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.
How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy In Michigan
Ronald BruceApr 18, 2021
A bankruptcy lawyer will hear almost daily, How much does it cost to file bankruptcy in Michigan?. It is important to understand the cost of filing Bankruptcy in Michigan when filing for bankruptcy relief. The average bankruptcy cost in Michigan for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy ranges from $900-$2,500 or more depending on your income level and other factors. The average cost for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy ranges from $2,500-$7,500 or more depending on your income level and other factors. Each law office will have different cost variables in determining the overall cost of filing for bankruptcy.
How much it will cost to file Bankruptcy in Michigan is important now to make better decisions about what type of Bankruptcy is best for you. Every law firm will be different. A fresh financial start is worth the cost. Filing a bankruptcy will discharge debts, including medical debt, and restore your credit. If you need to talk to bankruptcy lawyers in Monroe, Michigan we can give you accurate estimates for a bankruptcy cost in southeast Michigan.
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.
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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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A Story For Those Feeling Guilty About Bankruptcy
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson did not hesitate to utilize the United States Bankruptcy Laws. Thomas Jefferson. The third president of the United States. A statesman, diplomat, architect, author, inventor and farmer. Widely acknowledged as a genius and the smartest of all U.S. presidents. A man who gave vision to this country as one of its founding forefathers and leader of this country.
Why do I bring up Mr. Jefferson? Because he was almost constantly in debt. A whole lot of debt. Mr. Jefferson filed several bankruptcies in his lifetime and, his debt was huge in comparison to most individuals bankruptcies today.
The point is, bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. If a person with Mr. Jeffersons credentials, aptitude and intelligence can get himself into situations, repeatedly, that require bankruptcy to solve, then it is certainly no negative reflection on you if you need to. Many famous and important people have exercised their right to file Bankruptcy including Willie Nelson, Jerry Lewis and former Treasury Secretary John Connelly.
The irony is that they really are just like most others who file. It is simply a myth to believe that most people who file bankruptcy could pay their debts if they chose. The fact is most bankruptcy debtors have sold valuable assets to repay debt, borrowed from friends and relatives, and have simply no other place to turn before looking to the bankruptcy code for debt relief.
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Western District Of Michigan Requirements
The Western District of Michigan is divided into five divisions: Grand Rapids, Marquette, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Traverse City. Here, again, you can contact the court clerk to determine which division you will need to file in. The Western District also requires specific local forms in addition to the federal forms, including a separate Schedule C for a joint case, the Mailing Matrix, and an Asset Protection Report.
Dealing With Your Car
In the Motor City state of Michigan chances are pretty high that you have a car. You need to be certain to list the car properly on your bankruptcy forms and exempt any equity that it might have when filing bankruptcy in Michigan. You can determine the equity in your car by starting with the fair market value ) and then subtracting any loan or money you owe on it. The result will be the equity, or amount of money you could earn if you were to sell it. You can then protect that amount in your exemptions. For your car the Michigan state exemptions and the federal exemptions are very similar in value but it might still make a difference if your car is your most valuable asset. If you are still making payments on your car, then your car lender may request that you sign a reaffirmation agreement pursuant to Michigan bankruptcy laws agreeing to maintain payments after your Chapter 7 discharge.
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Advantages Of Filing Without A Lawyer
So, why would you file for bankruptcy without a lawyer? The main advantage is that it would save you money through filing for bankruptcy yourself. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney can be expensive, not to mention a filing fee. For someone that needs to get out of debt, avoiding legal fees can help. This is why Moran Law offers all clients affordable payment plans. Moran Law has never turned a client away due to money
With that said, it is highly recommended by the U.S. government that people get legal advice from an attorney for all Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. There are long-term legal and financial implications, and the aid of a bankruptcy lawyer can help avoid the chances of filing for bankruptcy again.
Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Michigan: Do You Need A Lawyer
Written by David Wilkinson
Every year, thousands of Americans find themselves drowning in debt and in need of filing for bankruptcy. Michigan residents often wonder if they can file bankruptcy on their own. To them, the idea of attorneys fees seems out of the question. They think if they can take the attorneys fees out of the equation, filing for bankruptcy would be a lot more doable. And to be perfectly clear, by law, you dont need a lawyer to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, it is most definitely not recommended.
According to the United States Courts, Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.
While filing for bankruptcy on your own will save you money, its a very serious undertaking and it should not be attempted by someone who doesnt know what they are doing. To give you an idea why, here are some of the steps you would have to undertake if filing alone.
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Will I Be Required To Appear In The Bankruptcy Court
Typically, those who file under Chapter 7 will only need to appear in court once.One to two weeks after filing your petition, a “creditors meeting” will be scheduled. During this court visit, you and your lawyer will meet with the bankruptcy trustee who has been assigned to your case and/or any of your creditors who wish to attend. The bankruptcy trustee will then question you about why you are filing for bankruptcy, whether or not you have listed the accurate values of all property that is included in the petition, whether or not you have transferred money to relatives or friends before filing, etc. Since they are acting on behalf of your creditors, they will want to ensure that your debts are repaid in the fullest amount possible.
Anyone Can File There Own Bankruptcy
Yes, you can successfully file for bankruptcy without an attorney. However, it may still be worth it to hire a qualified attorney in a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, since you still need to spend a great deal of time researching bankruptcy laws, deciding how they apply to you, gather your financial information, and attend court. An attorney can easily and quickly guide you through this entire process, answering your questions when needed, and guaranteeing that your debts get successfully discharged . An attorney will also make certain you will not need to declare bankruptcy again by providing you with specific guidance before, during, and after you file.
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Navigating Your Bankruptcy Case
Bankruptcy is an unusual area because it’s essentially a qualification process. The laws provide instructions for completing a 50- to 60-page bankruptcy petition, and because all rules apply in every case, you can’t skip a step.
One way to keep track of your research is to use the bankruptcy forms as an outline. You’ll find links to the exemption-related bankruptcy forms and other exemption resources in the chart below. You can also look at the list of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy forms to see where this topic fits in the bankruptcy scheme. And this handy bankruptcy document checklist will help you gather the things you’ll need to complete the petition.
Bankruptcy Exemption Information
S In A Michigan Bankruptcy
We all know that seeing the forest helps us recognize the trees, so it’s probably a good time to consider the significant steps you’ll take during your bankruptcy journey. Think of this checklist as a roadmap of sorts, but you can also use it to track your progress. The good news? You’ve already made headway on the first two items!
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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|
Why Hire Walter Metzen And Associates As Your Bankruptcy Attorneys
- You will be represented by a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist with over 28 years of experience and over 20,000 cases filed in the Detroit Court.
- You will always have access to your attorney via phone, fax, e-mail or in person and will not have to communicate through a legal assistant. My office maintains an open door policy which means you do not need an appointment to speak with an attorney. Simply walk in during normal business hours.
- My office will monitor your case every step of the way to make sure that you complete all of the requirements of the bankruptcy court to obtain your discharge.
- I basically have two primary goals with every bankruptcy case I handle. To help you wipe out as much debt as possible while at the same time preserving as much of your property as possible.
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Print Your Bankruptcy Forms And Bring Them To Court
Once you have prepared your bankruptcy forms, you will need to print them out for the court.You must print them single-sided. The court wonât accept double-sided pages.
You will also need to sign the forms once they are printed.
Most bankruptcy courts require just 1 copy of the petition, but some courts like thebankruptcy court in Manhattanrequire 4 copies. So call your local bankruptcy court to find out how many copies you will need to bring.
When To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are several warning signs that you should be considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Five strong signs that indicate filing for Chapter 7 may be the right solution include:
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How Much Does It Cost To File A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Michigan
Chapter 13 cases can be more costly than Chapter 7 because of the additional work involved. Some attorneys will only charge you for your filing fee, while others might want something extra up front. Youll pay off these costs through the repayment plan so that it wont break your bank in one fell swoop!
The attorney who handles your Chapter 13 bankruptcy Michigan case will help you navigate the complex rules governing payment plans to create one that suits you and satisfies court requirements. If creditors attempt to challenge anything, shell be there for support so they cant take advantage of any loopholes in the law!
The Trustee will work with you to create a payment plan for your debts. The plan lasts 3-5 years, and in the end, all remaining unsecured debt is discharged. Unlike under Chapter 7, bankruptcy law usually sets reasonable attorney fees in these cases if they charge the presumptively reasonable fee .
Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires more work for attorneys and merits the higher fees that they will charge. Individuals considering Chapter 13 should be aware of what services an attorney provides before deciding on a flat fee or hourly. As these rates can vary depending upon many factors, including added unexpected events or if any information is withheld during meetings with your counsel.
Is It Time To File Bankruptcy
Are you having a tough time economically? Do the bills keep piling up and you have no means to pay? Unemployment continues to be at an all times high and many homes are under foreclosure. Several businesses have closed and many people are in desperate economic shape. But, how do you determine whether or not to file bankruptcy? When is it time to admit enough is enough. Various factors go into determining whether a person should file bankruptcy and the experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys at Van Tubergen, Treutler & Hayes are here to help make this process a little less painstaking and achieve a fresh financial start! Contact us today for a free initial consultation! 616-844-3000
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How To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The most important factor in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is finding an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Once you decide on an attorney, you can refer creditors to your lawyers office. Filing the petition will trigger an automatic stay, which means creditors cant pursue lawsuits, garnish your wages or contact you about your debts. Heres a potential timetable:
If youre qualified, it will take 4-6 months to complete the bankruptcy process.
Here are the steps you must take when filing for bankruptcy:
Bankruptcy And Second Mortage
Because of the recent decline in home values, many second and third mortgages are no longer secured by the homes value. For example, if your home is now valued at $150,000 and you have a first mortgage balance of $150,000 and a second mortgage balance of $25,000, your home secures the first mortgage but there is no longer any equity to secure the second mortgage. Heres what happens to those mortgages when you file for bankruptcy protection.
If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the discharge received will eliminate your personal liability on the second mortgage but will not eliminate the lien. If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can eliminate both your personal liability and the lien by a procedure called lien stripping. The basic rule here is that you can eliminate a lien that has no security in the home, but you cannot eliminate a lien if any part of it is secured by the homes value.
For example: Assume your home is worth $175,000 with a first mortgage balance of $170,000 and a second mortgage balance of $20,000. The second mortgage cannot be stripped because it is secured by at least $5,000 of the homes value.
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