Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Minnesota
Debt can accumulate quickly, and before you know it, you are beyond any ability to manage it. Debt impacts your credit history as much as it does your quality of life. Creditors and third-party collection agencies can cause serious stress. Fortunately, even when you think a solution does not exist to your debt problem, there very well may be one. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to discharge debts and get a clean slate.
At Butwinick Law Office, our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Minnesota will review your overall finances, debt, and life circumstances to help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is right for you. Then, we will guide you through the process so you never have to worry about deadlines or paperwork. Contact Minneapolis bankruptcy attorney Jeffrey Butwinick today at 651-210-5055 to schedule a free initial consultation, or self-calendar a phone call: Click Here To Self Calendar Your Call
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that can benefit individuals, partnerships, or corporations. If you or your business have qualifying assets, they are liquidated to pay off debt. The court appoints a Trustee to review your assets and determine if any are worth liquidating. Each state allows for a certain amount of assets to be exempted, which means those assets are shielded from liquidation. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Minnesota to make sure you know what applies in your case.
Even though Chapter 7 bankruptcies are a means to liquidate assets and pay off debts, these types of bankruptcies are often referred to as “no assets.” Most people who apply for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 do not have assets that would qualify for liquidation. Nonetheless, debts are still discharged, so you get a fresh start.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is very common––much more common than people know. That said, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, not all debts are eligible for bankruptcy. Second, not all individuals, partnerships, or corporations will qualify. These caveats are reasons why you should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer to make sure Chapter 7 is right for you.
Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically means being able to pass what is known as the Means Test. The Means Test determines whether you can pay off your debts. To pass the Means Test, your income must not exceed the income limits set by your state.
As of January 1, 2022, the median income for a single person with no dependants in Minnesota is $65,514.
Click here for current median income figures: Current Median Income Figures
Who Should File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota?
Any person or company can file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 if they
- Own property in the United States
- Have a permanent residence in the United States
- Have not filed bankruptcy under Chapter 7 within the last eight years
- Completed credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency
- Satisfy eligibility criteria
Reasons You Should File
Even though you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it does not mean you should. You should consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy if
- You want a fresh start
- Your credit score is already below 650
- You want a reasonably fast process to discharge debts
- You have a lot of debt and are either close to or meet the homestead exemption amount of equity in your home (this is the amount protected against bankruptcy)
- You have a lot of debt, but you also have income or assets creditors can take
- You cannot keep up with making ends meet at the end of the month
- You will not be able to pay off your debt within five years
- No other debt relief option applies or would provide better protection and benefits
- You do not want a debt repayment plan
Speaking to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can provide you the insight you need to make informed decisions about how to address your debt.
How Much Does It Cost to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota?
The cost to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota depends on whether you file on your own or retain a bankruptcy attorney. Filing fees must be paid, and they are mandated by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The total filing fees for Chapter 7 will include
- Filing fee
- Administrative fee
- Trustee surcharge
These fees are subject to change periodically. For Chapter 7, the sum of all fees is just over $338.
Retaining legal representation adds to the cost. The typical fee in Minnesota is around $1,500. Much of it depends on the geographic location, experience, skill, and total sum of the services provided.
Due Diligence Checklist for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are quite a few documents you need when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota. Here's a list of some of the most common and necessary documents you will need.
- Current paycheck stub and/or evidence of income received within the last six months
- Tax returns for the last two years
- Divorce decrees and/or domestic court orders related to debt and/or support obligations
- Insurance policies for all insured assets (e.g., residential homes and automobiles)
- Certificates of title to all titled assets (e.g., vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, campers, trailers, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles)
- Deeds to real estate, including cemetery plots
- Lawsuits, judgments, or liens, including tax liens
- Bank account statements covering the last 3 months
What Happens When I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota?
After you file for bankruptcy, three important and immediate things happen:
- You are given a case number;
- An automatic stay takes effect, which means creditors can no longer garnish wages or take collection action against you; and
- A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your case––the trustee reviews all documents, verifies information, and oversees the meeting of creditors.
Once Chapter 7 bankruptcy is granted, you will see your credit score affected by it. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years. As you rebuild your credit, bankruptcy will begin to lose its negative effect on your credit score.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Minnesota Today
At Butwinick Law Office, we know how debt can impact an individual, a family, or a business. If you have difficulty paying bills because of the debt you or your company have accumulated, speak to a bankruptcy attorney in Minnesota today by filling out our online form or calling us at 651-210-5055, or self-calendar a phone call: Click Here To Self Calendar Your Call
We will schedule a free initial consultation so that you get the answers you need to all your financial questions.