Will I Lose My Primary Residence Or My Personal
Property If I File Chapter 7?
Not necessarily. As
explained on the Chapter
if you are current on your mortgage and agree to
continue making your mortgage payment, then you
can likely keep your primary residence.
While bankruptcy is
a federal law, state law determines what
personal property you can keep in a bankruptcy.
To that end, the State of Michigan has generous
exemptions. In most Chapter 7’s, the debtor is
able to keep all of his or her personal
property. However, analyzing your exemptions and
determining what property you can keep is
complicated and should be done with the
assistance of an attorney.
Can You Stop A Foreclosure?
In most cases, yes. The foreclosure process can
be complicated and confusing. Having an
experienced foreclosure attorney can help you
exercise your legal rights. The foreclosure
process starts with a notice of default. If you
do nothing, the mortgage company will likely
begin the foreclosure process. Once the
sheriff's sale occurs, you may be evicted from
the property. The good news is that the
Filing of a Chapter
13 can stop the sale.
We can stop most foreclosures at any time up to
the auction date by filing a bankruptcy. In
fact, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to stop
foreclosure altogether by allowing you months or
even years to cure the arrearages on your
mortgage. So long as you remain current on your
Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments, the
mortgage company cannot foreclose your property.
However, because of recent changes in the law,
you should contact an attorney well in advance
of the proposed auction date to avoid timing
conflicts which could prevent you from saving
Can You Stop Harassing Phone Calls And
Yes. Being in debt is a difficult enough without
having to worry about harassing collection
calls. If retain us to file your bankruptcy, you
can immediately begin referring all creditor
calls and correspondence to our office. We deal
with your creditors for you so you don’t have
to. Once your creditors are on notice that you
are represented by counsel, the calls and
correspondence should cease.
After filing for bankruptcy relief, your
creditors will receive notice of the automatic
stay. The automatic stay prevents your creditors
from taking any action against you to collect a
debt. These actions include calling your home or
workplace, sending threatening letters,
continuing to mail bills or notices, foreclosing
real property, repossessing personal property,
and garnishing your wages.
Does My Spouse Have To File?
Not necessarily. Because each situation is
different, we undertake a comprehensive review
of you and your spouse’s financial situation.
Sometimes it may not make sense for one spouse
to file. For example, if one spouse has good
credit, minimal debt, and a reliable job, they
may not need to file. However, if you have
significant joint debts, and your spouse has
little or no income, it may make sense for both
of you to file. These are difficult issues, but
with our assistance, we can help you make these
all important decisions.
What Are The Credit Counseling And Debtor
The 2005 Amendments to the bankruptcy code
require that, with limited exceptions, people
who plan to file for bankruptcy protection must
obtain credit counseling from an approved
organization within 180 days before they file
the bankruptcy. The pre-bankruptcy credit
counseling session will include an evaluation of
your personal financial situation, a discussion
of alternatives to bankruptcy, and a personal
budget plan. Typically, the credit counseling
session lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
The session can take place in person, on the
phone, or online. There is a small fee, usually
$50, for the credit counseling. However, the fee
can be waived if you cannot afford to pay.
The 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy also
require that you undergo a debtor education
course prior to obtaining a discharge. The
debtor education course will include information
on developing a budget, managing money, using
credit wisely, and other resources. Similar to
the credit counseling class, there is a small
fee to take the course and it may be done in
person, on the phone, or online. The debtor
education course usually lasts longer than the
credit course, roughly one to two hours, and the
typical fee is $50. As with pre-bankruptcy
credit counseling, the fee can be waived if you
are unable to pay.
Keep in mind that while the agencies providing
the counseling are approved by the Office of the
United States Trustee Program, they are not
attorneys. You should consult an attorney to
properly evaluate whether bankruptcy is right
What Should I Bring To The Free Consultation?
In order to determine whether bankruptcy is
right for you and if so, what type of bankruptcy
is right, we need to learn as much as possible
about your financial situation. Prior to
visiting our office, we will provide you with a
link to a secure website where you can enter in
information from the comfort of your own home.
If you are not comfortable providing information
over the internet, we can e-mail, fax or mail
you hard copies of the forms. Once you complete
the forms, you can send them back by mail or fax
or, you can simply bring them with you to your
When visiting our office for your initial
consultation, it is also important that you
bring several documents with you. We will need
to review these documents with you to determine
your eligibility for Bankruptcy. We will tell
you which documents to bring with you. At a
minimum, these documents include a recent
pay-stub and proof of all other forms of income.
What Documents Will I Need To File For
Before you file for bankruptcy, many legal
documents must be collected and reviewed by the
attorney. At the initial consultation we will
tell you everything we need to review prior to
filing your bankruptcy. We accept copies by
mail, fax, or e-mail. Originals will be given
back to you at the completion of your case. We
can assist you with obtaining some or all of the
documents, which include:
Pay-stubs for the 7 months preceding the
filing of the case
Life insurance policies
401K, Pension, Retirement, IRA statements
The Deed and Mortgages to all real property
Titles to your motor vehicles
Complaints or other court documents filed
Tax returns (from the previous 2 years if
filing for Chapter 7; from the previous 4
years if filing Chapter 13)
A copy of your credit report
Copies of all insurance policies
Any other statements or documents requested
by the office
To find out whether a Bankruptcy is right for
you, take our free
online evaluation or call (313) 962-4656 to
schedule a free consultation.