After months or years of struggling with debt, you have decided that the only way to attain financial relief is to declare bankruptcy. By following these steps, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly from beginning to end.
Gather your financial information
Your attorney will give you a complete list of things you need to bring to your appointment. Generally this includes everything you have for financial records, such as:
- All sources of your income
- All records of all your debts, such as current credit card bills, medical statements, student loans, car loans, and mortgages
- Bank statements from all of your bank accounts
- Records of your financial assets (CDs, savings accounts, stock shares)
- An estimate of the worth of your possessions
Financial actions to avoid during this process
Any of these activities could make your case more complicated and difficult to complete:
- Paying-off a loan to a relative
- Transferring cash or property to a relative
- Using any credit if you know you’re going to file bankruptcy
Call a Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy can be complex, and you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to guide you through the process. At Behm Law Group, LTD, we specialize in bankruptcy law. In fact, it’s all we do. It is possible for someone to attempt to declare bankruptcy on their own, however, we highly recommend against it. If you make an error in your case it could cost you money you simply don’t have and have repercussions for years to come. For example, if you forget to file a required form, your case could be dismissed. And even worse, you might lose the right to re-file. If your financial situation has become a nightmare and you want to see if bankruptcy is right for you, give Behm Law Group LTD a call.
Declaring bankruptcy can be a humiliating and distressing experience for people. People who have made the decision to file for bankruptcy do not need to suffer the added stress of creditor calls.
Creditors can be relentless in calling individuals who have fallen behind on payments. You may receive multiple calls at your home and work or elsewhere on your cell throughout the day. Can you stop these unwanted calls? Yes. The minute you retain a bankruptcy lawyer, you may refer the creditors calling you to your lawyer. In fact, it is advisable to do so right away. Not only will this will discourage creditors from contacting you, but it will reduce the considerable stress you are experiencing. Once you actually file bankruptcy you are protected by bankruptcy laws that make it illegal for creditors to continue to contact you.
Credit representatives are hired by companies to collect what is owed and they are trained to provide intimidating or potentially misleading information that may make you reconsider your choice of bankruptcy. For example, they may state that a bankruptcy could prevent you from obtaining employment in the future, or insinuate that the impact of a bankruptcy will have a negative influence on your credit score “forever.”
Credit representatives may also attempt to discourage you from declaring bankruptcy by offering you substantially lower interest rates and/or payoff amounts. While this may decrease your overall debt in the short term, it may not have a significant impact on your ability to pay off all your debts and avoid bankruptcy. In fact, sometimes these “solutions” only forestall the inevitable need to file for bankruptcy. Some individuals have agreed to such arrangements only to later find themselves in the position of declaring bankruptcy minus the money they paid out.
If you’re in a financial crisis, have weighed your options carefully, and have determined bankruptcy is the best route to salvage your financial well-being, don’t let these callers intimidate or deceive you. Bankruptcy is a tough choice but it is most often times a necessary choice that is made to preserve and protect your own best interests. It’s not necessary to allow creditor calls add to your stress.
In 2005, congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which made major changes to existing bankruptcy law. One of these changes included the addition of a requirement that debtors receive post-bankruptcy financial education from an approved credit counselor or counseling organization. After meeting this education requirement the attendee is issued a certificate. The attendee then submits the certificate provided by the credit counselor or organization as proof they completed the course. This certificate is different from and should not be confused with the certificate provided after attending pre-bankruptcy credit counseling.
What you will learn
Post-filing education includes topics such as managing money, using credit wisely, and building a budget. You can take the course on-line, over the phone, or in person. Don’t take this requirement to mean that the bankruptcy was somehow your fault. This practical money-management information can benefit anyone, no matter what their financial situation, and serves to help and strengthen your financial future.
Cost of the course
It usually costs $50 to $100 for the course. The price depends on the counseling organization you use and where you live. The organization has to disclose the fees before you start the course. If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask the organization for a waiver.
Where to go for counseling
The Department of Justice has a list of Approved Bankruptcy Counseling Agencies. Also, a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with a list of credit counselors.
Help from your attorney
There are many requirements for declaring bankruptcy. Getting pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and post-bankruptcy financial education are only two of the requirements. You need an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy attorney to assist you through the process of meeting every requirement and ensure that your bankruptcy filing is successful. At Behm Law Group LTD, we have many years of experience helping thousands of people like you. If you’re in a desperate financial situation, give us a call. We will guide you through the bankruptcy process and help you get the relief and protection you need.
Few things in life can be as embarrassing as having to admit that you need to declare bankruptcy. Maybe you associate bankruptcy with some sort of failure: be it a financial or even moral failure.
However, there are many things that can lead to bankruptcy that are not your fault such as a job loss, mounting medical bills, a lawsuit, or other types of financial hardship.
And even if you feel like it is your fault, our experience is that there are many things out of your financial control that may have led to your need to declare bankruptcy. Many good people have had to declare bankruptcy, and declaring bankruptcy doesn’t make you a bad person.
If you are in a position where you have to declare bankruptcy, the best way to look at it, is a means to getting a fresh start in controlling and rebuilding your financial life. It is a legal process by which you can get relief from overwhelming bills and start to rebuild your finances again.
However, bankruptcy is not something to enter into lightly. It can be complex, and there are consequences you need to know about. That’s why you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can lead you through the maze of legal requirements you will need to navigate regarding bankruptcy law.
At the Behm Law Group, located in Mankato, Minnesota, we pride ourselves on our extensive experience and expertise in bankruptcy law and limit our practice to bankruptcy cases only.
We know that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and we’ll treat your case with privacy and respect. We will work at your side to achieve the legal relief your case demands in order to help you attain a new and fresh start.