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Brainerd Minnesota Law Blog

Cram down question raised by Ohio court decision

If a debtor in Minnesota files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it may allow for a cram down of a vacation or investment property. What this means is that the market value of the home becomes a secured debt. The difference between the market value and what is left on a mortgage becomes an unsecured debt. In most cases, this is not true for the first lien on a primary residence.

The first lien is generally secured in full assuming the debtor still lived there when filing for bankruptcy. However, an Ohio court ruling may have changed the way that this is enforced. In a case involving SunTrust, the judge ruled that the lender had an interest in more than just the property. This is because there was also a pledge for escrow funds. The ruling was a cause for worry among attorneys representing creditors because escrow provisions are common in Ohio mortgages.

Be careful what you say and where you say it

Although the phrase originated back in 1940s Britain, the sage advice, “be careful what you say and where you say it,” is still relevant today. A flippant comment can have tough consequences. A Fifty Lakes resident is likely regretting his choice of words in a local liquor establishment.

 

Four steps to estate planning

Anyone in Georgia who's had a loved one pass away can attest to the fact that experiencing a loss is a tough situation to endure. Not only can the grief be difficult, but there is also the matter of dealing with the deceased's possessions, which can get messy without a will to clarify their last wishes. Consequently, it is imperative to tackle estate planning in a methodical and diligent way.

Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to ensure that the inheritance process goes as smoothly as possible. The sooner an individual begins planning for the distribution of their properties, the better off everybody will be down the road. Some attorneys go so far as to claim that 18 years of age isn't too early to start estate planning. At the end of the day, what matters is that an estate plan is in place before the property owner loses their ability to make decisions autonomously.

Fans should make a game plan to avoid Super Bowl DUI charges

Finally, Minnesota is ready to host Super Bowl LII at the U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend. Celebrities, events and the general glamour of the year’s biggest sports event will grace the Twin Cities. Even residents who plan to stay home up north to watch the game feel a little extra excitement.

Amidst the celebration, however, there is a risk that some fans could end up with a criminal record by the end of the weekend. With the increase of bar events, downtown parties and casual gatherings, alcohol will certainly make an appearance. Fans are encouraged to think about ways to avoid drunk driving ahead of time.

What happens to the family farm in divorce

Central Minnesota is home to lush farmland and ranches. Many farms have been handed down for generations in a family line. These properties are more than home; they are your livelihood and the foundation of your identity. It makes sense that you hold the family farm dear to your heart and want to protect it.

In divorce, you and your spouse will have to divide assets, including property. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that each spouse can claim, say, 6 of the 12 acres you own. The asset division process is actually more complicated.

Who Presses Charges, Criminal Law, Dui

People often tell me that someone else is pressing charges against them, or that they want to press charges against someone else. In Minnesota at least, individuals do not decide whether to press, or file charges against someone else, those decisions are made by the prosecutor, either the County or City Attorney depending on where someone lives and what they are charged with. Crimes are reported, either by the police if they think someone is violating the law, or by an individual who reports a crime that they saw. A person who is the victim of a crime has input into the legal process but only the prosecutor decides whether to file charges, and how to handle the case once the charges are filed.

The Lawyers Toughest Job

One of the toughest, and most important jobs of a lawyer is to tell clients the bad news, that what they want will not be easy to get, and may be impossible. Having this information allows clients to adjust their strategy to get what is realistic, instead of wasting time and money chasing the impossible, instead of getting some of what they want, getting nothing.

Who Gets Arrest Warrants?

When most of us think of arrest warrants most wanted posters and hardened criminals come to mind. The reality, most warrants are issued for minor offenses where people miss court, usually due to disorganization, or court notices being mailed to addresses where they no longer live. Huge amounts of law enforcement and court resources are devoted to arresting and jailing essentially harmless people because they did not make it to their hearing on a no insurance ticket, or failed to mail in their speeding ticket payment on time.

Who Files Bankruptcy?

Your creditors would like you to believe that only losers file for bankruptcy, people who are irresponsible and do not pay their bills. While bad financial choices certainly figure into some bankruptcys, most people in this economy have very little margin for error, or misfortune. Most of us are one major illness, job loss, or injury away from bankruptcy. Most of my bankruptcy clients filed for one of these reasons. Bankruptcy is just about the only area of the law where regular people can get a small advantage over the financial services industry, that is why they want you to think that only bad people file.

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