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How To File Bankruptcy In Michigan

State Bankruptcy Means Test

Filing Bankruptcy – Michigan Attorney Aric Melder

In order to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan, you will have to qualify by passing the Means Test. The Means Test looks at your income for the past 6 months prior to filing your bankruptcy in Michigan. You can pass it right away if you are below a certain income level which varies based on your household size. If you do not immediately qualify by the income cutoffs, you can then go through a more extensive review of your income and expenses to see if you are still eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan.

Data on Median Income Levels for Michigan

Michigan Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1,2021
Household Size

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If you are interested in scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation with me, call today for fast support. I am even available to meet in the evening or on the weekend, in addition to regular business hours. I am focused on making this experience as convenient and painless as possible for you. That being said, there is no reason why you should wait any longer to retain the professional assistance that you will need!


Will I Be Able To Afford Bankruptcy

Michigans economy has been among the hardest hit in the country and even those facing severe financial distress are often concerned that they wont be able to afford a bankruptcy attorney. While the cost of bankruptcy can be high, especially for families who are struggling to get by, most bankruptcy law firms offer flexible payment options for their clients.

To file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan, the average attorney fee in the Detroit area is approximately $1,000 to $1,300. This wont include the filing fee, which was recently raised to $335.

The cost to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy is higher then Chapter 7, but attorneys are often willing to accept payment of their fee through the Chapter 13 plan. Detroit bankruptcy attorney Pat Wilson says Chapter 13 fees vary by complexity, but start at around $2,500. The filing fee, meanwhile, for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $310 this is uniform nationwide.

If you find yourself struggling with debt and are curious about what bankruptcy may be able to do for your finances, contact an attorney. Most offer free consultations and will work with you to make the process affordable.

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Wyandotte And Royal Oak Bankruptcy Experts

The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting every one of us. At HS& A, P.C. Law our Royal Oak bankruptcy attorneys are committed to creating lasting, positive outcomes for our clients, our employees, and our communities. We remain focused on helping people in their time of financial need with passionate genuine care.

To achieve the goal of social distancing, we have invested heavily in the technology that enables us to continue serving our clients while making adjustments to our physical locations and therefore remain open for business at this time.

We offer the convenience of telephoneconsultations, video consultations, online document collection and signing, payment plan options, and email or text lines of communication. During these unprecedented days, our services are set up to help you address your financial situation now rather than delay the relief of the burden you deserve.

All of us are being tested by this situation, however, we have every confidence in our collective ability to meet the challenge and persevere together. Thank you for your confidence and trust in our Michigan bankruptcy law firm, HS& A, P.C. Law. We wish good health to you and those you care about.

What Does Bankruptcy Include

Filing Bankruptcy in Michigan: 8 Things You Need to Know ...

Once you file for bankruptcy in MI, the courts put in place an order called an Automatic Stay. This order will stop debt collection calls, wage garnishments, and additional claims. Keep in mind that payments regarding child support and criminal cases will still need to be made during this time.

In any event, Bankruptcy will be able to include:

  • utility bills
  • medical expenses

Again, unless you are filing a complex Chapter 13 case, you will lose all assets associated with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection. You will, however, be able to prevent any and all collections from occurring as long as they were incurred before the date of filing and discharge.

Also Check: Can You Rent An Apartment If You File Bankruptcy

Estimate Whether You Will Lose Any Property

As you can imagine, many people want to keep their home, car, cash, etc. when filing bankruptcy.

You need to understand the bankruptcy exemptions in Michigan. The bankruptcy exemptions are complex because some states allow you to choose between state and federal exemptions when filing bankruptcy. For example, check out the Michigan homestead exemption.

As such, we created this Michigan bankruptcy exemptions calculator to simplify the information. This free calculator helps you estimate whether your belongings are at risk when filing bankruptcy in Michigan.

These Pages Before Proceeding

Before you file bankruptcy you MUST obtain a credit counseling certificate. If you do not, your case will be dismissed
Click here for a list of approved credit counseling agencies



The purpose of this site is to provide the pro se filer, , with access to information about the bankruptcy process and information about local procedures that you must know. Individuals appearing as debtors , creditors or other interested parties before this court do not have to be represented by an attorney. However, corporations must be represented by counsel, except in certain limited instances. . The judges, judges staff, clerk and clerks staff are not permitted to provide legal advice. However, if you are seeking general information about the bankruptcy process, please contact the Help Desk at 234-0065.

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Retirement And Pension Benefits Exemption

Most of your retirement accounts and pension benefits will be exempt in Michigan. Traditional, simple, and Roth IRAs are exempt up to $1.28 million and educational IRAs are exempt up to $6,425. Amounts that were contributed to your IRAs or profit-sharing plans within 120 days of filing for bankruptcy are not exempt.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Michigan

Detroit files for bankruptcy protection

Chapter 13 bankruptcy Michigan is a payment plan bankruptcy where your debts are reorganized via the bankruptcy court, often in a 3 or 5-year payment plan. One of the most important questions is determining your monthly plan payment. Once you have a sense of your plan payment, you compare that payment to your current monthly obligations to see whether you may afford Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Debt settlement is often an alternative to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For a deep dive on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may want to check out the article titled Chapter 13 Michigan

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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

Understand Which Debts Will Be Eliminated

The goal of bankruptcy is to get relief from your debt. As such, it can be helpful to understand the types of debt that can be eliminated when filing for bankruptcy.

Many debts can be discharged. This includes unsecured credit cards, medical debts, personal loans, old utility bills, judgment debts, and old lease payments

Other debts cannot be discharged. This includes back alimony or child support, debts owed to the government, judgments related to DUI accidents, tax debts, and administrative costs or restitution

Tax debt receives special treatment in Chapter 13. You may not know how much debt you have. As such, you can access a free credit report annually, thanks to the US government. This can help you estimate how much debt would be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy.

Read Also: Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Guidelines

Bruce Law Firm Offers A Free Consultation With A Bankruptcy Lawyer To Discuss You Case

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can answer the question, How much does it cost to file bankruptcy in Michigan?. If you are ready to take the next step in your bankruptcy case, we invite you for a free consultation. We know that legal fees can be intimidating, and its hard to predict what they will cost without more information.

The good news is we offer a free consultation! You will have an opportunity at this meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer. Not only to get answers about pricing but also to learn how best to move forward on your case. This can be done without breaking the bank.

A Bankruptcy Attorney fee will mainly depend on the complexity of your case. Complex cases, such as those involving business or real estate assets, may require more time and effort than other types, so they are priced accordinglybut every client is different! We offer a free bankruptcy consultation to provide the legal advice you need.

Bankruptcy And The Automatic Stay

How to File Bankruptcy in Michigan? Book a Consultation

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of a bankruptcy filing in the middle of a divorce proceeding is what is known as an automatic stay. In our system of justice, the Federal Court system is superior to the State Court system. Therefore, a bankruptcy filing takes precedence over a divorce proceeding . The event of the bankruptcy proceeding will trigger an automatic stay of the divorce case, meaning that the divorce case will be stopped dead in its tracks until the bankruptcy proceeding runs its course. In some instances, a bankruptcy proceeding can take six months to a year, or even longer. Unfortunately, some parties to a pending divorce will deceitfully file for bankruptcy, not because they really desire bankruptcy protection, but because they know it will greatly delay the divorce case. It can be emotionally crushing to have a legal trick place your life in further limbo. A well-qualified Michigan family law attorney will be able to recognize this deceitful maneuver when it happens. It requires extra time, effort and legal costs, but if it’s truly a deceitful bankruptcy filing, your Michigan family law attorney may be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to lift its automatic stay, allowing the divorce proceeding to get back on track.

Bankruptcy law is a world unto itself. There are a multitude of different rules and procedures that can affect different divorce proceedings, each in its own unique way.

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Bankruptcy And Injury Attorneys Since 1977

Bankruptcy Attorney Peter Francis Geraci® started what is now Geraci Law L.L.C in 1977.

With over 100 attorneys and staff, 500+ years of combined bankruptcy experience, and over 200,000 clients happily served, Geraci Law helps you file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy to stop lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosure, sheriff sales, repossession, collectors, tax problems and so much more!

Free phone consultation, call us to talk about your problem or fill out the form at left and we’ll call you when you want us to. Free office consultation, no charge for talking in person.

Supreme Court Holds That Mere Retention Of Estate Property After Bankruptcy Filing Doesn’t Violate The Automatic Stay

On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton , a case which examined whether merely retaining estate property after a bankruptcy filing violates the automatic stay provided for by §362 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Court overruled the bankruptcy court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in deciding that mere retention of property does not violate the automatic stay.

Case Background

The City of Chicago impounded respondents vehicles for failure to pay fines for motor vehicle infractions. Thereafter, each respondent filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and requested the return of their vehicle. The City refused to return the vehicles, and the bankruptcy court in each case found the Citys refusal to be a violation of automatic stay. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that by retaining possession of the debtors vehicles after they declared bankruptcy, the City had acted to exercise control over the debtors property in violation of the automatic stay.Read More

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Do You Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcycontact Our Attorney Today

Chapter 7 Gives the Fresh Start You Need Chapter 7 discharges you from your obligation to pay debts. This means the debts are forgiven, and you have no legal obligation to pay them. The Chapter 7 discharge applies to most common types of debt, including credit cards, medical bills, judgments, past due rent, vehicle loans and some IRS and State taxes. Non-dischargeable debts include alimony, child support, student loans, most taxes and restitution.

For a specific answer as to how one of your creditors will be treated in Chapter 7, contact our office for a free phone consultation.

What Are Bankruptcy Exemptions

Detroit files for bankruptcy

Specific states have certain exclusions that are enacted by congress as federal bankruptcy exemptions for filers. These exemptions will determine what you are able to retain throughout and after Chapter 7. In a Chapter 13 situation, the exemptions will determine what amount you will have to pay certain financial institutions in your repayment plan.


  • Real property, including condominium, up to $37,775 . Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim the exemption. Unmarried co-owners and spouses may not double. Tenancies by the entirety are exempt without limit as to debts of one spouse.

Personal Property

  • Clothing household goods, furniture, jewelry, appliances, utensils and books up to $600 each or $3,775 total food and fuel to last six months family pictures church pew, slip or seat up to $650 for the entire family professional prescribed health aids motor vehicle up to $3,475 household pets up to $650 crops, feed and animals up to $2,525 computer and accessories up to $650 burial plots and burial rights.


  • 60% of earned but unpaid wages for the head of household 40% for others subject to following minimums: $15 per week plus $2 per week for each dependent other than the spouse for the head of household $10 per week for others.


  • Tax exempt retirement accounts s, 403s, profit sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans).
  • IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,283,025.
  • Firefighters, police officers.

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Understand The Costs Of Filing Bankruptcy In Michigan

When you file for bankruptcy, you need to understand the cost and affordability of bankruptcy. The costs primarily consist of the filing fee and the attorney fee . Firstly, most attorneys offer payment plans. Some also offer $0 down payment options. The cost of the attorney can be variable based on such factors like your location and the difficulty of the case.

We built this Michigan attorney fee calculator to help you estimate costs based on your specific zip code.

If you cannot afford a payment plan, you may also look at the legal aid options in your state and also how the filing fee waiver works.

Legal Aid In Michigan

There are certain situations where you could get help through legal aid. Please note that each legal aid may have criteria set for who they will help. Here are legal aid option in Michigan.

Filing Fee Waiver in Michigan

Theres a filing fee to file bankruptcy. You can check the Michigan filing fee waiver requirements to see whether you may be eligible for the filing fee waiver.

Income & Retirement Savings During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

As a Chapter 7 Debtor, you do not have to pay anything to the creditors. You keep all of your wages, accounts receivables, 401Ks, profit sharing, IRAs and all other sources of income. This property is exempt from liquidation by the Chapter 7 Trustee. Your privacy is maintained as much as reasonably possible, so you are able to maintain your income and get a fresh start.

Chapter 7 Means Test In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, you must meet certain income qualifications. These qualifications are based on a means test, which was designed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustees Office in 2005. Typically, if your household income falls below the median household income, you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your household income is above the median, then you may have to file a CHAPTER 13 case.

As an experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer, Patrick Fragel can review your budget to determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 7, despite your higher household income. There are several reasons why a Debtor with a high household income may still quality for a Chapter 7. The computations are complex, and each case is special. Contact our Traverse City office for a phone consultation to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7.

trust Attorney Fragel with your Chapter 7 questions, Patrick has been a bankruptcy attorney in Traverse City and the surrounding areas for more than 25 years. You can rely on his knowledge of the Chapter 7 law to protect your property and income.

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Benefits Of Filing Bankruptcy

When calls from creditors, wage garnishment and the threat of foreclosure or repossession become too difficult to handle, filing for bankruptcy can give you relief. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. This means that creditors cannot garnish your wages or even call you to try to collect from you until your bankruptcy case is resolved or they acquire a federal court order lifting the stay. Depending on your situation, filing for bankruptcy may stop foreclosure and in some cases allow you to keep your property if a refinance or reaffirmation agreement is entered into.


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