Bankruptcy Attorneys in Detroit, Southfield and Westland Michigan
Although over-extended credit card debt is a common cause of bankruptcy, research shows that the financial distress the majority of individuals and families face is linked to circumstances beyond their control such as medical bills, job loss, divorce, death or other family crisis involving large unanticipated expenses.
Whether you are facing personal insolvency or your business is mired in insurmountable debt, filing for bankruptcy may be an option. At the Michigan Legal Team, P.C., we offer legal services for clients who need the protection of bankruptcy and a chance to rebuild stable financial footing.
Title 11 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code regulates the filing of a bankruptcy, the legal process through which debt is discharged. Bankruptcy laws overall, benefit both debtors and creditors, allowing individuals and businesses to obtain relief from indebtedness, creditors’ collection efforts and to gain a fresh start or an opportunity to reorganize their finances. And, creditors can partially recoup or write off their losses and forego continued collection costs.
While bankruptcy is not always the answer to financial problems, seeking legal counsel is an important first step in exploring alternatives and determining whether or not you can avoid bankruptcy. When you turn to the Michigan Legal Team for advice and guidance, we will carefully review your finances and help you find a solution appropriate for your circumstances. If our evaluations reveal that filing for bankruptcy is the best course of action, we ensure that you understand what a bankruptcy can and cannot do and select the type of bankruptcy applicable to your situation.
Typically, the average consumer files a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Chapter 7, the most common type of bankruptcy, is chosen when there are few assets, and credit card debt and other unsecured bills are involved. Assets are liquidated to cover debts with statutes defining which assets will be liquidated and which, if any, are exempt from liquidation. The debtor selects property he is eligible to keep from a list of exemptions; and a court appointed trustee handles the liquidation sale of assets and transfers money to creditors.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may eliminate all debts, however, certain debts that cannot be eliminated, which include:
- Federal tax debt
- Child Support
- Student loans from government organizations
- Fines for law violations, i.e. criminal charges, traffic tickets and citations
- Debts for personal injury or death caused by driving while intoxicated
- Debts not listed when filing for bankruptcy, unless the creditor learns you have filed for bankruptcy.
Chapter 13, often referred to as reorganization, is a court supervised process in which individuals with a regular source of income reorganize debt, using disposable income to repay at least a portion of their debt over a 3-5 year period.
One who operates a business as an unincorporated sole proprietor may also utilize Chapter 13 to repay debts, but only if filing as an individual, and by including the business-related debts for which he is personally liable.
Provided a debtor’s equity does not exceed certain limits, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to keep property such as his home, vehicle and other assets, which may be exempt according to Michigan State laws.
A Chapter 13 can be used to save homes from foreclosure, stop repossessions, deal with taxes, lower car and installment loan payments and protect property, which might be lost in Chapter 7.
When your debt load exceeds your disposable income, it is crucial to seek competent professional assistance as soon as possible. Call the Michigan Legal Team at (248) 353-3600. Our knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys will analyze your financial predicament, help you understand available options, make wise choices, and take action before your debt problem is beyond your control.