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I am often asked when a person should consider filing for bankruptcy. Generally, if a person has one or two debts, I recommend trying to negotiate a more favorable payment arrangement with the creditor. However, if a person is drowning in debt and is constantly being harassed by debt collectors, then bankruptcy may be an appropriate option to consider.

There is no bright line or amount of debt that you have to have in order to qualify to file bankruptcy. Lots of people just like you are in the same situation, where there is too much month and not enough money. Bills keep piling up, and debt collectors keep calling and sending threatening letters. Perhaps you have even been sued by a debt collector. That happens sometimes.

I help people just like you to get bankruptcy relief under the law. Everybody's situation is unique, and everybody deserves special attention. Please give me a call at (763) 450 – 9494 to discuss your specific situation and needs. Also, please mention that you read this blog post to receive a free consultation. Normally, I charge $150 (in 2015) for a consultation, but will waive that charge for readers of this blog.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer debtors and small businesses in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  This blog post may constitute attorney advertising.  Further, Tim is licensed only in Minnesota state and federal courts, and the information that is provided here is applicable only to those jurisdictions.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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Landlords often ask me what happens at an eviction hearing in Minnesota. The simple answer is that one of four things can happen, depending on what  the landlord wants to happen and whether or not the tenant shows up.

First, the tenant might not show up, and the landlord will win by default. That means that the landlord can get the Writ of Recovery immediately. The Writ of Recovery is an order from the court which tells the sheriff to remove the tenant from the property

The second option is that the landlord and tenant might be able to work out a settlement agreement, whereby the tenant either agrees to pay up or move out within a certain period of time. I recommend that the landlord give the tenant as little time as possible to comply.  The judge could give the tenant up to seven days, and I generally recommend not giving the tenant longer than seven days, although it is probably okay to go out longer if the landlord so wishes.  Still, I would probably not go out longer than 30 days, unless the landlord wants to be very generous.

The third option is that the tenant shows up, but the landlord and tenant are not able to agree on a settlement of the dispute. However, if the judge finds or the tenant admits that the tenant has violated the lease either by not paying rent, by staying beyond the date allowed in the lease, or in some other way, the judge might find for the landlord anyway. In this case, the judge can stay the writ of recovery for up to seven days if there is a finding of undue hardship, which usually means that the tenant either has young children or an obvious physical disability

The fourth option is that the tenant might request a trial. If the landlord has brought the eviction only because the tenant has not paid rent, then the landlord should request that trial be conditioned on the tenants paying the unpaid rent into the court. In other words, the tenant will not get a trial on the issue of unpaid rent unless the tenant has paid amount of unpaid rent into court. However, if the landlord has brought the eviction also because the tenant has not paid rent and for some other reason, then the tenant can get a trial with out having to deposit the unpaid rent into court

For this reason, I always ask the landlord what they want to happen at the hearing. If the landlord just wants the tenant to move out and be gone, then it makes sense to bring the eviction action for unpaid rent and for any other lease violation or violations, even if that means the tenant can get a trial without depositing the unpaid rent into court. However, if the landlord just wants the tenant to get caught up, then I generally recommend that the landlord bring an eviction action only for unpaid rent, and for no other reason, even if there are other lease violations. In so doing, the landlord hopes that the tenant will realize that the landlord is serious about rent, and will evict the tenant if the rent is not paid.  In other words, by bringing the eviction, the landlord wants the tenant to realize that the landlord means business.

Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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As a landlord's attorney, I am frequently asked when a landlord should evict a tenant. The short answer is that, unless the landlord is a mobile home park, the landlord should bring an eviction as soon as the tenant is late on rent.

If you are a mobile home park, then you are required under

Minn. Stat. §327C .09, subd. 2

 to give the tenant a 10 day notice that they are behind on rent before bringing an eviction. Indeed, if you are the landlord of a mobile home park, you would be well advised to review the entirety of Minnesota Statutes for all of the laws that apply to your situation. Chapter 327C. Here is a link to the statue.

Contrary to popular belief, Minnesota law does not have a notice or warning requirement that requires landlords to give a tenant before bringing an eviction. However, your lease might have a clause that says if you are supposed to give a warning or otherwise provide notice that you are going to evict a tenant.

I generally recommend that landlords evict a tenant as soon as the tenant is late on rent. Usually, a lease provides that a tenant has a 5 day grace period before rent is considered late. A landlord could bring an eviction as soon as the 6th day, but you may be better served by sending a demand letter for the rent + the late fee to the tenant, and give the tenant a very short leash – no longer than a week – to pay up and avoid an eviction on their record.

In no case would I recommend waiting more than a month to evict a tenant. If you do, the rent arrears will be so great that the tenant will not be able to pay them and stay current on their regular rent as well.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents both landlords and tenants - primarily landlords  in eviction actions, and in other litigation related to the landlord-tenant legal relationship.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today!

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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Should inmates in prison be allowed to vote? Currently,in Minnesota, Minn. Stat. § 609.165 prohibits felons from voting while in prison.  Here is a link to the statute:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.165

However, the same statute restores the right to vote upon discharge of the felon's sentence. In other words, a felon in prison,on probation or parole has to wait until the discharge of their sentence in order to be able to vote.

This is an issue which is near and dear to my heart because I spent several years working in the state prison system in Minnesota.I tend to think that most inmates are extremely manipulative, but do not know if prison made them that way or if the inmates were manipulative before they went to prison.

Nevertheless, I cannot think of any reason to deny a person a right to vote if that person is a felon, unless the conviction has something to do with voting, such as folder fraud.  The problems are largely practical and logistical, such as how voting would be organized in prisons, would prison guards have to supervise the voting process, and would candidates for political office campaign in prisons? Indeed, I am not sure that candidates for political office would even be allowed in a secure facility.


WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  This blog post may constitute attorney advertising.  Further, Tim is licensed only in Minnesota state and federal courts, and the information that is provided here is applicable only to those jurisdictions.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.




 
 
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The United States bankruptcy court substantially changed the official forms use to file for bankruptcy on December 1, 2015. In the words of the bankruptcy court:

"Most Official Bankruptcy Forms were replaced on December 1, 2015, with substantially revised, reformatted, and renumbered versions.  The 2015 forms are part of a forms modernization project that was begun by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 2008.  Among other things, the 2015 forms introduce different versions of case opening forms for individual debtors and non-individual debtors.  Links to the instruction booklets for individual debtors, for non-individual debtors, and to a forms number conversion chart can be found below.

The revised forms are easier for debtors to understand and complete, and are designed to work with scheduled enhancements to the federal courts’ case opening and electronic case management system."

http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/pending-rules-amendments/pending-changes-bankruptcy-forms

The new forms is essentially gather more information about the debtor, the debtor’s property or possessions, and the debtor’s income and expenses. This is an oversimplification, but that is what I understood after attending a seminar on the new bankruptcy forms.

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you should make sure that the attorney you select is using the latest bankruptcy forms and the latest software to prepare those forms. I think that most attorneys will, but you should still make certain, if only for your own peace of mind.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer debtors and small businesses in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  This blog post may constitute attorney advertising.  Further, Tim is licensed only in Minnesota state and federal courts, and the information that is provided here is applicable only to those jurisdictions.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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There were no decisions issued this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Usually, this means there are several cases that will be issued in the near future.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first decision is unique because it is published (probably it recognizes that "court’s opinion in Van de Werken v. Bell & Howell, LLC, 834 N.W.2d 220 (Minn. App. 2013), was abrogated by the legislature’s 2014 amendments to the statute."  The second is unique because the Relator is represented by an attorney (but still lost).  The third is a fairly typical employment misconduct case, but is nevertheless unique because it has a dissent - and, if the Relator appeals, is probably headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

1. A15-0797 Clifford G. Menyweather, Relator, vs. Fedtech, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

An applicant for unemployment benefits is temporarily ineligible if the applicant is entitled to severance pay in an amount that exceeds the weekly amount of unemployment benefits. Pursuant to section 268.085, subdivision 3(b), of the Minnesota Statutes, the period of ineligibility is “the period immediately following the later of the date of separation from employment or the date the applicant first becomes aware that the employer will be making a [severance] payment,” regardless of “[t]he date the payment is actually made or received.”

2.  A15-0298 Eugene Boisson, Relator, vs. Shepard Parking, LLC, Respondent, Transport Leasing Contract, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) decision that he received constitutionally adequate notice related to his receipt of benefits. Because we conclude that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) notice was reasonably calculated to apprise relator of the effects of failing to turn in a questionnaire or appeal an initial decision, we affirm.

3. A15-0474 Georgina Pletcher, Relator, vs. River Hill Assisted Living, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this certiorari appeal from the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct, relator argues that she was a good employee and that the employer fabricated the allegations against her. The misconduct in this case was displaying an unprofessional demeanor and attitude in the workplace, but the dissent did not think the behavior in question rose to the level of employment misconduct.  We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.