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8 Steps to Surviving Bankruptcy in Minnesota  


Bankruptcy is a difficult decision—the culmination of a sequence of bad luck, bad timing, and sometimes, bad decisions. However, despite the black mark that filing for bankruptcy leaves on your credit, there are times that it is preferable to the alternative. Filing for bankruptcy in Minnesota is a bit complicated and time-consuming, but knowing and planning your steps in advance will help it go as stress-free as possible.

Step One: Get Credit Counseling Before a Minnesota Bankruptcy The 2005 amendment to bankruptcy laws requires that anyone filing for bankruptcy go through credit counseling. This has to occur before filing—but no later than six months in advance. Congress passed the law to ensure that attorneys weren’t talking people into a bankruptcy when there could be other, better options.

Step Two: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in a Minnesota Bankruptcy Court Wrapped into the 2005 bankruptcy amendment is a requirement to have you take a means test to analyze your income from the past six months. The results of this test will determine which chapter you can file for. Under the state median and you can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13; over and you’ll only be able to file for Chapter 13. At this stage you could consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help ensure you’re doing everything right. There are good bankruptcy law firms in Minnesota.

Step Three: Get the Right Paperwork for Filing Bankruptcy in Minnesota You’ll need a lot of paperwork showcasing your financial situation: All income sources for the past two years.

  1. Be able to account for major transactions.
  2. Your month-to-month living expenses.
  3. All debt sources.
  4. Property; real estate, assets, and possessions.
  5. Tax returns for the past two years.
  6. Property deeds and car titles.
  7. Loan documentation.

Various situations may require some other types of documents; if you haven’t already, this would be a good stage to hire a bankruptcy attorney.

Step Four: File for Bankruptcy in Minnesota Filing for bankruptcy can be done on your own, but it is always a good idea to hire an attorney. The paperwork can be confusing and failure to dot your I’s and cross your T’s could leave you in a position where you get property and possessions taken. While an attorney can’t guarantee you’ll keep everything crucial, utilization of a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer will put you in the best position to succeed. Also remember that withholding any information from the court puts your petition at risk of an undesired outcome. Again, hiring an attorney will help you to remember anything that could jeopardize your bankruptcy filing.

Step Five: the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota Will Appoint a Trustee The trustee is the person who reviews all of your paperwork. That person has exactly one goal: get your creditors as much money as possible. As such, be prepared to have various claims and ascertains you made in your filing challenged.

Step Six: the Meeting of Creditors at a US Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota This is typically a short meeting between you, your bankruptcy lawyer, and the trustee. While your creditors can attend, creditors usually don’t bother to show unless they think there is something specifically worth challenging about your bankruptcy plan. Your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you prepare for this meeting. If you’re in line to lose property or possessions, you’ll have to hand them over to the trustee at this meeting. The trustee will then be in charge of selling them and splitting the money between your creditors. (Your lawyers should be able to help determine your exemptions, which will be listed when you file—there are laws in the United States which help you keep things like your house and car.)

Step Seven: Debtor Education Before filings of bankruptcies can be finalized, you will have to do a debtor education course as required by the 2005 Bankruptcy Act. This course can be taken at the same place you did your debt counseling in step one. Completion of this course needs to be submitted for your district’s records two weeks before discharge.

Step Eight: Repayment Plan Confirmation If you filed Chapter 13, according to Minnesota bankruptcy laws you’ll need to attend one final hearing. This hearing will be where the judge gives final, firm approval to your outlined repayment plan. That’s it! A bankruptcy is never fun, but with patience and help from some good bankruptcy lawyers, you can survive. Read more about the cost of bankruptcy. Read more about your bankruptcy rights.

Read more about the bankruptcy lawyer fees.

Read more about your bankruptcy rights.

Read more about the meeting of creditors.

Michael Sheridan, Esq.

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