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Chapter 13 De-Mystified: Simple Explanation of a Chapter 13 Plan

Because Chapter 13 is hard to understand in a vacuum, using a hypothetical situation is the best way to show just how much Chapter 13 could help the average family.  Below is an example of how Chapter 13 would help “John and Mary Smith,” a young couple how have had trouble making the payments on…

New Bankruptcy “Means Test” Income Figures Effective April 1, 2017

The U.S. Trustee’s Office has announced new median income figures slated to go into effect on April 1, 2017.  These income figures will become part of the bankruptcy means test for chapter 7.  The new figures for Minnesota are: $52,785 for a one person household $70,889 for two person household $85,033 for a three person…

How to Stop a Foreclosure Without Filing Bankruptcy

Yes, in Minnesota you can stop a mortgage foreclosure, and save your home, without filing bankruptcy.  What’s more, there are two ways to accomplish this important result. The Minnesota legislature recently enacted two new statutes allowing a homeowner to stop a residential mortgage foreclosure.  These were enacted in response to the housing market meltdown —…
best bankruptcy attorney St. Paul MN

Craig Andresen Appointed Treasurer of MSBA Bankruptcy Section

On May 21, 2016, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section appointed Bloomington attorney Craig Andresen as treasurer of the section, for the 2016 – 2017 year.  This follows Mr. Andresen’s service as education director for the prior year, and his service as chair of the consumer committee the year prior to that.   Mr.…

New Minnesota Bankruptcy Court Ruling Protects Property Tax Refunds

In a case in which Andresen Law Offices represented the debtor, the Minnesota bankruptcy court issued a published decision barring chapter 7 trustees from taking property tax refunds. This ruling by Judge Ridgeway, In re Johnson, No. 13-41370 (Bky. D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2013), held that Minnesota property tax refunds are “government assistance based upon…

New Bankruptcy Court Ruling on Minnesota Health Care Savings Accounts

Minnesotans who file for chapter 7 bankruptcy need to take care that their health care savings accounts are not lost to the bankruptcy trustee, due to a recent decision of the federal Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. In this case, Leitch v. Christians, No. 13-6009 (8th Cir. BAP July 16, 2013), the appeals court upheld a ruling by Minnesota…

Minnesota’s Bankruptcy Judges Enact Rule Governing Chapter 13 Lien Stripping

Just seven months after the federal appeals courts upheld the right of chapter 13 debtors to strip off a completely unsecured second mortgage on homestead real estate (in a case litigated by Craig Andresen), Minnesota’s four bankruptcy court judges enacted Local Rule 3012-1, which sets forth the procedure for lien stripping.  This action demonstrates the…

Eighth Circuit Appeals Court Ruling Preserves Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases

The U.S. Court of Appeals issued its ruling in In re Fisette, 695 F. 3d 803 (8th Cir. 2012), saying that the manner in which the trustee’s appeal was presented was improper.  The Eighth Circuit’s action has the effect of leaving undisturbed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s opinion establishing lien stripping in Minnesota and the other states…

FHA Says You Can Qualify for a Mortgage Two Years After Filing Bankruptcy

It seems everyone knows that you can’t get a mortgage after filing for bankruptcy, or that bankruptcy will forever ruin your credit, or that you will never again be able to finance the purchase of a new car if you file bankruptcy.  On the other hand, everyone seems to know you have to wait ten years…

Worried About the Bankruptcy Means Test? Supreme Court Says It Doesn’t Apply in Chapter 13

If your income is above the median income for your state, then it’s likely you already know that you’ll have to pass the “means test” if you want to file chapter 7.  Congress put the means test into the bankruptcy law in 2005, presumably to induce more bankruptcy debtors to file debt-repayment chapter 13 cases rather…

Remember, There are Two Kinds of Short Sales

If your home mortgage is underwater (meaning your home is worth less than the amount you owe on the mortgage), or if you can no longer afford the monthly mortgage payments, you might be considering a short sale.  This is a sale for less than the balance owed on the mortgage, which can only be…

You Don’t Need Bankruptcy To “Discharge” Your Home Mortgage After a Foreclosure

Good news for Minnesota homeowners whose monthly mortgage payments are so high that paying the mortgage is next to impossible: the myth that you have to pay the mortgage lender whatever its losses are after a foreclosure is just that, a myth.  This is because Minnesota Statutes section 582.30, and section 580.23, prevent a mortgage lender…

A Legal Myth Busted — Spouses Are Not Responsible For Each Others’ Debts

There are plenty of legal myths that have made their way into the popular consciousness, but few have had the staying power of the myth that spouses are legally responsible for each other’s debts.  As a matter of logic or chivalry, this myth does have a certain appeal, but the fact remains that in every one of the United States, spouses…

Three Years After a Mortgage Foreclosure, You’re Eligible for a New Mortgage, FHA Says

The federal mortgage guaranty agency’s regulations say that three years after a mortgage foreclosure, you’re once again eligible for a home mortgage without regard to the prior foreclosure.  Although you may think this is too good to be true, it’s true anyways, as FHA and HUD regulations show. You might think you heard that you…

Filing Bankruptcy Can Help Improve Your Credit Score

Okay, right now you’re probably wondering if the headline of this article is a joke, and why your valuable time should be spent reading an article on bankruptcy that isn’t serious.  Except the headline is not a joke, and I am being serious.  Banks don’t think like you and I do, and eliminating debts through bankruptcy can…

The Reasons You Have To List All The Things You Own In Your Bankruptcy Papers

The first time you meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, he or she is bound to mention that you are required to list all the things you own in your bankruptcy papers — even things you want to keep out of the bankruptcy.  You might wonder why this is so important.  After all, some property is…

Second Mortgage Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Approved by Appeals Court

Minnesota residents no longer need to wonder if a second mortgage (or any junior mortgage) can be “stripped” in a chapter 13 case, thanks to a recent ruling by the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.  In this Minnesota case, In re Fisette, No. 11-6012 (8th Cir. BAP August 29, 2011), the appeals court sided with…

How Do I Prepare a List of Debts for My Bankruptcy Petition?

Your bankruptcy lawyer will ask you for a list of debts, probably during the very first meeting you have with him or her.  While this initial list of debts need not be very detailed, when it comes time to file your case in bankruptcy court, you will need a list which includes the name and…

Chapter 13 De-Mystified: Simple Explanation of a Chapter 13 Plan

Because Chapter 13 is hard to understand in a vacuum, using a hypothetical situation is the best way to show just how much Chapter 13 could help the average family.  Below is an example of how Chapter 13 would help “John and Mary Smith,” a young couple how have had trouble making the payments on…

New Bankruptcy “Means Test” Income Figures Effective April 1, 2017

The U.S. Trustee’s Office has announced new median income figures slated to go into effect on April 1, 2017.  These income figures will become part of the bankruptcy means test for chapter 7.  The new figures for Minnesota are: $52,785 for a one person household $70,889 for two person household $85,033 for a three person…

How to Stop a Foreclosure Without Filing Bankruptcy

Yes, in Minnesota you can stop a mortgage foreclosure, and save your home, without filing bankruptcy.  What’s more, there are two ways to accomplish this important result. The Minnesota legislature recently enacted two new statutes allowing a homeowner to stop a residential mortgage foreclosure.  These were enacted in response to the housing market meltdown —…
best bankruptcy attorney St. Paul MN

Craig Andresen Appointed Treasurer of MSBA Bankruptcy Section

On May 21, 2016, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section appointed Bloomington attorney Craig Andresen as treasurer of the section, for the 2016 – 2017 year.  This follows Mr. Andresen’s service as education director for the prior year, and his service as chair of the consumer committee the year prior to that.   Mr.…

New Minnesota Bankruptcy Court Ruling Protects Property Tax Refunds

In a case in which Andresen Law Offices represented the debtor, the Minnesota bankruptcy court issued a published decision barring chapter 7 trustees from taking property tax refunds. This ruling by Judge Ridgeway, In re Johnson, No. 13-41370 (Bky. D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2013), held that Minnesota property tax refunds are “government assistance based upon…

New Bankruptcy Court Ruling on Minnesota Health Care Savings Accounts

Minnesotans who file for chapter 7 bankruptcy need to take care that their health care savings accounts are not lost to the bankruptcy trustee, due to a recent decision of the federal Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. In this case, Leitch v. Christians, No. 13-6009 (8th Cir. BAP July 16, 2013), the appeals court upheld a ruling by Minnesota…

Minnesota’s Bankruptcy Judges Enact Rule Governing Chapter 13 Lien Stripping

Just seven months after the federal appeals courts upheld the right of chapter 13 debtors to strip off a completely unsecured second mortgage on homestead real estate (in a case litigated by Craig Andresen), Minnesota’s four bankruptcy court judges enacted Local Rule 3012-1, which sets forth the procedure for lien stripping.  This action demonstrates the…

Eighth Circuit Appeals Court Ruling Preserves Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases

The U.S. Court of Appeals issued its ruling in In re Fisette, 695 F. 3d 803 (8th Cir. 2012), saying that the manner in which the trustee’s appeal was presented was improper.  The Eighth Circuit’s action has the effect of leaving undisturbed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s opinion establishing lien stripping in Minnesota and the other states…

FHA Says You Can Qualify for a Mortgage Two Years After Filing Bankruptcy

It seems everyone knows that you can’t get a mortgage after filing for bankruptcy, or that bankruptcy will forever ruin your credit, or that you will never again be able to finance the purchase of a new car if you file bankruptcy.  On the other hand, everyone seems to know you have to wait ten years…

Worried About the Bankruptcy Means Test? Supreme Court Says It Doesn’t Apply in Chapter 13

If your income is above the median income for your state, then it’s likely you already know that you’ll have to pass the “means test” if you want to file chapter 7.  Congress put the means test into the bankruptcy law in 2005, presumably to induce more bankruptcy debtors to file debt-repayment chapter 13 cases rather…

Remember, There are Two Kinds of Short Sales

If your home mortgage is underwater (meaning your home is worth less than the amount you owe on the mortgage), or if you can no longer afford the monthly mortgage payments, you might be considering a short sale.  This is a sale for less than the balance owed on the mortgage, which can only be…

You Don’t Need Bankruptcy To “Discharge” Your Home Mortgage After a Foreclosure

Good news for Minnesota homeowners whose monthly mortgage payments are so high that paying the mortgage is next to impossible: the myth that you have to pay the mortgage lender whatever its losses are after a foreclosure is just that, a myth.  This is because Minnesota Statutes section 582.30, and section 580.23, prevent a mortgage lender…

A Legal Myth Busted — Spouses Are Not Responsible For Each Others’ Debts

There are plenty of legal myths that have made their way into the popular consciousness, but few have had the staying power of the myth that spouses are legally responsible for each other’s debts.  As a matter of logic or chivalry, this myth does have a certain appeal, but the fact remains that in every one of the United States, spouses…

Three Years After a Mortgage Foreclosure, You’re Eligible for a New Mortgage, FHA Says

The federal mortgage guaranty agency’s regulations say that three years after a mortgage foreclosure, you’re once again eligible for a home mortgage without regard to the prior foreclosure.  Although you may think this is too good to be true, it’s true anyways, as FHA and HUD regulations show. You might think you heard that you…

Filing Bankruptcy Can Help Improve Your Credit Score

Okay, right now you’re probably wondering if the headline of this article is a joke, and why your valuable time should be spent reading an article on bankruptcy that isn’t serious.  Except the headline is not a joke, and I am being serious.  Banks don’t think like you and I do, and eliminating debts through bankruptcy can…

The Reasons You Have To List All The Things You Own In Your Bankruptcy Papers

The first time you meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, he or she is bound to mention that you are required to list all the things you own in your bankruptcy papers — even things you want to keep out of the bankruptcy.  You might wonder why this is so important.  After all, some property is…

Second Mortgage Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Approved by Appeals Court

Minnesota residents no longer need to wonder if a second mortgage (or any junior mortgage) can be “stripped” in a chapter 13 case, thanks to a recent ruling by the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.  In this Minnesota case, In re Fisette, No. 11-6012 (8th Cir. BAP August 29, 2011), the appeals court sided with…

How Do I Prepare a List of Debts for My Bankruptcy Petition?

Your bankruptcy lawyer will ask you for a list of debts, probably during the very first meeting you have with him or her.  While this initial list of debts need not be very detailed, when it comes time to file your case in bankruptcy court, you will need a list which includes the name and…

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