Can I keep my home and car and discharge my debt?

Yes, you can keep your home and car and still discharge your unsecured debt in bankruptcy.  You will sign a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor and you agree to continue payments and they let you keep the home or car.  You unsecured debt is discharged.

How many times can you file for bankruptcy?

You can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy every 8 years.  You can file for chapter 13 bankruptcy as many times as you need to.  There are some limitations with chapter 13 filings.

How do I get started with my bankruptcy?

Getting started with your bankruptcy is easy.  Just call our office to setup a free consolation and debt analysis with a bankruptcy attorney.  The attorney will discuss your options and review costs.

What do I need for my first bankruptcy appointment?

You do not need to bring anything.  At the first appointment we will gather your basic information and discuss your options for free.  We will review chapter 7 and chapter 13 and how it would eliminate your debts.  We will give you a list of documents we will need from you to file your bankruptcy.  If you want to move forward, we get the documents from you and state the process.  We offer in person and phone consultations.

What debts are discharged in bankruptcy?

Typically all unsecured debts are discharged in bankruptcy.  All medical bills, credit cards, repossessed cars, to name a few.  There is some unsecured debt that is typically not dischargeable.  They include student loans, taxes, and debts from intentional acts.  If you have a home or car with payments, you can keep the home or car and continue to make payments (you reaffirm the debt).

What is the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process?

The chapter 13 bankruptcy process is similar to a chapter 7 bankruptcy. First, you schedule an appointment in person or by phone with our office. It takes about 1 hour to get all the information and review the process with you. This consultation is free. We will review you bankruptcy and nonbankruptcy options to eliminate your debt (1 hour). If you want to move forward with chapter 13 bankruptcy, we type your bankruptcy petition, repayment plan, and gather all the financial information from you. Next we have you sign your bankruptcy petition and review your plan (1 hour). About 6 weeks later, we meet with the trustee to review your bankruptcy petition and plan (1 hour).  After your meeting with the trustee, there is a confirmation hearing in court that you typically do not attend.  You will make monthly payments to the trustee who uses that money to pay your creditors during your plan.  You plan will not exceed 60 months.

What is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process?

The chapter 7 bankruptcy process is easy.  First, you schedule an appointment in person or by phone with our office.  It takes about 1 hour to get all the information and review the process with you.  This consultation is free.  We will review you bankruptcy and nonbankruptcy options to eliminate your debt (1 hour).  If you want to move forward with chapter 7 bankruptcy, we type your bankruptcy petition and gather all the financial information from you.  Next we have you sign your bankruptcy petition (1 hour).  About 6 weeks later, we meet with the trustee to review your bankruptcy petition (1 hour).  You will receive your discharge in about 60 days from that date.  Total time is about 90 days and about 3 hours of your time.

What is Means Testing?

Means testing determines your ability to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The mean income is the average income in the state of Michigan.  Means testing for bankruptcy purposes is based on the number of people in your household.  In Michigan for 2019 the means testing is as follows: one person – $49,662, two people – $60,809, Three people – $72,083, Four people – $88,925, and 8,400 for each additional person.  The means test applies to earned income not social security, disability,  or retirement income.  Further means testing does not apply to business bankruptcies.

What assets can I keep and still go through bankruptcy?

When you go through bankruptcy, you get to keep all you exempt property.  The bankruptcy code has a number of “exemptions” which are assets you get to keep and still discharge your debt.  Your exemptions are extensive and typically cover all your assets.  An example includes: Equity in residential property – $25,150, Equity in one motor vehicle – $4,000, Household goods and furnishings 13,400, Anything you want (Wildcard exemption) $1,325, and $11,850 of unused residential property exemption, Tools of the trade-$2,525, Retirement Accounts $1,362,800, and many more (April 1, 2019).  These amounts are adjusted annually.

Is there a minimum amount of debts to file for bankruptcy?

No there is no minimum about of debt to file for bankruptcy.  There is a point where it doesn’t make economical sense.  Typically, a chapter 7 bankruptcy costs 1350.00 dollars (includes filing fee).  You debts need to be more than 1350.00 dollars.