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Behm Law Group, Bankruptcy Attorneys

Bankruptcy News & Recent Cases

Protection of Disabled Veterans with the Extension of a Bankruptcy Code Bill

November 4th, 2019 · No Comments

The U.S. federal government works in many ways to protect the rights and wellbeing of military veterans, recognizing their work and sacrifice for our country. Despite this, many veterans still struggle in different ways. Unless you’ve served the required minimum of 20 years, it’s likely that you aren’t on a government pension or health care plan that provides the support you need.

 

If you’re a veteran struggling to make ends meet financially, you are not alone. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. you can file a successful bankruptcy case for long-term stability. Thanks to the bankruptcy code, in Owatonna, MN and across the country, veterans have certain rights throughout their bankruptcy filing process.

 

In August of 2019, the HAVEN (Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need) act was passed, allowing the protection of veteran disability payments as disposable income in bankruptcy cases. Creditors, trustees and debt collectors now cannot seize those funds if a disabled veteran files for bankruptcy. This bankruptcy code legislation means that these funds cannot legally be considered as the disposable income in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

 

In a Chapter 13 case, a filer’s debts are reorganized into a manageable repayment plan suited to their income. In this plan, disposable income and discretionary income are treated differently. If the filer’s veteran disability income is no longer considered disposable, the filer can use that money however they want during their repayment plan. In other words, the filer won’t have to use their veteran disability funds to make payments on their bankruptcy repayment plan unless they choose to do so.

 

In a Chapter 7 case, filer’s debts are discharged in exchange for the liquidation of their non-exempt assets. They are also allowed to claim various exemptions depending on their debt amounts to protect their home, car, and other properties. However, to qualify for Chapter 7, filers have to pass the Means Test. To pass this test, their income-to-debt ratio has to be below the state median income for a similar sized household. In the Means Test, the filer’s disposable income plays a part in determining their income-to-debt ratio. If a filer’s veteran disability income cannot be considered as disposable income, it might tip that ratio to qualify them for Chapter 7 when otherwise they would not be eligible.

 

The HAVEN act will protect the funds disabled veterans receive if they file for bankruptcy during the next four years. In 2023, the act will be reconsidered for potential changes, renewal, or termination. Learn more about the details of the 2019 HAVEN bill here. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and are a disabled veteran receiving funds from the government, you can rest easy with the knowledge that the bankruptcy code in Owatonna, MN will protect that source of income.

 

To learn more about bankruptcy or to get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or via email at stephen@mankatobankruptcy.com today.

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Lien Avoidance vs. Lien Stripping When Filing for Bankruptcy in Waseca, MN

August 1st, 2019 · No Comments

Anyone struggling to meet monthly debt payments has more options than just slipping deeper beneath the water of financial difficulties. Instead of facing the stress of debt and the emotional toll it creates, those working through financial troubles can find relief within the government sanctioned process of bankruptcy.

 

If you think bankruptcy might be right for your financial circumstances, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide professional guidance and support. When you choose to file for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, as an individual or business, you can gain the benefits of a debt treatment process that will lift the stress of a heavy financial burden.

 

When you file for bankruptcy, you may have many different types of debts to your name. Broadly speaking, the types of debts included in the bankruptcy process are generally secured and unsecured. Your secured debts are tied to or secured by an item of property or real estate, and it’s almost certain that the property or real estate will have liens attached to them.

 

Liens are tied to property loans like mortgages, car loans, and other commonly secured debts that are arranged through lending companies. These liens give the lenders the right to repossess or foreclose on the properties tied to the debts until the debtor pays the debts or the debts are discharged. In the bankruptcy process, mortgage liens can be stripped or avoided, depending on the situation.

 

Lien Avoidance in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re entering into a liquidation process that works to provide your creditors the value of your non-exempt property in exchange for debt relief. You can protect your properties from liquidation with your available bankruptcy exemptions, however. If there was a lien on a piece property, claiming the exemption is not considered lien avoidance.  Your available bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect the equity – the value of an item of property above the debt you may owe against it – in your property.  Sometimes, you can avoid a creditor’s lien in full or in part regarding a certain piece of property and use your bankruptcy exemptions to protect the equity you gain from such lien avoidance.  In order to avoid a lien on property, a secured creditor’s lien must be a non-purchase money lien.  This means that the creditor did not give you any financing for the purchase of the subject asset itself.  For instance, if a creditor gives you a loan for home improvements and you give that creditor a lien or security interest in your furniture or a vehicle, farming equipment or some other assets, that creditor has a non-purchase money lien as to those items because it did not give you a loan to purchase them.  Rather, the creditor gave you a loan for some purpose that was completely unrelated to the assets on which you allowed the creditor to have a lien.  Presume that One Main Financial gave you a $10,000.00 loan for home improvements and further presume that you granted it a security interest in your furniture, appliances, and your car.  In a bankruptcy proceeding, you could avoid the entire $10,000.00 lien on those items and use your bankruptcy exemptions to protect the resulting $10,000.00 equity you would then have as a result of having avoiding the lien.

 

Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are reorganized into a manageable repayment plan lasting three to five years. If you have multiple mortgages on your property, you may be able to strip off second and third mortgage liens, if there is no value or equity to the real estate above and beyond the first mortgage.  If the amount of the first mortgage is greater than the value of your home, you’re considered “upside down” on that mortgage debt, and you can strip the junior liens away.

 

To learn more about the different types of bankruptcy chapters and how your liens are handled when you file for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

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How A Bankruptcy Lawyer Supports Your Pipestone, MN, Case

July 25th, 2019 · No Comments

Bankruptcy is a process that affects a higher percentage of families, individuals, and businesses each year as many aspects of our economy change. There is absolutely no reason to feel shame in filing bankruptcy. In fact, bankruptcy is a government sanctioned process designed to help U.S. citizens find relief from debts, unexpected or otherwise. While some take on bankruptcy without a professional at their side, this is not recommended as filing for bankruptcy is one of the most complex and condition-based procedures an individual or business can undergo. Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you work through a case with the advice and support you need from a professional bankruptcy lawyer in Pipestone, MN.

 

Any bankruptcy trustee or legal professional will advise individuals and businesses to take advantage of the invaluable help a bankruptcy lawyer provides, and for good reason. No matter how much research you do to understand the process and your own circumstances, a bankruptcy lawyer provides legal protection in addition to the expert guidance and support you need in any type of case.

 

When you partner with a Behm attorney, you can expect knowledge, experience, outside-of-the-box thinking, and true caring for you, the client.

 

A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Guidance

 

The key role of a bankruptcy lawyer is to provide guidance throughout a case. This includes:

 

  1. understanding aspects of your circumstances and determination of the best course of action when it comes to the type of bankruptcy you should file
  2. comprehensive assistance in gathering documentation for your case, including all financial information about income, debt, accounts, expenses, and more
  3. advice throughout credit counseling and other preliminary requirements outlined by the court
  4. support at the 341 hearing (meeting of creditors) or in court in the event your case advances beyond standard procedure
  5. advice and assistance in creating a Chapter 13 repayment plan proposal that fits the requirements of the court and your own financial situation
  6. support throughout the Chapter 7 liquidation process and assistance in claiming exemptions
  7. help in establishing a long-term plan for post-bankruptcy life

 

A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Protection

 

Not only do bankruptcy lawyers provide guidance and insight from start to finish in your case, they also give vital protection from any parties involved. This includes:

 

  1. protection from creditors’ harassment that might occur
  2. support and protection in the event you may face a judgment claim from court or creditor
  3. defense against many reasons your trustee may attempt to dispute your case
  4. assistance during the meeting of creditors, the first critical time your case is introduced to the bankruptcy court

 

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, Behm Law Group Ltd. can offer you the support and protection of a professional bankruptcy lawyer in Pipestone, MN. To learn more or to get started with us today, contact us at (507) 387-7200.

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When Corporations, LLCs, and Other Businesses File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mankato, MN

July 10th, 2019 · No Comments

Running a business is a difficult venture, and even with support systems in place, the enterprise can go wrong. Whether it’s sudden or gradual, debts can overcome a business income and leave no other option than some form of debt relief. Debt relief options vary, but the most effective solution for the long term is to file for bankruptcy. Corporations, LLCs, and other businesses that are not sole proprietorships or partnerships can file for two forms of bankruptcy: Chapter 11 (reorganization bankruptcy) or Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy). Individuals and businesses alike can find guidance when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, with the help of Behm Law Group Ltd.’s attorneys.

 

Chapter 7 works similarly for individuals and businesses, but with slight differences. The primary function of Chapter 7 is to liquidate the filer’s assets in exchange for debt discharge. Individual filers may claim exemption allowances to protect certain properties (e.g., the homestead exemption protects the filer’s home from liquidation), but businesses have no such exemptions to claim.

 

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Corporations, LLCs, and business formats that are not tied to the owner’s personal debts can petition for Chapter 7 to discharge all of their business debt. Compared to an individual consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, business bankruptcies are fairly cut and dry.

 

Filers work with an attorney to build their case, including all the required documents and financial records. When the petition is submitted to the court and all necessary bankruptcy fees are paid, the court appoints a trustee to handle the liquidation of the business assets. Properties, equipment, business accounts, and any other components of the bankruptcy estate are sold. Creditors are paid with the value of those sales, and the trustee takes his or her commission based on a percentage of the values received.

 

When the assets are liquidated and the trustee distributes the sale proceeds among the creditors of the business, the court will then discharge unsecured business debts, including credit card debt, utilities owed, lease obligations, loans, and other business debts. When this process is complete, the business filing is shut down, effectively ending operations.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a highly effective debt relief process for businesses, though it’s undeniable that your company will be closed down. Many large U.S. businesses, such as Lehman Brothers in 2008, have used Chapter 7 to rid themselves of debt and shut down. Lehman Brothers filed with $691 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt. This was a case that affected hundreds of employees, but for the long term, was a positive solution for all involved.  In many cases, after the bankruptcy process is completed, one can create a brand new business operation that does the same work as the business that filed for bankruptcy relief and one can operate much more efficiently and smoothly without all of the debts that encumbered the former business.

 

If your business is struggling to keep the lights on and hasn’t had success negotiating with creditors or finding other ways of resolving debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the final option. Filing will release you from all your business debt effectively, though it will just as effectively close down your business operations.

 

To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, as a business or individual, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

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Exemptions for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN

May 31st, 2019 · No Comments

If you are unable to meet your monthly debt payments and don’t know how to get yourself out of your current financial situation, bankruptcy might be a valuable option for government-addressed debt relief. Filing for bankruptcy is a process that’s frequently given a negative image, primarily because of the impact it has on your credit score, but in fact, bankruptcy often has a positive long-term effect on your financial standing. Petitioning for bankruptcy and working through the filing process may seem daunting, and it is a nuanced legal procedure. However, with the help of a professional bankruptcy attorney, you can put together a strong, successful case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most common bankruptcy chapters individuals and businesses file for in the United States. The process of Chapter 7 bankruptcy works to liquidate your non-exempt assets (properties) in exchange for discharging (dissolving) your debts. If your income is lower than the amount you are required to pay for your current monthly debts and your reasonable and necessary living expenses, you qualify for Chapter 7.

 

While Chapter 7 seems like a last gasp for many, largely because of the liquidation process, it’s not a process designed to leave you destitute. While some of your assets could be sold or liquidated, that is the exception rather than the rule.  Most people who  file for bankruptcy relief can and do protect and keep their properties with their allowed bankruptcy exemptions.

 

Exemptions are a key part of the filing process for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides exemption allowances for many of your properties, from your home and car to your small personal property items. The current Minnesota exemptions include:

 

  1. Homestead: Up to $420,000 for most homes (non-agricultural use) or $1,050,000 if the home is used primarily for agricultural purposes.
  2. Insurance: Including accident, disability, and life insurance for a spouse and dependent beneficiaries as well as fire and police beneficiaries.
  3. Trade Tools: Including agricultural equipment, livestock, and crop stores up to $13,000 in value; teaching materials and other tools of trade up to $12,000.
  4. Wages: 75% of your earned, unpaid wages within the past six months; wages earned within six months of release from prison; and wages paid within six months of employment after welfare.
  5. Personal Property: Including appliances, furniture, radios, and TVs up to $10,800; burial plots, church pews, clothing and watches, food, utensils.
  6. Public Benefits: Including compensation for crime victims, unemployment, and workers’ as well as veterans’ benefits.
  7. Miscellaneous: The wages of your child under 18, ERISA-qualified benefits and IRAs under $72,000, and property of partnership businesses.
  8. Vehicle. Value in a motor vehicle of up to $4,800.00.

 

The preceding list denotes just some of the many exemptions you can claim in a Chapter 7 case. First and foremost, bankruptcy is designed to be fair to you and your creditors alike. The court does not want you to be left with nothing, and so exemptions allow you to protect your property during a Chapter 7 liquidation.

 

To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.

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How Businesses Filing Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, Affect Local Creditors

April 25th, 2019 · No Comments

Our economy is a complex system that affects even simple business formats. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can thrive or fail depending on a wide variety of economic circumstances. When economic factors cause financial changes to a business, they have consequences for everyone involved, including owners, investors, customers, and employees. Failing businesses often have the greatest consequences to all parties involved in them, in addition to consequences to the economy as a whole. If you find yourself affected by a business filing bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, Behm Law Group Ltd. offers guidance and counsel for those filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 12 cases.

 

If you are considering filing for a business bankruptcy, Behm attorneys can represent and support you throughout the case. However, we believe it’s important for all involved to understand how the prospect of a business bankruptcy will affect them. One recent example of how a business bankruptcy negatively affected parties involved more dramatically than the typical bankruptcy is the case of Colleen’s Consignment Stores in Las Vegas, NV.

 

In this case, the owner of the business may have created more detriment to creditors than would have been necessary. As small furniture consignment shop, Colleen’s Consignment Stores bought used furniture for resale. The company did not pay for the furniture bought from sellers within the weeks leading up to the company’s bankruptcy filing, and so those sellers became involved in the case as creditors.

 

The nature of this case caused much backlash from those who were involved unexpectedly as creditors and for the employees of the company who were given no warning of the bankruptcy. Some creditors were unaware of the bankruptcy until they were called to the required meeting of the creditors. Many were unsettled by the fact that their goods may be sold during the liquidation process and many were upset about the fact that the company bought furniture while potentially considering filing for bankruptcy.

 

In a nutshell, the effects of this bankruptcy case on the creditors were the following:

 

  1. An automatic stay was placed on their ability to collect payment for their furniture.
  2. They had to submit a proof of claim to retain any chance of receiving payment for their goods.
  3. Their goods would likely be sold in the liquidation process and they would not receive payment.
  4. They had to attend a meeting of creditors and sacrifice additional business and personal time throughout the case resolution.

 

Overall, this bankruptcy case had a less-than-favorable outcome for many creditors and employees involved with the consignment shop. However, this is an exception to the many bankruptcy cases that provide positive results for all parties involved. Bankruptcy is often an effective way to resolve debts for the filer and to provide some form of recompense for the creditors.

 

With the help of Behm Law Group, you can file a bankruptcy case that will steer away from issues such as those in the consignment store case and offer better results for all involved. To learn more about filing bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, contact us today at (507) 387-7200.

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How to Handle Becoming a Creditor Involved in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN

April 11th, 2019 · No Comments

As a firm of bankruptcy attorneys, Behm Law Group, Ltd. is often most concerned with how a bankruptcy case affects and works out for the people and businesses filing it. However, we believe it’s important to provide information for everyone involved in the case if they’re unfamiliar with the process in any way.

 

There’s an unfortunate standard of thinking in bankruptcy that there are two sides of a battle with the creditors on one side and the filers on the other, while the bankruptcy trustee oversees the fight. The truth is that everyone is in it together, and a bankruptcy process is designed to provide as fair a treatment as possible for all those involved. If you’ve found yourself involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN in any capacity, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide the advice and guidance you need.

 

Creditors of anyone who has filed for bankruptcy know that the process is a difficult one for each and every lender who is now facing the possibility that they won’t be repaid in full. In more cases than not, a bankruptcy has several creditors who don’t typically provide loans and may not know what to do when their lendee can’t repay a debt.

 

Suddenly a Creditor

The creditors that have the hardest time handling a bankruptcy case are those who’ve never dealt with this situation or given a loan before, such as:

  1. Friends and family who have given the bankruptcy filer a personal loan.
  2. Customers who have prepaid for a service from a business that is now going bankrupt.
  3. Customers who are financing a product (a car, for example) and the provider has gone bankrupt.
  4. Companies with services/products given to any party on Net 10, 15, 30, or 60 terms.

If you’re listed as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, there are certain actions you must take if you want debt repayment in any capacity. If you’ve received a “Notice of Bankruptcy Filing” and are listed as a creditor, you may have to file a proof of claim to avoid losing any chance of repayment. Filing a claim is simple, but requires specific documentation. To accurately file a claim, you must fill out U.S. Bankruptcy Court forms included in a Proof of Claim. While your repayment might not be in full, you’re entitled to some debt accommodation or repayment as a creditor.

 

If you’re caught up unexpectedly in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Owatonna, MN as a creditor or considering filing for bankruptcy as an individual or business, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 to learn more today.

 

 

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Navigating through Bankruptcy Delays with the Help of a Bankruptcy Attorney in Marshall, MN

April 3rd, 2019 · No Comments

Bankruptcy can be a highly effective way to find the financial relief you need for long-term stability. It can also be one of the most emotionally difficult legal processes you ever go through. Because bankruptcy is such a legally-nuanced process, it can be one of the most trying court-administered procedures for individual consumers to face—especially if they choose to start a case without the help of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. If you are struggling to meet debt payments, but are hesitating to take the leap into filing for bankruptcy for fear of the difficulty and emotional toll it may take, it may be time for you to seriously think about how a lawyer can help. Behm Law Group Ltd. provides the legal counsel, advice, and comprehensive guidance you need from a bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN, and the surrounding area if you plan to file.

Whether you choose (and qualify for) Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy or decide to restructure your debts into a three- to five-year repayment plan with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Behm attorneys can navigate each step of the process as well as advise you on the best bankruptcy choice before you even have to make a decision. When you enter a bankruptcy case, lots of information is thrown your way. While this can be overwhelming, our bankruptcy attorneys are here to tell you what everything means and how to proceed.

One part of bankruptcy many past filers have found difficult to work through is the occasional delay the court may have to pause action on your case.

 

Delays

Bankruptcy case delays occur for a number of reasons, some of which may be your responsibility and some of which may not. While there are many types of delays to a case that can occur out of unusual circumstances, the most common types of delays include:

  1. Missing information: If you have information the court needs that is not a part of a standard petition, your case may be put on delay while you gather the necessary documents and during the court’s review of them.
  2. Creditors’ requests for information: If creditors request information about your case, the court may put a pause on the proceedings until the creditors are informed in full.
  3. Creditors’ claims: Sometimes, creditors may have grounds to claim an asset is their property or that their debt is non-dischargeable. This may occur for a wide range of reasons, but if it does, it’s incredibly important to have the protection and assistance of a bankruptcy attorney.
  4. Your income: If you have initially filed for Chapter 7 and your income changes before you start your case (with a new job, for example), the court may delay your case while it decides whether you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, don’t underestimate the necessity of a bankruptcy attorney in Marshall, MN, and the surrounding area. Contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 to learn more today.

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Secured Tax Debt and Filing for Bankruptcy in Worthington, MN

April 1st, 2019 · No Comments

Around this time of year, we all take a look at our past 12 months of finances. Filing taxes forces us to recount our incomes, debts, and overall monetary matters. On top of all our typical credit card debts, medical bills, car loans, and other debts, we can all be susceptible to tax debts.

 

If you’re struggling to pay tax debts in addition to meeting your other debt obligations, it might be time to look at debt relief options. When the point comes where your debts are severely affecting your quality of life, it’s important to take positive action to find balance for your finances. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can gain the many advantages that debt relief through filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN provides.

 

Filing for bankruptcy can help you resolve many types of debt in two ways: discharge or reorganization. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the majority of your debts will be discharged and you can claim exemption amounts to protect your property from liquidation. With a steadier income, you can choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have your debts reorganized into a repayment plan limited to three to five years, and some of your debts will be discharged at 0-100%.

 

While many debts are discharged and reorganized in the process of bankruptcy, there are some priority debts that are exempt from all types of bankruptcy cases. For many, this includes tax debts. Some tax debts can be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or included in a repayment plan under Chapter 13.

 

Though some tax debts are not discharged through the bankruptcy process, there are other tax debts that can be treated in bankruptcy, including income tax debts secured by the government. Put simply, secured tax debts are debts that the IRS has placed a lien on your property to protect their right to repayment. This typically occurs when a debt has been left unpaid for an extended period or when the government foresees your inability to pay a tax debt.

 

Liens on tax debts turn into levies when collection action is taken. You can prevent collection action by filing for bankruptcy and getting an automatic stay placed on all creditor action – including the IRS. Additionally, you may be able to completely dissolve the lien and the debt in your bankruptcy case. In fact, most secured tax debts that qualify for the bankruptcy process can be resolved with the best outcome for you.

 

Understanding the difference between priority and non-priority tax debts is important for all bankruptcy cases that involve tax debts in any capacity. If you suspect or know for sure your tax debt is considered a secured debt by the IRS, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 to learn more about its treatment in bankruptcy. If you’re ready to start filing for bankruptcy in Worthington, MN today, the advice and assistance of Behm attorneys is important to building a successful case.

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Understanding More about Debt Cramdown with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN

February 15th, 2019 · No Comments

A common misconception about bankruptcy is that filers will lose all their property in the process. This could not be further from the truth. While there are some  Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in which assets are liquidated, there are many more occasions when filers can claim exemptions to protect their property from liquidation. Additionally, the process of Chapter 13 bankruptcy works to restructure filers’ debts into a repayment plan suited to their income without bringing liquidation into question. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers counsel and protection from start to finish to help you get the most out of your case.

 

One aspect our bankruptcy attorneys work to promote in certain cases is helping filers successfully petition for debt cramdown. When you owe more debt on a property than the value of that property, you are considered to be “upside down” on that debt. If this is the case, you are eligible for debt cramdown in certain circumstances.

 

How It Works

 

Cramdown is a process available for several types of secured debts, but because of the fast depreciation of vehicles, cramdowns are applied mostly to auto loans. If your debt is upside down, you can use a cramdown to reduce the debt amount. For example: You took out an auto loan of $15,000 to finance a car of the same value, and you repaid $3,000 of that loan over the course of three years. After those three years passed, your car’s value decreased to $10,000. However, you still owe $12,000 on your auto loan.

 

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and request a cramdown, the repayment plan will include only the current value of your car as secured debt. In this example, you would have the $10,000 value of your car loan rolled into your plan as secured debt, while the remaining $2,000 you would pay outside of bankruptcy is rolled into your plan as unsecured debt. This cramdown process may not eliminate all of your debt, but because Chapter 13 plans don’t often require you to repay unsecured debt in full, you can significantly decrease the debt you pay in the end.

 

Additionally, most cramdowns allow you to reduce your interest rates on the remainder of the secured debt included in your plan. Auto loans that qualify for cramdown must also have been taken out more than 910 days before you file for bankruptcy.

 Find Professional Help when Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you’re considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, and think you may be eligible for a cramdown, Behm Law Group Ltd. can offer you advice and assistance in the process. Contact us at (507) 387-7200 to learn more or to get started on your petition today.

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