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Minnesota Bankruptcy Lawyer Help with Filing a Chapter 7

A Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer at Neff Law Firm, P.A., can provide Chapter 7 bankruptcy information to people who are considering filing bankruptcy.The firm's Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyers and St. Paul bankruptcy lawyers can also help a debtor with the preparation and filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. An experienced Minnesota Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help a debtor with the legal work involved in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Neff Law Firm, P.A., Minnesota bankruptcy lawyers have been advising and helping consumers with Chapter 7 bankruptcy for over 23 years. The Minnesota consumer bankruptcy lawyers at the firm can provide information on Chapter 7 and assist if a person has related legal problems. The experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyers at Neff Law Firm, P.A., understand the financial pressures Minnesota consumers experience and debt relief that may be available to assist them. These experienced Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys may discuss various problems with a consumer that are forcing them to consider doing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy including foreclosure, the inability to sell a house, bad credit, default on a mortgage, failure to pay a home equity loan, falling stock prices, cancelled sales of real estate, breakdown of loan commitments, high risk loans, foreclosures, default judgments, high-interest-rate mortgages, rising adjustable interest rates, burdensome second mortgages, creditor harassment, hounding collection agencies and other money financial issues.

Chapter 7 Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving People in Minneapolis, Edina, St. Paul, Roseville, Bloomington and Throughout the Minnesota

Chapter 7 is a part of the federal bankruptcy law. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a "straight bankruptcy," " consumer bankruptcy" or a " personal bankruptcy."

Under Chapter 7, a qualified debtor experiencing genuine financial difficulty can have many of their financial obligations "discharged" (forgiven) by petitioning the Federal Bankruptcy Court for relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. Some debts cannot be discharged, such as spousal and child support obligations, most tax obligations, student loans (under most circumstances), fines, restitution, damages for injuries incurred as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and a few other types of debt.

Minnesota Chapter 7 Debt Relief/Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you need help filing for Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy in Minnesota, contact the Twin Cities bankruptcy attorneys at the Neff Law Firm, P.A. With a greater Minneapolis office in Edina (Minneapolis) and a greater St. Paul office in Roseville (St. Paul), we are convenient to people across Minnesota. When you have questions about Minnesota bankruptcy, the Minnesota bankruptcy attorneys at Neff law Firm, P.A., has answers.

Who Can File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be filed either by an individual or jointly with the spouse. When two spouses file a bankruptcy petition together it is called a "joint petition."

Where to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition

Most bankruptcies in Minnesota are filed in the St. Paul or Minneapolis offices of the United States Bankruptcy Court (a unit of the Federal District Court). You must file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the appropriate bankruptcy court based upon your county of residence. The length of time you have resided in the state may also affect your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.

What Happens When You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition does not mean that your bankruptcy has been granted by the Bankruptcy Court. Filing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is the beginning of the bankruptcy process which should end with the Bankruptcy Court granting your bankruptcy and discharging your debts.

When the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, an Order for Relief is put in place. This Order for Relief includes an Automatic Stay, which prevents your creditors from taking any further action against you. Your creditors should not engage in any more collection activity, including harassing phone calls, wage garnishment, repossession, lawsuits, foreclosure actions or other collection actions against you or your property.

(There are, however, some circumstances under which an Automatic Stay may not go into effect or may go into effect for only a short period of time. A Twin Cities bankruptcy attorney at the Neff Law Firm can explain these circumstances. Contact our Minneapolis or St. Paul law office to speak with an attorney. The Automatic Stay does not affect or prevent criminal proceedings, tax proceedings, or legal actions relating to child support or spousal maintenance/alimony.)

What Information Is Needed to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor must provide a complete and accurate list of financial liabilities (debts), including: mortgages and car loans, credit card debt, medical bills, student loans, tax liabilities, alimony and child support obligations, personal loans, money owed to family or friends, 401(k) loans, loans against life insurance policies, and other financial obligations.

The debtor must also provide a complete listing of all assets. In a Chapter 7 case, those assets become the property of the "bankruptcy estate." The debtor then uses exemption outlined in the bankruptcy statutes to, in effect, "take back" from the Minnesota Bankruptcy Court all assets that are exempt. Learn more about exempt and non-exempt assets on the bankruptcy terms and definitions.

What Happens to Property in Bankruptcy?

In Minnesota, debtors have the option of using either state or federal exemptions in their Chapter 7 bankruptcy, depending upon which set of exemptions best fits the debtor's needs. The federal and state exemption laws have differing approaches and there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each set of exemptions. In dealing with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your Minnesota bankruptcy attorney can help you weigh these exemptions to determine which set of exemptions is best for you.

Typical exemptions include some or all of the equity in your home, your household goods and furnishings (up to a certain value), a car (up to a certain value), certain pension or retirement accounts, a specified amount of insurance policies, and some other kinds of personal property.

Assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that typically are not protected under the exemption statutes are luxury goods, stocks, and bonds, real estate other than a primary home, cash, bank accounts, tax refunds, and any excess value of an exempt asset. (If an asset is worth more than the allowed value, that additional value is not exempt.) The Chapter 7 bankruptcy law allows for non-exempt assets to be sold and the proceeds of that sale given to creditors according to priorities set by law.

What About Secured Debts Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A secured debt is a debt for which you have collateral pledged as security for the loan. For example, a home mortgage or car loan is secured debt with the home or car acting as collateral. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in order to retain assets securing a particular debt, you will need to continue to make payments as they come due and you may be required to sign a reaffirmation agreement.

If you want to discharge a secured debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should expect to surrender the property to the creditor or see the property repossessed. If you want to keep the property, you may be required to sign a written "reaffirmation agreement" in which you agree to repay the debt.

Another option for keeping property securing a particular debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to redeem the property for an agreed upon amount based on the item's fair market value.

Non-Dischargeable Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Even if you are granted a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will not be relieved of all types of debts. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge debts owed for most taxes, government fines, child support, alimony/spousal maintenance, court ordered restitution, most types of student loans and damages incurred as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The bankruptcy law may also prevent you from being free from debts you incurred through fraud, intentional criminal acts, or obligations incurred too close to the time of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition (such as using a credit card to purchase luxury goods or getting a cash advance right before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy).

Can the Court Deny a Discharge of Debt?

A debtor filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief must conduct him or herself in an honest manner throughout the bankruptcy process. If the debtor fails to reveal assets or fraudulently transferred assets before or during the bankruptcy case, the Bankruptcy Court may 1) deny bankruptcy relief and dismiss the bankruptcy petition, 2) revoke the debt discharge, or 3) refer the case to the United States Trustee and/or United States Attorney for prosecution.

The Results of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At the end of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, most people find peace of mind in knowing that their debts are greatly reduced if not completely cleared. While there will be some consequences for declaring bankruptcy, they can now work on rebuilding a solid financial footing for the future.

Contact a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer

Contact a Minneapolis bankruptcy lawyer at our Edina office or a St. Paul bankruptcy lawyer at the Roseville office of the Neff Law Firm, P.A., to discuss your specific situation and your options for debt relief by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Make a confidential appointment to meet in person with an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy attorney at either our Roseville (St. Paul) or Edina (Minneapolis) law office by calling our central scheduling telephone number of (952) 831-6555. We offer flexible appointment times for your convenience.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

This page does not constitute the giving of legal advice. It does not purport to include all information available on Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The reader should not rely on this information. This information does not substitute for seeking advice and/or legal assistance from a licensed lawyer.

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Over the years I have seen Neff Law Firm lawyers do a great job helping people do a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Client

When people are considering filing for bankruptcy it is very useful to go over the facts of their case with an experienced lawyer who can properly evaluate the situation and assess whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best way to proceed. From what I have observed Neff Law Firm, P.A., has attorneys who have the knowledge and experience in bankruptcy matters to properly conduct a bankruptcy evaluation for a debtor. Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney evaluate a situation may greatly help a debtor ultimately achieve debt relief. Because of the importance of having experienced help evaluating a person's financial picture for possible filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy I choose to strongly recommend Neff Law Firm, P.A., who I know has excellent experienced bankruptcy attorneys. Accountant