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Minneapolis Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy: the DIY debt relief option... with legal protection

With the recent recession still very fresh in the memories of families across the nation, more people have become consciously aware of the debts that they have accumulated. In social media there are more and more stories appearing about how a couple paid off their credit card, medical or mortgage debt in X-number of months or years. 

For instance, a recent story appeared in which a couple shared how they got into $20,000 worth of credit card debt. For this couple, there were a combination of factors that contributed to the large number. The wife took time off to care for their three children, they had some unexpected medical issues and bills simply became harder to pay.

Income can impact ability to receive a chapter 7 bankruptcy

When a person finds themselves swamped with debt, one form of relief they may end up seeking out is a personal bankruptcy. There are multiple different types of bankruptcies that are available to individuals. One of these is a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy.

There are a variety of different things that can play a role in whether a chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good fit for a person who is seeking bankruptcy relief. There also are certain things that can impact whether a person is even able to receive such a bankruptcy. One of these is a person's income.

The financial impact of unexpected medical conditions

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a shock to anyone. There are the understandable fears and uncertainties of what lies ahead. However, aside from the stress of being sick, many end up in the tough position of having to receive life-saving treatments they cannot afford.

The Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions recently released a report that really looked at the financial hardships faced by many cancer survivors. 

Can you take steps to improve your financial health? - II

Last time, our blog discussed how serious financial problems often seem to sneak up on people without warning. However, we also discussed how there are certain warning signs that may signal that money trouble is indeed on the horizon.

In today's post, we'll continue to explore these warning signs in the hopes of helping people take proactive and preemptive measures to protect their financial future.

I've overdrawn my checking account more than once, how big of a problem is this?

According to financial experts, this can prove to be a big problem, particularly if it has happened more than two times over the course of the last year. That's because not only does it mean the incurrence of costly overdraft fees, but it may also mean that you have trouble managing your money.

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.

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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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