Who, What, When, and Why: Corporations, LLCs, and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Luverne, MN

Bankruptcy is a form of debt relief available to U.S. individuals and businesses alike, and while there are several versions of reorganization or liquidation bankruptcy, the overall goal of giving debtors a viable opportunity for financial recovery remains the same. If your limited liability company (LLC) or corporation chooses to file for bankruptcy, you can take advantage of the benefits a reorganization case provides through Chapters 11, 12, and 13, or you can liquidate your assets and receive debt relief through Chapter 7. With the advice and guidance of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can choose the right type of bankruptcy in Luverne, MN, for your business and file a successful case for long-term financial stability.

While reorganization bankruptcy is an effective option for high-income businesses dealing with equally high debts, the best choice for businesses struggling to stay above water may be a Chapter 7 liquidation case. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common format for individual bankruptcies, but because of the differences in how a case is handled for corporations and LLCs, this process can also be a viable option for companies going out of business.

 

Debt Discharge

For individual consumers, Chapter 7 bankruptcy works to liquidate non-exempt assets (properties including anything from homes and vehicles to jewelry and appliances the values of which are in excess of your applicable bankruptcy exemptions) and discharge many of their debts in return (including credit card debts, medical bills, mortgages, car loans, and more). In a Chapter 7 business case, the debts of the business are also discharged.  However, in a business Chapter 7, the business does not have the benefit of asserting bankruptcy exemptions to protect at least some assets.  Instead, the bankruptcy trustee will generally liquidate all business assets and use those funds to repay at least some dividend to creditors. When this process is accomplished, the business usually closes. Regardless of whether the business closes or stays in operation, its debts are discharged just as in an individual Chapter 7 and its creditors are unable to legally collect the discharged debts from the business.

 

Time and Place

An LLC or corporation might choose to file for Chapter 7 if they’re ready to close down and cut their losses. For example, if a technology company’s product becomes obsolete and they can’t alter their production to fit the changing market, the owners of that company can benefit from filing for Chapter 7. A company may also choose to file for Chapter 7 to stop creditor harassment and alleviate concerns of fraud that may lead to lawsuits.

On the other hand, it may not be time to file for liquidation bankruptcy if the majority of your business debts will become personal liabilities after filing—debts you’ll be responsible for even after your business is closed. The types of business debts that are considered personal liability after bankruptcy include trust fund taxes, alter ego claims, and fraud claims and debts of the business for which you may have signed personal guarantees.  Sometimes, one needs to file a business Chapter 7 bankruptcy and, thereafter, file an individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge debts of the business that one personally guaranteed.

f your corporation or LLC is failing to meet debt payments and gain steady revenue, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the right step to take. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 to start your case today and get the most out of filing for bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.

 

Creditor vs. Debtor: Getting More Out of Your Case with a Bankruptcy Attorney in Mankato, MN

Bankruptcy is designed to help individuals and businesses recover from debt and continue to participate in the global and national economy. While bankruptcy offers what’s essentially a government-sanctioned financial backup plan, it’s not a bailout to simply rid yourself of debts with no concern for your lenders. When you file for bankruptcy, the process will work to create a balanced outcome for you and your creditors. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, do it with the help of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Mankato, MN to get the most out of your case.

Bankruptcy is a fair system, balanced in regards to your creditors and yourself, and it allows you benefit greatly from the process with the right approach and with the help of a skilled bankruptcy attorney.

 

Chapter 7

 If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by passing the Means Test, the vast majority of your debts will be discharged, except for student loans, child support and alimony and certain tax debts.  However, even student loans, child support and alimony and certain tax debts can be discharged in certain circumstances.  If the total value of your assets exceeds the amount you can protect/keep with your applicable bankruptcy exemptions, the excess, non-exempt value will be distributed among your creditors.

  • Good for you: In this process, you get the benefits of debt discharge. Most of your debts including credit card debt, medical bills, old utility bills, bad checks, overdraft fees from bank accounts, debts from foreclosures and repossessions of vehicles will be discharged and you won’t have to worry about those debts again
  • Good for your creditors: Your creditors benefit from the liquidation of your non-exempt assets, which gives them a return on their loans they may not have received if you did not file for bankruptcy. In most cases, however, people do not lose any assets and all they lose are their creditors/debts.
  • How to do better: With the help of a Behm bankruptcy attorney, you can pick your way through this nuanced process. Our bankruptcy attorneys can help you work through choosing exemptions, filing a joint case with your spouse, protecting your bank accounts, working around foreclosure, and more.

 

Chapter 13

This process of bankruptcy works to reorganize your debts into a new repayment plan that spans three to five years.

  • Good for you: This process structures the repayment plan around your current income and expenses, so you won’t struggle to meet payments. You’ll also only have to repay your unsecured creditors a portion of what you owe (0%-100%)
  • Good for your creditors: Your secured creditors generally get repaid in full but at a lower interest rate in this plan, and while your unsecured creditors only receive a portion, they’ll still see a return of what they’re owed
  • How to do better: When you work with a Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorney to structure a repayment plan proposal, you have a better chance of fair unsecured debt repayment, flexibility in your payment plan over the years, and protection from creditor harassment

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, keep in mind that the process will maintain a balanced treatment for both you and your creditors. With the support and legal savvy of a Behm Law Group, Ltd. bankruptcy attorney in Mankato, MN, you can file a stronger, more successful case. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 to get started today.

Understanding When and Why You Can Be Forced into Involuntary Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN

If you’re struggling to make monthly debt payments on time or missing payments completely, you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy. However, there are many who consider bankruptcy to be a last-ditch effort to save their finances. Whether you’re ready to file for bankruptcy or want to try to work through your debts another way, the full bankruptcy process might still be in the cards. This is because it’s possible for your creditors to force you into an involuntary bankruptcy if your debts and properties fit certain criteria. If you’re pushed into an involuntary bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can protect you and guide you throughout the process.

Bankruptcy law is designed to benefit both the consumer or business as well as the creditors involved in the highest capacity possible. You may not want to file for bankruptcy, but you might be forced to “choose” this process anyway if your creditors file an involuntary case against you.

 

Involuntary Bankruptcy

The U.S. bankruptcy code protects creditors against negligent debtors by allowing them to file involuntary cases against those debtors, pushing them to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (Chapter 13 is not permitted in an involuntary case). When a debtor neglects their debts yet still maintains valuable assets, creditors can petition the courts to force that debtor into a liquidation bankruptcy process that’ll result in two things. First, creditors will gain some repayment from the liquidation of the debtor’s assets. Second, the debtor will receive discharges for the related debts. The majority of involuntary cases are filed against businesses rather than individuals, family farmers, or fishermen, but creditors can force individuals into bankruptcy if they owe significant debts and have adequate assets for creditors to benefit from in liquidation.

 

Rules

  1. One or more creditors must file a petition to set the ball rolling on an involuntary bankruptcy case.
  2. The debtor must respond to the petition within 20 days of receipt or the court will automatically force the debtor and creditors to start the involuntary bankruptcy process.
  3. If the debtor responds within 20 days, a hearing date will be established that’ll allow the debtor to defend themselves against the bankruptcy.
  4. If a debtor has more than 12 unsecured creditors, there must be a minimum of three creditors (with at least $15,775 owed to them in unsecured debt) participating in the petition for an involuntary bankruptcy.
  5. A single creditor can file an involuntary petition if the debtor owes them at least $15,775 and that debtor has under 12 unsecured creditors.
  6. Debts cannot be disputed or dependent on future legal decisions (e.g. lawsuit-related debts).
  7. Involuntary bankruptcies cannot be filed against family famers or fishermen, banks, insurance companies, credit unions, or non-profits.

 

If you’ve been avoiding debt payments for some time and are worried your creditors may try to file an involuntary case against you, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today at (507) 387-7200 to learn more about bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN.

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.

Why a Discharge Can be Objected When You File for Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy that both individuals and businesses file for. The process of debt discharge in Chapter 7 can become complicated even in cases that seem straightforward. Having an experienced professional at your side during the bankruptcy preparation process is a critical part of filing a successful case. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides expert counsel when you choose to file for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN.

When you file for Chapter 7, your bankruptcy estate is put through the organizational procedures of determining what exemptions you can claim and what assets can be effectively liquidated.

Generally, debts listed for discharge in the Chapter 7 process are left uncontested, but there are times when creditors or even your trustee may file a complaint objecting to the discharge of one or more of your debts. Trustees will most likely only object to a discharge if you have provided false information, transferred property in order to hide it, lied under oath, or exhibited other fraudulent behavior. With the help of a Behm attorney and as long as you are completely honest and forthright about listing all of your property and all of your creditors, there is much less risk of this happening.

However, creditors may choose to object the discharge of a specific (dischargeable) debt if they believe they are being treated unfairly or if they believe that you engaged in some sort of fraudulent behavior when you incurred the debt. There are a wide range of reasons a creditor may have grounds for objecting to the discharge of one of your debts. These commonly include:

  1. You made charges over $675 on a credit card in the 90 days prior to the filing of your bankruptcy case.
  2. You made a cash advance on a credit card over $950 in the 70 days prior to the filing of your bankruptcy case.
  3. You secured a loan with false information in your loan application or financial statement.
  4. You filed a tax return with incorrect information.
  5. Your debts were directly caused by malice or intentional misconduct that led to property damage.
  6. Your debts were directly caused by your harm to others while you operated a vehicle while intoxicated.
  7. Your income tax debt was due during the past three years.
  8. Your income tax debt is from a year you did not file your tax return on time.

There are several other rare cases that provide grounds for objection to discharge, including complicated processes related to income tax debts. Because of the intricately-nuanced regulations in debt discharge and plausible objections, building a case with the help of a Behm attorney is a great benefit to those filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To learn about which type of bankruptcy would be the most suited to your financial situation and to find out more about how our attorneys can help you file for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

Understanding Assignment and Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

Businesses struggling with unmanageable debts have a range of options for debt relief at their hands. While debt consolidation and debt management plans are popular options that’ll keep a debtor’s overall credit in good standings, there are often situations when these debt relief options only act a bandage instead of a true healing process. When you’re unable to pay your debts and don’t have any way of increasing your income in the next few years, filing for bankruptcy is your best option. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers the legal advice and assistance you need to successfully file for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.

 

Bankruptcy is designed to help both debtors and creditors out of a sticky situation, but some creditors may try to dissuade you from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and instead liquidate your business outside of court with an assignment process.

 

ABC

 

Assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) is an option for business debtors to privately sell assets and return the value of those sales to creditors. When creditors are awarded these sales, they’ll release debtors from payment obligations. This option might be a way to avoid attorney fees and court proceedings, but the process overall is more beneficial to your creditors than to you.

 

Why is Bankruptcy Better?

 

Filing for bankruptcy, despite its effect on your credit, is a better option for business debtors than ABC for a number of reasons:

  1. In bankruptcy, creditors are forced to allow asset liquidation for all dischargeable debts, but in an ABC, they can choose to forgo approval of discharge on debts higher than the secured collateral value. For example, if you owe $5,000 on an auto loan, but the car is only worth $4,500, the creditor would not have to discharge the debt in an ABC.
  2. Unincorporated businesses are not protected during an ABC against creditors seizing the business owners’ personal assets. This means you could be forced to liquidate your personal car or other property in an ABC. In bankruptcy, however, the debts and the assets of incorporated and unincorporated businesses are generally not involved with the liquidation of one’s personal property.
  3. Personal collateral guarantees and other forms of personal security interests on business debts are not removed in an ABC as they would be in bankruptcy. This means if your property was used to secure a loan, creditors can force you to liquidate that property even if it’s not connected to your business in other ways. Bankruptcy allows for exemptions to prevent you from losing your property even if it’s tied to your business debt.

 

ABCs have their benefits, but most of those benefits inure to your creditors. Filing a bankruptcy is the most effective way to remove debt with minimized liability to you and your property. To learn more about the advantages of filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN and to find out how we can help, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

 

 

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.

 

 

Understanding Bad Faith Cases When Filing for Bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, there are a number of ways you can prepare your financial situation before you file a bankruptcy petition that can help your case and bring about the best results for you. Many of these preparation techniques are acceptable methods for improving the possible outcome of your bankruptcy case—for example, choosing a certain time to file or avoiding certain financial obligations. However, there are instances when certain actions done before filing for bankruptcy or during a bankruptcy case can result in the dismissal of your case on the grounds of “bad faith.” Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and assistance to help prevent a potential bad faith bankruptcy case when you’re filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN.

While there are legitimate means of preparing for filing for bankruptcy or altering your finances to your advantage before you file a bankruptcy case, some such techniques could be considered bankruptcy “red flags” and prompt your bankruptcy trustee to determine that your case has been filed in bad faith. When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must meet the “good faith” requirement in order to proceed. If there are aspects of your case that suggest you may be trying to take advantage of the bankruptcy system, your bankruptcy trustee or even one of your creditors could view your case as having been filed in bad faith and could ask the bankruptcy court to dismiss your case.

Examples of common actions or circumstances that could be construed as bad faith include:

  1. The filer hid certain assets, like keeping cash in a coffee jar or in a safe in one’s home, and did not disclose the cash in one’s bankruptcy petition.
  2. The filer has little to no cash flow and is not registered as being unemployed with the government (this could alert a trustee to think that there is hidden income somewhere – the trustee could conclude that you are working for cash only and not disclosing it).
  3. The filer had a job change during the bankruptcy period or recently prior to filing for bankruptcy and did not reveal an income increase to the trustee.
  4. The filer made one or more large luxury purchases prior to filing for bankruptcy (vacation expenses, electronics, and jewelry are common examples).

Another common occurrence that may lead to a dismissal for bad faith is an attempted conversion from a Chapter 13 case to a Chapter 7 case.

Chapter 7 Conversion When Filing for Bankruptcy

If a filer is in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, one may attempt to convert that case to a Chapter 7 case if one can no longer pay the monthly Chapter 13 plan payments. This can occur if the filer had a job change, experienced a temporary period where one was unemployed, or incurred unexpected large expenses. However, if the filer begins to convert a case to Chapter 7 and one’s situation improves during that time (for example, one gets a better paying job, or a family member gives one a large sum of money through inheritance or otherwise), one’s case could be dismissed for bad faith.  In short, it would be seen that one would be inappropriately trying to convert to a chapter 7 case – essentially indicating that one does not have the financial ability to make any payments to one’s creditors – from a chapter 13 case.  Given the receipt of a large sum of money from a relative or given a higher paying job, the trustee and the bankruptcy court would conclude that one would have the ability to continue making payments to one’s creditors and should, therefore, be required to stay in a chapter 13 case.

There are other examples of why your case may be dismissed for bad faith, and you can learn about all the additional circumstances that may lead to bad faith in the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal.

Find out more about filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN with the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. and contact us today at (507) 387-7200.