Friday, January 31, 2014

Can Tax Debts Be Simply Eliminated Through Filing For Bankruptcy?

There are many ads on the TV and radio that claim tax debts can simply be eliminated through filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, this is not always true.

Income tax debts are able to be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy if all of the following is true:
  • All tax returns for the tax debt you're seeking to discharged must have been filed at least two years before filing for bankruptcy.
  • The tax debt must have been due at least three years prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. 
  • You must have filed a return for the tax at least two years prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. 
  • The income tax debt has to have been assessed by the IRS a minimum of 240 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. 
  • If a fraudulent tax return was filed or you attempted to evade paying the taxes by, for example, using a false Social Security number, bankruptcy won't be able to eliminate this debt. 
Certain events like a prior bankruptcy or an offer-in-compromise with the IRS can toll (stop) the running of these time periods. There are entire books written on how to interpret the rules for discharging a debt in bankruptcy. Be sure to obtain competent advice.

Unfortunately, even if you qualify to have your tax debt eliminated, your bankruptcy will not rid you of prior tax liens. If the IRS placed a lien on your property before bankruptcy was filed, the lien remains. This requires the debtor to satisfy the balance before they are able to sell the property. If the tax lien does not attach to any property, the IRS may abate (remove) the lien.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bankruptcy Can Be A Way Of Obtaining College Transcripts That Are Withheld For Nonpayment Of Tuition Or Loans

Bankruptcy can be a way of obtaining college transcripts that are withheld for nonpayment of tuition or loans. The filing of a bankruptcy petition creates an “automatic stay” that prevents any effort by a creditor to collect on a debt. The great majority of courts that have ruled on the issue have held that the withholding of a college transcript on account of an unpaid debt constitutes an attempt to coerce payment of the debt and is therefore in violation of the bankruptcy stay. The Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota ruled this way in the matter ofre Lanford, 10 B.R. 132 (Bankr.D.Minn.1981) At least two U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals have also ruled this way, In re Merchant, 958 F.2d 738 (6th Cir. 1992); In re Gustafson, 111 B.R. 282 (Bankr. 9th Cir. 1990), rev’d on other grounds 934 F.2d 216 (9th Cir. 1990). As a result, it is very likely that your former school will release your transcripts voluntarily after your file a bankruptcy petition. If the school refuses to release the transcripts and the court finds that the school has violated the bankruptcy stay, the school can be sued for actual and punitive damages, including attorney’s fee and costs.

Tuition debt in most cases is not discharged (eliminated) in bankruptcy, so ultimately you may still have to pay the tuition debt. However, if you have other debts problems that bankruptcy can resolve, the release of your college transcripts may be one more reason to consider filing for bankruptcy protection.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Will My Credit Be Ruined Forever If I File For Bankruptcy In Minnesota?

Bankruptcy Myths

"My credit will be ruined forever if I file for bankruptcy."
While bankruptcy does stay on your credit report from seven to 10 years (depending on which type of personal bankruptcy you file), often times your credit is even better (with time) because you've taken control of your finances and have attainable goals.

"I can get rid of all of my debt through bankruptcy."
There are certain types of debt that are not able to be discharged through bankruptcy, such as student loans (unless undue hardship is proven), criminal restitution, spousal support, and child support. Also, debts that came about as a result of some type of improper behavior (such as fraud) are deemed non-dischargeable. Certain types of taxes are not typically discharged either. For more in-depth info regarding this subject consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

"Only irresponsible people file for bankruptcy."
Even thought the economy is on the upswing, many people have been forced to file for bankruptcy due to past economic issues, whether it was job loss, divorce, injury, the cost of living, student debt, or medical bills. Today, many families with normal spending habits have filed for bankruptcy to get a fresh start.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.