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One of the first questions often asked of a Minneapolis-St. Paul bankruptcy attorney is: what can I keep if I file for bankruptcy? It is an important question that depends on a number of factors, including what type of bankruptcy you file, what exemptions you choose to use, the value of your property, and other issues. A Minneapolis-St. Paul bankruptcy lawyer will help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family after considering your individual situation. Common Exemptions In Minnesota you have a choice between federal bankruptcy exemptions and state bankruptcy exemptions. You must pick one list or the other. You may not choose some from each list. Federal Exemptions Some of the federal exemptions include the following, up to a certain limit: Equity in your home. Household goods and appliances. Motor vehicle. Tools of your trade. Benefits. Catch-all exemption that lets you choose (up to a limit) which property to keep. Minnesota Exemptions Some of the Minnesota exemptions include the following, up to a certain limit: Family bible, library or musical instruments. A seat or pew in a place of worship and a burial plot. Clothes. Your home and up to 160 acres of land. Wedding rings or other symbols of marriage. These lists are not complete, but rather highlight some of the important exemptions. Additionally, they are subject to change. Thus, it is important to speak with an experienced Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyer before filing a bankruptcy petition. Contact [...]
Filing for bankruptcy may seem like an overwhelming task. If you are in debt and considering bankruptcy, it is important to take things one step at a time. Your first step is to determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief is a good option for you. That step can be broken down into further sub-steps, such as getting an accurate analysis of your financial situation, participating in financial counseling, and consulting a Minneapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney. Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for You? That is not an easy question to answer, and it is not a question that should be answered without sufficient information. Specifically, it is important to: Make a list of your debts, assets and income. You need to have a complete understanding of your financial picture. This will be required by the Bankruptcy Court and requested by your Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyer. Participate in credit counseling. A complete list of credit counseling that will meet the Bankruptcy Court requirements is available from the District of Minnesota Bankruptcy Court. Pre-bankruptcy counseling may occur any time within 180 days of when you file for bankruptcy and should include a discussion of your financial situation, information about bankruptcy alternatives, and a personal plan to meet your financial goals and create an individual budget. Talk to an experienced Minneapolis Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy lawyer will help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you based on your unique situation and may help you with bankruptcy or alternative debt reduction [...]
You and your spouse are partners. You have built a life together. You may have purchased property together and you may have incurred debt together. Now, you are considering bankruptcy and you are wondering if that is something that you also have to do together. The short answer is that a spouse does not always have to file bankruptcy just because the other spouse is filing bankruptcy. For some couples, the short answer is also the best answer. However, it is not always that simple. If you are married and considering bankruptcy, then the decision of whether to file an individual or joint bankruptcy petition is one that you should consider with your bankruptcy attorney. Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyers can help you make the decision is that best for you and your spouse. Things to Consider When Deciding Whether to Include Your Spouse in Your Bankruptcy Petition When you are deciding what makes sense for your financial future, and the future and security of your family, it is important to consider: Your Joint Debts: If you and your spouse are jointly liable for a debt, then your bankruptcy will not result in a discharge of the debt against your spouse if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota. If, however, you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, then the debt may be deemed satisfied against your co-debtor spouse upon discharge of your bankruptcy. Your Joint Property: Property that you own with your spouse may be included in your bankruptcy [...]
If you are struggling under the weight of unmanageable debt, you likely want relief. As you consider your options, such as Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you want to know when the nightmare will end and when you will get the relief you need. While no two cases are the same, you can get an idea of how long it will take to get Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief once you contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Minneapolis. Attorney Barry Rosenzweig will work hard to get you the relief you need as quickly as possible. The Timing of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Once your bankruptcy petition is filed in Minnesota Bankruptcy Court, the process may be over in just a few months. Specifically, you should be prepared for: An immediate and automatic stay. This means that your creditors can no longer contact you or try to negotiate settlements outside of the bankruptcy process. A Notice of Commencement of Case within a few weeks of the date you file your bankruptcy petition. This will let you and your creditors know the date of your creditor’s meeting and the date by which objections of creditors must be filed. A Creditor’s Meeting approximately 21-40 days, but no more than 60 days, after you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. A Chapter 7 Discharge approximately 60- 90 days after your Creditor’s Meeting. Thus, if everything is filed on time and no extensions are granted, you can typically expect a bankruptcy discharge within a [...]
There are a variety of differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies from the point of view of the debtor. The primary difference is that Chapter 7 involves liquidating (selling) the debtor’s assets and using the proceeds to pay back the debtor’s debts, while Chapter 13 requires the debtor to use his or her disposable income for the next three to five years to pay off creditors. The different processes in Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 affect creditors as well as debtors. One of the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 from the creditors’ perspective is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually results in more of a loss for creditors. Because individuals filing for bankruptcy are financially stressed, the amount of money generated from Chapter 7 liquidation is usually not enough to pay back their debts in full. The deficit represents a loss to the creditors in the form of unpaid debt. A Chapter 13 repayment plan may also result in a loss to creditors but that loss is typically less than the loss incurred in a Chapter 7 case is. Because Chapter 13 involves a higher percentage of debt payment, it is favored over Chapter 7 where practicable. The Chapter 7 “means test” was instituted in order to prevent debtors from filing for Chapter 7 if they have enough disposable income to either file under Chapter 13 or avoid bankruptcy altogether. The means test first asks whether the debtor’s average monthly household income for the prior six months [...]
If you are behind in your credit card payments, you likely have questions. You might want to know, for example, how long it will take a credit card company to garnish your wages and whether you should wait until your wages are garnished to contact a St. Paul wage garnishment lawyer. You May Have Some Control Over When Your Wages are Garnished There is no specific deadline by which all credit card companies will move to wage garnishment in all cases. Factors that may influence how long it takes to have your wages garnished may include how far behind you are in payments and how proactive you have been in contacting the credit card company to work out a repayment plan. Credit Card Companies Won’t Wait Forever That said, credit card companies will not provide an unlimited time for you to repay what you owe. According to NASDAQ, credit card companies typically do not initiate wage garnishments in Minnesota, or elsewhere, unless your account is 90 days or more past due. Contact a St. Paul Wage Garnishment Attorney if You are Behind on Payments If you are having trouble making your credit card payments, then it is important to contact a St. Paul wage garnishment lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced St. Paul wage garnishment attorney may be able to prevent the wage garnishment from occurring or may be able to help you once a wage garnishment is in place. Do not [...]
Just when you thought your finances could not be more difficult, a new challenge arose. You received a Notice of Levy from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The Notice of Levy informed you that the Minnesota Department of Revenue is planning to take money out of your bank account(s) to satisfy your tax debts. You are, understandably, scared. You need that money to meet the daily living expenses of your family. What should you do? Can you get rid of a Minnesota bank levy? Should you contact a Minneapolis bank levy lawyer? Three Ways You May be Able to Get Rid of a Bank Levy in Minnesota Generally, you may be able to stop the bank levy from happening if you: Reach an agreement with the Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue may be willing to enter another agreement for repayment of outstanding taxes. File for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy will stop a bank levy. Instead of satisfying the debt pursuant to a levy, an agreement will be worked out in the course of bankruptcy proceedings. Successfully appeal the bank levy. Your Notice of Levy should contain information about appealing a bank levy. If you are successful in your appeal then the bank levy will go away. However, if you do nothing and ignore the Notice of Levy, then you should expect the levy to be carried out and the money in the bank accounts identified in the Notice to be depleted up to the amount [...]
You and your Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyer have discussed your financial options and have decided that you should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You understand what that means and that you may have to surrender certain pieces of property in order to satisfy your debts. You are ready to do that, but how? When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota, the U.S. Trustee will appoint a trustee to administer your case. The trustee assigned to your case is responsible for the administration of your bankruptcy case and for liquidating any property that is legally subject to bankruptcy liquidation. How the Trustee Will Help Move Your Bankruptcy Case to Discharge The first thing that the trustee will do is to determine if you have any assets subject to liquidation. If all of your assets are exempt from liquidation pursuant to federal or Minnesota law, then the trustee will file a no asset report with the court indicating that there are no assets to be liquidated. However, if you do have assets that are non-exempt and may legally be used to satisfy your debts, then the trustee will liquidate those assets in such a way as to maximize the return to your creditors. This saves you from having to sell your own property and from any appearance of short-changing any creditors deserving of payment pursuant to the bankruptcy laws. Contact a Minneapolis Bankruptcy Attorney to Learn More While the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case [...]