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Minneapolis Bankruptcy Law Blog

Can you take steps to improve your financial health?

For those facing serious financial problems, it can sometimes seem like their woes arose very suddenly and without any prior warning. While this is certainly understandable, many experts indicate that there are indeed certain signs that may serve to show that trouble may be on the horizon when it comes to money.

In the next few posts, our blog will examine some of these signs in the interests of helping people take preemptive measures to help fend off future financial problems.

Should I pay closer attention to my credit card statements?

While it can be tempting to add your credit card statement to the stack of unopened mail on the coffee table and simply pay the minimum online, experts say it's important to know exactly how much you owe on each credit card. Ignoring your spending habits and the total amount of your debt can create real problems further down the road.

More creditors using wage garnishment to collect on consumer debt

Signs that the U.S. economy is finally rebounding from the recent recession are all around us, as home values continue to rise, employment has shown steady improvement and foreclosures have dropped in many states.

It's important to understand, however, that there are still many people who are still feeling the financial impact of the recent recession, struggling with exceptionally high levels of consumer debt, including credit card debt, medical debt and student loan debt.

Perhaps even more unfortunate is the reality that many of the companies holding these debts are now turning to a method traditionally used to collect past due child support or unpaid taxes to get their money: wage garnishment.

For this unfamiliar with the wage garnishment process, it typically consists of companies filing a lawsuit in a local court just a few months after a debtor has fallen behind on payment asking for a certain percentage of their paycheck to be diverted to them until the debt is paid off.

What should you look for in a bankruptcy attorney?

If you are in serious debt and believe that bankruptcy might be your only option, should you hire an attorney or try and save money by going it alone? If hiring an attorney, should price be the only consideration?

Being worried about money during this stressful time is perfectly understandable. But like many things in life, trying to save money by filing for bankruptcy by yourself could end up costing you more money in the end.

Does federal law provide protections against debt collectors?

In response to the question posed in the above headline, the answer is a decided “yes.” Indeed, federal law provides for a comprehensive list of protections against debt collectors who are acting unethically or, worse, unlawfully, in their pursuit of a debtor for an alleged account payable.

An initial question attached to any consideration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is obviously this: Who is deemed a collector in Minnesota and nationally under federal law?

The answer is both intuitive and simple: Any person or business entity that regularly seeks debt repayment is a collector.

Weathering the emotional storm of Chapter 11

Many times on our blog, we've discussed how the decision to file for personal bankruptcy is never easy, and should only be arrived at after careful consideration and consultation with experienced professionals.

As difficult as this decision can be on a personal level, it can often prove to be equally difficult on a business level. That's because many business owners have invested significant time, energy and resources into building their brand only to see it fail despite these best efforts.

In today's post, we'll examine a few tips offered by experts for helping people weather the emotional storm that can sometimes accompany a decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Is it really impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy?

When it comes to the notion of discharging student loans via bankruptcy, the view among many Americans seems to be that it is virtually impossible and perhaps not worth the effort.

According to some experts, however, this is not necessarily the case, as discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy, while difficult, can be accomplished in certain circumstances.

By way of illustration, they point to a 2011 study published in the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, which found that only 0.1 percent of people with student loans included them in their bankruptcy filings. However, the study also found that roughly 40 percent of this small majority who included their student loans in their bankruptcy filing did see some -- or even all -- of this debt discharged.

Some important background information about Chapter 13

When a person is facing significant financial difficulties and someone mentions bankruptcy as a potential option, there is a very good chance that they will immediately discount the idea either because 1) they don't fully understand the process or 2) they are afraid of what it entails.

This is unfortunate because bankruptcy can provide people facing seemingly unmanageable levels of debt with a much-needed lifeline without serving to turn their entire world upside down.

In light of this reality, our blog will take a closer look at Chapter 13 bankruptcy over the coming weeks in an attempt to provide some valuable insight into how the process works and, more significantly, to debunk certain myths.

Study indicates debt may impact physical health

There are many reasons that residents of the Twin Cities might find that they are facing financial difficulty. Financial debt can hinder one’s efforts to move ahead in life and achieve certain goals. In the past it has also been linked to adverse psychological health. According to scientists, it may hinder one’s physical health as well.

Researchers from McGill University and Northwestern University made the connection last year. Their findings were published in the journal of Social Science & Medicine. In reaching that conclusion the scientists analyzed data provided by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Popular race called off due to organizer's financial difficulties

While many people here in Minnesota view the summer as a time to get outside and relax with a good book, golf club or fishing pole in their hand, still others look at it as a time to get outside and get active.

Indeed, a simple Internet search would likely turn up a regular schedule of races, triathlons, marathons and other scheduled events where contestants push themselves to physical extremes.

As it turns out, local athletes won't be able to participate in one of the more anticipated events of the summer due to financial problems on the part of the race organizers.

Experts warning consumers about student loan scams

Consumer advocacy groups, as well as both state and federal officials have been sounding the alarm about the services offered by unlicensed debt settlement companies for years. These efforts have been driven in large part by the seemingly endless string of horror stories outlining how deeply indebted people have handed over their hard-earned money only to learn that the promises of debt resolution were hollow.

While the domain of unscrupulous debt settlement companies has largely been confined to the area of credit card debt and mortgage debt, recent reports indicate that they are now setting their sights on student loan debt.

This is perhaps not unsurprising given that figures show more than 40 million people here in the United States are carrying over $1 trillion of student loan debt, with many of them struggling to find suitable employment.

How exactly are these unlicensed debt settlement companies victimizing those with student loan debt?

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Huffman, Usem, Crawford & Greenberg, P.A., is just 10 minutes from the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and represents clients throughout the United States, Canada and Minnesota, including the cities of St. Paul, Golden Valley, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Edina, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Anoka and Maple Grove, as well as Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka County and Scott County.

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Huffman, Usem, Crawford & Greenberg, P.A.
5101 Olson Memorial Highway, Suite 1000
Golden Valley, MN 55422

t: (800)219-1705
t: (763)200-6595
f: (763) 545-2350

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