Welcome To The MN Bankruptcy Blog

Inside you will find over 500 helpful articles discussing the Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy Process and other solutions for difficult financial situations.

 

Tim Tonga

Tim Tonga
I love practicing bankruptcy law because I provide a service that helps clients improve their lives. People come to us seeking assistance and we work hard to find solutions to their financial situations.

Recent Posts

Protecting Your Wages in Bankruptcy in Minnesota | LifeBack Law Firm

Posted by Tim Tonga on November 17

A common concern for many people considering filing for bankruptcy is whether they will be able to protect their wages after they file. The Federal Bankruptcy Code is very generous about allowing debtors to keep the money that they earn from work to provide for their basic needed monthly bills and expenses.

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Can Bankruptcy Help Get Rid of Liens on My Property? | LifeBack Law

Posted by Tim Tonga on November 11

A lien is defined by the Federal Bankruptcy Code as a “charge against or interest in property to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation” owed by a debtor to a creditor. Generally speaking, a bankruptcy case discharges, or wipes out, debt owed to creditors but does not eliminate a creditor’s lien held against the debtor’s property.

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How Long Will My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case Last in MN? | LifeBack Law

Posted by Tim Tonga on November 6

Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases typically last three to four months and do not require that the debtor make any payments to their creditors. On the other hand, chapter 13 cases last three to five years and do require that the debtor make monthly payments to their creditors before receiving a discharge of their remaining debt once their case is finished.

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What Are Residency Requirements for Filing a Bankruptcy Case in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on November 1

In order for a person to file their bankruptcy case in the State of Minnesota they must either be a current resident of this State, have their principal place of business or principal assets here, or be “domiciled” in the State. Practically speaking, this means that they need to be a resident living, or doing business, in Minnesota in order to file their case here.

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When Will My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Be Finalized in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on October 28

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the case is typically closed shortly after the debtor completes their repayment plan and receives a discharge of their debts or shortly after their case is dismissed by the court if they are unable to successfully complete their plan.

Alternatively, in a chapter 7 case, the bankruptcy discharge normally automatically occurs 60 days from the date of the creditor’s meeting (a.k.a. the “341 meeting”).

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What Rights Do My Creditors Have in Bankruptcy in MN?

Posted by Tim Tonga on October 19

A person who files for bankruptcy (a.k.a. the “debtor”) is protected from creditors by the “automatic stay” which begins on the day they file their petition with the bankruptcy court.

The automatic stay is a court order that prohibits creditors from collecting on debts owed by the debtor, with very limited exceptions (i.e. creditors to whom the debtor owes alimony or child support are not stopped by the automatic stay).

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How Much Money Do My Creditors Receive in Bankruptcy? | LifeBack Law

Posted by Tim Tonga on October 14

The purpose of bankruptcy is to provide financial relief to debtors who can no longer afford to continue paying their debts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that creditors will get nothing simply because the debtor files for bankruptcy.

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Will My Retirement Account Be Protected in a Bankruptcy in MN?

Posted by Tim Tonga on October 3

A common concern for many people filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is whether their retirement account will be protected. Bankruptcy law is very generous about protecting debtors’ retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401ks, and pensions. The vast majority of these retirement plans are “exempt,” or fully protected, under law.

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Can Minnesota Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment and Get My Money Back?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 29

A creditor who sues a person and gets a court judgement against them can collect the money that the person owes the creditor through a garnishment of the person’s wages. To do so, the creditor can serve a summons on the person’s employer directing them to withhold their wages to be paid to the creditor.

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What Financial Transactions Are Permitted After Filing for Bankruptcy?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 22

A common concern for people considering filing for bankruptcy is whether they will be restricted from buying or selling property, or taking out more debt, during their bankruptcy case. Whether these types of transactions are permitted partially depends on whether they file a chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

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Will I Be Discriminated Against for Filing Bankruptcy in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 21

A common concern for people who are filing for chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy is whether others will find out about their bankruptcy, and if so, whether they will get discriminated against for filing. One concern people often have is whether friends or family members will discover that they filed for bankruptcy.

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Can Bankruptcy Help Me With My Medical Debt?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 15

There are lots of reasons that people file for bankruptcy. One very common reason is because they have lots of medical debt. Medical services can be very expensive, particularly for those who have no or little insurance. Medical debt is considered general unsecured debt, just like credit cards and personal loans that are not secured by any collateral. This type of debt can be completely wiped out by a bankruptcy discharge.

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Can Bankruptcy Get Rid of Debt Owed to the Government?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 12

Whether a bankruptcy can wipe out debt owed to the government is one question that many people have when considering filing for a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Whether a bankruptcy discharge will eliminate this type of debt depends on the specific nature of the debt owed to the government. One common form of government debt is tax debt. Tax debt is generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

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Can Bankruptcy Help Me With My Tax Debt in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 8

Tax debt is a major reason that people file for bankruptcy. Despite the fact that the State and Federal taxing authorities (i.e. the IRS and MN Department of Revenue) are often willing to offer payment plans to assist people with this type of debt, owing a large amount of taxes can create both a financial and emotional burden. This is especially true when one has other expenses, debts and bills with which to contend.

Bankruptcy can often provide a great deal of assistance for those dealing with lots of tax debt.

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What is the “Automatic Stay” and How Will a Bankruptcy Protect Me From Creditors?

Posted by Tim Tonga on September 1

Whether you file for a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be protected from most collection efforts from most types of creditors. This protection begins on the very day you file your case until the day your case is closed, which typically occurs shortly after the court enters the Order discharging your debts. This court protection from creditors is known as the “automatic stay” and is provided by Section 362 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

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Can I Change My Mind to Get Out of Bankruptcy Just Filed in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on August 18

The court can dismiss your case, upon request of the bankruptcy trustee, for good cause, including things like unreasonable delay by the debtor, failure by the debtor to timely file documents, failure by the debtor to pay fees, and failure to make payments in a chapter 13 plan.

Dismissal is typically granted when the debtor does not fulfil their obligations under the Bankruptcy Code to the harm of creditors. However, is it possible for the debtor to voluntarily dismiss their case on their own?

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How Do I Qualify to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on August 10

Individual people can file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to get relief from their personal debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are typically the more attractive option to potential bankruptcy filers for a couple of reasons. First, people in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are not required to make any payments towards their debt like they do in a Chapter 13. Second, a Chapter 7 typically lasts only a few months, unlike a Chapter 13, which lasts 3 to 5 years.

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Can Bankruptcy Help Me With My Medical Debt in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on August 4

There are lots of reasons that people file for bankruptcy. One very common reason is because they have lots of medical debt. Medical services can be very expensive, particularly for those who have no or little insurance. Medical debt is considered general unsecured debt, just like credit cards and personal loans that are not secured by any collateral. This type of debt can be completely wiped out by a bankruptcy discharge.

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Will I Have to Go to Court After I File for Bankruptcy in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on June 30

The prospect of having to file for bankruptcy can be daunting and intimidating, especially for someone who has never filed for bankruptcy, or maybe, has never even been in court before.

Most bankruptcy cases are very routine and are relatively simplistic in terms of the process. Often, the most challenging part of the process is preparing the initial petition and accompanying court paperwork to be filed with the court. For this reason, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before filing for bankruptcy.

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How to Manage Your Finances When Planning on Filing for Bankruptcy

Posted by Tim Tonga on June 16

People file for bankruptcy when their debt becomes too much to handle and they need financial relief. A common concern people have is how they should be spending their money and what debts they should be paying when they are contemplating filing for bankruptcy in the near future.

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What's the Process for Handling Unprotected Property in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Posted by Tim Tonga on April 19

In most chapter 7 cases, the debtor does not have to give up any property because all the property they have is exempt, and therefore, protected, under law. However, in certain cases, some debtors may have property that is not protected.

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Will I Have to Go to Court After I File Bankruptcy in MN?

Posted by Tim Tonga on April 6

The prospect of having to file for bankruptcy can be daunting and intimidating, especially for someone who has never filed for bankruptcy, or maybe, has never even been in court before. Most bankruptcy cases are very routine and are relatively simplistic in terms of the process. Those filing standard bankruptcy will not have to go to court in the traditional sense or like a criminal prosecution with a jury. Instead, those filing attend a creditor's meeting at a courthouse, or during COVID-19, remotely.

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What Happens to My Bank Account During Bankruptcy in Minnesota?

Posted by Tim Tonga on March 23

Both the Federal Bankruptcy Code and Minnesota State law contains a number of provisions that protect the funds in a debtor’s bank account, along with other property from being taken to pay creditors. Property protected, under law, from creditors is considered “exempt.” In a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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What Information and Documents Do I Need For My MN Bankruptcy Case?

Posted by Tim Tonga on March 21

Many people are naturally anxious about what kind of information and documents they will need to provide in their Minnesota or any bankruptcy case. Given the social stigma about filing for bankruptcy, people often feel ashamed when they decide to file bankruptcy (although they should not!) and are, understandably, worried about having to disclose sensitive information regarding their financial situation and the matters leading up to their case being filed.

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Can You File Bankruptcy and Keep Your Home in MN?

Posted by Tim Tonga on February 14

One of the most common concerns people have when considering filing for bankruptcy is whether they will be able to keep their house. Bankruptcy law provides a great deal of protection for the homes of those who file for bankruptcy (aka debtors), particularly in the state of Minnesota.

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The Problem With Paying Back Family Before Filing Bankruptcy in MN

Posted by Tim Tonga on February 7

It is common for people to pay back their family members for past debts owed to them instead of paying back other creditors, such as credit card companies and medical providers. This can be problematic because Minnesota law requires creditors be paid back equitably.

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Should I Keep Paying My Debts When Considering Filing for Bankruptcy in MN?

Posted by Tim Tonga on February 1

People typically file for bankruptcy when their debt becomes too overwhelming for them to continue to handle. This is nothing to be ashamed of and thousands of people file for bankruptcy each year in Minnesota alone.

The bankruptcy law is designed to allow people to hit the “reset button” and be relieved from their legal obligation to pay past-due debt. Rarely do people regret filing for bankruptcy and many wish they had not waited so long to file when they finally do.

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How Do I Keep My Car in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Posted by Tim Tonga on January 16

One of people’s biggest concerns when trying to decide whether they should file for bankruptcy is whether they will be able to keep their vehicle or not. After all, it is typically one of the most valuable assets people have and often their sole means of transportation.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies allow people to keep their property in exchange for agreeing to a 3-5 year payment plan, in which they make monthly payments towards their debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcies typically last up to 4 months and do not require any payments towards debt. The catch is that any property that is not specifically “exempt,” that is protected under the law, can be taken by the bankruptcy trustee to be sold to pay towards your debts.

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