Does your paycheck run out before your bills do? Are money problems
keeping you up at night? Do you owe more than you are able to pay? Are
collectors calling you at home and work? Are you unable to make your house
payments and facing foreclosure? If you are experiencing any of these
problems you may be a candidate for bankruptcy. At Jensen Sondrall &
Persellin, P.A. we understand that the thought of filing for bankruptcy is
often times a last resort that no one wants to take. But our goal is to
help you through that process and make it as easy on you as possible,
while at the same time giving you the peace of mind that you can start
rebuilding your life after your bankruptcy is complete.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his or
her bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for
bankruptcy is provided by federal law. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops
all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you.
How can filing for Bankruptcy help me?
A Minnesota bankruptcy filing may make it possible for you to:
- Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is
called a "discharge" of debts. It is designed to give you a fresh
- Stop wage garnishment, creditor phone calls, debt collection harassment,
and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
- Stop foreclosure on your house or mobile home and allow you an
opportunity to catch up on missed payments. (Bankruptcy does not, however,
automatically eliminate mortgages and other liens on your property without
- Prevent repossession of a car or other property, or force the creditor
to return property even after it has been repossessed.
Will I lose my assets?
The answer is "it depends." You are allowed to "exempt" certain property
by using exemptions provided by either federal or Minnesota law. When you
sit down with an attorney at Jensen Sondrall & Persellin, P.A. we will
analyze your situation and make a determination as to what property you
might be able to keep and what property you might lose. However, most
debtors are able to keep their property, including their home.
What are the different types of bankruptcy?
There are several different types of bankruptcy procedures, however the
two most commonly used by consumers are:
- Chapter 7: This is the form of bankruptcy most frequently used by
individuals. Under this arrangement, a trustee is appointed to manage your
estate. You file a Petition which lists your assets and debts owed to
creditors. If you have assets that you can't exempt, they will sell the
property to pay off your creditors. At the end of the bankruptcy process
you will receive a discharge, releasing you from the debts you listed on
your bankruptcy petition. You can keep assets that are exempt either
under Federal law or the law of your home state. You cannot repeat this
filing for eight years.
- Chapter 13: This form of bankruptcy is designed for an individual
debtor who has a regular income and stable job. Under this form of
bankruptcy you propose a payment plan to the trustee to pay your debts off
over a three-to-five year period and keep your property. At a confirmation
hearing, the court either approves or disapproves the plan.
- The other forms of bankruptcy that can be used by individuals include
a Chapter 11 reogranization, which is generally targeted to businesses and
a Chapter 12, which is generally used by farmers.
What is the first step I should take?
If you think you are possibly in need of filing for bankruptcy the first
thing you should do it to contact an attorney at Jensen Sondrall &
Persellin, P.A. to schedule a meeting. We will sit down and go over your
assets and debts and figure out the best route for you to take so that you
can get your financial situation under control.
The bankruptcy process can be confusing and complex and is best handled by
those with experience. The attorneys at Jensen Sondrall & Persellin, P.A.
have experience in this area and can help you with all your questions in
regards to bankruptcy.