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Drained of assets, Michigan brewer seeks Chapter 7 relief

Although the microbrewery phenomenon has really gained tremendous popularity in the last few years, the Michigan Brewing Co. was over a decade ahead of the trend. The company was successful in the past, but its most recent owner has run into financial trouble personally and with his business, which likely began with the brewery's closure last year.

Not long ago, the man made the decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which will hopefully allow him to shed nearly $11 million worth of personal debt. Court documents show that the man's obligations -- including over 350 creditors -- significantly outweigh any assets he currently holds.

Liquidation is a major component of the Chapter 7 process. By selling off a large share of his remaining assets, the Michigan businessman may begin to pay back his creditors. Once that step is complete, the court will then discharge a large share of qualified debt. This will allow the man to regain control of his financial life and begin to move forward once again.

As part of the personal bankruptcy proceedings, the brewery owner and the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case met with debtors to discuss repayment. A number of the individuals who showed up were investors in the brewery. The trustee told the individuals at the meeting that they would be more likely to receive payment if additional assets turn up.

A means test and trustworthy advice can help clarify what debt relief option will be most suitable in a given situation. Typically, a person must have relatively low levels of regular income in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As such, liquidating assets and clearing debt can prove to be a reliable legal tool for those in need of debt relief.

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Michigan Brewing founder: 'No bags of money'," Steven R. Reed, March 12, 2013

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Michigan Brewing Co. founder files for personal bankruptcy," Steven R. Reed, March 12, 2013

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