Understanding a Hardship Discharge with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts will be restructured into a three to five-year repayment plan that fits your income and financial situation. For those with incomes too high to pass the Means Test or who wish to hold on to most of their nonexempt properties, Chapter 13 is a highly effective way to resolve debts and get a fresh financial start. Organizing your documents, files, forms, and information into a structured repayment plan proposal that the court will accept is a difficult task to manage without the help of a trained bankruptcy professional. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the legal support and assistance you need to file a strong case for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

After you propose a Chapter 13 repayment plan that’s accepted by the court, the bankruptcy trustee administering your case will collect monthly payments that may vary based on the disposable income information you provide. The amount you’ll be required to repay in your plan depends on your creditors and your disposable income. For example, you must fully repay your priority unsecured creditors, such as certain tax debts, child support debts, alimony and court fines, while your unsecured creditors only need to be paid much less as determined by several factors. Changes may be made to your plan depending on other claims, income, and financial gains or losses. To prevent your case from being dismissed within your three to five-year repayment period, continued communication with your attorney and the bankruptcy trustee is key.

You may also find yourself facing unforeseen circumstances that make it impossible for you to complete your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

If you find yourself in these circumstances, you may be eligible for the Hardship Discharge. This discharge works similarly to a discharge granted in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  You will no longer have to make a plan payment.  Like in a Chapter 7 case, certain debts, including unsecured debts like medical bills, credit card debts, and more, are discharged. However, priority debts like tax debts, child support debts and alimony are not subject to the Hardship Discharge.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Hardship Discharge, you have to prove your conditions render you unable to continue with your repayment plan. If you’ve failed to meet repayment requirements for more than a month due to burdens that are out of your control (“for which you should not justly be held accountable”), you have the chance to make your case for a hardship discharge. You improve your chances of the court granting you a Hardship Discharge if you can prove your circumstances are permanent (physical disability, for example) and if you’ve already repaid to your unsecured creditors what they would have received if you’d filed for Chapter 7.

For more information about the Hardship Discharge and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at

Key Factors that Affect the Repayment Plan Structure of Bankruptcy in Windom, MN

Today, Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy for both individuals and businesses. Because the Chapter 7 process is only available to those with income-to-debt ratios lower than the Minnesota median, bankruptcy is often associated with unemployment or even financial ruin. However, bankruptcy is an option to people and businesses with a wide range of incomes and debts in the form of debt restructuring—Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and guidance to help you decide which type of bankruptcy in Windom, MN, would be the most beneficial to your current financial situation.

 

If you have a stable job and your debts weigh heavily enough for you to consider bankruptcy, chances are you’ll gain the most out of a Chapter 13 case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy works to structure your debts into a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that’s suited to your income. The process is designed to give your creditors as much of a return on your debt as possible without crippling your finances or severely damaging your quality of life.

 

In a Chapter 13 repayment plan, your debts are broken down into several categories based on the priority claim those creditors have on repayment. First, secured creditors are generally the creditors with property secured through a promissory note and security agreement such as mortgages, car loans, or any other debt concerning a physical property. These creditors can be repaid in different ways during your Chapter 13 plan period. In some cases, you will continue to pay these creditors directly rather than through your bankruptcy plan.  For instance, if you have a mortgage with Wells Fargo and you are current with the mortgage payments, you would continue to pay that debt directly to Wells Fargo.  However, if you are delinquent with your mortgage payments, you can pay the mortgage delinquency back to Wells Fargo throughout the 36 to 60 months of your chapter 13 plan rather than all at once.  Of course, you would still have to continue making your regular monthly mortgage payments to Wells Fargo but the delinquency owed before your case was filed would be paid back by the chapter 13 trustee with the payments you make through your chapter 13 plan.  Second, priority debts involved in the bankruptcy process (bankruptcy fees, for example) must also be paid in full.

 

You’ll also be required to repay certain debts in full regardless of any type of plan period, income, or bankruptcy you file for. These commonly include child support and alimony, most tax debts, and debts from personal injury or death you caused while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

 

The rest of your debts will be considered unsecured or nonpriority debts, and these may be paid at a determined portion from 0% to 100%. The amount you’ll be required to repay to unsecured creditors in your Chapter 13 plan varies based on your disposable income, the exemptions you can claim, and the minimum amount those creditors would receive if your assets were liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

Overall, the amount you repay all your creditors, including priority, secured, and unsecured, depends on several financial components. Your debts and other claims you owe that factor into a Chapter 13 plan include:

 

  1. Mortgage owed and arrears
  2. Other home loans and arrears
  3. Car loans owed and loan arrears
  4. Personal property loans
  5. Debts on other property loans
  6. Alimony and child support
  7. Priority tax debts
  8. Other priority debts
  9. Death or personal injury claims against you
  10. Administrative bankruptcy fees
  11. Attorney fees

 

Some debts, like medical bills and credit card debt, may even be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. For more information about creditors, repayment plans, and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

Choosing Chapter 13 when You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Financial recovery through the federal process of bankruptcy is a public option for all businesses and individuals, but there are eligibility standards for any bankruptcy case. If you want to file for liquidation bankruptcy, for example, you must pass the Means Test to qualify for a Chapter 7 petition. If you’re ineligible for Chapter 7, you can choose to file for debt reorganization (Chapter 13), but even that process has certain prerequisites. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can determine which type of bankruptcy in Mankato, MN is best for your financial situation.

The two common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. The former reorganizes your debts into a manageable repayment plan for a three to five-year period. The latter liquidates non-exempt assets, distributing the value of those non-exempt assets to creditors and discharging your debts in return. Which type you file for depends on two things: your debt-to-income ratio (passing the Means Test or not) and your choice.

Your Choice

If you pass the Means Test and qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll have the option to choose between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While there are occasionally financial circumstances that force filers to stick with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s likely that you’ll have a choice. Behm attorneys can help you make this choice based on several factors of your situation:

  1. Nonexempt assets: Non-exempt assets are assets that have value in excess of your applicable bankruptcy exemptions or for which there are no bankruptcy exemptions that one can utilize to protect or keep them. These assets will be liquidated in a Chapter 7 case and the sale proceeds will be used to repay something to your creditors. If you want to keep non-exempt property, Chapter 13 is the right choice for you.   As long as you pay the value of those non-exempt assets to your creditors through a 36 to 60 month chapter 13 repayment plan, you can retain non-exempt assets that you would otherwise lose in a chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.
  2. Car loan: If you have debt on your motor vehicles, you could have those assets taken back by the creditors who have liens on them in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, choosing a Chapter 13 repayment plan could allow you to repay your car loans over time and in a more manageable way and keep your credit in a more stable position.
  3. Mortgage: Similarly, you can have equity or value in your home protected by the Homestead Exemption in a Chapter 7 case but you may be behind with your mortgage payments. In a chapter 7 case and if you wanted to eventually avoid a foreclosure proceeding, you would likely have to pay back any delinquency in full to the mortgage lender in 30 to 60 days.  However, in a chapter 13 repayment plan, you could break that mortgage delinquency up and repay it over 36 to 60 months, avoid a foreclosure proceeding and retain your home property.  You may also be able to strip off or cram down any second or third mortgages in a Chapter 13 case.
  4. Priority debts: When you file for any type of bankruptcy there are a number of debts that fall into the “priority” category. These debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 liquidation, but they can be integrated into a Chapter 13 repayment plan and paid off. If you want to repay debts like child support and tax debt in a structured repayment plan, choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7.

Both chapters have their own advantages depending on your situation. To find out which type of bankruptcy in Mankato, MN is right for you, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Breakdown of Payments to Unsecured Creditors for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN

When you file for bankruptcy, the people or organizations you owe money to are broken down into several different types of creditors. Generally, these creditors are considered as priority, secured, and unsecured. Within these categories, there is a simple hierarchy: priority creditors are repaid in full, secured creditors are paid the value of their collateral after exemptions are taken into account or the collateral is surrendered back to them, and unsecured creditors are paid with varying amounts depending on your case. While these creditors are considered similarly in both Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the outcomes of their repayments are different. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers expert counsel and support when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, to help you navigate through your creditors and case.

 

For most Chapter 7 cases, the creditors are treated based upon which debts can be discharged and which exemptions can be claimed. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, the creditors must be treated differently based on the types of debts and the significance of those agreements.

 

When a Chapter 13 case is filed, the end goal is to restructure the filer’s debts into an appropriate repayment plan. This plan provides for the full repayment of priority debts and the payment of the value of secured debts, but often offers the filer the benefit of partial repayment of unsecured debts. The creditors of unsecured debts are written into the repayment plan in two fundamental ways.

 

  1. The first basic requirement for the treatment of unsecured creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan is that they will be paid at least as much as they would if the filer had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  2. Secondly, the filer must pay all disposable income – surplus income left over after reasonable and necessary living expenses are paid – to their unsecured creditors throughout the duration of their three to five-year repayment plan. This income amount may fluctuate throughout the plan period, and the chapter 13 plan must be updated to reflect these income changes.

 

The repayment plan period for any Chapter 13 bankruptcy case depends on the filer’s income. If your income is less than the Minnesota median of a household similar to your own, your plan will last three years. If your income is higher than the median, you must file a five-year plan. The amount you repay your unsecured creditors will also depend on how long your plan lasts. For example, if you owe an unsecured creditor $5,000 and your disposable income adds up to $100 a month, you will repay 72% of that debt in a three-year plan or repay 100% of that debt in a five-year plan. In some cases, you will repay 0% of an unsecured debt when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

What you repay your unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 will vary greatly depending on your income and your additional debt payments and expenses. For most filers, these debts will be alleviated at least in part. For more information about your unsecured creditors and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Health Risks of Financial Stress and How Filing for Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN Could Save Your Life

In today’s world, we face a huge amount of daily stress. From taking care of family and friends to work responsibilities and more, we all have many roles to fill. With all the pressures of the average American adult, it can seem almost impossible to cram another burden on top of all the others. However, it’s common that most are also dealing with a wide range of financial difficulties. Ridding yourself of this unnecessary stress is a real possibility. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys you can successfully file for bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, and get the stress-free fresh start you need.

Debt is one of the heaviest loads we bear. It weighs heavily on our daily activities and also impacts our mental and emotional state. Any individual can struggle with the stress that debts bear on quality of life and happiness, whether they’re responsible for a large household or just themselves.

 

The stress we experience each day has more negative health effects, both mental and physical, than many realize. Chronic stress is a real causative factor in increasing a range of health risks including heart conditions, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal problems, weight fluctuations, diabetes, psoriasis, eating disorders, insomnia, and even cancer. Substance abuse is another common problem often caused in part by chronic stress, which leads to a wide range of additional health problems.

 

If you’re dealing with the stress of severe financial difficulties or have had difficulty in keeping up with debt payments for several months, bankruptcy might be the answer to rid yourself of debt and stress.

 

If your income is lower than the state median, you can choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This process works to liquidate your non-exempt assets, distributing the sale value to your creditors. In return, your debts are discharged, lifting the stress of that burden.  In most cases, no assets are sold/liquidated and the only things “lost” through the procedure are one’s debts.

 

Even if your income is a little higher than the state median, you can still choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This allows you to restructure your debts into a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that suits your current income. In this process your debts will also be discharged and you will only be required to pay back a portion.

 

Considering the severity of stress that financial difficulties can cause, using bankruptcy as a way out might save you from damaging health issues. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can find out which type of bankruptcy is right for you and file a successful bankruptcy petition. For more information about filing for bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.

How Discharge Plays a Part When You File for Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, More than Once

The purpose of the U.S. bankruptcy system is to relieve individuals and businesses from debts and protect creditors from severe losses. In a nutshell, this process is built to be balanced and fair for all parties involved. This also means that the nature of the bankruptcy system prevents filers or creditors from abusing the benefits that are offered through court regulations. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the legal advice and assistance you need to get the most out of filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, while sticking to the nuanced rules and requirements of the court.

 

One of the sticking points for the bankruptcy court is when filers appear to be taking advantage of the system with multiple filings. It’s not unacceptable to file for bankruptcy more than once in your life, but when, why, and how you file multiple bankruptcy petitions depends on certain timelines and the failure to abide by those timelines can affect the outcome of your case.

 

To file a successful case and be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, it’s important to understand the timeframe stipulations for each type of bankruptcy:

  1. Chapter 7 cases have to be filed eight years apart for one to be eligible for a discharge. This period starts on the date you file your most recent bankruptcy petition. For instance, if you filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief on January 2, 2011, you would need to wait until January 3, 2019 to file chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to qualify for another chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
  2. Chapter 13 cases can be filed much sooner. The period required to pass before you can re-file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is only two years from the date you file your most recent petition. This means that you could potentially stay within a debt-restructuring bankruptcy plan interminably. Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases must last at least 3 years (they can last up to 5 years,) so you could file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, get a discharge in 3 years and then file chapter 13 right away again.  For instance, if you filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy on January 2, 2015, your case would have concluded in January 2018 but you would have qualified to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief again as of January 3, 2017.

 

Because you can file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may experience multiple filings of each type. In these cases, the timeframes depend on which case came first:

  1. If you file for Chapter 7 first, you will face a waiting time of four years before you can file for Chapter 13, starting with your Chapter 7 petition date. For instance, if you filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on January 2, 2015 and received a chapter 7 discharge, you would not be able to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy and qualify for a chapter 13 discharge until January 3, 2019.
  2. If you file for Chapter 13 first, you will generally have a waiting time of six years before you can file for Chapter 7 and qualify for a chapter 7 discharge. However, if you’ve fully repaid your unsecured creditors during your Chapter 13 repayment period, you may be able shorten the waiting time with permission from the court. You can also file within a shorter period if your chapter 13 case was in filed good faith, you represented your best effort in the payment plan, and you paid at least 70% of allowed unsecured claims.

 

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, we can help whether it’s your first time or not. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information about our counsel and support for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

Cancellation and Charging-Off vs Debt Discharge in Bankruptcy in Marshall, MN

When you enter into a loan agreement, it’s implied and expected you’ll repay the debt in full with interest. However, nobody is perfect. There are many life events that can affect your ability to meet debt obligations, especially when you accumulate several debts over time. If you find yourself unable to make monthly loan payments, you and your creditors are faced with how to resolve that. There are several ways creditors can try to continue collecting a debt and there are several ways for you to relieve that debt. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., filing for bankruptcy in Marshall, MN, can be a viable way to resolve debt issues.

 

The three primary ways a debt issue can be resolved is to cancel a debt, charge-off a debt, or discharge a debt. Debt discharge occurs through the bankruptcy process, but certain types of debt can be cancelled or charged-off. The process of charging-off or cancelling a debt is most often done outside of bankruptcy, but it can be accomplished during a case without significantly affecting the proceedings.

 

Debt Cancellation

 

If you’re unable to repay a debt, a creditor may choose to cancel/write it off. You can negotiate with your creditors to convince them to cancel debts even while you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy. However, you will be taxed for the amount you owed on the debt because the cancellation of the debt is considered income for tax purposes. For example, if you owed $1,000 on a debt at the time of its cancellation, you will be taxed for that amount. The exception to this is if the debt amount was $600 or less.

 

Charging-Off Debt

 

Creditors can also choose to charge-off a debt if you’re unable to repay it. In this case, the debt record is removed from the creditor’s records and the creditor can either attempt collections in-house or sell the debt to a debt buyer. By selling the debt to a debt buyer, the creditor is able to claim a tax exemption.  You still have the obligation to repay the debt but your obligation is to pay the new debt purchaser instead of the original creditor.

 

Debt Discharge

Choosing to file for bankruptcy may be a difficult decision to make, but the benefits are many. Discharging your debts through bankruptcy is the most effective way to permanently end your repayment obligations without any tax liability. If you have your debts discharged through bankruptcy, you are not taxed on any debt so discharged.   In any event, there is a specific IRS form to be excused from having to file taxes on debt discharged in bankruptcy.

 

Filing for bankruptcy gets a negative reputation, but it’s an effective legal process designed to provide debt relief to individuals and businesses struggling with overwhelming financial burdens. Cancellations and charge-offs both have many catches and will still follow you to tax season.

 

With the help of a quality lawyer, you can file for bankruptcy and successfully discharge debts for good. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Marshall, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information about working with our quality bankruptcy attorneys.

Handling a Rental Property When Filing for Bankruptcy in Windom, MN

When filing for bankruptcy, you’ll have to take all your property into consideration. Your home, car, and even expensive jewelry are part of your bankruptcy estate and will be handled according to the exemptions you can claim, the equity in your property, and any additional claims your creditors make. Whether you file for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy or Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy, there is a possibility that you might not be able to retain all of your property in the process. With the professional guidance of Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys, you can find the optimal solutions to resolving property issues and protecting your property when  filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN.

One of the biggest concerns for homeowners filing for bankruptcy is whether or not they’ll lose their home in the process. That’s where the homestead exemption comes into play, protecting most homes from liquidation during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Because debts are restructured in a Chapter 13 case, homeowners generally don’t have to worry about losing their homes in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

However, there are cases where a filer owns multiple rental properties in addition to one’s principle residence. The homestead exemption you can use to protect your primary residence isn’t applicable to rental properties, so it can be more difficult to keep rental properties when filing for bankruptcy.

Rental Property in Chapter 7

If you have equity on your rental property and its value is higher than the debt you owe, you probably want to hang onto that property. To try and protect your rental property from liquidation during the Chapter 7 filing process, you have to assert an exemption claim. Because you can’t use the homestead exemption, your only choices include a portion of the un-used federal homestead exemption (up to $11,850) and the federal wildcard exemption (adding another $1,250). In Minnesota people can elect to utilize either the state or the federal exemptions, so it’s possible you can protect some value in your rental property depending on its worth versus how much debt is against it. If the value of your rental property is less than the debt against, the trustee will not attempt to liquidate it because the entire value is extinguished by the debt against it.  Essentially, the creditor that holds the mortgage or other secured lien has full and complete rights to it.  Generally, you can keep making mortgage payments on the rental property outside of bankruptcy.

Rental Property in Chapter 13

In Chapter 13, your property debts are reorganized with other applicable debts into a three to five year repayment plan. This means you’ll be able to keep your rental property and continue making the monthly payments on it.  However, you can only do this if there is equity or value in the rental property above the debt you owe against it and the property generates a positive income for you.  In other words, the income you receive from the rental property must exceed the associated monthly expenses (mortgage payment, utility payments, property tax payments, insurance payments, etc.). If the rental property generates negative revenue, however, you will be required to surrender it in Chapter 13. You may also be able to find options to cram down or strip liens off to keep a rental property that generates a negative cash flow.

Find Professional Help When Filing for Bankruptcy

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN and own rental property, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you work to retain that property during the bankruptcy process. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 for more information about filing for bankruptcy and how our expert bankruptcy attorneys can help you.

 

 

Priority Claim Treatment for Debts Resolved With Bankruptcy in Worthington, MN

If you’re an individual struggling financially in the United States, you have several options to resolve your debts effectively. These options include bankruptcy, which in many cases is a far more beneficial option than other remedies such as debt settlement or debt consolidation. Individual bankruptcy options commonly take the form of asset liquidation/debt discharge or debt reorganization, known respectively in bankruptcy terms as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you choose to file for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides legal advice and assistance in navigating the process from start to finish.

With either bankruptcy chapter, any individuals, companies, or organizations to which you have debt obligations are categorized into types of creditors based on the kind of debt owed. These categorizations will determine how your debts are handled and how your creditors may be paid in your bankruptcy case.

One type of debt that is commonly encountered in bankruptcy cases is priority, unsecured debt. This kind of debt is generally treated more preferentially than general, unsecured debts.  Priority creditors will often file proofs of claim regarding the debts you owe.  In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, priority, unsecured debts will not be discharged and a debtor will remain liable on those debts after a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is concluded.  In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, priority, unsecured debts must be paid in full in order for a chapter 13 repayment plan to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

Creditors with priority claims will often have debts that are directly linked to the well-being of another person or organization. This includes debts owed to employees, child support and other spousal support obligations, contracted amounts owed in return for promised services, taxes, and settlements for injuries caused by intoxicated or substance-influenced motor vehicle accidents.

These claims are treated in accordance with the chapter regulations that delegate how all other debts are handled in a case.

Chapter 13: Priority claims in a Chapter 13 case determine in part how the filer’s repayment plan will be structured. In most cases, these debts will be handled in a process similar to secured debts. This means filers might be required to repay priority debts in full during their 3 to 5-year repayment plan period.  However, unlike secured debts, priority claims are not paid interest.

Chapter 7: In a Chapter 7 case, debts are processed in terms of discharge and exceptions to discharge.  As indicated above, the claims of priority, unsecured creditors will not be encompassed by the discharge issued by the bankruptcy court at the end of the case.

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN, it’s important to understand how your creditors will be defined and what options they might have in the process. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides counsel and support for both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 cases. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 today for more information.

Understanding the Predischarge Debtor Education Requirement for Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

Whether you file for liquidation or debt reorganization bankruptcy, it’s likely that one or more of your debts will be discharged in the process. Discharging debts in Chapter 7 serves to simultaneously relieve debtors of unmanageable financial hardship and allow fair treatment of creditors despite a lack of full repayment. In a Chapter 13 case, certain debts can be discharged through a repayment plan. Foreseeing which debts will be discharged can be difficult, and organizing your case without the help of a professional may change that outcome. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and assistance if you choose to file for bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

In addition to the many requirements involved in bankruptcy cases, filers who will have debts discharged must undergo predischarge debtor education before the bankruptcy process can be completed and before the bankruptcy court can issue a discharge order.

Predischarge Education

The predischarge debtor education requirement was established with the purpose of advising those who’ve fallen into debt and filed for bankruptcy on how to better manage their finances. This course is different from the credit counseling requirement which debtors must undergo prior to filing a bankruptcy petition. Instead, debtors must go through a predischarge education course after their petition is filed but before they’re granted a discharge on any debts.

The financial management education course must be provided by a court-approved agency within a forty-five day period after the meeting of the creditors. The course lasts around two hours and covers materials that teach debtors how to improve their financial situation after bankruptcy. Topics include effective budgeting practices, handling taxes sensibly, and other court-required material.

You’ll certify your fulfillment of the predischarge debtor education requirement with bankruptcy Form 423, and if you file a joint bankruptcy petition, you and your spouse must both take the course. Additionally, the agencies that provide the necessary predischarge debtor education course don’t have to follow the same non-profit regulations as credit counseling providers. This means you may have to pay a fee to take the required course.

If you’re contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to consider fees for requirements like predischarge debtor education and other milestones in your case before you begin. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers assistance at every step whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 today for more information.