• The private panel of trustees

    By Sam Calvert, Attorney At Law |

    The private panel of trustees

    When you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the United States Trustee (which is a part of the Department of Justice that oversees bankruptcy cases) appoints a person whose title is "trustee". The US Trustee will invariably select someone for "the private panel of trustees" -- a list of people who are pre-qualified to serve. Technically your creditors could elect a different person at the first meeting of creditors, but I have never seen that happen. By the way, what I am saying here is about trustees in a chapter 7 case. In other chapters there are trustees, but they function very differently.

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  • Oh no, my contract for deed seller filed bankruptcy

    By Sam Calvert, Attorney At Law |

    Oh no, my contract for deed seller filed bankruptcy

    Since mortgage rates seem to be on their way up, we may run into more folks buying their home on a contract for deed. In case you don’t know, a contract for deed is a device under which you agree to pay the purchase price to the owner of the house over time instead of getting a mortgage and paying the seller with that loan. (Some states refer to this as an installment land contract.) Contracts for deed often have relatively small down payments, monthly payments that are largely interest only, and must be paid off in (balloon) in three to five years.

    So, let’s say you bought your home that way. And today you got a “Notice of Official Proceeding in Bankruptcy Court” in the mail. You open the letter, wondering what’s up, and find out that the person who sold you the house filed their own bankruptcy.

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  • Don’t lose your contract for deed house

    By Sam Calvert, Attorney At Law |

    Don’t lose your contract for deed house

    A prior post talked about the situation where you are the buyer on a contract for deed, are current, and the seller files bankruptcy. (Basically the message is: You’re okay for the term of the contract).

    But what if you are behind on your contract for deed? Then the situation can be an emergency. The reason is this: In Minnesota a contract for deed can be canceled (terminated) by giving a particular notice which gives the buyer 60 days to catch up. (There are a few oddball situations where the timing would be different.) If you don’t catch up within that 60 days you lose your purchaser’s interest and all the payments you have made and any equity you have built up.

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  • What will I lose in bankruptcy?

    By Sam Calvert, Attorney At Law |

    What will I lose in bankruptcy

    Most people file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy the trustee may claim some of your stuff.

    There are two sets of exemption we can use in "state" and "federal".

    The "state exemptions" protect (generally) $450,000 of equity in your home; $5000 of equity in one car; $11,250 of household goods; $3,062.50 in wedding rings exchanged at the ceremony; tools of trade of $12,500 ($13,000 for farmers); three-fourths of wages due but not paid; Social Security benefits; and (in a bankruptcy context) $1,512,350 of 401(k) or IRA accounts. There are some other exemptions that aren't as common. The homestead exemption is single or joint; the others are per person.

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  • GET CHEAPER INTERNET

    By Sam Calvert, Attorney At Law |

    GET CHEAPER INTERNET

    I came across a program that will help some people save money on their monthly internet bill.

    Internet access seems like a necessity these days, but what with inflation hitting all of us, it sometimes seems out of reach.

    The "Affordable Connectivity Program" will cover $30 of your internet bill (higher on tribal lands). I happen to have Spectrum internet at home, and everytime I log on there is a banner at the top saying that I might qualify for a monthly discount.

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