Posted by Amanda Scharber on January 4
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 27
LifeBack Law Firm is Minnesota’s bankruptcy law firm, since 1972. We have been protecting Minnesotans from their creditors since 1972 and we can protect you too. Our entire focus, from the time we come to work until the time we go home, is protecting Minnesotans just like you from their creditors. How successful are we at doing our job? Ask the people who left us over 1,400 Google reviews and they will tell you how they were treated and what getting their lives back meant to them. Each month, hundreds of Minnesotans just like you reach out to LifeBack Law Firm for help with a debt problem. We protect each and every one of these people who retain LifeBack Law from their creditors and we can protect you too.
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 6
What is the single biggest mistake I see people in Minnesota make when they are looking for bankruptcy representation? I see two common mistakes. First, too many people chose the first firm they talk with. Now if the first firm you talk with is LifeBack Law Firm, a quality Minnesota bankruptcy law firm, you have got something. But too often I hear the horror stories of people who select the first firm only to find out later that firm’s reviews are horrible. Just take a look at some of these law firms Google reviews and even Glassdoor reviews and you will see you may want to keep dialing the phone.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 26
In bankruptcy, a debtor sometimes has property that is nonexempt, meaning not legally protected from being taken to satisfy debts owed to creditors. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, this means the debtor must surrender the nonexempt property to the trustee, or pay the trustee to keep it, which the trustee then uses to pay towards the debtor’s debts. In a chapter 13 case, the debtor is permitted to keep the nonexempt property but must pay, at minimum, the value of the nonexempt property to their unsecured creditors in their repayment plan.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 23
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of words vs. actions. If you listen to the world, it is a very noisy place. Words and conversations never seem to end. Yet, I am struck by what we say sometimes versus what we do. For example, at LifeBack Law, our values are kindness, helpfulness, professionalism, and exceptional customer service. Would it be kind or helpful to say, we would really like to help you get your life back and then say good day!? Of course not, words, to mean anything, must be followed by actions that are consistent with the words. It is not kind and helpful to say we will be kind and helpful and then hand you a pile of worksheets to fill out would it?
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of words vs. actions. If you listen to the world, it is a very noisy place. Words and conversations never seem to end. Yet, I am struck by what we say sometimes versus what we do. For example, at LifeBack Law, our values are kindness, helpfulness, professionalism, and exceptional customer service. Would it be kind or helpful to say, we would really like to help you get your life back and then say good day!? Of course not, words, to mean anything, must be followed by actions that are consistent with the words. It is not kind and helpful to say we will be kind and helpful and then hand you a pile of worksheets to fill out would it
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 17
You might be familiar with this slogan: it belongs to Minnesota bankruptcy law firm, LifeBack Law. This slogan is not just a slogan, it is our promise to our clients. We don’t, judge you, we HELP you get your life back! We have been protecting Minnesotans from their creditors since 1972 and we can protect you too. If you are looking for the best law firm customer service experience in Minnesota, well, you found it. At LifeBack Law, all lawyers and staff must treat co-workers and clients with kindness, helpfulness, professionalism, and exceptional customer service.
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 17
That is right; LifeBack Law’s sole mission is to HELP you get your life back. We do this in two simple steps: Step 1, we HELP you eliminate debt. No worksheets to fill out and zero money up front on our fees (requires the use of a third party promissory note signer).
Posted by Charles Nguyen on November 14
You’ve decided to file bankruptcy to get rid of your outstanding debt. But, you owe your parents money and don’t want to include them in your bankruptcy. So, you decide to pay them back and then file. While your intentions are good, you’ve made a common mistake of making an insider preferential payment.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 12
LifeBack Law Firm has been protecting Minnesotans from their creditors since 1972, and we can protect you. LifeBack Law Firm is a Minnesota based bankruptcy law firm that caters to Minnesotans suffering from overwhelming debt. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not just what we do, it’s all we do.
Posted by Col Ovik on November 10
Banking and financing with one institution is convenient, but there could be unforeseen issues with letting one institution handle all your financing needs. Banking with one institution does seem to be stress-free. You can easily pay all of your loans online and transfer funds easily, and in theory, you are often dealing with the same individuals time after time. But, what you may not have realized is if you have secured loans and unsecured loans with the same institution, the lender may have collateralized your new loans to the same collateral.
Posted by Charles Nguyen on November 9
Gambling is an addiction brought on by a combination of psychological, societal, and familial factors. The repercussions of gambling affects you, your family, your job and other important parts of your life. Serious gamblers take out personal loans, use their retirement accounts, savings, and even borrow against their home or car loan.
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 25
Soon, bankruptcy filings will hit record levels in Minnesota. I know it does not look like that can be the case right now, but it will be and sooner than you think. How can I be so confident of that? Easy, Google global debt and you will get part of the picture. But that is only part of the picture. Global debt levels never went away even after the last recession, which started in 2007/2008. We are at a crossroads in our economy that has fundamentally transformed itself without anyone noticing much.
Posted by Col Ovik on October 24
I have recently started running, actually, I have recently started running again. Running is one of those activities that I do not enjoy. But I make a point to do it because I work in an office and spend most of my day sitting.
Posted by Col Ovik on October 23
Issues with your homeowners association can be stressful. Homeowners associations have the power to place a lien on your property or foreclose. When you get behind in your association fees you are putting your property at risk.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 20
Law firms are largely specialized these days. Many are what we call “boutiques” that cater to clients in one specific area of the law. For example, there are many personal injury law firm boutiques. Many law firms specialize in family law, criminal defense, or even more specific than that, one area of criminal defense like DWI law.
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).
Posted by Charles Nguyen on October 11
Bankruptcy is a last option for many people. Before making a decision to file, most people will struggle with their rent or mortgage and other bills. Due to ongoing stress, mistakes will occur, such as paying a credit card bill instead of an electric bill or paying the monthly balance on a personal loan instead of their home owner’s association fee.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 9
Why do Minnesotans refer their friends and family to LifeBack Law Firm, P.A. for bankruptcy? There are many reasons but the biggest reason is they used LifeBack Law to get their lives back and they really felt good about how they were treated.
After all, LifeBack Law is Minnesota’s highest Google reviewed bankruptcy law firm. If you care for your friends and family, refer them to LifeBack Law and we promise to use soft gloves and treat them exceptionally well.
Posted by Col Ovik on October 8
Recently, I started watching a new television series call Ted Lasso and I was quite wonderfully surprised. This is a show about positivity, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Even faced with the ugliest of characters, Ted Lasso continues his crusade of positivity.
This is a message we should all embrace. Many times I find myself passively watching some television show and the characters are awful to one another or some reality tv show that displays people at their absolute worst. At best, maybe I get a laugh from it, and at the worst, I walk away with a dampened outlook on human kind.
Posted by Charles Nguyen on October 7
Filing a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a scary process, but in the right hands of a proper attorney, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s say you file and now you want to know what happens after you’ve filed.
First, the automatic stay is applied when your case is filed. This stay prevents your creditors from pursuing any further collection activity, including lawsuits or garnishments.
Posted by Col Ovik on September 30
It is tempting to repay friends and family members, after all, these are the people that were there for you when you were in a bind. So naturally, when you find yourself in a position to finally repay a friend or family member that is exactly what you are going to do. While this seems like the right thing to do, during a bankruptcy, it can lead to a lot of complications.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on September 28
During your Minnesota bankruptcy case there are going to be moving parts. There will be at least one hearing you have to attend (typically only one), your date for discharge, and other details of which you should be aware.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on September 26
Have you heard the phrase “bankruptcy protection” and wondered how a bankruptcy could protect you? Most potential bankruptcy clients usually have a sense of what filing a bankruptcy means, but are often unsure of how the process actually works. One common question that potential clients have is "How does filing a bankruptcy protect me?"
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.
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.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on September 17
A Motion to Dismiss your chapter 13 case is generally brought by the chapter 13 trustee. This motion is usually brought by the trustee to dismiss your case, because of failure to follow some sort of provision in your plan or the bankruptcy code.
Commonly, Motions to Dismiss are brought for the following reasons, failure to make your plan payments, failure to turn over tax refunds or other property of the bankruptcy estate, and failure to provide your tax returns.
Bankruptcy is a last option for many people. Before making a decision to file, most people will struggle with their rent or mortgage and other bills. Due to ongoing stress, mistakes will occur, such as paying a credit card bill instead of an electric bill or paying the monthly balance on a personal loan instead of their home owner’s association fee. They may even skip one or two mortgage payments to pay an unsecured debt.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 14
You are sitting at home, at your kitchen table, and you are working your way through a pile of bills that need to be paid. Some of these bills are past due. When you whip out the calculator and add all of the credit card debt, medical bills, and unsecured lines of credit, you get a total of $75,000.00 with monthly payments that total $3,250.00 to service just the minimum payments on all of the debts.
Is chapter 13 bankruptcy in Minnesota something you should start considering?
Recently, I started watching a new television series call Ted Lasso and I was quite wonderfully surprised. This is a show about positivity, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Even faced with the ugliest of characters, Ted Lasso continues his crusade of positivity. This is a message we should all embrace.
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.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on September 11
Bankruptcy filings like Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are technically public record. The full case and associated documents are filed with the court. The case and associated filings are then accessible on the United States Bankruptcy Court’s website.
A garnishment is when someone, usually a creditor or someone you owe money to, goes into your bank account or paycheck to obtain money that you owe.
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 6
We cannot either. Recently, we heard of one Minnesota law firm that seems so hard up for money they actually take their clients clothing, along with furnishings and appliances, as collateral for their fees. We cannot imagine anything more distasteful than this. Bankruptcy lawyers are supposed to protect their clients assets not expose them to creditors, and especially themselves. Instead, the lawyer seizes an opportunity to take their clients property as collateral? Ridiculous. At LifeBack Law Firm we would never engage in this kind of chicanery to get paid.
Posted by Jake Peden on September 5
A fundamental part of the bankruptcy process, is that the person(s) filing for bankruptcy relief must file schedules, statements and related documents, which are true, complete, and correct to the best of their knowledge, information and belief.
When disclosing the bankruptcy filer’s assets, it is important that all interests in property or assets (even if contingent) are disclosed. However, it is inevitable that from time to time, things may be overlooked or forgotten about.
Posted by Col Ovik on September 4
Everyone knows the old adage, no good deed goes unpunished, and this is also true in bankruptcy. So, while it may be noble to help out a friend or family member, it can also complicate your bankruptcy. Expensive gifts, gifted while you are insolvent can be a point of contention in your bankruptcy, but what about other good deeds: lending money, co-signing on loans, or taking out loans for someone else?
Posted by Amanda Scharber on August 23
During your bankruptcy case there are going to be moving parts. There will be at least one hearing you have to attend (typically only one), your date for discharge, and more.
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?
Posted by Jake Peden on August 13
A common question I get from Minnesotans who are suffering from debt and considering filing for bankruptcy relief is: “how does the court know how much stuff I have and what it is worth?” The answer is very simple. We tell them.
Posted by Charles Nguyen on August 5
Individuals looking for a fresh start seek a bankruptcy to get rid of their overwhelming debt. They may be able to file under a chapter 7 or chapter 13, or they may be eligible for just a chapter 13.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on June 30
People move from state to state for several different reasons—taking a new job opportunity, attending school, following a loved one, or getting a fresh start are just a few—and when they move, they might leave behind family, friends, or belongings, but one thing that does not stay behind is their debt. Because this is true, it is very common for people who have just moved to a new place to inquire about their ability to file a bankruptcy to get a fresh start.
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.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on June 26
When you have filed and received a discharge in a prior chapter 7 or chapter 13, timing matters if you want to receive a discharge in a new case.
Posted by Wesley Scott on June 21
A lot of people who suffer with debt want to know how does bankruptcy affect my credit? There are all kinds of misconceptions about bankruptcy in the marketplace. I have had some people tell me they didn’t think they could get any credit after they filed a bankruptcy.
This is not true at all. Over the many decades, LifeBack Law Firm has helped literally tens of thousands of Minnesotans get their lives back and most of them go on to obtain credit. Most go on to purchase homes and vehicles and all sorts of other items.
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.
Kain & Scott has been protecting Minnesotans from their creditors since 1972. We have ironed out the process for filing bankruptcy in Minnesota to make it the smoothest possible for our guests. At Kain & Scott, we have no worksheets to fill out and our staff HELP you all the way. We don’t sign our guests up and say good luck to them. No, at Kain & Scott, from the very moment you reach out to us, we hold your hand through the whole process.
We know it took courage for you to reach out to us for help. We honor that courage by delivering the most kind, helpful, professional, and exceptional customer service of any bankruptcy law firm in Minnesota. How do we know this to be true? Kain & Scott is Minnesota’s HIGHEST Google reviewed bankruptcy law firm in Minnesota.
11 U.S.C. § 341 provides: “Within a reasonable time after the order for relief in a case under this title, the United States trustee shall convene and preside at a meeting of creditors.” It further provides: “The court may not preside at, and may not attend, any meeting under this section including any final meeting of creditors.”
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 28
At Kain & Scott, we promise you, “we don’t judge you, we HELP you get your life back!” To us, getting your life back means eliminating debt and repairing your credit using Kain & Scott’s FREE 90-Day Credit Repair Program. So debt gone + repairing your credit = life back.
How do we eliminate unwanted debt? Easy, we turn to either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to help eliminate unwanted debt. Following your discharge, we send you through Kain & Scott’s FREE 90-Day Credit Repair Program, valued at up to $3,250.00.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 26
In today’s world, it can be easy to feel like you are alone. I actually think that “loneliness” is one of the biggest health challenges we face in the world today. Prior to the pandemic, we were already tail spinning our way into a world where we communicate virtually (think Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad of other ways). Once the pandemic hit, our tail spin has become a complete vertical drop into the virtual abyss. The farther away we get from human to human contact, the worse it becomes.
The co-debtor stay is a nice feature of chapter 13 bankruptcy. When an individual files a bankruptcy case, there is an automatic “stay” that is put in place by the Bankruptcy Court. The automatic stay prevents creditors from collecting against a bankruptcy debtor. In chapter 13 that stay can also, in many cases, extend to co-signers and joint account holders. As long as the chapter 13 case is pending, other people obligated on debts that are “in” a chapter 13 case can be protected by the same automatic stay.
Posted by William Kain on March 24
Financial problems can generate so much stress that it is difficult for a lot of people to collect financial information – embarrassment and anxiety can cause good people to shut down by not opening mail, answering phone calls or even checking bank balances because of the paralyzing fear that the news is going to be bad.
Still, if someone decides that filing a bankruptcy case is in their best interest, the lawyer representing the client has to prepare a bankruptcy petition and schedules that accurately reflect the client’s financial situation.
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.
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.
Posted by Serena Seashore on March 18
Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to the unknown of how this pandemic will continue to affect our lives. It can be safely assumed that a majority of people seek normalcy in their day-to-day lives, social aspects, and financial security. Although we are unable to predict the future, we can inform you of what to expect from your Minnesota bankruptcy when the pandemic subsides and hopefully, is eradicated.
Chapter 13 payment plans can solve a lot of financial problems: mortgage arrears can be cured, expensive car loans can be restructured, and assets that would have to be surrendered to a chapter 7 trustee can be retained. This is accomplished through a chapter 13 plan where a debtor pays a specified amount of money to the chapter 13 trustee over a defined period of time.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on March 16
Have you heard the phrase “bankruptcy protection” and wondered how a bankruptcy could protect you? Most potential bankruptcy clients usually have a sense of what filing a bankruptcy means, but are often unsure of how the process actually works.
One common question that potential clients have is "How does filing a bankruptcy protect me?" The short answer is that through something called the Automatic Stay, most creditors are prevented from continuing the collection activity during bankruptcy, and many debts may even be dismissed.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on March 15
Everyone that files bankruptcy is required to take a court mandated credit counseling course prior to filing. This can be done either online or by telephone, and usually takes between 30-60 minutes to complete. At Kain and Scott, P.A., we would provide you the website or phone number to use, and the fee for such a course as part of our services.
Posted by Col Ovik on March 13
If you file bankruptcy and your spouse does not file with you, your spouse will remain liable on any joint debt. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, priority debts like tax debt must be paid in the plan or through the bankruptcy. This is great news if you want a payment plan for your tax debt. However, the co-debtor on the tax debt is not protected by the automatic stay in a chapter 13 bankruptcy from the taxing authority.
Posted by William Kain on March 12
It’s tough to pick up the phone and call our office to set up an appointment to speak with one of the attorneys at Kain & Scott about your financial troubles. Everyone at our office knows this, and we honor your courage in making that call. When you’ve made the phone call and set up the appointment – whether it’s in-person, over the phone, or using a video platform – we want to shift our focus to having that first meeting be productive for both you and us.
Here are some ways that our clients help us provide the best service we can.
Posted by Kelsey Quarberg on March 11
When you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in MN, you must list and value all of your assets at the time of filing. After listing and valuing your assets with you, your experienced Kain & Scott bankruptcy attorney will help make sure as much of, if not all of, your assets are protected from your bankruptcy trustee.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 10
As a refresher, the 341 meeting is a 5-10 minute meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. During the meeting the trustee will ask you questions to verify the information in your case. Typically these meetings take place a month after your case has been filed.
What happens after the 341 meeting will depend on what type of case you have and whether you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy, a chapter 7, or have a no asset case or an asset case.
Posted by Kelsey Quarberg on March 9
The short answer to this question is simple: no, you cannot choose which debts are in your bankruptcy and you cannot leave any out. When you file bankruptcy, you must list all of your debts, including any secured debts, domestic support obligations, tax debts, and general unsecured debts. You are asked in both your filing paperwork, and while under oath at your 341 meeting, if you included all of your debts and you need the answer to be a simple: “yes.”
Posted by Serena Seashore on March 8
The concept of discharge can prove to be a bit confusing to individuals not directly involved in the field of bankruptcy. Essentially, discharge means the debt is forgiven or canceled, and the creditor has either agreed to the debt being wiped out or the creditor is prohibited from pursuing future payment. Bankruptcy can only cancel debts that exist at the time the petition is filed.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on March 6
As a refresher, the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors, is a 5-to-10-minute hearing, where the bankruptcy trustee for your case asks you questions. Typically, these questions are yes or no response and are used to verify the information in your case.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on March 5
When you file bankruptcy, there are certain assets the bankruptcy laws let you protect. The laws are designed so that you aren’t left destitute for filing bankruptcy. One of the assets we can protect are retirement accounts. The laws want to make sure you don’t have to lose money that you will need to rely on years down the road.
Posted by Col Ovik on March 4
Filing bankruptcy is a court action, so it is public, but most people do not keep tabs on the current bankruptcy filings. However, if you have any shared or joint debt with your ex, the answer is unequivocally yes, they will be notified of the bankruptcy filing because they are a co-debtor.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on March 3
When you do your taxes this year, your 2020 tax returns, you may encounter the Recovery Rebate Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit is a protected asset in every bankruptcy case, chapter 7 or chapter 13. If you are owed this credit, this is not money that the trustee could ever get their hands on.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 2
Not far down the road from Edina, there is a Kain & Scott fully staffed bankruptcy law office 40 hours per week just inside Eden Prairie, Minnesota. In fact, Kain & Scott has the most full time staffed offices in Minnesota than any other Minnesota bankruptcy law firm, all focused on helping you through your bankruptcy in Edina, MN.
One of the benefits of being an alumnus of Saint John’s University is having access to a daily reflection written by one of the monks at Saint John’s Abbey. Every morning at 1:00 a short reflection by Fr. Don Talafous drops into my email timeline.
Posted by Jake Peden on February 27
The Office is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. In one of the more memorable episodes, Michael Scott tries to “declare bankruptcy” simply by shouting it for everyone in the office to hear. Bankruptcy law dates back to 1542 in England, but even back then, I don’t think shouting that you declare bankruptcy would be enough to put your creditors on notice.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on February 26
When individuals are faced with crushing debt, and unable to meet their monthly obligations, one of the logical questions they struggle with is whether they should use their retirement funds to pay the debt. There are few things about my job that break my heart more than hearing clients that are at, or close to, retirement age have used their retirement funds to pay their debt.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on February 25
I commonly meet clients that have really high auto loan payments, who are wondering if we can help by reducing their monthly payments in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The short answer is Yes, but there are criteria that need to be met.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on February 24
Bankruptcy can discharge a lot of different types of debt. With debt like a traffic ticket, this is debt that is owed to either the city, county, or the state depending on where the citation was issued. In other words, this is debt owed to the government.
When you have filed and received a bankruptcy discharge in a prior chapter 7 or chapter 13 in Minnesota, timing matters if you want to receive a discharge in a new bankruptcy case.
Read on for the time restraints on filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 after a previous bankruptcy. Take note that the times are different depending on which chapter, chapter 7 or chapter 13, you previously filed.
In Minnesota, contractors, laborers and material suppliers are entitled to file a mechanics’ lien against real estate they have “improved” – by constructing, remodeling or repairing structures on the property – and for which the property owner has not paid. Filing bankruptcy before or after a mechanics lien can cause different scenarios.
Posted by Amanda Scharber on February 18
Whether there is a minimum debt requirement to file bankruptcy is a common question. The answer is no, there is no legally defined minimum amount of debt you need to file either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Posted by Serena Seashore on February 15
The concept of discharge can prove to be a bit confounding to individuals not directly involved in the field of bankruptcy, especially when it comes to how that debt is taxed or not taxed.
Essentially, discharge means the debt is forgiven or canceled, and the creditor has either agreed to the debt being wiped out or the creditor is prohibited from pursuing future payment. Bankruptcy can only cancel debts that exist at the time the petition is filed.
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on February 11
We live in a world where reviews matter. What people think of a business matters to those prospects who are looking at doing business with a merchant, law firm, or vendor. Unfortunately, there are law firms who insist on using software to game the reviews and make it appear as if the law firm has stronger Google and BBB reviews than they actually do. How is this done?
Posted by Jake Peden on February 10
While we are still learning all the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the far-reaching impact of this pandemic and related government shutdowns will continue to be discovered for years. Many people have been directly impacted and been laid off, furloughed, or otherwise had their hours and compensation cut. But the even wider reaching are the effects will be felt for years and across nearly every industry.
Posted by Serena Seashore on February 9
As bankruptcy attorneys, we will be the first to admit that bankruptcy is challenging and has many moving parts, while also being completely unique per case. At Kain & Scott, we primarily file chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies—focusing solely on the consumer.
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.
Posted by Col Ovik on February 6
Many divorces today are accomplished by a default order and are never litigated. In fact, many individuals draft their own divorce decrees. While this may save you money on a divorce attorney it could end up costing you in your bankruptcy.
This is one of my most frequently asked questions from a prospective bankruptcy client. When researching bankruptcy, or speaking to people that have filed, you will hear the word ‘trustee’ come up frequently. Who is the trustee?
Posted by Serena Seashore on February 3
The world is changing, so we must change too. As hopeful as we all are for what 2021 will bring us, it seems COVID-19 will be sticking around for a while. Does that mean I cannot file a bankruptcy if the court houses are closed? No! In fact, just because the physical federal courthouse building is closed, does not mean we cannot file bankruptcy cases.
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.
Posted by Serena Seashore on January 31
There are endless fines and fees associated with all walks and circumstances of life, just seems to be the theme these days. Typically, bankruptcy can assist in getting rid of the unwanted and unrelenting debt that plagues many people in society. But what about the miscellaneous fees and fines, from parking tickets, restitution, or reimbursement expenses?
Posted by Jake Peden on January 30
Relationship break-up is one of the most common reasons why people end up filing for bankruptcy, and it is easy to put your personal finances on the back-burner while coping with the stress of losing your partner in life. The problem is, that bills still keep coming due, and your creditors are not very sympathetic and understanding when your finances (and life in general) are in flux.
Posted by Charles Nguyen on January 29
Under Minn. Stat. § 550.37, subd. 4, “[a]ll wearing apparel, one watch, utensils, and foodstuffs of the debtor and the debtor's family; and (b) household furniture, household appliances, phonographs, radio and television receivers of the debtor and the debtor's family...” are exempt. See In re Irwin, 232 B.R. 151 (Bankr. Minn. 1999).
Posted by Amanda Scharber on January 28
Your location is important in a bankruptcy, because it will determine the district you file in and applicable exemptions.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on January 20
While you would normally have to go to court when filing bankruptcy, COVID-19 restrictions have changed the game. It is now possible to file bankruptcy without ever having to physically go to court in Minnesota.
Posted by Margaret Henehan on January 19
With the election of a new president, many people are wondering what may change under a Biden presidency. In many areas of policy there may be significant changes. In regards to bankruptcy, consumer attorneys are not expecting many changes in this area of law. In 2005, then Senator Biden was instrumental in changes to the bankruptcy code, and in fact the legislation helped out big banks and creditors more so than it did consumers.
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 8
One of the most common questions from our bankruptcy clients that we encounter daily is “Can I stop paying my bills?” The answer is an emphatic “YES!” In fact, not only CAN you stop paying your bills, but you SHOULD stop paying your bills!
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 19
I had a client of ours the other day comment on how she loved our website and she said something that really stuck with me. She said that are marketing presence was not “gimmicky”. That word “gimmicky” resonates with me because that is the opposite of what Kain & Scott is striving to do. We are striving to be the opposite of “gimmicky”. What did she mean by this?
It should not be surprising to be treated with common decency. One would think that it would be obvious that guests and clients are respected when they enter an establishment. It should be, but in many cases, it is not. We may forgive this at the grocery store or other retail establishments where interactions are few and fleeting. But we often hear our clients have been treated poorly at other bankruptcy law firms and we find this absolutely unacceptable.
Some things you just want to be over and with and never have to think about again! A trip to the doctor’s for a colonoscopy, a Disney vacation with your in-laws and a toddler who just discovered they are terrified of mice, and filing for bankruptcy. All of these, I think we can agree, are situations that are better left in the rearview mirror. Maybe we have to do them, but let’s get them done and over with fast! Rip the bandage off!
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 28
If you are looking to file bankruptcy in Minnesota you must be aware of who is marketing to you. For, example, if you call someone who is out of state, tread very carefully. Why? I have known some of these entities to have you sign contracts stating that they will immediately begin work and charge you by the hour. So, if you call them, they bill you. If you email them, they bill you. The reason why this is so important is if you pay 2k for bankruptcy but decide not to file the bankruptcy, you will not receive a full refund of your fees.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 25
I know that Minnesota bankruptcy professionals often think they have done their job when they get rid of your debt for you. But at Kain & Scott, we do not think we are done yet. At Kain & Scott, we go the distance with you. To me, you don’t have your life back until 1) debt is gone and 2) your credit is repaired.
Obviously, when you are considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is important. Some firms will not give you their fees over the phone or on their website. I guess they don’t want to deal with those people wondering how much the fees are to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. I honestly don’t know why a firm would not share the fees with you unless they cannot justify the price of their fees to you over the phone or on their website. Maybe there is a reason why you should make some extra phone calls if the firm is not interested in helping you get your life back beyond what is in your wallet.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 3
So many good Duluth residents think that if they file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, they will ruin their credit forever. We hear this common misconception all the time. They also wonder if, after filing bankruptcy,
can I rent, can I buy a home, and can I get credit cards or vehicle loans again? These are all legitimate questions that I would want to know the answer to as well. But life is not always what it seems. I have a little secret to let you in on: future lenders don’t care if you can pay your current debt, what future lenders really want to know is will you pay us if we lend you money now? That is really what future lenders care about.
Judging by what you see and hear in the media, it's not uncommon to hear about businesses filing for bankruptcy. Some of these businesses go on to success in life after bankruptcy. And these aren’t just huge, national corporations - according to the Small Business Administration, roughly 80 percent of small businesses will fail. If you’re a sole proprietor whose business is facing insurmountable debt, you may be wondering whether bankruptcy is a viable option for you.
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a big step - so big that it can perhaps feel like stepping off a cliff. However, you may be surprised to feel a sense of relief once you decide to move forward. After all, bankruptcy offers the opportunity to make a fresh start. Most people think of bankruptcy as a legal mechanism that wipes out your debt. In legal jargon, this is referred to as “Chapter 7” bankruptcy or “complete liquidation.” If you’re having difficulty paying your bills and have creditors aggressively seeking payment, the opportunity to make it all go away begins to sound very attractive. However, there are situations in which Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not be your best option.
Many people worry that if they file for bankruptcy, they will lose everything - their house, their car, anything of value that can be sold to pay their debts. Fortunately, this is not the case. Bankruptcy law provides for various exemptions that allow people to retain property and avoid creditors’ claims. One of the most important of these exemptions is called the “homestead exemption,” which allows people to keep their homes.
Posted by William Kain on January 23
When you file for bankruptcy, you’re basically asking the bankruptcy court to relieve you of the obligation to pay some or all of your debts. As part of that process, you need to demonstrate to the court that you can’t pay all of your creditors in full. As a result, you will need to submit what may seem to be an overwhelming amount of paperwork to the court and the other parties to your bankruptcy case. This is intimidating for many people, especially if they don’t have an attorney to represent them. The documentation you submit is critical if you want your case to be successful - failing to submit the correct documents can jeopardize your case and even result in it being dismissed.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the decision-making process that our clients go through in determining whether to file a bankruptcy case. The last post dealt in large part with the advisability of thinking through the financial problems carefully, and involving friends and relatives to get a sense of whether these supporters think the bankruptcy option is a good one. At the end of the post I wrote that seeing an attorney is essential to good decision-making regarding the wisdom of filing a bankruptcy case.
Posted by William Kain on November 8
In an earlier post, I started writing about a common issue in chapter 13 bankruptcy cases: a change in income experienced by the debtor while the chapter 13 plan is open. The last post looked at why this is an issue - namely, the 2005 revision of the bankruptcy law that required chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors to annually send the chapter 13 trustee copies of filed state and federal income tax returns. It’s from that tax information that a chapter 13 trustee can ask individuals already in confirmed chapter 13 plans to adjust their income and expense schedules to more accurately reflect the debtor’s month-to-month financial situation.
Posted by William Kain on November 5
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a very helpful tool for many people who are encountering overwhelming financial problems. For individuals dealing with a potential mortgage foreclosure, chapter 13 offers a structured, affordable way to keep families in their homes. For a person who has a car payment that has unexpectedly become too expensive, chapter 13 offers a way to restructure the car loan to make the payment more affordable. For the person who is dealing with child support arrears, or back income taxes, chapter 13 provides a structure to pay these important obligations.
Posted by William Kain on October 23
A lot of people have no idea the government has a debt consolidation plan. Did you know that? Probably not. What if I told you this debt consolidation plan is limited to 3-5 years, you pay what you can afford to pay, and at the end of the plan whatever doesn’t get paid off, gets wiped out, tax free? Peeks your curiosity doesn’t it?
In Part One of this series, we began reviewing some common terms you may hear during a consumer bankruptcy case. It is important to understand what is happening in your bankruptcy, which is possible with the help of an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer at Kain & Scott. Below, find brief explanations of additional common bankruptcy terms.
While bankruptcy can provide many benefits for consumers struggling with debt, the process can be a confusing one. Specifically, you may hear many terms during your case with which you may not be entirely familiar. It is important to have the assistance and guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can explain every step of the process, including key bankruptcy terms. In the meantime, the following are some brief definitions of common terms in consumer bankruptcy cases. For information regarding your specific situation, call the Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys at Kain & Scott today.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 8
Sometimes the unexpected happens. Sometimes the expected happens with unexpected consequences. When a loved one passes away and he or she had debt, what happens? Are you responsible for the debt? Can you get rid of that debt by filing bankruptcy? Ah, the worlds of probate and bankruptcy collide at the worst time and your head is spinning.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 3
After about a decade of steady decline, bankruptcy filing rates have leveled off since about 2015. Many observers take that to mean the filing rates will start going back up, which has not happened since a spike in filings following the 2005 bankruptcy reforms.
The filing rates are usually higher in non-judicial foreclosure states like Minnesota. Other than bankruptcy, homeowners in these states have few options once the mortgage company begins foreclosure proceedings.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 2
Bankruptcy filings declined again in 2017, but only by 0.07 percent. That’s the smallest decline since 2010, and it signals that the number of filings may soon inch back up. The growing number of retail and other business bankruptcies may accelerate this trend. Small brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop businesses in Minnesota and elsewhere simply cannot compete anymore.
That last point is an important one. Moneylenders like to promote the myth that only people who recklessly overspend and are financial failures file bankruptcy. This myth discourages people from seeking Chapter 7 and other bankruptcy relief. In some cases, overspending is a problem. But in most cases, there are other issues involved. Typically, these issues are beyond the debtor’s control.
Every year, the IRS collects over $3 trillion. Given the size of this revenue stream, many people think that the Service will overlook a few thousand dollars in unpaid taxes here or there. But that’s definitely not the case. The IRS is, in effect, the world’s largest bill collector. And this agency has access to many tools that private debt collectors can only dream about.
Bankruptcy is usually the best way, and sometimes the only way, to keep the IRS at bay. As outlined below, it gives families breathing space and also permanently eliminates tax debt in many cases.
Since about 2000, college tuition has increased massively in most places. At the same time, banks have remained eager to lend these students lots of money, even as credit requirements elsewhere tightened. As a result, Americans now owe over $1.5 trillion in education debt. If everything goes as planned for recent graduates, paying off student loans is usually not a problem. Many people might have to put off large purchases for a few years, but that’s a price most are willing to pay.
But as we know, everything does not always go according to plan. That’s basically the reason that the United States has such a generous bankruptcy law. In most cases, the debtors simply miscalculated, and they deserve fresh starts.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 15
Over a third of Minnesotans have more than $1,000 which they keep for financial emergencies. Credit card payments and medical bills usually do not qualify as such. So, many Minnesota bankruptcy filers have at least a few hundred extra dollars in the bank. Sometimes, this money is not even an emergency fund. They simply need it to pay bills.
The bad news is that, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee liquidates as many nonexempt assets as possible to pay the debtors’ medical bills, credit cards, and other unsecured debts. The good news is that cash is often an exempt asset in Minnesota. Even if that’s not the case, at Kain & Scott, we know how to use legal loopholes in your favor.
Most banks have very little patience when it comes to missed mortgage payments. In fact, many lenders begin pre-foreclosure proceedings after just two missed payments. So, distressed Minnesota homeowners have very little safety cushion.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 11
In the last few blogs, I’ve written about the choices people who are in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case have when, for whatever reason, the chapter 13 plan payments have become difficult to afford. I wrote about simply catching up on past-due payments, or setting up a structured repayment plan, called a cure order, when the financial problem facing a chapter 13 debtor is temporary. In my last blog, I looked at plan modification, a restructuring of the chapter 13 plan, in cases where post-bankruptcy-filing financial problems are more permanent and profound.
Posted by Wesley Scott on June 20
From the oldest bankruptcy law firm in Minnesota, since 1972, comes Kain & Scott to explain what you need to know about filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Very few people realize the government actually has a government sponsored debt consolidation plan. It’s called a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. And if you knew how it works, no one would do traditional debt consolidation.
Here is what you need to know about filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Have you ever had a bad thing happen to you? Of course right? Have you ever had a bad thing happen to you twice? Of course right? Bad things happen to good people. Businesses fail, incomes drop, medical problems happen, relationships break up, we all make bad financial decisions, so what right?
Sometimes, life deals you a blow and you may need to file another bankruptcy. You can file another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 8 years after you filed your previous Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code limits you to filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy every 8 years. It used to be every 6 years until the Republicans changed the law in 2005.
Posted by William Kain on June 17
In my last two blogs I’ve written about a common problem with chapter 13: a client’s financial situation has changed during the time the chapter 13 case is pending, and making a monthly chapter 13 payment to the trustee, which once was affordable, is no longer affordable.
In this blog, I’ll write about the options that chapter 13 debtors have when a chapter 13 case no longer “works.” I’ll write about short-term solutions first.
In many ways, federal and state laws outside bankruptcy are very pro-creditor. For example, a moneylender in Minnesota may begin the auto repossession process after just one late payment. Most creditors will try to work something out with the borrower before they resort to repossession. But, there are no guarantees. The same thing applies to late mortgage or rent payments.
In these situations, Minneapolis families basically have two options. First, they can hope that the moneylender shows some degree of patience and mercy. Second, they can take control of their finances and begin the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process in Minnesota.
Since the early 1800s, the Supreme Court has consistently held that bankruptcy is designed to give honest but unfortunate debtors a fresh start. Many notable individuals and businesses, from Henry Ford in the early 1900s to General Motors in the early 2000s, have used bankruptcy to get this fresh start. You can do the same thing.
From start to finish, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process usually takes a little less than a year. A lot of things happen in these nine or ten months. This post highlights some of the key points.
Posted by William Kain on June 14
Some clients at Kain & Scott run into problems making their chapter 13 plan payments because of a short-term, temporary financial problem. For people in a temporary bind, the difficulty in making a chapter 13 payment doesn’t have to spell doom for the chapter 13 case. Last week I wrote about fixes for short-term problems - catching up on back payments or agreeing to enter into a cure order - to catch up on chapter 13 payments and continue down the financial road to an eventual chapter 13 discharge of debt.
In many cases, a mortgage lender begins home foreclosure proceedings after just two missed payments. Sometimes the Minnesota lender is a little more patient, but that’s certainly not true in all cases.
Pre-foreclosure basically starts a financial landslide. The moneylender usually sends an acceleration notice very early in the process. Once the lender issues that notice, the bank no longer accepts partial payments. So, the homeowner goes further and further into delinquency with each passing week.
Right before his son went off to the big city in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius told Laertes “Neither a borrower nor lender be/For loan oft loses both itself and friend.” In other words, be careful about borrowing and lending money to friends. If you lend, they won’t pay it back; if you borrow, you’ll fall out of favor. But loaning and borrowing is not bad. In fact, sometimes both are very good.
His advice is still valid in today’s Minneapolis. People haven’t really changed much since the sixteenth century. So, mixing money and friendship still ends badly most of the time. But sometimes, you need to borrow money. In fact, over two-thirds of the nation’s $13.2 trillion in household debt is mortgage debt. Most of the time, mortgage debt is “good debt.”
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 28
Bankruptcy is quite unlike other civil cases in Minnesota. In a divorce or commercial dispute, the judge controls almost everything that goes on in the case. But in a bankruptcy, the debtor may not ever even see the judge. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the debtor never to even go in a courtroom.
Instead, the trustee has day-to-day responsibilities in terms of case management. These responsibilities vary significantly between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. However, the trustee’s overall role in a Minnesota bankruptcy remains the same. The trustee, who is not a judge and may not even be a lawyer, must do what is in the best interests of the creditors. The trustee is not on your side. That’s your lawyer’s job.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 23
The 2005 bankruptcy reform act significantly changed parts of the pre-filing process. Supposedly, banks approached then-President George W. Bush about such a measure shortly after he took office in 2001. But because of the proposal’s harshness, he said he would not sign it until his second term. The 2005 law made a number of changes which were designed to make it harder to file Chapter 7. These changes are outlined below.
Other parts of the pre-filing process are unchanged. That include the initial consultation with your Minnesota bankruptcy attorney. At Kain & Scott, we believe in very thorough consultations which review all your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy debt relief options. An extensive consultation also helps clients understand what happens when they file bankruptcy. That is a tremendous advantage for everyone.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 22
Supreme Court Justice James Clark McReynolds was one of the first Justices to set out the purpose of bankruptcy laws. In 1915, he wrote that bankruptcy is designed to “relieve the honest debtor from the weight of oppressive indebtedness and permit him to start afresh free from obligations and responsibilities consequent upon business misfortunes.” So, most Minnesota bankruptcy debtors are entitled to debt relief.
The nature of this fresh start largely depends on the type of bankruptcy the debtor files. It also depends on a concept called reaffirmation, especially in certain kinds of bankruptcy.
Posted by William Kain on May 17
Many Minnesota families have excessive credit card debts. Making matters worse, according to one estimate, 60 percent of cardholders struggle just to make the minimum payment. So, every month, the family goes deeper into debt. This downward debt spiral quickly becomes overwhelming.
Many “debt consolidation” firms only make empty promises. But there is a federal debt relief program that’s designed to do away with excess debt and give Minnesota families a chance to start over. But bankruptcy is a very big decision. Before you file your voluntary petition, it’s important to know everything about Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Posted by Misty Myers on May 16
Many of us, when we are going through financial difficulties, have relied on credit cards to get us through. We have “emergency credit cards.” We have the credit card to use in a pinch to get us through until the next pay check. To think about not having that safety net is scary, right? So, for many of us, to think about filing bankruptcy, even if it means getting rid of the debt that haunts us, it also means the scary thought of losing that safety net. What happens if I need money and I still have a week before my next pay check? What do I do? Does filing bankruptcy mean I lose all of my credit cards? What will be my back up plan? How long before I get another card? What will I do in the meantime? These are all valid questions and these are things Kain & Scott can help you answer as we prepare you for bankruptcy
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 15
The average debt-laden college graduate has almost $30,000 in student loans. That amount has increased 25 percent since 2008. Even with low interest rates and extended repayment periods, the monthly payment is often several hundred dollars a month. That’s a lot of money for anyone, and especially for young people. Quite understandably, many of these individuals delay major purchases and are overly-cautious with their money.
Most likely, bankruptcy would affect a business partner. However, the effects are almost all positive.
Sometimes, liquidating a failing business is the best course of action. This issue is very common, as only a small percentage of new businesses survive past the first five years. A failed business does not necessarily mean that you and your partners are poor planners or businesspeople. It just means that, for whatever reason, a particular concept did not work out.
Bankruptcy gives fresh starts to distressed debtors. But it uses the least restrictive means to accomplish this goal. Property rights are sacred to many people in America, and that includes a contract between a debtor and a creditor. So, bankruptcy does not interfere with that contract.
Instead, a bankruptcy discharge removes the debtor’s legal obligation to repay debt. It does not affect the collateral consequences. Assume a judge discharges past-due university tuition. The school cannot do anything to collect the amount owed. However, it can withhold the student’s transcript until the debt is paid or otherwise resolved. A bankruptcy judge does not have the authority to order the school to release the transcript.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 1
So, last we spoke, we spoke about Mary’s account being frozen. The creditor had frozen Mary’s 12k 401k loan proceeds and Mary had come in to see me about what her choices were to resolve her debt problem.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 27
There are 3 mistakes you should avoid when filing bankruptcy in St Paul, Minnesota. These mistakes have to do with representation in a bankruptcy or a lack thereof. At Kain & Scott, we are Minnesota’s oldest bankruptcy law firm. We have seen a thing or two and we would recommend you avoid the mistakes we have seen others make. For example-
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 26
Welcome to Woodbury, Minnesota’s best bankruptcy law firm, Kain & Scott. Why Kain & Scott? Good question. We wrote the book, “Filing Bankruptcy Sucks, Your Lawyer Should Not!” We wrote the book because we were frustrated by how Minnesota bankruptcy guests were being treated. Well, let’s break it down, why is Kain & Scott Woodbury, Minnesota’s best bankruptcy law firm? I will give you 5 reasons:
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 26
The following is based on a true story. The names I use are fictional but the story is real. Mary came into see me about her account being frozen by one of her creditors. Mary had just taken a loan out from her 401k and the 12k in proceeds were in her bank account when the unthinkable happened- the creditor placed a levy on the account and froze 12k. Now, to say this was not good timing is an understatement. Mary is an RN but she was off work for several months due to medical complications. She was not entitled to short term disability and so she was taking the 401k loan out to help her and her husband survive the time when she was out of work.
To protect their property and families, thousands of people file bankruptcy in Minnesota every year. Moneylenders want people to feel ashamed when they file bankruptcy, to discourage such actions. But most people file bankruptcy because of medical debt, divorce, unemployment, or some other situation which was totally beyond their control.
Nevertheless, there are still many impediments to filing bankruptcy in Minnesota. Some people worry about how a voluntary petition will affect their jobs. Others worry about how bankruptcy may affect their spouses, and that’s the subject of this post.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 18
It is odd that I have to say this, but if a Minnesota resident intends to file for bankruptcy in Minnesota, choose a Minnesota BASED law firm. Why do I say this? Because there are out of state law firm’s soliciting Minnesota residents to file bankruptcy using an out of state law firm- some of who refer you back to a Minnesota lawyer who doesn’t have the same bankruptcy experience many other Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys have.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 13
We are so confident we are Minnesota’s Nicest Bankruptcy Law Firm we guarantee it and trademarked it! That is right, we trademarked “Minnesota’s Nicest Bankruptcy Law Firm Guaranteed or 100% Off Your Fees”!*
A law firm that is willing to guarantee their service to you is confident about the service you will receive. So confident, in fact, that we guarantee it or 100% off your fees. Unique? We think so! If you live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you are thinking about filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, if you are looking for the best customer service in the state of Minnesota, there is no other firm to turn to besides Kain & Scott.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 12
This is probably the single biggest question we get asked at Kain & Scott. What assets will I lose if I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? The answer simply put, is in the vast majority of cases filed, most debtors lose no assets at all.
We can protect a lot of assets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If your assets are protected we call that “exempt” assets. If your assets are not protected, and the Chapter 7 trustee can take and liquidate your assets, we call those assets “non-exempt”.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 12
Don’t get me wrong, my advice is to error on the side of filing bankruptcy. Getting your life back is real, and it is wonderful losing debt and repairing your credit in Kain & Scott’s FREE 90-Day Credit Repair Program. But, before you file bankruptcy in Woodbury, Minnesota, there are two things you need to know.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 5
Recently, a Bankruptcy Judge sanctioned UpRight law and some of it’s “partners” and banned UpRight and some of its “partners” from filing bankruptcy cases in the Western District of Virginia. UpRight also heavily solicits Minnesotans suffering from overwhelming debt too. I am cautioning every single person I know to be very suspicious of UpRight and its’ business model.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 5
Are you like me in that you hate going to multiple sites just to piece together the information you are looking for on a topic? I hate that. That is why Kain & Scott put together a website at www.kainscott.com so Minnesotans researching bankruptcy in Minnesota could find answers to all their questions in one spot! Novel? We think so!
The home foreclosure “crisis” passed from the headlines a number of years ago. But many Minnesota families still struggle with this issue. Largely, that’s because the Gopher State has one of the fastest foreclosure timelines in the country. After just one missed payment, the bank could take your house in only a few months.
Some people in this situation hire lawyers, go to court, and file restraining orders against the mortgage companies. That legal maneuver does not have a negative impact on a credit score. But in all but the most extreme cases, such as a fraudulent home inspection report, a restraining order only delays the inevitable, at best.
This question has probably never been more pressing. In a pair of 2017 decisions (Henson v. Santander and Midland Funding v. Johnson), the Supreme Court significantly expanded debt collectors’ power under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Before these two decisions, moneylenders often shied away from court cases. They did not want judges to scrutinize their unfairly aggressive tactics. Now, such fears may be a thing of the past. Many debt buyers may file suit after just one or two extremely threatening letters, even if these debt buyers have little basis for their actions.
Several months after one of the biggest tax code rewrites in U.S. history, the Treasury Department finally released an online tool to help taxpayers re-calculate their withholding amounts. Nevertheless, millions will owe money come tax time.
Earlier, the IRS did release revised tax tables that conveyed the same information. But information formats like that are difficult for people to understand. The proper withholding amount is very important, emphasized American Institute of Certified Public Accountants chief tax analyst Melissa Labant. Too little, and the taxpayer will owe a significant amount in April. Too much, and “you’re giving an interest-free loan to the government.” Cari Weston, another AICPA tax analyst, added that the more allowances a taxpayer claims, the less money the government withholds.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 23
Chances are, if you are considering filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minneapolis, MN, you are thinking that filing bankruptcy would be terrible for your credit score and profile. If you believe this, you are like the vast majority of Minnesotans. When most Minnesotans think about bankruptcy, and its’ impact on ones’ credit score, you think that bankruptcy would be devastating. Guess what? You are all wrong!
Posted by William Kain on March 22
In our day-to-day practice at Kain & Scott, our attorneys will typically field a few contacts every month from business owners who are financially stressed. The business owners typically have this, or a variation of this question: my business is in financial trouble, should the business file a bankruptcy? It’s such a simple, and such a common question. One of the reasons the United States has a bankruptcy law is to provide a safety net from small business owners - to allow the business owners to take financial risks without having to worry about financial ruin if the business experiences significant reverses. But while the question is simple, the answer is usually at least a little complicated. Let’s look at the factors that should be considered in making a decision as to whether to have a business file a bankruptcy case.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 22
Our Minnesota guests are proof. Proof of what? Proof that Kain & Scott has an antidote for anxiety caused by overwhelming debt. How do I know this to be true? Because our guests say it all the time. It goes something like this- I was so nervous about bankruptcy and my debts before I met with Kain & Scott, and then once I met with the people at Kain & Scott, my anxiety went away and I felt like I could get through this with their help!
Legally, people in Minneapolis can file bankruptcy as many times as necessary. There are no filing limits. Multiple filings do have some adverse consequences, as set out below. However, this fallout is not as bad as some people think it is.
Besides, if properly done, bankruptcy is usually a once-in-a-lifetime proposition. A voluntary petition is a fresh start in almost every sense of the phrase. Actor Gary Busey, who is well-known for his “Buseyisms,” may have put it best in the wake of his own 2012 filing. He described bankruptcy as Bringing A New Knowledge Regarding Understanding Past Tribulations Concerning Yourself. That’s a very long way of saying that you have the power to reverse your financial fortunes, even though the filing itself was probably not your fault.
Posted by William Kain on March 20
Bankruptcy is an investment for our clients. When finances are tight, anything is a significant investment. But the investment always pays off. The amount of money the client pays is nearly always inconsequential when compared to the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that is discharged. Furthermore, bankruptcy gives Minnesota families a fresh financial start. That’s something which is almost literally priceless.
Most of the time, it is a wonderful thing to have equity in your home. There is a sense of pride in it and it can be considered an investment that will someday pay off. Sometimes, though, the fact that you have equity in your home is like blood in
One of the reasons people file bankruptcy cases is to preserve vehicle ownership. If the client has a car loan, a chapter 13 case in which the terms of the vehicle loan can be re-set to make the payment more affordable is often attractive. Or some clients prefer the liquidation approach of a chapter 7, in which other, unsecured debts are discharged, thus freeing up money in the monthly budget to make the car payment easier to afford.
Posted by William Kain on February 28
Just like consumer bankruptcy can stop home foreclosure, wage garnishment, vehicle repossession, and most other types of adverse creditor action, bankruptcy can also stop lawsuits. Even if the trial is scheduled for tomorrow, bankruptcy can halt it.
For many people, a creditor lawsuit is a remote, theoretical possibility. They know it can happen, but they do not believe it will ever happen to them. Suddenly, there’s an unfamiliar knock on the door at an unusual hour and someone, usually a Minnesota peace officer, delivers a summons.
For the past six weeks we’ve taken a pretty “deep dive” into the nuts and bolts of bankruptcy. This week, I’ll try to wrap this up with a look at the function of the bankruptcy discharge - the “finish line” for bankruptcy. Again, the lens through which I will look at this issue is the twin policy goals of bankruptcy - to treat creditors fairly and to allow debtors to live with dignity.
Posted by Kelsey Quarberg on February 21
Sports fans have been anxiously waiting and the time is almost here: March Madness. As you gear up for a series of exciting games and limitless chicken wings, there’s one preparation that any dedicated basketball fan takes very seriously: picking a winning bracket.
Posted by William Kain on February 19
Hundreds of your neighbors want to know the same thing, because medical bills are the leading cause of consumer bankruptcy in Minneapolis. For various reasons, these expenses have increased much faster than the cost of other goods and services, so the size of these bills catches many people off guard.
Posted by Wesley Scott on February 15
I am amazed at the number of Americans that don’t know the government actually has a government sponsored debt consolidation plan for you! It’s called a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and it is amazing! The number of benefits of being in a government sponsored debt consolidation plan cannot be understated.
If you’re one of the thousands of Minnesota residents who is considering filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, follow these simple tips to help you get the most out of your Minnesota bankruptcy.
Posted by William Kain on February 9
One of the main concerns our clients have about filing for bankruptcy in Minnesota is the protection of their privacy.
For the last three weeks, I’ve written about the function of bankruptcy to serve the twin purposes Congress set out in passing bills that codified bankruptcy law into the Bankruptcy Code: treating creditors fairly and allowing debtors to live with dignity. I’ve written about why the bankruptcy debtor has to list assets and liabilities accurately in her schedules, about the specific features of chapter 13, the benefits of the automatic stay in bankruptcy and the requirement that the bankruptcy debtor list all of her creditors in her bankruptcy paperwork. This week, I’ll continue to look at how bankruptcy law and procedure seeks to meet the policy goals of Congress.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on February 2
You have had a good paying job and also using your credit cards for purchases like any other person would when the unthinkable happens: you either lose your job or for some reason your income decreases. The dam is about to break and there is no relief in sight because you now have these credit card bills that you previously had been able to pay and had every
In the last two weeks I’ve written about how bankruptcy "works" - the nuts and bolts of bankruptcy law so that the policy goals of bankruptcy law can be met. The two main underpinnings of bankruptcy are to treat creditors fairly and to allow debtors to live with dignity. My first blog dealt with the contents of the bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements - documents that must be filed in every bankruptcy case - and how the information contained in these documents further the policy goals of bankruptcy.
Posted by Kelsey Quarberg on January 30
You may have heard or seen advertisements claiming that this firm or that firm offers low-cost bankruptcy filing. But do you know what that advertised “low price” will actually cost you?
Posted by William Kain on January 29
Typically, if someone else pays a person’s debts, the IRS considers such payments to be taxable income. Prominent exceptions include certain student loan repayments and gift repayments. Based on that analysis, many people think the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” But it is actually a surprising “no,” because bankruptcy discharge is different from debt repayment.
Although some bankruptcy filing records are public record, there are several very good reasons why that partial disclosure should not deter people from filing bankruptcy. Overall, bankruptcy filings are down significantly. In September 2017, consumer filings reached a ten-year low. However, many observers do not expect the downward trend to last. Instead, Northwestern University bankruptcy professor Bruce Markell expects rising interest rates to drive the number of filings back up, as distressed consumers will no longer be able to borrow their way out of financial jams in such an environment.
Posted by Jesse Horoshak on January 24
Don’t have any idea how bankruptcy works or what it can do for you? You’re not alone – many of our clients tell us during their free initial consultation that all they know about bankruptcy is that it is a way to get rid of debt, but are unsure how bankruptcy works and how it will affect their lives.
Last week, I wrote about the nuts and bolts of bankruptcy - how bankruptcy “works.” In doing so, I concentrated on the paperwork any bankruptcy debtor has to file with the court: the bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements. And I wrote about those documents through the lens of the two goals of bankruptcy: to treat a debtor’s creditors fairly, and to allow the debtor to live with dignity. This week, I want to take a deeper look at how bankruptcy law attempts to satisfy those two goals.
Posted by Misty Myers on January 22
What happens when the unexpected happens? You are going along and unexpectedly (or perhaps it is expected), your parent passes away without a will, leaving their home to you as the beneficiary. You are now trying to juggle the mortgage payment on your parent’s home in an effort to keep the home in the family, in addition to another mortgage and your own debt. Pretty soon you realize that your parents were behind on their mortgage payments when they passed away and you get that dreaded foreclosure notice. You were barely making ends meet before and now you need to come up with additional money to save the house.