Suite 3156 Penobscot Building
645 Griswold Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Phone: 313-962-4656
Toll Free: 888-777-FILE
or: 888-DEBTGONE
Fax: 313-962-4241

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Fees and charges for bankruptcy

Detailed answers to questions regarding your bankrkuptcy

What to expect after bankruptcy


Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer

At our personal bankruptcy lawyers are ready and available to help you get relief from your debts.  If you are a consumer that is overburdened with debt and see no way out, you may want to consider filing for personal or consumer bankruptcy.  A personal bankruptcy lawyer can help you with the mountains of paperwork and provide you with the quality legal advice and representation you need to navigate through complicated bankruptcy proceedings.

The chapters for consumer bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and in rare instances, Chapter 11. Because the instances of individual consumers filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy are so rare, we only cover Chapter 7 and 13 on this page.

Filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 will stop creditor harassment and will generally stop wage garnishments, depending on the reason for wage garnishment.  For example, if your wage is garnished because you have to pay child support or criminal restitution, that wage garnishment will continue.  However, if your wage is being garnished to pay an unsecured debt, like a credit card, the wage garnishment will cease.

Bankruptcy law is a set of federal laws and statutes governed by Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.  However, each state also has laws that the bankruptcy courts follow in regards to debts and property ownership.  My office only handles Michigan Bankruptcy cases,  so if you live outside Michigan,  you need to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your state for more information on how you should file and what to expect.  For example, a number of states have a homestead exemption which exempts the value of your primary home from debt collectors.  However, the value that these states allow varies.

The following is general information to help you make an informed decision on which Chapter you should consider filing under before coming to

Click here to download the Voluntary Petition (B1) for all bankruptcy types.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy (straight bankruptcy) is a liquidation proceeding.  The debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to the creditors.  The debtor generally only has to attend an initial meeting with the trustee and maybe a discharge hearing (depending on your state).  The matter is then quickly handled and the debtor receives a discharge of all debts determined by the court to be dischargeable usually within four months, which means that the debtor no longer has the pay the debts that are discharged.

Chapter 7 is frequently the option for people who have few or no assets, often little or no income, and a lot of debt. In short, Chapter 7 is for the debtor who, after paying the monthly expenses for necessities, simply does not have enough money to pay the remaining monthly debts.

To file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must:

  • Reside or have a domicile, a place of business, or property in the United States or a municipality;
  • Not have been granted a Chapter 7 discharge within the last 8 years;
  • If you previously filed under Chapter 13 you must have paid at least 70% of your debt;
  • You must not have had a bankruptcy filing dismissed for cause within the last 180 days;
  • Your monthly income must be below your state's median income level, or, you must be unable to pay $100 per month towards your outstanding debt;
  • For both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 you must have filed your federal income taxes for the previous year unless your were not required.

Generally speaking, your debts will be discharged with the following exceptions: taxes, spousal and child support, debts arising out of willful misconduct (like fraud, conversion or embezzlement) and/or malicious misconduct by the debtor, liability for injury or death from driving while intoxicated, nondischargeable debts from a prior bankruptcy, student loans, criminal fines (including restitution) and penalties and forfeitures.

It depends on whether the Chapter 7 Trustee determines if your case is a "No Asset Case" or an "Asset Case." Only cases determined to be "Asset Cases" involve the liquidation of property you have.  An Asset Case is a case in which the trustee determines property with a non-exempt value is in excess of the secured debt.  In these cases, the assets are liquidated and the proceeds from the sale are used to pay the creditors.  If you have assets that are considered non-exempt that you want to keep, you may want to consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of a Chapter 7.  Contact to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can determine which will work out the best for you.

Chapter 13 (also known as the "wage earner bankruptcy", "individual debt adjustment", "individual debt consolidation", or "repayment plan") is a way for individuals who have a steady income to pay their debts over a court-approved period of time, generally 36 to 60 months (3 to 5 years).  Any individual is eligible to file for Chapter 13 as long as their unsecured debts are less than $307,675 and secured debts are less than $922,975.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies take longer than Chapter 7 filings and may involve a number of hearings over an extended period of time with both the trustee and the court.  Chapter 13 is generally the only option for people who have a predictable income and whose income is sufficient to pay their reasonable expenses with some left over to pay their debts, and for those who have non-exempt property they want to keep.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, secured creditors (those holding liens or security interests in homes, cars, furniture or other collateral) are repaid in full, or in certain circumstances, receive a percentage of the full amount owed by the debtor—sometimes as little as 30 to 50 cents on the dollar.

Chapter 13 is a good option for people who have a lot of equity in their homes, have a home in foreclosure or one that is about to foreclosed, or if they have nondischargeable debts such as alimony, child support, student loans or taxes, or if they need to lower payments to creditors and to extend the period of repayment when creditors won’t agree to the reduction or extension.  It provides debtors with relief from losing their homes, risking IRS or State taxing agency levies, wage garnishments, liens and other methods utilized by creditors to collect on their debts.  Contact a to see if Chapter 13 is a good option for you.

New bankruptcy court fees went into effect January 1, 2007.  The current court fees for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are $299, to file a new Chapter 13 bankruptcy the filing fee is $274.  If you are converting an existing bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 or from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 you will not be charged an additional fee.  You may also have to pay other court costs, as well as attorney fees.

Unfortunately, yes. The fact that you have filed for bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) is normally carried on your credit records for 6 to 10 years, and sometimes longer.  Future lenders consider your bankruptcy when deciding whether to loan you money.  You probably will end up paying a higher interest rate on your loan than someone who’s never filed for bankruptcy, or you may be turned down altogether because the lender may consider you too great a credit risk.  However, certain laws exist to prevent unlawful discrimination against you just because you filed for bankruptcy.

 An experienced bankruptcy attorney may be helpful. will help you properly fill out the paperwork and navigate the complicated bankruptcy system, most bankruptcy laws are very specific.  An attorney may increase your chances of getting the debt relief you need to get on your feet financially.  An attorney can also help in the required creditors' conference all debtors must attend before the court will hear the case.


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