Behm Law Group, Bankruptcy Attorneys

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How Government Debts Are Handled in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

November 30th, 2019 · No Comments

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most frequently filed individual consumer case type. This type of bankruptcy discharges your debts in exchange for the liquidation of your non-exempt assets. While the loss of some property in return for the dissolving of certain debts is a possibility, such is not the case for most filers because they can use bankruptcy exemption allotments to protect their assets.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must satisfy the Means Test, which measures your income-to-debt ratio. If your income-to-debt ratio is lower than the state median of a similar household, you are eligible to file for Chapter 7. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide support, guidance, and legal protection throughout your case.

In Chapter 7, the majority of your unsecured debts will be discharged. This commonly includes credit card debt and medical bills, but may also range into more unusual debts like personal loans and income taxes. There are also various forms of government debts that are unsecured but might be treated as priority debs in your case.

SSA Overpayments: If you were accidentally given overpayments on your social security checks, you may be required to repay that debt if the SSA notices. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, this debt will be treated as an unsecured debt. The SSA may file an objection to the discharge of this type of debt on the grounds that you defrauded the SSA, but more likely, the debt will be discharged.

County/City Fees: Certain fees you owe to your local government may be discharged in part. This typically includes first-time fines, tickets, and other fees. For example, if you were required to pay a government-employed contractor to tear down an illegal structure on your property but could not make the payment, that debt would likely be discharged. If you paid a private contractor to tear it down but were fined for failing to tear it down in a timely manner, that contractor debt will likely be discharged, but the fine may or may not be discharged.

Fines: Strictly speaking, government fines are not discharged. The only exception to this rule is if the debt was gained in reimbursing the government for money that entity spent or lost separately from the fines you were charged. For example, you are billed for the removal of a tree on your property but the government over-estimated the cost of that removal. The over-fine will be discharged in a Chapter 7 case.

If you have government debts, they will most likely be discharged in Chapter 7, but there are a few exceptions. To learn more about how debts are treated in bankruptcy or to get started on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

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