Archive for the ‘Bankruptcy’ Category

Potential for avoiding eviction through bankruptcy

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Consumers who have financial problems often find they not only have large accumulated debt, but also cannot meet their monthly expenses.  They often fall into the mental trap of thinking that there is an easy way out of debt.  This is not true.  Debt relief is available to qualified people, who try to achieve it for a proper purpose and correctly follow all legal steps.  Renters who find that they are unable to pay rent on time sometimes consider bankruptcy as a vehicle to keep from being evicted.  It is important to understand that in order for this to be a viable consideration there must be a proper purpose for the filing of the bankruptcy and all steps done correctly.  The bankruptcy court generally is not designed to be used to evade legal responsibilities but rather to give debt relief to qualified people.  Filing bankruptcy to get out of paying rent or get more time to gather rent money is not the type of purpose for filing bankruptcy envisioned in the current bankruptcy law.  The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act of 2005 does not appear to show interest in protecting a tenant who is facing eviction from an apartment.  It is important for a person who is considering bankruptcy to keep in mind that the individual’s factual situation can play a substantial part in whether bankruptcy can be used to help stop eviction.  For example, there is a difference between a tenant who has already lost a case in a state court eviction action and someone who has not been evicted, but is behind in rent.  In the case where a tenant has already lost a case in state court, it is important to view the wording of any judgment to, among other things see if there is any right of reinstatement if all back rent has been paid.  Tenants with a judgment against them who are considering bankruptcy should not expect a bankruptcy to get them out of making rent related payments as set forth by a judgment or other state law.  For example, even if the tenant with a judgment against him or her is otherwise eligible for bankruptcy it should be expected that there is going to be a need to pay one month of rent to the bankruptcy clerk immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition.  The tenant filing bankruptcy should also expect to file all necessary paperwork to substantiate the request for relief including certification under penalty of perjury as to the existing facts.  This certification should include whether the judgment allows the tenant to remain on the rented property after satisfying the amount of the Judgment.  A tenant filing bankruptcy may get the benefit of the automatic stay in bankruptcy if their facts are appropriate and they meet all legal requirements.  It must be kept in mind that after thirty days passes from the date of the filing of the judgment, the tenant with a judgment against him or her should not expect to be able to remain at the rented property unless he or she fully satisfies the judgment.  If the tenant does satisfy the judgment, then they should expect to file the appropriate paperwork with the court to prove he or she met all legal requirements to be able to stay at the rented property.

The tenant who is contemplating bankruptcy must keep in mind that the above discussion may not apply if their factual situation is not over back rent to be paid, but rather non-monetary issues such as using the property for an illegal purpose.  For example, in a situation where there is illegal use of the property, the  landlord may be able to file a certification that protecting the landlord’s ownership interest in the property from illegal activity supersedes the consumer/tenant’s right to the automatic stay.

The forgoing discussion should send the message that filing bankruptcy is not an easy solution to tenant’s problems with a landlord and must only be done for a proper purpose with a willingness and ability to meet all existing legal requirements.  Even then filing the bankruptcy may only give temporary relief on the rent issue.  A tenant’s protection in bankruptcy is not the same as a homeowner’s rights.  The home may be property included in the bankruptcy estate and therefore protected by law, while the lease may be considered to be an interest that is not included in the bankruptcy estate and therefore may not be afforded protection under the bankruptcy laws.   Renters who need bankruptcy relief should get a bankruptcy evaluation at a Minnesota law firm that offers bankruptcy services.  A Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer can do a bankruptcy evaluation that includes the means test to help evaluate the consumers potential for debt relief.  At the same time the Minnesota lawyer can review the consumers lease situation to see if it is the type that may qualify for some form of relief under existing bankruptcy law.  Filing a bankruptcy simply to evade rent obligation can be considered to be an abuse of prevailing bankruptcy law that would make the consumer subject to sanctions.  Consumers who are tenants should be very careful in making sure to have a complete evaluation of their situation before moving ahead to file bankruptcy.  An experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer can provide valuable legal assistance in helping a consumer to make a proper decision on what course to follow in addressing his or her debt situation.

Debt Relief Warning signals

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Many consumers bury their heads in the sand and pretend that their debt problems will clear up by themselves.  This can only make things worse.  The debt will not clear up by itself and is likely to get worse if there is interest due on the debt.  Some consumers at best merely pay down on the interest without retiring principal on debt obligations.  There are warning signals that alert a consumer that there is a need to explore bankruptcy alternatives.  These signals include an inability of a debtor to meet his or her regular expenses, past due on debt obligations, notice of foreclosure, repossession or threats of repossession, judgments for unpaid bills, garnishment, unpaid utility bills, unpaid medical expenses, credit card bills that are late or go unpaid, using credit cards to meet monthly expenses for food, clothing, gasoline so that cash can be used to pay the minimum payment on the credit card account, taking cash advances from one card to make the payments on cards, checking account that is overdrawn, past due on car loan payments, cancellation of credit by lenders and harassing creditors are just some of the signs of debt problems.  If a consumer is experiencing any of these warning signals, it is a good idea to seek legal help from a Minnesota law firm that can set up an appointment to meet with an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer who can help evaluate eligibility for bankruptcy.  A debtor can explore potential legal assistance including relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy law.  Filing a bankruptcy  may be the first step on the way to a new financial beginning for a consumer.

Doing a Chapter 13 Plan

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Doing a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan requires more than simply preparing a budget that includes payments that you would prefer to make to creditors.  Debtors who are thinking about seeking bankruptcy relief should carefully evaluate their financial situation and related law to make sure that they qualify for debt relief under prevailing bankruptcy laws.  While many debtors experiencing financial difficulties often express interest in filing for bankruptcy, they may not really understand the requirements for doing so.  Debtors who sincerely want to pursue debt relief should have a proper bankruptcy evaluation which would include undergoing the bankruptcy means test.  This test acts as an instrument in determining a person’s ability to file a bankruptcy under the law.  Debtors should also understand that even if they do qualify for bankruptcy relief they will have certain responsibilities in doing so including a duty to be willing to be under supervision of the bankruptcy court, establish a payment plan that is approved by the court, follow the Chapter 13 plan, make regular payments according to the plan and follow all bankruptcy requirements.  By doing all the right things in bankruptcy debtors get the advantages of bankruptcy including upon completion of the plan’s payments a discharge of any remaining dischargeable debt by the court.

 The brief description of a chapter 13 plan above does not include all of the requirements for qualification for filing bankruptcy.  Nor does it cover all of the advantages and potential down sides in doing so.  All Chapter 13 considerations must be carefully weighed by a debtor desiring declaring bankruptcy.  Because the evaluation of a debtor’s situation is so important in considering bankruptcy it is very useful to have the help of an experienced twin cities bankruptcy lawyer.  Debtor’s can present their financial situation to a twin cities bankruptcy lawyer who can consider various issues to help determine whether bankruptcy is a viable option for debt relief.  .

The forgoing is general information only.  It was not meant as legal advice nor is it legal advice.  This posting does not establish any attorney-client relationship. 

 We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for bankruptcy.

Exploring bankruptcy

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Loss of a job, legal problems, medical issues, business problems, family issues can all have a serious impact on a person’s financial situation. The recent hard financial times have caused many people to feel as though they are in over their heads in debt.   The feeling of drowning in debt can affect people in many ways.  For example, financial problems may lead to family difficulties including divorce.  It is unfortunate that money problems can spill over and be so destructive to a person’s life.  Fortunately there are potential ways to alleviate the pain of money difficulties.  Finding the right method of debt resolution is not always an easy process, but it can be done more expeditiously by meeting with an experienced debt relief attorney who understands the various options that may be available to help consumers in financial distress.  There can be many different causes for feeling as though you are drowning in debt including being the victim of a financial trap, predatory lending practices, being in serious arrears on large bills, spending habits that exceed available income or having incurred huge medical expenses.  A meeting with a Minnesota debt resolution attorney can allow a consumer to get an evaluation of his or situation as well as information related to debt relief options including bankruptcy.  Each consumer has his or her own situation that may warrant differing potential options.  For example, a debtor in Wisconsin may have available to him or her relief either under the Wisconsin state law or Federal bankruptcy law.  It is important for consumers to get accurate information to assess their situation.  Timeliness is of the essence in not only avoiding repossession, but other problems as well.  Serious delinquency of payment can lead to judgments which in turn may lead to garnishment of wages.  A huge problem for many people in recent times is long overdue home loan payments that lead to foreclosure.  At a meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer the consumer can explore his or her potential eligibility for debt relief help.  Sometimes that debt relief may take the form of going after a creditor who has used predatory business practices.  At other times, people living in “Wisconsin may avail themselves of debt relief provided by Wisconsin (WI) state law.  Many people who are experiencing financial difficulties due to large unpaid bills, mortgage payment difficulties, and/or credit card debt.  Many of these types of debt can be helped through bankruptcy including unmanageable medical bills.  Consumers may find legal assistance through either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The first step in finding that legal assistance is meeting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

Consumer bankruptcy laws

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Debtors often ask about the laws covering a consumer bankruptcy. The reality is that the term “consumer bankruptcy” can refer to either chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy under the federal law. These two types of personal bankruptcy are the common options available to people who have a great many unpaid bills that cannot be paid. There is a great deal of law covering these types of bankruptcies. A consumer who is interested in possibly declaring bankruptcy should make sure to understand all relevant bankruptcy laws before making the important decision to try to file for bankruptcy.

Some of the significant legal requirements are that a consumer seeking bankruptcy qualify under prevailing bankruptcy law standards, be able to show adequate identification, provide full disclosure, give all information asked for in bankruptcy paperwork, fully cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee, attend all bankruptcy meetings, do all acts required by the bankruptcy court, fulfill debtor counseling and education.

Consumers often get the mistaken notion that filing bankruptcy involves simply filling out some forms and filing them with the bankruptcy court, but that is not the case. Declaring bankruptcy is a
very serious matter that requires a commitment by a debtor to providing a full explanation of his or her financial picture including income, monthly expenses, income, assets and other relevant financially related data. The legal paperwork must be complete and accurate in all respects. A consumer must be prepared to the meeting of creditors and be questioned on relevant concerns related to his or her desire to declare bankruptcy. Consumers who are qualified and properly fulfill all bankruptcy requirements have the potential for a fresh start.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection.

Feeling helpless to end creditor harassment?

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Often debtors express feelings of helplessness about what they consider to be harassment by creditors. Debtors should not automatically assume that they have no legal rights and that a creditor can do anything he or she wants to do. Creditor’s do have legal limits put on them that may be helpful in some circumstances to a debtor. A debtor who feels hounded by a harassing creditor can seek out legal help from an experienced Minnesota debt relief attorney. Each individual debtor situation must be evaluated on its own merits. A Minnesota lawyer may help evaluate a debtor’s situation to see if there are any state and/or federal laws that may apply to provide relief from acts by a creditor. Among the consumer rights laws that may apply under certain circumstances is a federal law called the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” that provides important protection to consumers. If a debtor is experiencing severe financial difficulties he or she may also consider debt relief through filing bankruptcy. Debtor’s who are interested in pursuing debt relief through bankruptcy should meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can provide legal assistance to them in evaluating their eligibility for declaring bankruptcy.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the bankruptcy code.

Effects of the new bankruptcy law

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The bankruptcy reform legistation that took effect in 2005 is often referred to as the “new bankruptcy law.”  While there have been many changes to the bankruptcy laws, the truth is that most people will still be able to qualify for either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  To determine the type of bankruptcy for which an individual or husband and wife may qualify, it is necessary to understand the requirements and qualifications that apply to each type of bankruptcy. Each person’s particular financial situation must be examined and analyzed to determine which type of bankruptcy is available.  Those that pass the “mean test” will, may be eligible to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and those whose incomes exceed the median income for their state and who do not pass the “means test” may be eligible for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The means test, however, is only the beginning of the analysis because there may be other facts and circumstances that may make a chapter 13 filing the more desirable option. Rather than listening to all of the negative hype about the changes to the bankruptcy laws, it is better to meet with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your particular financial situation. Keep in mind that everyone’s financial situation is different and the only way to find out about your situation is to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer and discuss how the new bankruptcy law applies to your financial circumstances.

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

If I file bankruptcy how will it affect my reputation?

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Despite the hype, filing a bankruptcy may not ruin a consumer’s reputation.  As a result of the down turn in the economy, filing bankruptcy has become a common event.  The primary reasons that cause people to file for bankruptcy protection are medical bills, loss of a job, divorce and, most recently, situations related to the mortgage and housing crisis. With more and more people filing bankruptcy, it has become a common event. Unless the person filing bankruptcy is a celebrity or is in some other way well known to the public, it is unlikely that anyone is going to learn about a bankruptcy filing unless the consumer tells someone that he or she filed for bankruptcy. While it is a major, and usually positive, life event it is not so remarkable that others are likely to pay any attention to it even if they were learn of the filing. The reason filing bankruptcy is a positive event is that it allows a person get his or her financial situation under control and make a fresh start.  Further, while a bankruptcy filing is a public record, very few people are likely to go through the trouble of searching through the public records to find out who has filed bankruptcy.

This blog is not intended to give legal advice nor does it do so.  The reading of this blog does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Credit concerns after bankruptcy

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

 In a modern society, there may always be credit concerns.  Once you have completed a bankruptcy, you should be careful to patiently and diligently work toward establishing excellent credit.  Just as it took time to get into serious financial trouble, it can take time to rebuild your credit.  Among the things you can do to better take control of your finances is as follows:

 Set a realistic budget and stick to it.  Make sure that you allocate some money for savings and an emergency fund.  Even if all you are setting aside for savings and the emergency fund is $5.00 to $10.00 each every month, the point is that you are getting into the habit of saving and planning for emergencies.  When the inevitable emergency does come along, you will have at least some money set aside to help meet the expense.

 Before making any purchase, ask, “is this something I need, or is it something I want?”  If it is something you need, ask if there is a less expensive alternative? Can the purchase wait until you have saved up enough money to cover the entire cost, or do you have no choice other than to make the purchase now?  Any time that you can safely and reasonably postpone a purchase gives you an opportunity to search out the best deal and to plan for the purchase by saving money to cover the cost.

 If the answer to the “need versus want” question is that the proposed purchase is a want, then you have the luxury of waiting and planning for the purchase.  You will have time to research the purchase, find the best product/brand, search out the best deal and of course, save up the necessary money to make the purchase. 

 Secure medical insurance if possible.  Medical bills are among the top reason that people file for bankruptcy.  If you have medical insurance and obtain timely medical care you may avoid more serious and more costly medical conditions from developing.  For example, timely medical care to diagnose and get high blood pressure under control may prevent more serious, and more costly, complications from developing.

 Avoid using credit cards unless absolutely necessary.  In general, DO NOT use credit cards to pay for your basic monthly expenses.  Keep in mind that until you are able to re-establish an excellent credit record, credit card companies may charge a high interest rate.  Paying a high rate of interest on every day expenses increases the cost of every day items enormously.

 Along with foregoing steps; you will want to obtain a new credit card account.  You may need to start with a secured credit card where you establish a savings account with a bank that offers a secured credit card.  The savings account acts as the security for the credit card.  The amount of available credit is generally equal to the amount of money you have on deposit in the savings account securing the card.  Using the credit card carefully—meaning not taking on more debt than you can handle, paying off the credit card balance in full over a period of two to three months, using the card to purchase an item you have already saved up the money to purchase and then using the saved up money to pay off the balance over two to three months will show prospective credit grantors that you can handle credit responsibly. 

 There are other steps that you can take that will further help you rebuild your credit.

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Drowning in credit card debt?

Friday, March 12th, 2010

DROWNING IN CREDIT CARD DEBT?

It is often the case that people feel as though they are drowning in credit card debt.  Credit cards can be useful financial tools when used properly and with appropriate caution. Some of the warning signs of credit card trouble are as follows: 

Using a credit card to purchase something that you cannot afford to pay for in cash

Using a credit card to pay bills and/or credit cards

Using the credit card as a substitute for cash without any realistic expectation of being able pay the credit card bill

 Not paying attention to the interest rate that the card carries

Going over your credit limit and incurring over limit fees

Paying your credit card bill late resulting in late fees

Paying only the minimum payment

Failure recognize and pay attention to the inherit dangers of using credit cards can be a recipe for financial disaster.

Credit cards can be useful, but only when carefully handled and monitored. Along with the financial and emotional stress that can accompany difficulties in making credit card payments, can be the added stress of dealing with unreasonable credit card collection activities. Credit card collection activities can be so emotionally draining that it affects a person’s ability to properly handle their other financial issues and even their day-to-day needs. Ignoring problems with credit card debt makes it even worse. Once a problem with credit card debt is known, it is useful to get professional help in addressing the difficulty before it spreads into other areas as well, such as ability to make mortgage or other secured debt payments. Before despairing and letting credit card difficulties drastically affect you, it is important to keep in mind that the law may provide relief to eligible debtors.  Consumers can and should explore legal procedures that may provide them with debt relief.  Debtors feeling as though they are drowning in credit card debt may be able explore relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy law or, if the debtor is a Wisconsin resident under Wisconsin Chapter 128.

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.