Welcome to Bower Law Office
Dear Potential Client...
I wanted to share a personal side of me because I know what you are going through. Every day people come in to my office, not knowing where to turn or what to do. It's my job to try and fix those problems. I know what it is like to be in your shoes and know personally how challenging financial problems can be. My family was not wealthy growing up, and I’ve seen close family and friends file for bankruptcy.
I want you to know that bankruptcy can be a GOOD THING. It can stop the harassing calls you may be getting from creditors. It can also stop garnishments, law suits, and bank levies. It can give you back the peace of mind you once had. I’ve seen people completely change their lives and get back on their feet after eliminating the debt that is hanging like an anchor around their neck. THERE IS HOPE and it can often be found through filing bankruptcy. I see it happen every day. People get a fresh start in life, and they take it and turn things around. It can happen to you. Give me a chance to show you the way out. Things can and will get better.
I am a big believer that you never give up and that there is always hope. Let me show you that despite all the tough challenges you have been through, that the best is yet to come! Stop in for a free consultation and let's work together to help you get your life back!
Once your bankruptcy is finalized, let me help you rebuild your credit through individual financial counseling, so you get back on track even faster. I’m here to help you turn your life around. Call me, and let’s START TODAY.
How to File Bankruptcy in Minnesota:
The first step is to understand what this means to you as an individual. Is this something that you qualify for and something you wish to end pursuing?
The second step is to find an attorney and set up an appointment for a free consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. In this consultation you will fill out a questionnaire about your debts and personal information like where you have income coming from. From this the attorney will point you in the direction for filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You should bring with you to this meeting is your credit report.
The third step in the process is to set up a second meeting with the attorney to start your petition for bankruptcy. Be prepared because the petition has hundreds of questions that the attorney will ask and you need to answer. This is known as the data entry process. To this meeting you should bring a copy of all outstanding debts, paystubs or income statement for the last seven months from every job you and a copy of all pension or retirement funds you may have in your name. Current bank statements for the last seven months, income tax returns for the last two years, record of any judgments against you. At this time you will also make a down payment with the attorney for the counseling fee. A Chapter 7 requires you to pay the entire amount before you can file bankruptcy. Where a Chapter 13 you only have to pay half of the fees up front and the remainder of the fees can be calculated into a five year repayment plan.
The fourth step is to make an appointment with a court approved credit counselor six months prior to filing bankruptcy. Each attorney will have preferred counselors that they like to work with so they can help you find a counselor. You will need to pay for this counseling. Upon completion of the class you are given a certificate number which must be presented to your attorney.
The fifth step is to attend the creditors meeting upon it being scheduled. This hearing takes roughly a half hour and the trustee will review your application and approve or deny it. The hearing is usually held closest to you seeing that there are so many different courts in Minnesota.
The final step is to attend another debtor education class this is need to discharge your case by the courts. You have to pay a small fee for this class. It is usually an hour long and you must give the certificate number to your attorney so the attorney can give it the court two weeks prior to discharging the case or it will be dismissed.
Cost of Bankruptcy in Minnesota:
We receive calls daily from potential clients who are in need of bankruptcy services but are not sure of the cost. In Minnesota the price to file bankruptcy can range anywhere from $1,000 - $ 10,000. When searching for an attorney things to look for are the cost, what is included in this price, how much experience the attorney has, and the customer service that is provided by the law firm.
Cost for filing bankruptcy can vary from attorney to attorney and law firm to law firm. Typically the larger the firm the higher the cost, so finding a small firm or solo attorney is going to give you the lowest cost. The big difference between the big firms and solo attorneys is that solo attorneys tend to have more clients, where the large firms have fewer clients.
Things that should be included in the cost for filing for bankruptcy should be preparing and filing the bankruptcy petition, along with any of the court appearances and communication. The largest problem usually found in bankruptcy is the communication between the attorney and the client. So when you chose the attorney for you make sure that they are reachable when you have questions, seeing that this is new to you. To see if the attorney has this problem you do not talk to an attorney when you initially come in for your consultation, or the attorney stops in to say hi and doesn’t stick around. Many attorneys tend to forget about how important the communication between them and the client is. If your attorney does not answer your calls within 24 hours there is a problem. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the attorney at the time of the consultation. If some of these criteria were not met at the time of the consultation like the attorney did not answer your questions fully, this problem will only get worse as time goes on.
Recently in the U.S. bankruptcy is on the rise because many individuals are going through financial trouble. This has caused many lawyers to start practicing bankruptcy when they originally practiced family law or another subset of the law. So make sure that you find an attorney that has been practicing bankruptcy for a while because they are going to have more knowledge and hopefully this process will go much smoother than with a new attorney.
So when looking for an attorney, try and see what best suit is for you. Remember to look at the price; what that price gets you; the experience of the attorney and friendliness of the firm. Do your research, so that you can get the most reasonable price for the services and remember that the best lawyer for you is one that matches all the criteria above and is at a reasonable price and not always the cheapest price.