What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy in Michigan is a term used to describe a court proceeding in which a judge views assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who fall behind on their bills and cannot pay them back. The judge’s ruling will determine if the debts are discharged and the individual or business is no longer required to pay them. Although this financial law has federal oversight, there are specific procedures and laws for filing bankruptcy in michigan.
Many of the laws surrounding michigan bankruptcy were developed in the 1800s and are designed to give people a second chance when finances have collapsed. It doesn’t necessarily matter if the need for bankruptcy was due to bad financial decision-making or just bad luck, a second chance is typically allowed by the courts. More than likely, you will work with a bankruptcy trustee to file with a bankruptcy court.
Our bankruptcy services can help you:
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Types of Michigan Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in michigan is also known as a ‘personal reorganization’. The program will legally stop a foreclosure sale, car repossession, IRS levy, judgments, garnishments and other types of creditor actions and provide you with an extended period of time (36 – 60 months) to catch up on missed payments. These repayments are locked in at 0% interest and you are protected from further late penalties or late reports to the credit bureaus.
While you are getting caught up on these secured debt obligations, payments to your unsecured debts, such as credit card bills, medical bills, etc., are deferred and frozen at 0% interest. Overall, this program allows you to take control of your financial situation and establish a reasonable payback program based on your individual circumstances and income.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is also known as the ‘fresh start’ program. You may qualify for this program if, at the end of each month, after you have paid for all your basic living expenses ( i.e. home payment, car payment, food, clothing, utilities, etc.), you do not have enough money left to pay your debts. Filing for Chapter 7 will legally eliminate all unsecured debt obligations such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, certain older tax debts, etc. Also, there are allowable exemptions in Chapter 7 that often allow you to keep your most valued personal belongings, including your home, vehicles, jewelry, pension or retirement investments, and other personal assets.
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Chapter 11 for Businesses
The most common business bankruptcy is a Chapter 11. This allows a business to reorganize and restructure its debt obligations similar to a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. A business owner who files for bankruptcy is able to prioritize and reduce their business-related debts, allowing time to restructure operations. A business working out its debts also benefits their creditors by letting them collect at least a portion of the debts owed them in a timely fashion.
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Filing for bankruptcy in Michigan
On average, over 1,500,000 people in this country file for bankruptcy protection every year. Bankruptcy law is a legal means for honest, hard working people to obtain a fresh start from financial difficulty.
The cost for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan is $306. This fee may not be waived but you may be able to pay it in installments. The fee of $281 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be waived.
But, the process for filing can be difficult to navigate. A trusted attorney from Acclaim Legal Services can help you through the process for the first time or if you are wondering how many times you can file for bankruptcy.
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Do You Need to Hire an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?
The United States Bankruptcy court does not require that you have legal representation during a bankruptcy process, but it is strongly encouraged. This is especially true for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which is a longer and more complicated process. In either case, there is specific paperwork and documentation that must be accurately prepared. That documentation must then be provided to the court within a certain timeframe in order to comply with the bankruptcy code and local rules.
Failure to do so could result in a case dismissal and further complications down the road if you chose to re-file with an attorney. According to the United States Courts website (uscourts.gov):
"While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or 'pro se,' it is extremely difficult to do it successfully."
It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect a debtor's rights. For example, a debtor whose case is dismissed for failure to file a required document, such as a credit counseling certificate, may lose the right to file another case or lose protections in a later case, including the benefit of the automatic stay. Bankruptcy has financial and legal consequences - hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended."
Our philosophy: work with a licensed attorney who is confidently familiar with the bankruptcy process to get the best results from the outset.
Our attorneys and staff are both approachable and professional. We strive to keep our fees reasonable while also providing that highest level of service. Many attorneys offer fee gimmicks that may seem appealing at first, but the professionalism and support throughout the process is lacking. We have unfortunately fielded too many calls from other attorney's clients seeking advice and direction because they are not getting the answers and support they need from their hired attorney. While we can substitute counsel for another attorney and take over a case, we cannot give legal advice to a person already represented by another attorney. Our attorneys share over 50 years of combined legal experience specifically in debt resolution and bankruptcy matters. Our firm is visible and respected in the community. Our firm has also served and worked on several panels with Judges and other court agencies. Perhaps most importantly, we are respected and appreciated by our clients. Visit our testimonials page to read feedback clients have given us on our services.
Bankruptcy Attorneys in Michigan
Acclaim Legal Services specializes in helping people in Michigan gain a fresh financial start through the use of a Chapter 13 Reorganization Plan or a Chapter 7 Fresh Start program.
The goals for our clients are always to:
Improve and repair their credit
Resolve emergency issues such as home foreclosure, car repossession, wage garnishments, etc. Filing for bankruptcy offers court protection from creditors as soon as the case is filed. We offer same day legal protection.
Create a stable financial future through debt elimination, debt consolidation or debt settlement.
Minimize and eliminate the stress that comes with financial difficulties
We have been in practice for over 17 years and have over 120 years of combined legal experience in debt resolution law to offer our clients. We have six convenient offices located in Detroit, Southfield, Ann Arbor, Warren, Dearborn and Flint, Michigan.
Call today to speak to a qualified bankruptcy attorney at 866-261-8282 or schedule an appointment online.