Medical debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy, both in chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases.
People occasionally tell me they feel bad about not paying their debts when considering bankruptcy. Sometimes, people are even downright distraught and try to apologize for being irresponsible. First things first: you do not have to apologize for taking a problem seriously and considering your options. But it also got me asking myself: is it morally wrong to not pay your debts?
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(B) the trustee can avoid certain transfers made within two years before the petition filing date.
Posted by Wesley Scott on April 21
Like any problem, the first step is admitting, I have a debt problem. I am not sick, my finances are sick. Once you get that far, you are well on your way to getting your life back. In St. Cloud, MN, we are a bankruptcy law firm right near where you live. If you are looking for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy lawyer near you or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy lawyer near you, LifeBack Law in St. Cloud is right in your back yard. We are locating at 13 7th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301. We are located downtown St. Cloud on 7th avenue south; right across the street from Capitol One Bank and a few doors down from Jets Pizza.
If you are planning on filing bankruptcy there are a few things you should try to avoid before your case is filed.
There are two sets of exemptions you can use in Minnesota, state and federal exemptions. You can use whichever is the most beneficial to you. Below are a few examples of why you may pick one over the other.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you likely are wondering what you will have to do in order to file. At Life Back Law we make the process easy for those considering filing bankruptcy.
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
The US Constitution gives Congress the power to make laws that pertain to filing bankruptcy. Congress has enacted the Bankruptcy Code to define what Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is and what are the rules that define it. Each year, across the country, hundreds of thousands of citizens use the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Code to get their lives back.
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 12
Once the decision to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy has been made, there are documents that you should gather to make the process of filing bankruptcy easier. We already know that credit reports and asset reports should be pulled as part of the process. But, there is more information that is needed by your attorney. If you would like to be your attorney’s hero, starting gathering these documents now.
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 11
When you invoke the power of the bankruptcy court, seeking protection from your creditors, you also have duties as well. Section 521 of the Bankruptcy Code outlines many of these duties. Chapter 13 debtors must file a host of schedules with the bankruptcy court and these schedules are verified under penalty of perjury. As such, these schedules must be complete and accurate. Filing inaccurate or incomplete schedules with the bankruptcy court may result in debtor being denied confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan, and worse, a denial of discharge or being charged with bankruptcy fraud.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 10
So, you are thinking about filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and you say to yourself, I don’t want to lose my Harley Davidson Some folks are a lot like me, they have high anxiety and want to know who exactly is involved in this process and what do they do?
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 Wesley Scott on November 4
So, you are thinking about filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and you say to yourself, I don’t want to lose my Harley Davidson worth 8k and no liens against it right? So, what do you do? You transfer the title to the Harley to your brother for nothing. Problem solved right? Wrong!
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 3
To understand what a reaffirmation agreement is in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you first must understand what the goal of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is. The goal of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to obtain a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge absolves you of your personal liability for the underlying debt. Creditor must write the debt off and is not able to pursue debtor for the debt again.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 2
I think one of the most anxiety producing events for a client is the meeting of creditors or 341 meeting. This is the meeting where the Chapter 7 trustee has debtor verify that the information on the schedules is true and correct and complete.
Posted by Wesley Scott on November 1
Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires Chapter 7 trustees to conduct and for Chapter 7 debtors to attend a meeting of creditors. The code requires that a meeting of creditors must be conducted within a reasonable time from filing the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The purpose of the meeting of creditors is two-fold. First, it is to give the Chapter 7 trustee a chance to verify that the information contained in debtor’s schedules is true, correct, and complete. Second, the purpose of the meeting is to give creditors a chance to appear and ask debtors questions about debtor’s assets and debts and financial circumstances.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 31
Section 704 of the Bankruptcy Code outlines the duties of a Chapter 7 trustee. A chapter 7 trustee’s primary role is to administer the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. This means that once assigned a Chapter 7 case by the US Trustee’s Office, a Chapter 7 trustee must review the schedules, question the debtor at a 341 meeting, and generally make sure debtor’s schedules are verified by debtor themselves.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 30
We have discussed what reaffirmation agreements are in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy but what is a redemption agreement in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? The best way to illustrate a redemption agreement is to give you an example. Say you own a vehicle worth 5k but you owe 12k on the underlying loan.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 29
While Section 109(a) describes who can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we want to know now where can the bankruptcy be filed?
It is not possible to move from one state to another and file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy the next day. 28 U.S. Code Section 1408 states that debtor may file a bankruptcy in the bankruptcy court of the federal judicial district in which the person filing bankruptcy has his/her principal residence, place of business, or principal assets. The domicile has to be where you were domiciled the greater part of the last 6 months and so, where you have been domiciled the last 91 days.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 28
What is the goal of filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Getting a Chapter 7 discharge. Getting a Chapter 7 discharge means the debt is wiped out, tax free, forever. Are there situations where creditors can object to you discharging a debt? You bet there is. Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code outlines several reasons a creditor could object to you discharging a debt made with the creditor.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 27
Minnesotans are always amazed to find out that there really is a government sponsored debt consolidation plan. Most Minnesotans are not aware of this. If you live in St Paul, Minnesota and you are suffering from overwhelming debt and you are currently in a traditional debt consolidation plan, you are wasting your time. You read this right, you are wasting your time. Why? Because the government sponsored debt consolidation plan is much better for you and your family.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 24
Unfortunately, when you receive a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge, there is no little bankruptcy dude that runs throughout the state and erases public records. I wish this were true, but it’s not. When you receive a discharge in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the public record needs to be cleaned up. The judgments you received before you filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on pre-petition debt still linger in the public records after you receive your discharge.
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 October 19
There are numerous reasons why a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge can be denied. Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code outlines these reasons.
Section 727(a)(2) states that if debtor, with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor or an officer of the estate has removed, destroyed, mutilated or concealed A) property of debtor within 1 year prior to filing the bankruptcy or B) property of the estate after filing the bankruptcy, your discharge may be denied.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 18
Sometimes, when a debtor files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there is a desire to convert to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Maybe, it is because debtor’s income has risen or the US Trustee’s Office has a brought a motion to dismiss debtor’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for abuse. What does that mean? In English, it means the US Trustee’s Office believes debtor has the ability to pay back creditors something over a 3-5 year Chapter 13 plan.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 17
Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code provides protections against discriminatory treatment. Section 525(b) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that a private employer may not terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to the employment of a person who has or will file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Posted by Wesley Scott on October 16
We have discussed the fact that the filing of a bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court is an order for relief. And that order for relief triggers the automatic stay provisions of section 362 of the Bankruptcy Court. This automatic stay is a court order that bars creditors from doing most anything to collect on a pre-petition debt with debtor. Of course, that is the general rule, there are exceptions to this rule like the enforcement of child support or alimony for example.
Variations of this questions get asked all the time. Can a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy be denied? Is there anything that can cause my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to go away? The short answer is yes. However, the reasons for dismissal are limited.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 23
Section 301(a) of the Bankruptcy Codes states that a voluntary Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is commenced with the filing of a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition, simply put, is a formal written request, signed by you, appealing to the bankruptcy court for relief.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 22
I am not sure everyone understands the role of a paralegal. Paralegals are not licensed lawyers. They cannot give you legal advice, sign you up, or even quote you a fee without violating state law and many ethical rules.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 21
We have blogged on this topic before. The general consensus in the Bankruptcy Code favors discharging unsecured debt. However, there are reasons why creditors can object to you discharging a debt with them and they are contained in Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code. Generally, a creditor has the burden of proving that the debt owed to them is not dischargeable, say under Section 523(a)(4) of the code for fraud.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 20
We have already discussed how the code defines preferences both to general unsecured creditors and insider creditors, but what are the common defenses to a preference? We will cover that in this blog but first, let’s refresh our memories and make sure we know what a preference is.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 19
Unless you have filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and had non-exempt assets trustee sells and uses to pay creditors, you may never have wondered about this question. Why would you? I mean you have a life and you don’t worry about these things- but now it is happening and the question is relevant. Who gets paid first if a Chapter 7 trustee has money to disburse to creditors? Do all creditors share in the distribution regardless of who they are? What if debtor owes 50k in child support and 50k in credit card debt, do they share the distribution equally?
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 18
You file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy right? You know going into it that you made a preferential payment of 7k to your dad, no surprise there. Your local bankruptcy lawyer has prepped your case well. But, it dawns on you, what happens to the money the Chapter 7 trustee claws back from your dad? Where does the 7k go to?
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 17
Section 554 of the Bankruptcy Code outlines a Chapter 7 trustee’s right to abandon assets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. There are one of two ways an asset gets “abandoned” in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. First, trustee files a notice of abandonment with the bankruptcy court or second, presumptively abandoned by trustee. If an asset was listed but not administered by trustee when the case is closed, the asset is deemed abandoned.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 16
Bankruptcy Rule 4003(a) requires debtors to disclose assets debtor claims to be exempt. Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 4003(b) Chapter 7 trustees have 30 days after the meeting of creditors or whenever an amendment has been filed to the exemptions to object to an exemption, whichever is later. If exemptions are not objected to, title to the assets revert back to debtor. In other words, after this period of time, debtor’s assets, once owned by the estate, revert back to debtor.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 15
With most unsecured debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there is a presumption in favor of discharging the debt in bankruptcy. The presumption in favor of discharging the debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy goes against the back drop of a creditor’s right to object to discharge under Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 14
Section 548 of the Bankruptcy Code addresses fraudulent transfers. The look back period is 2 years. If, within 2 years before you filed your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you gave or transferred any asset to anyone else for less than fair market value that is a fraudulent transfer.
Section 541(a) of the Bankruptcy Code defines assets of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy estate. Essentially, it is all legal and equitable interests’ debtor has in the world on the date the bankruptcy petition is filed with the bankruptcy court.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 12
This is one of the saddest blogs I think I will ever do. People hate seeing the doctor no matter what. Males are especially notorious for not going to the doctor. I don’t have to tell women the dignity you lose at the hospital because they already know. Men don’t go to the doctor until it’s absolutely necessary- and if it is something embarrassing, they would almost rather die! NO lie!
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 11
Section 548 lays out the Bankruptcy Code’s basis for a fraudulent transfer. Section 548 limits the period to 2 years immediately preceding the commencement of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. However, there are some state based claims Chapter 7 trustees can sometimes latch on to and pursue
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 10
There are unsecured debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy that do not get discharged. Nobody has to object or say a word, debtor remains liable on the debt. Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code lists a number of exceptions to discharge. In other words, the general rule is debtor’s unsecured debts get discharged or wiped out. However, Section 523 lists those debts that do not get discharged regardless of whether creditor objects or not.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 9
Yes, there are. While Section 541(a) of the Bankruptcy Code broadly outlines the extent of the bankruptcy estate, and it includes almost all assets of the debtor, there are assets that are not part of the bankruptcy estate. By that, I mean the assets never become part of the bankruptcy estate, and therefore, do not get administered by the trustee.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 8
This is the whole purpose of filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to begin with. Getting rid of overwhelming debt. Many people want to know, well what can I include in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Can I get rid of medical bills? What about trade payables? What about utilities even?
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 7
How many of us have lost income at one point or another? I bet we all have. Losing income is about as American as apple pie and baseball. How many plants have closed and gone over seas? How many times has an employer eliminated over time? How often have you changed careers and started over at lower pay? It’s call life, the humility of being alive.
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 7
No, just because you are married, if one spouse files a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, that will not negatively affect your spouse. Your spouse has not filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you have. The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will go on your credit report, not your spouses.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 6
If you are a renter, or know you will become one, one of your concerns filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will be can I rent after I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? We people with high anxiety worry about being able to rent and the ultimate fear of will I be out on the street? With the gift of high anxiety comes the “worst case” scenario thinking. We always go to the extreme. You know- if I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, I will be living on the street because no one will rent to me.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 5
This part sucks. Having debt in your name is one thing, but when you have someone else on the hook for the same debt- well, that sucks. Occasionally, people think well if I file bankruptcy then the debt is wiped out as to me and my co-debtor right? Wrong! The reason banks want co-signors is if you default, co-signor is still on the hook and has to pay. Remember, if you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, YOUR liability for the debt goes away, but your co-signor’s does not.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 4
It is one of the big triggers for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Not every relationship stays together. This, is a fact of life. Not shocking stuff right? But, the aftermath of a divorce can leave you financially and emotionally devastated. The question naturally becomes, do I get a divorce first or start my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy first?
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on August 1
Legally no. There is no legal requirement that you must have so much debt before you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In theory, you could file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on $500.00 in debt. Now, you wouldn’t do this because it wouldn’t make any sense.
Yes, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is public information. To get this information you would have to know the website to go to, create an account, and link a credit card to it so you can be charged for documents you download. One of the more pervasive concerns Americans, suffering from overwhelming debt have is, is bankruptcy public information and who will know I filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? We get that concern completely. But, like most concerns, the way it works in reality is not what you think.
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 29
We have talked about many issues surrounding the impact of filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on your credit reports, credit score, and credit profile. But, in this blog I am going to write about what actually happens to your credit reports when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Like, when you actually file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy what do your credit reports say? What do they say when the bankruptcy is done? What happens if the credit reports are incorrect?
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 28
The impact a Chapter 7 has on your credit reports is a paramount concern for anyone in the United States who is considering filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There are a lot of misconceptions about how long a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy remains on your credit reports. I have heard everything you can imagine but the single most common misconception is that a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 years. Not true.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 27
What an exciting time in your life!? I know that sounds strange to say but once you summon that courage to tackle an overwhelming debt problem, you naturally want to know okay, how long does this take? The process starts with setting up a consultation with a competent bankruptcy lawyer. Never, and I mean never, ever, contact or meet with a paralegal or an out of state “sales person” who is a non-lawyer. Only lawyer can give you legal advice. Most will do it for free at the first consultation.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 25
It is the America dream. Quit your miserable job and start out on your own. Stretch and try to reach new heights while having a blast and making gobs of money right? I am not sure there is a person alive who has not had the flicker of running their own business at one point.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 24
A common concern for so many people is can I get financing for homes/vehicles after I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Now, this is a good question although ponder this question- Can you get financing to purchase a home/car now? Most cannot. For those that can, I ask if you could get financing for a home/car now would you pay higher interest or need a co-signer in order to get the financing? Most say yes.
You sit back and think to yourself, ok if I summon the courage to do this, can my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy be denied? The answer is yes, but it is very rare. The vast majority of Chapter 7 Bankruptcies go through and debtors receive a discharge- i.e. their debts get wiped out, tax free, forever! Occasionally, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings can go awry.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 22
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is public information. There are numerous companies who purchase this public information to solicit you immediately after filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Credit card companies are notorious for sending credit card solicitations to debtors immediately after filing. Why would they do this? Because, upon discharge, you are debt free, which means you will then have the ability to repay your debts to the new credit card. Crazy right? I know!
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 21
This is a common question we get. Do I have to disclose all my assets? Yes, when you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you are required to sign the disclosures you make under penalty of perjury that all of the information contained in the disclosures are true, correct, and complete. In other words, you are required to disclose all your assets including your home and vehicles.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is an asset based bankruptcy. Debtors do not make payments back to their creditors. Instead, debts get wiped out or discharged to the extent there are no non-exempt assets to liquidate and disburse to creditors. The vast majority of Chapter 7 Bankruptcies are what we call no-asset bankruptcies. That is, debtor have no non-exempt (unprotected) assets they would lose to a Chapter 7 trustee.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 19
You don’t make payments back to your creditors in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This is the opposite of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy where you make regular monthly payments back to your creditors through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy trustee.
You don’t make payments back to your creditors in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This is the opposite of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy where you make regular monthly payments back to your creditors through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy trustee.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 17
You have heard this before right? A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a “Fresh Start” bankruptcy? But what does this mean? It means this- it means that in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you do not make payments back to your creditors. At the end of about a 4 month process your liability on your debts is wiped out (discharged), forever, tax free! Now, that sure seems like a “Fresh Start” to me, how about you?
Not sure why, but when I think of the word “discharged” I think you have been discharged from duty in the military sense. Obviously, that is not what discharge means in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy sense. When we say you have been “discharged” in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy sense, we are referring to what happens with respect your personal liability on your debts. A discharge is granted under Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 17
The language of bankruptcy attorneys can seem like Greek to the non-attorney. What does it mean for a Chapter 7 trustee to “liquidate” assets? When would the trustee do such a thing anyway? When we say, a Chapter 7 trustee will “liquidate” assets, we mean the Chapter 7 trustee will sell the assets and reduce the physical assets to money. You can’t take physical assets and distribute those assets to creditors. Instead, you sell the assets, reduce the assets to money, and disburse those proceeds to creditors pro rata and based on a set of priorities.
So you are reading up on Chapter 7 Bankruptcies and you come across the term “no-asset case” and you wonder what that means. The vast majority of Chapter 7 cases filed in the United States are what we lawyers refer to as “no-asset cases”.
This is a great question to ask. Normally, debts that are forgiven are taxable income to you. For example, if you had 100k in debt and your creditors all said- forget about it and wiped it out that is fantastic, except, you now will have to pay taxes on the 100k. Why? Anytime an entity writes off a loss on their taxes it is income to someone else. Make sense? Now, let’s be clear, paying taxes on 100k is better than paying 100k. If your tax bill is 35k you just saved 65k.
So you decided to file bankruptcy, and get your life back. You have resolved yourself to the fact that of all the options available to you, filing for bankruptcy, getting a fresh start, makes the most sense. I am really proud of you and honor your courage and anxiety! There is a lot of fear about filing bankruptcy. You wonder what people will think of you, what will they ask you and if you have to go to court?
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 10
I am a proponent of erring on the side of filing bankruptcy. Why? Because hitting the reset button is good for you mentally and physically. Who among us wants to live with overwhelming debt that results in stress and worry that sometimes doesn’t end for years? Not me. I have high anxiety. I don’t necessarily mind problems, but I cannot have no solutions. I also don’t want solutions that delay getting relief. For, me delayed relief from a problem, is no relief.
If you live and work around Woodbury, Minnesota, and you are contemplating filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there are some things you should know. Sometimes things are not how they appear at first sight. Have you ever had the experience of thinking in your mind something was going to be really scary and then you did it, and found out it wasn’t as scary as you thought. Heck- you might have even enjoyed yourself a little!?
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 6
I am starting to see a disturbing trend occur in the legal field. Some law firms seem to think they can hire non lawyers to do lawyer’s jobs. Thing is- we lawyers are licensed to give legal advice to clients, non-lawyers are not.
The idea of bankruptcy for most is a scary proposition. But once you find out how it works, it softens the blow. For me, bankruptcy is a business tool, as Trump would say, to solve a business problem. That is, bankruptcy is a tool, to solve an overwhelming debt problem. Okay, well how does it solve the overwhelming debt problem?
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 4
It is sad for me to watch as some law firms protect their bottom line over the interest of the clients. If you think this doesn’t happen in Minnesota, think again. There is one firm, that rhymes with locker, that has five lawyers and five paralegals. Now, this firm advertises for Minnesota guests to come in to see them for a free “bankruptcy analysis”.
Posted by Wesley Scott on July 3
I have a cynical personality. I don’t trust easily and I want proof of statements made. Sound like you too? I think many of us are a bit cynical. Now, you shouldn’t be like my grandpa who was so cynical that he didn’t trust anyone. But a healthy dose of cynicism in the market place is ok! When you are looking for an awesome bankruptcy lawyer is Minnesota, look no further than Kain & Scott. Why? Here is the proof!
What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? How does it work? How does it look on my credit? These are all wonderful questions with straight forward answers. Here are some Chapter 13 facts you will find useful.
Posted by William Kain on June 25
Most of us occasionally run out of money before we run out of month. In this precarious situation, just one serious financial setback can have a devastating effect. Setbacks like serious illness, divorce, or job loss can happen to anyone at any time. When these situations cause financial turmoil, you basically have two choices. You can watch things get worse or you can do something about it.
Posted by William Kain on June 22
Consumer debt is one of the more troubling problems of our time. One in four people experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms because of such debt. If you belong to this group and you are looking for a way out, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the exit strategy you have been looking for.
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.
In a world full of confusion, wouldn’t it be nice just to have some straight forward facts about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? I think so too. So, what follows are facts about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
First, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is on your credit report for 10 years- period. Second, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy improves your credit profile. Why? Because you have no debt! Think about it- if you are a bank would you lend someone money who is in debt say 100k in credit card debt? Hardly. Now, would you lend the same person money if they had no debt? Why not!? They have no debt!
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.
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.
The first thing that happens when you file bankruptcy is you feel an immediate sense of relief. Why? Because as soon as you file a bankruptcy, your creditors are banned from contacting you to collect on a pre-existing debt. There is peace in the valley, your phones no longer lite up and your mail box is full of junk mail - NOT bills!
What are the main differences between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? Sometimes, it helps to peel the onion back, layer by layer, and go back to the basics. What are the primary differences between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? We will leave the question of which one you should file for a different day.
It seems like such a simple question doesn’t it? What is a creditor? A creditor is someone who you either owe money to or claims you owe money to.
For example, you might have a 10k balance on your Master Card account. Master Card is a creditor of yours. You owe them 10k and they would like you to pay them 10k.
Posted by Wesley Scott on June 3
If you are living in or around Woodbury, MN and suffering from overwhelming debt, you are not alone. Each year, more than 15,000 Minnesotans file for bankruptcy protection because the debt simply becomes unmanageable. Suffering from overwhelming debt is mentally and physically stressful. If you find yourself in this position, there are a few things to do right now.
Posted by Wesley Scott on June 1
Ah the great state of Minnesota in the summer. Fishing, barbeques, fireworks, the sound of loons. I love it. But, if you are suffering from overwhelming debt in Minnesota, these things may not have the same meaning for you. It’s hard to enjoy Minnesota summers when all you can think about is your overwhelming debt.
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 29
Kain & Scott has been helping Minnesotans get their life back since 1972! We have seen and heard just about everything you can imagine when it relates to debt, how people feel about it and how it affects peoples’ mental and physical health. The apprehension people feel about filing bankruptcy is real. And yet, the vast majority never regret filing bankruptcy.
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 27
Out of all of the questions we get asked, this is by far and away the single biggest question we get at Kain & Scott. Everyone, and rightly so, wants to know if I file bankruptcy how will this impact my ability to get future credit. And what you think happens, does not. If you live in Woodbury, Minnesota, or anywhere else in Minnesota, read on.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 26
Many of our guests simply know they need to file bankruptcy. What they don’t always know is who should they hire to help them get their lives back. Recently, we put together a 15 minute video to help with answering the question of who should you hire to help you get your life back. 15 minutes could save you a lot of headache and money! You will soon see the video on our website at www.kainscott.com.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 25
Have you ever listened to the supposed “gurus” on debt who tell you to avoid filing bankruptcy? Why do you suppose they tell you to avoid filing bankruptcy? Perhaps it is because the so called “guru” is making money on you not filing bankruptcy. That is right, how many programs are being sold or seminars held telling you to avoid filing bankruptcy but then proffering some lame program to keep you mired in debt for years? Some of these “gurus” have even filed bankruptcy themselves!
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 24
Kain & Scott is St Cloud, Minnesota’s highest google reviewed Bankruptcy Law Firm, St Cloud, Minnesota’s largest bankruptcy ONLY law firm, St Cloud, Minnesota's oldest Bankruptcy Law Firm and St Cloud, Minnesot'a only Bankruptcy Law Firm to help Minnesotan's get debt free and repair their credit using our exclusive FREE 90 Day Credit Repair Program. Exciting? We think so!
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 Margaret Henehan on May 18
Most Minnesota families live hand to mouth. Almost half of the households in America cannot cover a $400 emergency expense. Most secured debt payments, like rent, mortgage, or auto loans, are three or four times that amount. In other words, just one missed installment can mean a world of hurt. Most people lack the means to make catchup payments.
Most moneylenders begin adverse action, including the dreaded acceleration notice, after just two or three missed payments. An acceleration notice demands the entire loan balance immediately; the lender will no longer accept partial payments. In situations like this, a federally-guaranteed debt repayment plan is probably your best option. Almost everything you need to know about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is described below.
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.
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.
Posted by William Kain on May 4
In my last two blogs, I’ve written about some unexpected consequences that some of our clients experience as a result of filing a bankruptcy case. These surprises come from different areas - from the fact that ACH payments can be discontinued to the fact that a lapsed car insurance policy can result in a safe driver being dropped into the risk pool when a new auto-owners policy is taken out. This week I’ll continue to write about expecting the unexpected as a result of filing a bankruptcy case.
Absolutely not. Financial problems are so common that they touch almost everyone. Many people live paycheck-to-paycheck. So even a slight income disruption or a small unexpected expense is often devastating. One in four Minnesotans worry about money so much that they have PTSD-like symptoms. That figure is self-reported, so the actual number may be even higher.
In other words, if financial problems could affect your job, many of us would be out of work. That’s simply not a workable environment, so bankruptcy discrimination is illegal.
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 William Kain on May 1
Last week I started writing about the collateral events in a bankruptcy case that can confuse, concern or surprise bankruptcy debtors. I looked specifically at the fact that many creditors will automatically discontinue ACH automatic withdrawals out of the bank accounts of bankruptcy debtors and that many creditors will disable a bankruptcy debtor’s ability to pay bills online (by the way, many pay-by-phone services are discontinued, also).
This week I will write about some other “surprises” that debtors can find in a bankruptcy case.
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.
Technically, the answer to this question is “yes.” However, there may be some debt that you do not want bankruptcy to clear.
There’s a significant difference between secured and unsecured debt. Secured debt includes things like home mortgages and auto loans. If the debtor violates the security agreement, the moneylender has the right to repossess the collateral. That right remains in place whether the debtor files bankruptcy or not. Unsecured debts are things like credit cards and medical bills. As outlined below, these debts sometimes have collateral consequences as well. But in most cases, they are quite limited.
Posted by William Kain on April 19
One of the most common questions that I get from clients after we’ve gone through the process of preparing a bankruptcy case for filing at Kain & Scott is “what else should I know?”
It’s a perfectly understandable question - our clients have been with us at every step of the process of preparing their bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements. They’ve spoken with us at the initial stage, where we put together a “game plan” for addressing their financial problems. They’ve been with us as our assistants verify the facts of their case to make sure the information that is on the petition and schedules filed with the court is complete and accurate. And they’ve sat in with the lawyer on their case to make sure, as the lawyer and clients review the petition and schedules together, that the lawyer is satisfied that there are no legal issues that will create complications in the client receiving a bankruptcy discharge. We process a lot of information, together. But many clients want to be sure that they’ve been fully informed as to what will happen when their case is filed and what they can expect after filing and after they receive their discharge.
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.
Bankruptcy gives fresh starts to unfortunate yet honest debtors. This fresh start usually comes through a Chapter 13 repayment or a Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, there is a presumption in the law that criminal and civil fines are related to dishonesty. That’s certainly not always the case. Some people make one poor decision under difficult circumstances. Others got mixed up in a bad situation they did not fully understand. Still others were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the presumption of dishonesty still applies.
Raising a family in Minneapolis is not easy from an emotional or financial perspective. Statistically, wage growth barely keeps up with general inflation. In certain areas, most notably medical bills, wage growth rates are not even close to inflation rates. As a result, thousands of your neighbors file for bankruptcy protection every year. They understand that financial problems, like many other problems in life, only get worse if you ignore them.
Despite some recent changes to the Bankruptcy Code, this law still gives the honest but unfortunate debtor a fresh start. At Kain & Scott, we do much more than help people get this fresh start. We help them maximize the opportunity.
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.
All bankruptcy wipes out debt. The type of bankruptcy you need to file usually depends on the type of debts you owe.
David Debtor had some unexpected medical bills last year. His daughter had emergency surgery out-of-network and he ran his car off the road one night. He now owes tens of thousands of dollars that he can’t afford to pay. He tried to retire the debt as best he could. But his payments hardly made a dent and put him behind in other areas. He’s not quite at the desperation point, but he is getting close.
Just before Laertes went off to Paris in Hamlet, his father (Polonius) gave him a slew of fatherly advice. One suggestion was “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
But most of us have ignored that advice. We are both borrowers and lenders. So, it’s very important for us to understand how bankruptcy affects both groups. Many of our previous posts focus on the rights of debtors in bankruptcy. That makes sense, because we are a debt-relief law firm. But we also need to examine creditors rights in bankruptcy. Believe it or not, moneylenders are people too.
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!
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.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 16
I know that customer service sounds like a cliché, but it happens to be highly relevant. I know, every Minnesota bankruptcy law firm says they have excellent customer service or treats their clients well, blah blah blah. The problem is these statements don’t always square with what is said about them in Google reviews or by former employees in Glassdoor reviews.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 15
How does one go about choosing a Minnesota bankruptcy law firm that is kind, helpful, professional, and has exceptional customer service? Spend your time researching different firms and reviewing lots of google reviews. Today, I want to discuss two things you should avoid when hiring a Minnesota bankruptcy law firm.
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 2
If you live in Bloomington, Minnesota and are considering filing a bankruptcy this is a lesson in buyer beware! At Kain & Scott our Bloomington Bankruptcy Lawyers have seen several bankruptcy services advertised on park benches, back pages of newspapers, and from out of state companies. Take our word for it, here’s the main thing you need to watch out for…
Posted by Wesley Scott on March 1
It can happen to any one of us. One catastrophe can happen after another. You might have started a business 10 years ago that failed miserably right? That caused the first bankruptcy. 5 years ago you might have been diagnosed with brain cancer. While you beat it, the illness left you with an insurmountable pile of medical debt. That led to the 2nd bankruptcy… Now what?
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.
You are Filing Bankruptcy in Minnesota and, now that the ink is dry and your petition is filed, do you know what happens next?
What happens next after filing bankruptcy depends largely on whether you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, although there are similarities in both processes. For a closer look at what you can expect after filing your bankruptcy petition, read on!
Last week, I finished writing about the way that Minnesota state law treats home ownership in bankruptcy cases. If you recall, Minnesota is one of 15 states nation-wide that allow people who file bankruptcy to either use the property protections found in the Federal Bankruptcy Code or the property protections found in Minnesota Statutes to protect their interests in property - both real estate and personal property. In bankruptcy cases, when property is protected, the property is termed “exempt.” For many of my clients, the anxiety they feel regarding the decision of whether to file a bankruptcy case has to do with making sure that the property they own and want to retain is exempt.
Posted by William Kain on October 20
I’ve been writing about the interaction between a bankruptcy debtor and the debtor’s relatives for the past three weeks. During that time, I’ve looked at the complications that can arise from having relatives involved in a debtor’s financial affairs - and how almost every debtor who has been my client very much wants to keep family members from getting entangled in the debtor’s bankruptcy case.
Last week, I wrote about the issue of home protection in bankruptcy. And it’s a fairly complicated issue. But the bottom line is that if you are a homeowner that lives in Minnesota, and you need to file a bankruptcy case to resolve your financial issues, the equity in your home is almost certain to be exempt - that is, your home can’t be taken from you by a bankruptcy trustee if you want to protect it.
Financial problems make people anxious. And when clients come to visit with me about their finances, it is normal that they are anxious and stressed about their money situation. The anxiety comes, in large part, from the feeling that there’s not enough money to pay the bills - and the consequences that go along with that. The anxiety can be intense in these situations: worries about whether a person can be jailed if there is a civil judgment taken for an unpaid debt is common (no, the person is not going to jail). If a person files a bankruptcy case, who will know about it (creditors certainly will, but friends and neighbors almost always don’t).
Posted by Wesley Scott on February 22
At Kain & Scott, we get this question a lot. Do I qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy? Financial problems come in different sizes and varieties. Generally speaking if you are looking at a bankruptcy website, then bankruptcy is something you should consider. Why do I say this? Because you are obviously struggling with some debt or you would not be searching for solutions right?
Posted by Wesley Scott on December 17
I have high anxiety. I get the anxiety and courage it takes to even think or say the word bankruptcy. While it is easier for me to think or say that word, one, I do bankruptcy work for a living and two, I am not now facing a bankruptcy. I respect those two very important distinctions between us. Many Minnesotans facing overwhelming debt are on the fence about whether they should think about bankruptcy as an option. Often times, some sort of debt consolidation wins out instead so we can say we are avoiding bankruptcy. While that is true, in the short term, long term many of those people end up filing bankruptcy anyway. Here are some of the factors we think you should consider before going down an alternative path instead of choosing bankruptcy first.
Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Minnesota, there are options for making sure you can keep your house. One of the common misconceptions about bankruptcy is the one about losing your home. Whether you have no equity, or some equity in your house, the Federal Bankruptcy Code and Minnesota bankruptcy statutes have provisions that allow you to protect your house. The most important part is, keep making your mortgage payments. However, if you’ve fallen behind, don’t worry. We also have options for making up missed payments.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 16
Beginning the process of filing bankruptcy can seem like an overwhelming task but at http://kainscott.com we have several great resources readily available to any Minnesotan seeking relief from their financial hardships. Our team of expert MN Bankruptcy Attorneys are always happy to address any and all of your specific concerns because we always want to ensure that you are well-informed and comfortable throughout the process.
Posted by Wesley Scott on September 13
So, you are sitting at home wondering about your debt right? You are wondering how it is that end the end of each paycheck you have no money left. By the time you make minimum payments on your credit cards and other expenses that’s it- money all gone. This is especially true if you have fallen into the pay day loan trap. I have been there myself when I was in college. You sell your soul to get a few bucks today but what you pay back is far more than you borrowed- it makes you physically sick just thinking about it.
One of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have is to start and grow his own business. Our economy depends on people deciding to become entrepreneurs. And people with a plan, good financing, attention to detail and a strong work ethic can position themselves to do well financially. But any successful entrepreneur will tell you besides all these attributes, the successful business owner needs a big helping of good luck. Good fortune does not visit every small business. And no matter how diligently a business owner follows processes designed to successfully start and grow a business, bad luck might dash all of the hopes and dreams the business owner had when she set out to start the business.
Posted by Wesley Scott on May 9
If you were recently involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you might be wondering whether you should file bankruptcy. That is a complicated question that involves the intersection between two legal practice areas -- auto accident law, and bankruptcy law. The answer depends on a number of factors.