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Wayne County Bankruptcy Law Blog

How does credit counseling work for consumer bankruptcy?

People in Wayne County, Michigan, who are considering bankruptcy may have heard that consumers are required to undergo credit counseling before filing. To some people, this sounds like it could be an unpleasant browbeating and finger-pointing session where a credit counselor spends an awkwardly lengthy amount of time berating consumers for being in financial distress. However, this does not have to be the case. This brief blog post will serve to dispel a few misconceptions that could exist regarding the credit counseling process.

Credit counseling for consumer bankruptcy purposes should not be an overly time-consuming commitment. Typically, such counseling sessions will last no more than 90 minutes. Often they do not last much longer than an hour. Although credit counseling services usually charge a fee for their services -- usually around $50 -- financially strapped consumers may not have to pay under certain circumstances. Counseling organizations are required to provide this service free of charge to those who cannot pay. Be sure to ask for a fee waiver from the organization before the session begins if this is the case.

Former University of Michigan hockey star's bankruptcy continues

Financial issues can hit anyone in Michigan. No matter who it is, what they do and how much money they make, filing for bankruptcy might end up being a necessity to get debts in order and regain a sound financial station. There is nothing to be ashamed of in seeking debt relief, provided the person filing follows the correct path and has legal assistance in doing so.

As some Michigan residents may know, hockey star Jack Johnson has been in the midst of a high-profile bankruptcy. Mr. Johnson had initially claimed that he was in debt for $10 million because his parents allegedly used his money frivolously. However, two of the lenders involved in the case have stated that the parents and Mr. Johnson were working together in taking the loans and are trying to use bankruptcy to get out of paying them back. The lenders are disputing Mr. Johnson's attempts to alter his filing from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. With a Chapter 7, it is possible to liquidate the assets and give back less to the lenders once the case is settled.

What are warning signs of an unscrupulous debt relief company?

The desire of consumers to get debt relief can be a very powerful motivating force. Wayne County, Michigan, residents facing these issues may have noticed that there are a number of businesses that hold themselves out as able to secure this debt relief for stressed out or overburdened consumers. Normally skeptical members of the public may find the claims made by these companies to be attractive.

The Federal Trade Commission urges consumers to proceed with caution before signing up with a debt settlement companies. Some companies follow better business practices than do others. The government has offered a number of warning signs that a debt settlement company may be more interested in taking your money than actually helping you out.

Eligibility for a Chapter 13 debt discharge in bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a solution that may be available to wage-earning consumers in Wayne County to help them to get their debt situation under control. Consumers make periodic, manageable payments over a three- to five-year time frame.

What happens once the repayment period is up and the consumer has succeeded in adhering to the plan and making all required payments? The consumer is then eligible for a Chapter 13 debt discharge. In order to get the discharge, the consumer will have to have done up to four things.

Michigan-based retailer emerges from Chapter 11

Readers of this blog may be familiar with the story of Family Christian Stores, the Michigan-based retailer that sought protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The chain has recently emerged from the business reorganization process, and its management team has plans for it to resume growth.

As part of the business restructuring, the retailer was sold to another company last month in a deal worth at least $52.4 million. The owner of the purchasing company is the same person who was chairman of Family Christian when the chain filed for bankruptcy protection. Furthermore, the management team of the purchasing company consists of many of the same people who were in charge of Family Christian.

Bankruptcy is a real option for Michigan consumers in the red

When a lot of people in Michigan think about filing for bankruptcy, they may not have positive feelings about it. For many years, bankruptcy was thought to be for people who were not capable of handling their own affairs. The attitudes of most people on this issue have now changed, however. Especially since the last recession, bankruptcy has come to be viewed as a sensible choice for good people who get in over their heads through no fault of their own.

There are three chapters of the federal bankruptcy code that could apply to individuals who are considering bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consumers commit to a repayment plan that covers some or all of their debts. After the repayment plan is complete, any remaining eligible debt is wiped off the books. Chapter 13 is meant for people with steady income sufficient to make manageable payments.

What can be exempted in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Though the Great Recession may have come and gone, many Americans, including those in Michigan, still find themselves struggling with debt. Those who struggle with debt may have trouble sleeping at night and focusing at work and family functions because of the stress caused by financial strain. Though it may seem scary, these individuals should take comfort knowing that they may be able to find debt relief in the form of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

This type of bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy because an individual liquidates, or sells, his or her assets in order to satisfy his or her debts. This might conjure images of an individual left without a shirt on his or her back, but federal bankruptcy laws allow individuals to exempt certain types of property under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, allowing them the opportunity to carry on after bankruptcy and find the stability they need.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy applicants may seek legal help

In today's age, it is not uncommon for Wayne County residents to face financial difficulties. However, those burdened with significant amounts of debt should take comfort knowing that they are not alone. Many Americans struggle with unforeseen medical expenses, the sudden loss of a job and reliance on credit cards. Regardless of how an individual becomes indebted, he or she should be sure to check out all the legal options available to him or her so that he or she can work towards claiming a fresh financial start.

Last week we discussed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how it can be beneficial for those from Michigan. Though the bankruptcy process may sound relatively simple, it is actually complicated by a plethora of legal issues. Exemptions and filing requirements can be difficult to keep track of, but a seemingly minor slip-up in one of these areas could render you unable to file for bankruptcy, or it could wind up costing you significant amounts of money.

What are some of the requirements to file for Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an option for Wayne County consumers who are looking to stop creditor harassment and prevent foreclosure. Under Chapter 13, consumers who qualify are allowed to make manageable payments over a period of three to five years. After the period is ended, all qualifying debts are discharged if the plan has been complied with in full.

Michigan woman files for bankruptcy after getting conned

There are any number of unexpected life changes that can spell financial trouble for Michigan consumers. Unemployment and medical expenses are two very common situations that can result in financial distress, but there are many more. One can be a little embarrassing, but it affects lots of people.

Sometimes people will loan money to friends or relatives as a favor, but are left in a tight spot if the borrower fails to repay the money. Occasionally, a friend or relative will tell lies in order to separate someone from their money. This unfortunate scenario played out in Michigan recently. 19 people were swindled by an unscrupulous ex-con.

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