Category Archives: Michigan

Can I Still Provide Financial Assistance to Elderly Relatives if I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Financial assistance provided on a regular, monthly basis to elderly or dependent family-members outside of your immediate household is an expense that Congress allowed in the drafting of the US Bankruptcy Code. Thus, if it has been your habit to send a few dollars to your grandmother every month to help her with her prescription costs, this is generally not a problem in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy—but there are caveats.

Click here to read more about financial assistance to elderly relatives in bankruptcy on the new Michigan Bankruptcy Blog of Michigan bankruptcy attorneys The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC.

If you are a southeast Michigan resident and are considering filing for bankruptcy, please feel free to contact me at (866) 674-2317 or john@hillalaw.com to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Can I Lower my Salary or Wages to Pass the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test if I am Self-Employed?

Some small business owners inquire as to the possibility of artificially lowering their income or taking less wages out of their business prior to filing a bankruptcy petition in order to pass the Chapter 7 means test.

This possibility is fraught with peril for uninformed individuals. Click here to read more about whether one can lower wages to pass the means test in bankruptcy on the new Michigan Bankruptcy Blog of Michigan bankruptcy attorneys The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC.

If you are a southeast Michigan resident and are considering filing for bankruptcy, please contact us at (866) 674-2317 or john@hillalaw.com to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Do I Have to Include my Annual Bonus in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test?

An annual bonus or other “extra” income received within the 6 months prior to the filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must be disclosed and computed in the bankruptcy means test which determines Chapter 7 eligibility and determines whether you are eligible to propose a 36-month Chapter 13 payment plan rather than a longer payment plan.

Click here to read more about the including an annual bonus in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test on the new Michigan Bankruptcy Blog of Michigan Bankruptcy Attorneys The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC.

If you are a southeast Michigan resident considering filing for bankruptcy, please feel free to contact us at john@hillalaw.com or (866) 674-2317 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Will Bankruptcy Discharge my Condominium Association Fees?

Past-due condominium dues and fees owed at the time of filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in Michigan will be discharged by the bankruptcy just like any other credit card or medical debt. However, you will be required to pay ongoing dues from the date of filing of the bankruptcy petition forward, through the point at which you are no longer the legal, titled owner of the property. That is, after a full foreclosure of the property by the mortgage-holding bank after the bankruptcy.

Click here to read more about condo association dues in bankruptcy on the new Michigan Bankruptcy Blog of Michigan Bankruptcy Attorneys The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC.

If you are a southeast Michigan resident and are considering filing for bankruptcy, please contact us at (866) 674-2317 or john@hillalaw.com to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Do I Need to List Every Debt in my Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? (Revisited)

I’ve written before on the subject of whether all debts must be listed in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition as an answer to the very commonly asked question, “Can I leave my favorite credit card out of the bankruptcy?”

The answer to that question is an easy, “No, you cannot leave a debt out of the bankruptcy; the US Bankruptcy Code requires that all assets and all liabilities (debts) must be listed in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition—and treated in a Chapter 13 payment plan one way or another.

However, there are additional reasons why you would want every debt listed, even if you otherwise desired to leave it out of the bankruptcy:

Continue reading

The Mortgage Meltdown: What Really Happened?

As a bankruptcy attorney routinely filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in an economically hard-pressed state, Michigan, I am daily confronted with the real-world consequences of what the news media talking-heads have come to refer to as “The Mortgage Meltdown” or “The Housing Bubble Burst.”

Everyone is familiar with the long and short of this economic crisis—namely, that property values were quite high for some period of time, during which many folks purchased homes at high prices thinking that they were investing in their future, and then, suddenly, those homes were not worth nearly as much, leaving homeowners with negative equity, massively high monthly mortgage payments relative to the value of their homes, and no real way to sell or move away from the home in the case of job-loss in their geographic areas.

Continue reading

New Means Test Numbers for Michigan for May 1, 2012

As of May 1, 2012, the Federal US Trustee Program is again updating their means test household median income numbers for Michigan. The news is good for prospective Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers as the median incomes for households of various sizes have increased slightly—meaning that you can earn a little more money than previously and still be eligible for Chapter 7.

  • Household of 1: $45,056.00
  • Household of 2: $51,660.00
  • Household of 3: $60,313.00
  • Household of 4: $72,454.00

(Add $7,500.00 to median for every household member over 4.)

If you are a southeast Michigan resident and are considering filing for bankruptcy, please contact me at john@hillalaw.com or (866) 674-2317 to schedule a free, initial consultation.