Do you need legal advice regarding filing for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Michigan? Attorney John Steinberger is a Board Certified Bankruptcy attorney, meaning he has taken steps to be recognized nationally as a Michigan bankruptcy specialist.
Steps for Filing for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Michigan:
1. The first step is to determine if a Michigan Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the appropriate type of bankruptcy for you. Our law firm will review your financial information and determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for you. For more information, please read our overview of a Michigan Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
2. The bankruptcy laws allow you to "exempt" some of your property. This means that you will be able to retain this property. Most people are able to retain most or all of their property due to the exemption allowed under the law. Our bankruptcy attorneys will review the property you have and determine the proper exemptions. The following are examples of typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy exemptions:
- Approximately $21,000.00 under federal bankruptcy law for equity in a home
- Approximately $9,000.00 in household goods under Federal bankruptcy law
- Approximately $11,000.00 in cash under the Federal wild card exemption in certain cases
- Approximately $3,500 equity in a vehicle plus unused wild card exemption
3. After you have retained our law firm, we will prepare the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition. We will work with you to gather the necessary information to complete the petition. The petition can be prepared quickly, if you provide all the requested information promptly. The following is some of the information that must be listed on the petition:
- In Chapter 7, it is required that you list all your creditors on the petition even in if you want to continue to pay them, such as a mortgage company. Some debts may not be discharged. Examples of debts that are not discharged are child support, student loans under most circumstances, certain taxes, etc. You must list these debts on your petition even though they will not be discharged.
- Utilities should be listed as a debt if there is a delinquency. If you list a utility, you will be required to pay a deposit within 20 days after you file which is generally 1 ½ times the highest monthly bill for that utility. You must also pay all your future utility bills. If your bill is current or the delinquency is small and easily paid up it is not necessary to list the utility since the security deposit may be greater than the bill.
- It is required that you list all of your property on the schedules. Failure to list property, which includes anything of value which you own or have an interest in, could result in denial of your discharge or criminal prosecution. Examples of property which must be listed are household goods, vehicles, houses or other real estate that you may have an interest in, any money owed to you, lawsuits pensions, IRAs, benefits, bank accounts, any financial account, stocks, bonds, child support, pensions, potential claims regarding any benefit or law suit, tax refunds, inheritances or property from a divorce to which you become entitled to within 6 months of filing, etc. Be careful to review your schedules to make sure that all of your property is listed. Exempt property (discussed above) must also be listed.
If you have a joint obligation with a spouse or co-signer, he or she will still be responsible for that debt unless he or she also files for bankruptcy.