Mankato, MN Bankruptcy: The Basics

Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides assistance with Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN and surrounding communities

Under 11 U.S.C. §101(41), Bankruptcy can apply to debtors who are:

An individual, a partnership, or a corporation or other business entity

In plain English: ANYBODY. Yes, ANYBODY who has debt they can’t possibly repay can file for bankruptcy. BUT:

Under 11 U.S.C. § 109(g), an individual cannot file under chapter 7 or any other chapter, however, if during the preceding 180 days a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor’s willful failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court, or the debtor voluntarily dismissed the previous case after creditors sought relief from the bankruptcy court to recover property upon which they hold liens.

TRANSLATED: If you filed for bankruptcy and didn’t show up for your bankruptcy hearing or didn’t follow court orders or if a creditor asked for relief from your bankruptcy case to repossess an asset and you, thereafter, asked that your bankruptcy case be dismissed, you can’t file for bankruptcy again for at least six months.

And:

Under 11 U.S.C. § 109(h), no individual may be a debtor under chapter 7 or any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code unless he or she has, within 180 days before the filing of the bankruptcy case, received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency either in an individual or group briefing.

TRANSLATED:

If you’re going to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or any other form of bankruptcy, plan ahead. If bankruptcy is in your future within the next six months, make a gesture of good will and attend credit counseling. You may find the counseling can’t help you remedy your current circumstances, but make the effort; it will help you in the future.

Filing for bankruptcy is a hard and difficult decision and bankruptcy is a highly nuanced and specialized area of the law.  To help you avoid any potential pitfalls and to get you through the process with peace of mind and with as little disruption to your life as possible, you should ask for help from someone who is educated, trained, and experienced in bankruptcy law. You shouldn’t try untangling bankruptcy law language on your own. Simple mistakes caused by a lack of knowledge can cost you a lot of money and time. Let professionals who understand the bankruptcy system make your case for you.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. has attorneys on hand who can help you make sense of bankruptcy. We have extensive experience serving the communities in and around the Mankato, MN, area and all of Southern Minnesota when it comes to bankruptcy. Call Behm Law Group, Ltd. today and let us help you regain your foothold on firm financial ground.

Is Your Home Secure During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd.

One of the biggest fears people have about filing for bankruptcy is the belief that they will lose their home if they file. It’s a valid concern, but it’s a consideration that can be rather complicated and depends on your particular situation as well as the law as it applies from state to state.

When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your home is generally considered “safe,” provided you’re current and up-to-date on your mortgage payments. Further, if you owe more on your mortgage than your home is actually worth, there’s no value or money readily available to the trustees by selling your home, something to keep in mind when considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy does offer certain protections, but it’s important to remember that ultimately your mortgage lender still holds a security interest on your loan. Stay on top of your mortgage obligations, and you’ll be in a much better position to keep your home during Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

As with all bankruptcy laws, home security during bankruptcy carries a laundry list of legal stipulations and “legal speak” that’s best handled by the professionals. However, your home does carry with it certain bankruptcy provisions that you shouldn’t cast aside without proper consultation.

Behm Law Group, Ltd. specializes in bankruptcy protection for your home and other secured assets. If you’re located in Mankato, MN or Southern, MN or surrounding areas, and you’re facing bankruptcy and all the uncertainty it entails, you should call upon the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. to discuss your bankruptcy options. Don’t lose sleep about losing your home for one more night. Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and The Means Test

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Mankato MNThe means test was developed to ensure that the only people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are those who truly do not have the ability to pay back their debts. There are many factors that go into the means test, so you should rely on an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy attorney to help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The first factor the means test uses to qualify you for Chapter 7 is your income. Basically, if your income is less than the median income in Minnesota for the size of your household, and your debt is consumer debt and not business debt, you qualify for Chapter 7. There is no further test required. However, even if your income is above the median income for Minnesota, you may still qualify for Chapter 7.

Another factor the means test considers is your disposable income. Your disposable income is what is left over after you have paid for your allowed monthly expenses. If the money that is left over after expenses is not sufficient to make payments on your debts, you may qualify for Chapter 7, even if you income is above the median. Otherwise, you must file for Chapter 13, which means you will have to make one monthly payment each month to a chapter 13 trustee for a certain period of time (36 to 60 months) which gets split up among your creditors each month pursuant to the terms of a chapter 13 plan of reorganization. However, that is not necessarily bad news. Depending on your situation, Chapter 13 might be your best option.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group Ltd. deal exclusively in the area of bankruptcy law. Our highly trained and experienced staff can help you decide if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is best for your situation. When you are ready to put your debts behind you and move on with your life, give us a call.