Minnesota Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows an individual or married couple the opportunity for a fresh start.
Bankruptcy allows a person to get rid of credit card debt, medical bills, some tax debt, deficiency judgements, and a whole host of other debt.
It also helps to repair credit if you follow the proper steps post-bankruptcy to improve your credit. This means that you get a chance to improve your credit and live debt free after your receive your chapter 7 discharge.
The thought of a chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the furthest thing from peoples mind, my clients have all wanted to pay back the debt to the creditors, but often times the creditors did not want to work with them, to allow them to make payments they could afford.
The credit card companies have made a decision that they will only allow certain minimum payments or settlement of the debt, this leaves people with few choices.
Bankruptcy is a right guaranteed by the constitution of the United States of America.
The reason bankruptcy is allowed in the constitution is because the founding fathers determined that it was better to allow somebody a fresh start, then allowing debtors prisons, that were common in Europe at the time.
It makes more sense to allow somebody to pay back what they can afford, then sending them to prison, where they cannot pay back anything.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing In Minnesota
When you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota you are protected by potentially two different sets of statutes.
The first exemption system is the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions. The most important aspect of the Federal Exemptions is the Wildcard exemption. This exemption currently allows you to keep up to $12,795 in any cash or other assets you want to protect.
You can follow this link for more information on the federal bankruptcy exemptions. This basically means that you will keep your assets, including houses, cars, savings and retirements accounts which allow for a fresh start.
The other set of exemptions you can choose in Minnesota are the State Exemptions. The primary reason for choosing the state exemptions are they allow you to keep a larger portion of equity in a homestead.
If your house or farm is paid off or has equity, you may want to consider using the Minnesota Exemptions to protect that asset. The Minnesota Exemptions also allow a host of other benefits.
What Might I Lose If I File Bankruptcy?
One of the most common questions I encounter is what will I lose if I file for bankruptcy. In the vast majority of the cases we file, the person filing for bankruptcy will not lose any of their assets.
In rare cases the client has assets that are not all protected by the available exemptions. In those cases some of these assets will need to be given to the Bankruptcy Trustee to be made available to your creditors.
This is why it is important to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before filing for bankruptcy, to make sure your rights are protected under the bankruptcy laws. All of our client have a full understanding of what will occur to their assets when they file prior to filing bankruptcy.
What Circumstances Might Make Sense To File A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The situations where it makes sense to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy are when the debt or financial pressure is taking a toll on your health or personal life, or you fear you will not be able to provide for your family or future due to the amount of debt your carry.
Essentially months or even years of worry about debt usually means a bankruptcy is necessary. In most cases clients that meet with our office feel much better about their future prospects once they realize they have a way out of their debt.
This is because with credit card interest rates approaching 30% in some cases, if you could not file for bankruptcy you would be indebted forever.
Once you stop paying on the debt the creditors can move the District Court for a judgement against you for the unpaid credit card debt, and once they obtain the judgement they can garnish wages or bank accounts.
This makes it impossible for most people to meet their bills that they need to pay to live, rent, mortgage, food, gas, etc.
Are There Situations I Shouldn’t File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The circumstances where you may not want to file for bankruptcy protection are if you have large assets that could be lost in a bankruptcy proceeding.
In cases like these you are better off working out settlements with your creditors one at a time and using some of those assets to settle the debt.
How Do I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The filing process begins with a free initial consultation in person, over the phone or over Skype. Once the consultation is done you will have the information you need to make a decision if bankruptcy is a good option for you.
If you have decided to move forward with a bankruptcy filing the next step is completing and gathering paperwork, taking a credit counseling class, and obtaining your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Our office then reviews the paperwork and prepares a bankruptcy petition on your behalf. Once this is finished it is reviewed for accuracy and then filed with the Minnesota Bankruptcy Court.
You will need to attend a 341 meeting around 30 days after the petition is filed and bring to the meeting a picture ID, Social Security card or W-2, most recent paystub, and bank statements from the date of filing.
The meeting generally takes around 5 minutes and then you receive the bankruptcy discharge approximately 60 days after this meeting.
If you are struggling financially and need some good advice contact Bolinske Law to get the help you deserve. We can help you get your finances back on track with solid advice.
We have helped thousands of clients over the years with their financial issues.