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1662 East Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49002
Ph: 269.324.7344
Fx: 269.324.2767

4625 Beckley Road
Building 400, Suite 4003
Battle Creek, MI 49015
Ph: 269.968.1101
Fx: 269.968.9505


Bankruptcy

You have done everything you can to repay your debt, but no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get it paid off. You have asked your creditors to work with you, but they refuse or they demand payments higher than you can afford. Creditors are constantly calling you and demanding payment and suggest that you borrow money from a friend or family member, or even put it on another credit card. The creditors only want to hear that you have sent money and when you are sending more. This type of situation can be very stressful and may even lead to health issues. If you are paying what you can and still falling behind, then bankruptcy may be your best option.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy eliminates all unsecured dischargeable debts. Unsecured debts are things like credit cards, medical bills and personal loans. Chapter 7 also gives you the choice to keep and continue payments on a home and vehicle; or to give them back to the creditor and not owe anything more. To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you must show the Court that your necessary living expenses meet or exceed your monthly income. You also need to show the Court that you do not own more than what the bankruptcy law allows you to keep.

Even if you do qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, some debts are not dischargeable, such as alimony or child support, student loans, taxes due for less than three years, personal injury claims caused by drunk driving, and debts obtained by fraud, among others. Here at Michael B. Walling, PLC we are experienced bankruptcy attorneys who will advise you as to whether you exceed the income limits, or the asset limits and whether your debts are dischargeable.

As soon as the case is filed, the Court issues an Order that STOPS ALL COLLECTION ACTIVITY including phone calls, letters, foreclosures, repossessions and garnishments.

With the current mortgage foreclosure crisis, more and more people are in a position of not being able to afford their home. This may be due to a loss of income from having hours cut, wages cut, or being laid off. May people are questioning whether they should try and sell their house, even if they can't get the full amount owed on the mortgage, whether they should sign papers the mortgage company is asking them to sign or whether they should just walk away from their home.

Then the question becomes, what is the foreclosure process, what happens next? How long can I live in my house? Will the mortgage company lock me out of the house? What happens to my credit?

We can answer these questions and more in a free 30 minute consultation. At that appointment, we will talk with you and give you answers based on your unique situation.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 can protect you from collection activity and consolidate your debts into one monthly payment.

Generally, someone who files Chapter 13 Bankruptcy has fallen behind in their bills because they've lost a job, been off work for medical reasons or had unexpected major expenses. Once you've fallen behind, you may not be able to catch up without the help of the Bankruptcy Court. As experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we will advise you as to whether Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is appropriate for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a repayment plan for people who are trying to stop a foreclosure or repossession, or people who do not qualify for Chapter 7 either because they have too much disposable net income each month, too much equity in their home or other assets, or for people who have substantial debts that cannot be discharged. Based on the type of debt and the amount of debt you have, a monthly payment is calculated. You generally pay your secured debts in full. Secured debts are anything with collateral attached to them, such as house, car or furniture. You may pay the unsecured debts anywhere from 10% to 100% of what you owe them, depending on your circumstances. Unsecured debts are things like credit cards, medical bills and personal loans. You will then make that monthly payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee appointed by the Court. A typical Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case last between three to five years from filing to discharge, depending on your income and the type of debt you have.

As soon as the case is filed, the Court issues an Order that STOPS ALL COLLECTION ACTIVITY including phone calls, letters, foreclosures, repossessions and garnishments.

As long as you successfully make all of your Chapter 13 payments, you will receive a discharge from the Court stating that your case is complete. This will eliminate all of your unsecured debt. If you are keeping your home or car, you will continue to make your regular monthly payments.

EFFECT OF BANKRUPTCY ON YOUR CREDIT
Once a bankruptcy case is filed, it will appear on your credit report for up to ten years from the date your case was filed. That does not mean you cannot get credit for ten years. As long as your take steps to reestablish your credit, such as making regular mortgage payments or car payments, many people are able to buy a car, or house, or make some other major purchase within two years. As a practical matter you want to ask yourself, "What does my credit look like now and what will it look like in 6 to 12 months if I don't get this fresh start through bankruptcy?"

Here at Michael B. Walling, PLC an experienced attorney will interview you in person to help you determine whether Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is right for you.

You may call this office to set up a free consultation to discuss if bankruptcy is right for you.

This information is only a brief overview and is not intended to be legal advice.

 

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