It’s a fact that here, in the Detroit area of Michigan, where I practice , a person seeking legal representation for a potential bankruptcy filing has many options available to them. Classifieds websites daily feature advertisements by attorneys offering extremely low fees for bankruptcy representation. It is completely logical that financially burdened people considering pursuing something like bankruptcy would look for the best rate possible. However, hiring an attorney is not always best done on price alone. There are other factors to consider.
In a bankruptcy, you treat your own liability for debts, either by way of a complete discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a partial payment and then discharge of the remaining balance in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You do not treat the liability of anyone else who may be liable along with you for any of your debts. Thus, any co-signers of any of your debts—or primary borrowers of a debt that you yourself co-signed for—will still remain liable for the full balance of the debt after your bankruptcy.
With one important exception.
Posted in Bankruptcy Process, Business Debt, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Co-signers, Debt Listing, Student Loans
Tagged Chapter 13, Chapter 7, co-signers, debt, detroit bankruptcy attorneys, detroit bankruptcy lawyer, detroit bankruptcy lawyers, Michigan, michigan bankruptcy attorney, Michigan bankruptcy attorneys, nondischargeable, southfield bankruptcy attorneys
Bankruptcy Courts in Michigan are divided into 2 Federal judicial districts: the Eastern District of Michigan, which contains Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Monroe, and all of the other “right side of the state” cities and counties, and the Western District of Michigan, which contains Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, and the “left side of the state” cities and counties.
Posted in 341 Hearing, 341 Meeting of Creditors, Bankruptcy Basics, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Michigan
Tagged 341 Meeting Location, Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, detroit, Michigan, michigan bankruptcy attorney
I receive many questions about bankruptcy that may seem slightly trivial but which are actually very important to the client or potential client asking them. I don’t treat any question lightly, but this one comes from my wife: “How is your pet treated in bankruptcy?”
It seems like the answer to this question ought to be “Not at all”—but it isn’t. As I’ve described on this blog many times, all of a person’s assets and all of a person’s expenses are listed and accounted for in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. A pet is both an asset and, as every pet-owner knows, an expense. The question is, then: how valuable an asset or how high an expense?
Posted in Bankruptcy Laws, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Exemptions, Michigan, Personal Property in Bankruptcy, Property
Tagged Chapter 13, chapter 13 bankruptcy michigan, Chapter 7, chapter 7 michigan, detroit bankruptcy attorney, means test, michigan bankruptcy attorney, pets in bankruptcy, property
A reaffirmation agreement is, as I’ve written here before, a separate agreement that you may have the option to sign in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that, essentially, puts you back on the hook for the “reaffirmed” debt as if you had never filed for bankruptcy at all. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges ALL debts owed (except for those deemed to be non-dischargeable by the US Bankruptcy Code, such as child support arrearages or most tax debts, among others), flat-out, unless a debt is “reaffirmed.”
The reaffirmation agreement is a form document with contractual terms of the loans filled in that is provided by a creditor after filing and which requires the your signature, your attorney’s signature IF there is no “undue hardship” (more on this below), and the creditor’s signature. Once signed, it is provided to the creditor, and it is the creditor’s job to file it with the court. If filed and approved, you will be obliged to pay the debt regardless of the bankruptcy.
In most cases, I do not recommend that my bankruptcy clients here in Michigan sign reaffirmation agreements.
Posted in Chapter 7, Debt Listing, Home Mortgages and Bankruptcy, Michigan, Personal Property in Bankruptcy, Reaffirmation Agreements
Tagged Chapter 7, chapter 7 bankruptcy michigan, Michigan, Michigan bankruptcy attorneys, Michigan bankruptcy lawyer, Reaffirmation Agreements
The question of what happens in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process when a filing debtor’s property is NOT fully protected by the available bankruptcy exemptions is a very basic question—but the answer to that question is not one that will be easily located in any bank of public information on the subject. The answer comes only with the experience of working with Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees over and over again.
In other words, it is an answer that only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide, and the possibility that a debtor may have non-exempt property available to a Chapter 7 trustee for liquidation is one of the primary reasons why it can be a dangerous thing for a debtor to file a bankruptcy with experienced legal assistance.
Posted in Chapter 7, Chapter 7 Trustee, Exemptions, Michigan, Personal Property in Bankruptcy, Property
Tagged Chapter 7, chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 7 trustee, detroit bankruptcy lawyer, exemptions, Michigan, michigan bankruptcy attorney
Guest Post by Michael Goldstein, attorney in Massachusetts.
You are in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate your overwhelming debt. As part of your debt, you owe money to a mortgage company for your home. What many people do not realize is even if you are keeping your house, the underling mortgage will be discharged with the rest of your debts. When you file the bankruptcy, there is a form called a statement of intent. On this form you can do one of two things if you are planning on keeping your home. First, you can simply retain the property and continue to pay pursuant to the contract with the lender. This choice will allow you to stay in the home for as long as you are current on your mortgage. The second option is to reaffirm your debt and take it outside of the bankruptcy, so that the mortgage will not be discharged.
Posted in Chapter 7, Foreclosure, Home Mortgages and Bankruptcy, Mortgage Modifications, Reaffirmation Agreements, Real Estate
Tagged Chapter 7, detroit, foreclosure, Michigan, property, Reaffirmation Agreements, real estate