Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost
With Michiganâs bustling bankruptcy practice you can find quite a few attorneys who specialize entirely in bankruptcy law. It is common practice in Michigan for bankruptcy attorneys to offer a free initial consultation. Generally, at the end of that initial consultation the attorney you meet with will discuss their costs for filing your Chapter 7 in Michigan. The cost of a Michigan bankruptcy lawyer for Chapter 7 starts around $1,000 and can go up higher depending on the complexity of your case. You can find out more specifics about attorney fees in Michigan.
Attorney Cost Estimate: $1,100 â $1,250.
Consider The Cons Of Double Filing
If you file too soon, you cannot legally have another debt discharge until the time limits have passed, so the process could waste your time and money.
Furthermore, if a judge finds that you have filed again “in bad faith,” they will stop your automatic stay , unless you can provide clear and convincing evidence that you filed in good faith. They might even throw your case out.
What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
As mentioned above, bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for years into the future, and those reports may be consulted by potential lenders, insurance companies, landlords, employers, and others. You can’t do anything to remove the information ahead of schedule, but it’s worth checking to make sure that it’s accurate and doesn’t cast you in an even more negative light. You are entitled to at least one free report each year from each of the three major credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnionthrough the official, federally authorized website, Annual Credit Report.com. If you find any errors on a report, you should ask that that they be corrected.
Aside from your credit report, bankruptcy is also a matter of public record. So bear in mind that anyone can request a copy of the filing.
Because your credit is severely damaged by bankruptcy, you may find it difficult to borrow if you need to, including a loan to buy a car or a mortgage to buy a home. It will also be difficult to obtain a conventional credit card. One alternative is to apply for a secured credit card, where you deposit money with the card issuer to back up your line of credit. If you use the card judiciously, making all your monthly payments on time, you may soon qualify for a regular, unsecured credit card. A secured credit card is often recommended as a tool for rebuilding a damaged credit record.
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When A Second Filing Might Be Beneficial Even Without A Discharge
Sometimes you don’t need a dischargeyou need time to pay off a debt. For instance, suppose that you owed federal taxes that you couldn’t discharge in bankruptcy, and you could not work out a reasonable payment plan. Rather than have your wages garnished, you could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and stretch out the payments over a five-year Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan.
A similar approach is to file a Chapter 13 case immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge . Again, all you might need is time to pay off nondischargeable debts, such as domestic support arrearagesnot a discharge.
However, not all courts allow the process, and it can be tricky to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and then demonstrate that you have sufficient available income to pay into a Chapter 13 plan. It’s possible, though, after taking into account the debts wiped out. In any case, it would be wise to consult with a local bankruptcy lawyer before attempting to go this route.
Navigating The Bankruptcy Process
The process of filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a complicated one with many details to juggle. Itâs especially important to be extremely diligent given that your property and assets are at risk.
Michigan bankruptcy attorney James L. Gutting has already helped many people navigate this process and hold onto property which they otherwise might have lost. If youâre filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan, book an appointment with him to learn more about how he can help.
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Time Limits Apply To Discharges Not Bankruptcy Filings
Bankruptcy law doesn’t set a minimum period that you must wait before filing for bankruptcy a second time. However, there’s a catch. If you file too soon after wiping out debt in a previous case, you won’t be eligible for another debt discharge .
Although there are times that it makes sense to file for bankruptcy even though you won’t receive a discharge, these situations are rare . Because a bankruptcy filed too soon will end up being a waste of time and money in most cases, it’s essential to know how to time your bankruptcy filing.
Can I File A Michigan Bankruptcy Again
Can I file a Michigan Bankruptcy again is a question we get a lot. Even if you have received a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge in the past, you may be able to file bankruptcy in Michigan again. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to receive a discharge. An experienced Detroit bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your situation to verify if you are qualified.
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What Should You Choose Discuss Your Options With A Rochester Bankruptcy Attorney
People facing bankruptcy often have two choices when it comes to filing: File for Chapter 13 or file for Chapter 7. Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 can erase debts, but there are certain pros and cons to each one. Below is an overview of the benefits of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
People generally choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy when they:
- Are not allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Want to repay some of their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires people to make a repayment plan. You could end up paying back a portion, if not all, that you owe.
- Want to protect their assets, such as protecting their house from foreclosure, or protecting their vehicle from repossession.
- Have certain debts that cant be erased with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but can be erased by Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
It is important to note that there are limits on the amount of debt that a person can have when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You should talk to a Michigan bankruptcy lawyer to make sure that you can file for Chapter 13, or to discuss whether Chapter 7 might be a better option for you.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
When you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, youâll generally have to file several forms related to your property, your income, your expenses, and your debts. With property specifically, youâll need to include information about property youâve owned and spent money on within the past two years, property you sold or gave away within the past two years, and property you believe to be exempt from confiscation through the chapter 7 bankruptcy process.
From this point, an âautomatic stayâ is placed on your debts to stop creditors from collecting what you owe them. A bankruptcy trustee is also appointed by the stateâs bankruptcy court and granted control over your property. Their job is to ensure that as much of your debts to your creditors are paid as possible with your assets.
A âcreditors meetingâ will also take place in which you and the creditors youâve listed will briefly appear in court to answer questions about your bankruptcy and the information youâve filed.
From there, once all non-exempt assets have been used to cover your debts, all of your debts will be discharged. The only exceptions to this are:
- Child support
- Student loans
- Debts declared nondischargeable by the court
Of course, this is all under the assumption that you qualify for chapter 7 in the first place. As mentioned before, certain eligibility requirements and parts of the process will vary from state to state.
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Filing Again Even Though You Cant Receive A Discharge
After receiving a chapter 7 discharge, you might still be able to benefit from filing a Chapter 13 petition immediately even though you cant receive a second discharge . The benefits would depend on your personal situation and the laws in your state. Essentially youd be looking to make payments with the protection of the bankruptcy court through a Chapter 13 plan.
Filing for bankruptcy a second time can be more complex than the first time around. You can expect bankruptcy creditors and trustees to conduct a more thorough review of your finances before allowing a discharge. At Detroit Lawyers, our experienced bankruptcy professionals will discuss with you whether you are eligible for a second filing
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an Experienced Bankruptcy Professional
Michigan Bankruptcy Court Locations
Michigan bankruptcy courts are divided into two districts: the Eastern District and the Western District. The Eastern District of Michigan Bankruptcy Court is further divided into divisions: Bay City, Detroit, and Flint all have a bankruptcy court to serve local debtors. Similarly, on the west side of the state, Grand Rapids and Marquette both house bankruptcy courts.
The city that you live in will determine the location of your meeting of creditors as well as the bankruptcy court that will hear any issues that may arise in your case.
Bay City: 111 First St., Bay City MI 48708,
Detroit: 211 W. Fort St., Detroit MI 48226,
Flint: 226 W. Second St., Flint MI 48502,
Grand Rapids: 1 Division Ave. N, Room 200, Grand Rapids MI 49503,
202 W. Washington St., Third Floor, Marquette MI 49855,
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Michigan Vs Federal Exemptions
|60% of earned but unpaid wages for head of household 40% for others||Income you’ve earned but not yet received becomes part of your bankruptcy estate|
|Pension/retirement||Most exempt, except contributions made within 120 days of filing for bankruptcy to individual IRAs and pensions||Exempt, with a cap of about $1.28 million on IRAs and Roth IRAs|
Your Bankruptcy Discharge Can Be Revoked
Additionally, bankruptcy courts may revoke a discharge under certain circumstances. For example, a trustee, creditor, or the U.S. trustee may request that the court revoke the debtors discharge in a Chapter 7 case based on allegations that the debtor obtained the discharge fraudulently, like if you concealed property or failed to keep adequate records.
Typically, a request to revoke the debtors discharge must be filed within one year of the discharge or, in some cases, before the date that the case is closed. The court will decide whether such allegations are true and, if so, whether to revoke the discharge.
When Do I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are several factors that you need to consider in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The following criteria can indicate that Chapter 7 may be the right solution for you:
- Your monthly income is below the median level in your state.
- You have little to no disposable income.
- Your debts amount to more than half your annual income.
- It will take five years to pay your debts.
Is There An Income Limit For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To automatically qualify for Chapter 7, your disposable income must be below the median level for your state. That number varies from state-to-state. If your disposable income exceeds the median in your state, you still may be able to qualify through a means test that includes looking at your income and reasonable expenses to see if you can get that number under the median income for your state.
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Can A Bankruptcy Attorney Help Me File Bankruptcy Sooner
A bankruptcy attorney canât help you get around the time limits, but they may be able to help you file a different type of bankruptcy than the one you filed before and confirm the earliest date your second case can be filed. This is especially true if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but didnât get a discharge. Only a bankruptcy lawyer can give you legal advice about how soon your second bankruptcy can be filed. They can also help you get a court order to make sure your automatic stay doesnât expire before your discharge is entered.
What To Do After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Push the re-start button on your financial life.
Thats the first thing anyone should do after having debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Hopefully, that re-start button includes a plan for reduced spending and paying all bills on time.
The easiest way to do that is to draw up a budget that realistically accounts for your income and expenses.
If youre not good at that, call a nonprofit credit counseling agency and get some free assistance from their professional certified counselors. Helping consumers come up with an affordable monthly budget is their specialty.
They can give you the benefit of their training and experience at drawing up monthly budgets, plus tips on how to make the bottom line come out in your favor every month.
If you get in the habit of paying bills on time, you will begin to , and youll regain favor with lenders and credit card companies. A few years of good practice and you and your creditors will forget this ever happened.
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How Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Michigan
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Discover Several Essential Specifics When selecting A Bankruptcy Legal professional
If you are hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you should be sure of several things so you know that you get the correct choice. After all, you should not leave your financial plans in the hands of only anybody. Understand some information that you ought to look out for in your firm in which deals with your current case.
You should 1st determine whether this particular subject matter is the only 1 managed with the lawyer. You’ll need a consultant, not really somebody who dabbles inside a little bit of almost everything. This means you should look for the bankruptcy lawyer specifically, not somebody that also deals a lot using family law, criminal, as well as levy laws. You could be surprised the amount of law firms often take on all kinds of circumstances. Though it may be great so that you can find information on many topics at just 1 firm, it is advisable to look for a expert because they can execute a good job on the bankruptcy case, not just a good fine career upon numerous situations for the similar man or woman. You’ll find out this kind of detail on-line because most legal internet sites mention that exercise locations the actual law firms tend to be experienced with.
How Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In MichiganHow Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Michigan
Can You Keep Your Business With Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing bankruptcy usually results in a period of financial reflection. If you own a business, you will be thinking about whether you can keep it open despite the personal bankruptcy. Many business owners even consider whether they SHOULD keep their business. If the business is your primary source of income and you are in a financial jam, then maybe it is not worth keeping.
You should determine if your debt was created or exacerbated by your business. If so, and you are a sole proprietor, then Chapter 7 bankruptcy might solve the problem, because your entire business would be subject to liquidation.
If your debt is NOT a result of your business and can be rebuilt, you often will not have to give it up when filing a personal bankruptcy. A sole proprietor may choose to file a Chapter 13 reorganization This will provide a timeline for debt payoff instead of a forced liquidation. The bankruptcy trustee will oversee this, allowing you to focus on revenue and income.
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When You Definitely Should Not File On Your Own
Chapter 13 bankruptcy
You most likely need an attorney when filing Chapter 13, since it involves complex processes that are really difficult to navigate on your own. Declaring Chapter 13 involves creating a plan of how you will pay back the money you owe the debtors which the court will then approve. Its very time-consuming to make this plan unless you have expensive financial software that many attorneys own to make creating this payment plan much faster and easier.
Chapter 13 cases filed without an attorney often get dismissed by the court. Chapter 13 cases are so difficult to file properly that the court may not even look at filings that were not prepared by a lawyer. Many attorneys avoid taking on Chapter 13 cases as the laws and procedures are so nuanced and challenging to apply. Be sure to check your attorneys track record in Chapter 13 cases to determine whether theyll help get your case discharged. Therefore, paying for a qualified attorney can help you get out of debt in these complex scenarios by actually ensuring your case gets discharged.
How Often Can A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Be Filed
Bankruptcy is a lawful way to clear your debts and start over with a clean slate. It is a legal process that helps bankrupt individuals pursue debt settlement and reorganize their finances. Bankruptcy laws may vary from state to state. In Maryland, there are bankruptcy rules that you need to follow when you decide to declare bankruptcy. A credible Towson bankruptcy attorney can help you abide by the state laws to ensure the success of your bankruptcy case.
Before you declare bankruptcy, you must know how to choose the most appropriate bankruptcy type that will solve your financial problems. Among the different types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type.
Bankruptcy is supposed to help you have a fresh start, but things dont always turn out the way we plan them. If youre facing new financial challenges and overwhelming debt after your final discharge, you may wonder if you can still file bankruptcy. The article will help you understand the following:
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