcy. Despite the negative image bankruptcy tends to receive, the process is one of the most effective ways to get debt relief in the long term. In fact, bankruptcy can resolve your debts without the “band-aid effect” other kinds of debt relief result in. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can rid yourself of unmanageable debts by filing for bankruptcy and steering clear of the negative impacts of debt consolidation, debt settlement, and debt adjustment in Waseca, MN.

 

Almost all non-bankruptcy forms of debt relief (with the exception of debt forgiveness) create similar situations for the debtor and treat debt in similar ways. Debt adjustment, settlement, and consolidation are three common methods of debt relief outside of bankruptcy. However, they may only give you temporary relief with the added damage of more debt in the long run.

 

 

How Common Debt Relief Methods Work

 

  • Debt adjustment is an agreement you can work out with your creditor to lower your monthly payment amount, allowing you to pay that debt off over a longer time period. While this means you’ll have to pay less each month, it also means you’ll end up paying more to your creditor overall because of the added interest.
  • Debt settlement is another agreement you can make with your creditor and a debt settlement company. In this case, you and your creditor agree on a reduced debt amount and you begin making payments to the settlement company. However, the company can withhold your payments from your creditor, making your credit decrease significantly when your financial records show that you’ve defaulted or made late payments on your debt. In addition, you typically will get taxed on any debt that may be forgiven or written off.
  • Debt consolidation agreements between you and a third party creditor work to take out a loan from that creditor to repay all your other debts, effectively consolidating all your debts into one. These debts often have interest rates that increase over time and force you to be in debt longer.

 

 

Why Bankruptcy Is Better

Debt relief options like debt adjustment, settlement, and consolidation provide quick fixes without addressing long-term solutions. They will most likely put you into a situation where you pay more in interest for a much longer period of time. Choosing bankruptcy instead gives you a chance to resolve your debts under the administration of a court-protected process as well as the added protection of a bankruptcy attorney. While it will cause your credit to drop (just like most other debt relief processes), bankruptcy will effectively discharge or restructure your debts into a reduced plan spanning over a predetermined payment period.

 

 

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy over debt adjustment in Waseca, MN, or other forms of debt relief, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

Handling Consumer Debts Gained after You File Your Petition for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN

With the decline that our economy has seen over the past six months, it’s not surprising that many individuals and businesses have had to take on more debt or have had difficulties meeting their debt payments. If you have been struggling to make monthly ends meet, and have been for some time, it may be beneficial for you to consider the debt relief filing for bankruptcy can provide. For those with stable incomes who want to retain their properties, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a valuable option. Behm Law Group, Ltd., provides legal advice and assistance for individual consumers and business owners who want to take full advantage of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN.

Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy works as a reorganization process, it restructures your debts into a repayment plan with scheduled monthly payments lasting three to five years. This repayment plan is designed to fit your budget and can effectively resolve the majority of your debts without you having to lose any of your property.

Although Chapter 13 bankruptcy is supposed to fit your financial circumstances while allowing you to operate on a daily basis, it can make your spending limitations extremely tight. Sometimes it may be necessary to incur even more debt during the three to five years you spend within a Chapter 13 plan. Fortunately, it’s possible you can roll these new debts into your current repayment plan, allowing for a more manageable structure in the payment of all your debts together.

 

Post-Petition Debt Types

The debts you are allowed to incur while in a Chapter 13 plan that won’t force your case to be dismissed are tax debts and consumer debts.

  • Tax debts may be treated as priority debts (and must be repaid in full) if your creditors petition for priority claim status.
  • Consumer debts are only allowed as post-petition spending if you receive court approval. The court often approves post-petition debts if they are incurred on behalf of your household well-being (not for your business).

If you fail to get court approval to incur a post-petition debt, you will be required to pay it outside of your Chapter 13 repayment plan. If you do get court approval, however, you can later request to have the debt rolled into your repayment plan as a priority, secured, or unsecured debt depending on the type of agreement between you and the creditor. To have the debt included in your plan, your creditor and trustee must each accept your request, and your creditor must submit a proof of claim and a statement of agreement.

 

If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, and want to learn more about post-petition debts or how a repayment plan is structured, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd., at (507) 387-7200 today.

Farms and Other Local Midwest Food Suppliers File for Chapter 12 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Farming is a notoriously difficult profession even with the knowledge, tools, and power agriculturalists have access to today. Throughout the ages, farmers have faced challenges with the weather, soil conditions, seed fertility, plant diseases, pests, economy crashes, and many other variables. With all the hardships farmers face, it’s incredible there are so many strong people who still choose this vocation, and we have those hard workers to thank for the abundance of food in supermarkets and grocery stores across the country.

 

However, many farmers still face extreme financial hardship, and it’s no surprise that many find themselves deep in significant debt connected to their crop, livestock, or fishing operations. If you’re having difficulties as a family farmer or fisher, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you find your way out of severe debt by filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

 

With the large spread of farmland dotting the countryside between Mankato and other cities in southern Minnesota, there are many local people living in our communities that took on farming as a profession. Unfortunately, this year has marked a rise of farm debts, not just in Minnesota, but across the Midwest as a whole.

 

Why Farm Debts Are on the Rise

 

Sometimes described as a “slow bleed” of independent farms in the face of low dairy, crop, fish, and meat prices, the debts of family farmers and fishers are not matched by the income they receive from product sales. When independent farms are higher in geographic concentration, as they often are, the trickle of each small farmer’s debts turns into a river of severe financial crisis. If this happens to a community, no matter how widespread, bankruptcy is a highly valuable solution. When farmers and fishers take advantage of the assistance filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy provides, it serves as a true system of recovery and healing for agricultural communities.

 

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

 

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a debt relief option offered to family farmers and fishers who earn over 50% of their income from agricultural or fishing operations. If you file for Chapter 12, you are provided with a system of bankruptcy that reorganizes and restructures your debts in a manageable repayment plan suited to your income. This bankruptcy repayment plan is spread over a period of three to five years and allows for fluctuations in your income with the growing and harvest seasons. Not only does Chapter 12 give farmers and fishers a way to repay their debts without losing their land, home, agricultural equipment, and overall livelihood, it also provides protection against creditor harassment.

 

Farm debt may be on the rise due to several conditions in the food industry today, but there are solutions. Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN is one option that many can use to recover in the long-term from agricultural debt. To learn more about bankruptcy and debt relief, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

When, Why, and How You Can File for Emergency Bankruptcy in Marshall, MN

Filing for bankruptcy can be a highly beneficial remedy for severe consumer or business debt. While the majority of benefits gained from bankruptcy are long-term, filers will see an immediate benefit gained from the protection of the automatic stay. When you file your bankruptcy petition, a stay preventing your creditors from collecting payments from you will automatically be put into place. In some situations, filers may need to speed up the process leading up to the automatic stay by filing for an emergency bankruptcy. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides the counsel you need to build a strong case and the guidance you need to determine if you should file for an emergency bankruptcy in Marshall, MN.

Filing for an emergency bankruptcy gives you automatic stay protection from creditors sooner than a standard bankruptcy. The process is completed online with fewer forms and less paperwork than a typical bankruptcy case would require, but an emergency bankruptcy can only be filed if your situation meets certain circumstances.

 

When and why?

You can file an emergency bankruptcy if you would not be able to complete the full paperwork before an event that will directly affect your case occurs. For example:

  • you have an impending foreclosure
  • you are facing repossession
  • your wages will be garnished
  • you have a collection lawsuit

There may be other events that could allow you to file an emergency bankruptcy, but they must be time-sensitive issues. You will also be required to complete and file the rest of the bankruptcy papers within 14 days after filing an emergency bankruptcy.

 

How?

To file an emergency bankruptcy, you must complete a set of online forms and meet some other requirements, including:

  • filling out the primary bankruptcy petition document that covers your general information, which chapter you are filing for, and your identity information
  • a list of your creditors, including their names and addresses
  • your certificate of completion for the credit counseling requirement
  • payment of the filing fee, or an application to have the fee waived or paid in an installment plan

 

Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys can help you work through the steps of filing for an emergency bankruptcy in Marshall, MN or filing a standard Chapter 13, 7, or 12 case. To learn more about our counsel in filing for bankruptcy or to get started with us today, contact our office at (507) 387-7200.

 

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.

Federal Exemptions and Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions Outlined within Bankruptcy Code in Owatonna, MN

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt as an individual or business owner, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best way to resolve those debts in a government-approved legal process. Chapter 7 is the most frequent type of bankruptcy for both individuals and businesses with extreme debts and low incomes. If you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can free yourself from a wide range of financial obligations, including anything from credit card debt to past-due medical bills. Behm Law Group, Ltd., offers legal advice and guidance to help you work through the process of filing and to help you understand the workings of bankruptcy code in Owatonna, MN.

Basic information to know about Chapter 7

 

  • To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the Means Test (your income must be lower than the state median for a household of your size or be unbalanced by your debt ratio)
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy code outlines the process of liquidation of assets (selling properties to gain a value that is used to repay your creditors) in exchange for debt discharge (dissolving the debts tied to the properties sold).
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy code also provides some protection for your properties in the form of exemptions (exemptions allot certain amounts you can claim on your home, car, and other properties that protect them from liquidation)

 

Exemption amounts are determined by federal and state bankruptcy laws, and in Minnesota, you can request state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. If you file for federal bankruptcy exemptions, you can claim Title 11 U.S. government allotted amounts (e.g., you can claim $23,675 on your home as of 2018). If you file for state exemptions, you can claim Minnesota Statute allotted amounts (e.g., $390,000 for your home as of 2018).

In some cases, it will be more beneficial for filers to choose state exemptions because they will typically have more wiggle room and because they can claim additional federal non-bankruptcy exemptions.

Federal non-bankruptcy exemptions cover a wide range of miscellaneous assets you may want to protect in a Chapter 7 liquidation process. These include:

 

  • retirement benefits for military, civil, and foreign service, and pensions for veterans, social security, railroad workers, CIA employees, and Medal of Honor recipients
  • death and disability benefits for government employees, longshoremen, and harbor workers as well as war, hazard, death, or risk compensation
  • survivor’s benefits for military, court, and lighthouse workers
  • miscellaneous benefits ranging from military deposits to savings accounts to certain Native American tribe homesteads

 

When it comes to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it can be difficult to navigate through the exemption claiming process and the bankruptcy code as a whole. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd., at (507) 387-7200 today to learn more about the filing process and bankruptcy code in Owatonna, MN.