Beware Manipulative Music and Avoid Bankruptcy this Holiday Season in Marshall, MN

You’ve likely visited a number of stores in Marshall, Minnesota this holiday season. Though stores often look similar to each other this time of year, decorated in red, green, silver, and gold, there’s another similarity between these stores that you may not have noticed: the music playing in the background.

Sure, it’s common to tap your feet or nod your head while strolling through a store. But there’s an industry behind the music you hear this time of year, and that industry wants you to buy, buy, buy! For many folks—especially those in debt or filing for bankruptcy—this can be a dangerous trick.

So, pay attention to those tunes! Here are a few ways that companies are using music to impact your holiday bills, debt, or bankruptcy filing this season:

  • Manipulative Music: During the holiday season, stores often play only uplifting, positive, and holly jolly tunes for shoppers. These types of songs make you more likely to spend larger quantities of money, thus increasing debt and the potential for holiday bankruptcy.
  • Slow Shopping: Music in stores is also occasionally slowed down, which makes customers feel as though less time has passed since entering the store. As a result, shoppers will take more time strolling through all the aisles and perusing potential purchases.
  • Instrumental Inspiration: Stores also play instrumental versions of popular songs. These songs can be played fast or slow, depending on how managers want shoppers to behave inside their stores. If you find yourself pushing your cart quickly to keep up with the music, be wary of frivolous spending!
  • Muzak Melodies: Background music, such as that played in stores, is often called “muzak.” This name is taken from a company famous for their soothing instrumental melodies. Though the purpose of their tunes is to increase customer expenses, the company actually filed for bankruptcy themselves in 2009. Still, the nickname has stuck!

If you’re in debt or filing for bankruptcy this holiday season in Marshall Minnesota, be wary of manipulative holiday music. Though it can be fun to tap your foot to the tunes while shopping, be conscious of how it’s impacting your overall holiday budget.

For help with your bankruptcy filing this holiday season, contact the professionals at Behm Law Group Ltd. today!

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.

The Importance of Having Support When Filing Bankruptcy

Support is underrated. Without any support, our minds may wander. We may be continually distracted from doing what we need to do. But, if we’re supported by someone who has our best interests at heart, we gain focus. Our supporters many times have the perspective we need to bring clarity to our situation. If ever you were to need support, it’s during bankruptcy. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group will support you, but we can’t be with you at all hours.

It’s nice to have the support of someone who knows you even better. Few people succeed without having support of some type. We suggest you cherish your support network before, during, and after bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy in can be a very emotional experience. With so much uncertainty about your future, your emotions could interfere and possibly cause you to do something irrational. Temper your impulsiveness.

Talk with a trusted family member or friend. Share your fears and plans. Really listen. Just considering alternatives will allow your subconscious to work on your problem for you. Eventually, you’ll get to where you know which path is right for you.

One consolation is that the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group have worked with hundreds of bankruptcy cases. We may not know you as well as your friends, but we do understand bankruptcy very well. We understand its ramifications. We know what’s typical and what’s not. So, please include us in your support system.

Yes, things will be different. You’ll need to look at money a little differently than you did before. Surrounding yourself with people who share your vision is extremely important regardless of where you want to go in life. There’s nothing like getting the feedback you need while you venture forward on a new path.

Life brings us challenges all the time. Normally, they are ones we can learn to master and to overcome.

If you’re a Mankato-area resident contemplating bankruptcy and you don’t know who would help you, then turn to the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group. As professionals, we’ll deal with you frankly and compassionately. We know how the law can work for you.

4 Post-Bankruptcy Planning Tips for Mankato Residents

So you survived bankruptcy. Now what? Maybe you think it was just a passing phase. Some other guy caused your pain. You can just go back to operating as before, right? Actually, you should take a closer look at your future vision.

While there are many steps you could take, we want you to nail down the following four:

1) Count your blessings: Hey, you survived. Good for you! It could have been worse. But, you made it. Accept that you have another chance. Do something good with it.

2) Promise yourself you’ll do better this time: If you think you can’t, you can’t, and you won’t. If you think you can, then you can. This means you have to have a positive mindset after bankruptcy so you won’t repeat the same scenario. Try something conservatively new and different to re-charge your batteries. Make a promise to yourself. Write it down. Look at it often to remind you to carry on.

3) Create a plan: Just focusing on active steps will help you to develop a positive mindset. Certainly, part of your plan should include the obvious. Live within your means. If you want more, then figure out a way to earn more money. Differentiate between wants and needs.

Yet, a plan doesn’t have to always be about work and drudgery. You already went through that with bankruptcy. Incorporate rewards into your plan. A reward doesn’t have to cost money. Instead, spend more fun time with your family. Allow yourself time to read a book, hike outside, or meet a friend. Each time you accomplish a have-to, reward yourself with a want-to item.

4) Implement your plan: Decide on a time frame for when you want to accomplish each goal. Stick to it. So long as you reward your efforts regularly, it should be easier to follow your plan.

In time, your new way of thinking will become a good habit. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group hope that your good habits will be tough to break!

Located in Mankato, Behm Law Group serves the bankruptcy needs of Marshall, Worthington, Owatonna, New Ulm, St. Peter, Redwood Falls, Waseca, and Fairmont, MN.

Learning New Habits After Filing for Bankruptcy

Whenever you think of bankruptcy, you probably conjure up something negative. You might worry if it will happen again. First, realize you aren’t a pawn of your circumstances. You can take active steps to determine a brighter future for yourself. One of those steps involves learning new habits. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group recommend starting sooner rather than later.

Remember when you were in school? Did your teacher expect you to change immediately? Or did they teach small steps which progressed toward the ultimate goal? We suggest preparing yourself to learn new habits by using the latter approach.

1) Understand the future will be different.
Different doesn’t automatically equate to something bad. It just means your normal routine may be somewhat disrupted. Expect it, and it won’t become such a shock when it happens.

2) Adopt a can-do attitude.
If you think you can’t, then no one else will be able to change your mind. You have to believe in yourself first.

3) Realize it takes at least 21 days of repetition to create a new habit.
Mark your progress on your calendar. If you think you “can” for at least 21 days, no one will be able to stop your momentum. If you think your future will be brighter for at least 21 days, then your mind will think of shiny moments to come.

4) Look at your predicament as a puzzle.
What got you to this place? Don’t berate yourself. Instead, look for possible solutions. Unleash your creativity. Your subconscious may surprise you with ideas you had never considered before.

5) Take time to relax.
This might seem surprising to you. After all, bankruptcy is serious business. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group don’t want to detract you from reality. But, taking a series of mental steps which eventually lead you to taking progressive and positive active steps will help you to stay out of bankruptcy in the future. Isn’t that really what you want?

During bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, prepare yourself mentally. Take small steps to achieve a positive forward momentum. Concentrate on your progress. Before you know it, you will have survived bankruptcy. You will have also created a new path for yourself.

Seek the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group in Mankato, Minnesota. You will find a professional, can-do attitude along with helpful, positive advice.

Proper Business Planning Can Help You Avoid Bankruptcy

With more user-friendly technology emerging, the number of new entrepreneurs continues to increase. While entrepreneurship is important, most start-ups fizzle before they pop. With bankruptcy being a possibility, we suggest considering all possibilities when you create your business plan.

Bankruptcy law as it pertains to business differs according to the state in which the business was created. For one, the cost of a business bankruptcy is not equal for every state. The speed at which you will be able to reorganize after bankruptcy proceedings can differ as well. Now that we’ve mentioned bankruptcy proceedings, did you know the length of time for those bankruptcy proceedings isn’t the same for every state either?

It is true that in some cases, a bankruptcy filing can allow you to reorganize your business to a more profitable status. If you can avoid it, you wouldn’t want to place your business in jeopardy by filing for bankruptcy.

Even if your business is doing well, you might have a customer who files for bankruptcy. If that customer figures prominently in your accounts receivable, that may be enough of a strain to force your business into bankruptcy. It’s far better for you to have a diverse customer base.

Before you find yourself without a safety net, focus on finishing a solid business plan. It will force you to think about all the important factors as well as to discover some factors you hadn’t even considered. Never lose sight of your marketing. It’s best to be vigilant in seeking new prospects. You never know when the situations of your customers will change.

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “Although you don’t plan to fail, you shouldn’t fail to plan.” Bankruptcy is comprised of several factors. Would you rather study the nuances yourself or enlist the help of professionals? If you chose professionals, then the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group have your answers. All you have to do is ask.

Protect Yourself from Discrimination Against Bankruptcy Filers

When discrimination makes the news, people pay attention. We all like to think we are fair-minded individuals. Even fair-minded individuals have differences of opinion. If it weren’t for these differences of opinion, we probably wouldn’t need a set of laws to follow. But, we do. The Mankato bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., want you to be aware of the following:

“No. 11 U.S.C. sec. 525 prohibits governmental units and private employers from discriminating against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition or because you failed to pay a dischargeable debt.”

You have rights. It can be heart-wrenching and embarrassing enough to admit you need to file for bankruptcy, let alone having everyone else constantly remind you. Now you know there are rules on how others can treat you.

Of course, you still have obligations to fulfill. A bankruptcy plan can detail how and when those obligations are met. Looking at the bigger picture, you will have to own how you got to this point. If you don’t recognize why you had to file for bankruptcy, you may end up repeating this scene in the future.

For your own self-worth and knowledge, really dig deeply. If you have poor financial habits, take steps to change them. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Shop around to minimize costs for what you need. Save for inevitable surprises that might disrupt your cash flow.

Keeping your focus and energy directed toward positive steps will diminish any hurt and embarrassment you feel. You can’t change what has already happened. You can change how you deal with your dilemma though.

Forward momentum will catapult you past the bad feelings toward the good ones. Your positive action will result in the bankruptcy becoming a distant memory. Good habits will help keep you solvent in the future.

Those who have to file for bankruptcy relief have the power to change their outcomes for the better. We know what you want. Bankruptcy is all that we do. In Mankato, MN, call the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., to discuss the how, why, what, wherefore, and when of bankruptcy law today.

How to Limit Bankruptcy Risk When Starting a Business

Budding entrepreneurs fill the news pages daily. Everyone wants to create that next product or service others will want. The idea of starting your own business brings thoughts of glamour and excitement. And it should! Don’t forget that business skills are needed, too. If you haven’t carefully considered all aspects of your fledgling enterprise, bankruptcy may be a distinct possibility. Many famous entrepreneurs have declared bankruptcy along the way, including Walt Disney.\

According to an October 2014 report by CB Insights, the top five reasons start-ups failed are:

  1. There was no market need for the product or service.
  2. The entrepreneur ran out of money.
  3. The business didn’t have the right team in place.
  4. The competition won.
  5. There were issues with pricing and/or cost.

With so many possibilities for failure, you have to be very careful about developing your business strategy and marketing  plan.  It is essential that you study the possible competition and how they are pricing their products and how they are marketing themselves.

Do a little market research to determine the viability of your product. Or, like Walt Disney, you could create a demand for it. Perhaps you noticed three of the top five reasons involved marketing. That means entrepreneurship involves selling. It means you have to be visible to your potential prospects, assuming you have prospects for what you’re selling.

Mankato entrepreneurs: if you find yourself battling to stay afloat, you might want to contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., to consider your options.  If Walt Disney could pull through his setbacks, so can you.

Are Student Loans Discharged When Filing Bankrutpcy in Minnesota?

Everyone knows the cost of higher education has increased dramatically. Students grumble about the cost of their student loans, and rightfully so. According to Bloomberg, college costs have soared over 500% since 1985. Who wants to be in debt before they even start their first job? No wonder students might seek ways to erase this debt, even if it entails bankruptcy. The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd., want you to know that normally, student loans are not discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

However, 11 U.S.C. sec. 523(a)(8) notes two exceptions to this rule:

1. The student loan cannot be affiliated with a governmental unit or nonprofit entity. This means if a governmental unit insures, guarantees, or funds the student loan in any way, the loan cannot be discharged.

2. If the student, or debtor, incurs an undue hardship in order to pay the loan, it’s possible the student loan could be discharged.

Before October 1998, student loans could be discharged according to certain circumstances, provided the loan was over seven years old. That stipulation no longer applies for loans after October 1998.

Meeting an exception doesn’t automatically mean a student loan can be discharged. The court weighs all factors of each case before making a decision on what is considered dischargeable debt.

Before you incur any student loan debt, you should think very carefully about your academic interests and your possible career objectives. Student loan debt can pile up quickly. It is understandable and common that people must take more than four years to complete a degree. However, if you change course of study too many times, you could find yourself under oppressive student loan debt after you graduate. Education is important, of course, but you might want to explore more affordable options if your first choice in schools would break your piggy bank.

It wouldn’t hurt to make sure you major in a viable field that can generate sufficient income to pay for your living expenses as well as your debt. Finances can bring a real-world mentality to those ideals of simply following your whims. Sometimes, you either have to be creative in developing a job for yourself or you have to just accept an available position until you can afford to leap to something you would enjoy more.As stated, the court views several factors in student loan bankruptcy cases. If you want to explore your options in Mankato, Minnesota, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We restrict our practice to only bankruptcy.  You can expect the best from us.