Tecumseh, Michigan, Bankruptcy Attorney

Financial distress can strike anyone anytime, leading to stress and uncertainty about the future. For those struggling with significant debt, bankruptcy can be an effective way to regain control of their financial lives. However, the process can be complex and challenging, which is why it is essential to seek help from a dedicated bankruptcy attorney.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Marrs & Terry have extensive experience serving residents across Lenawee County and can put you on the path to a brighter financial future. Our team will evaluate your financial situation, advise you on your options, and empower you to make the best decision to meet your goals. Contact our law firm today for a consultation to discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney serving Tecumseh, Michigan.

Understanding Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that provides relief for individuals or businesses that cannot repay their debts. Here are the major types to be aware of.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Liquidation

Chapter 7 bankruptcy entails a legal procedure of liquidating non-exempt assets to settle debts with creditors. Chapter 7 is typically only available in cases where individuals have limited income or assets and cannot commit to a repayment plan. Under this process, the court will appoint a trustee to oversee the sale of the debtor’s assets and use the proceeds to pay off debts. At the conclusion of the case, most of the debtor’s unsecured debts—such as credit card bills and medical expenses—are discharged, giving them a fresh start.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Reorganization

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals who have a steady income to restructure their debts and establish a repayment plan, typically spanning three or five years. This type of bankruptcy can help protect assets, such as a home or car, from foreclosure and repossession. Under Chapter 13, debtors present a repayment plan to pay creditors over a specified period while retaining their property. It allows debtors to catch up on missed mortgage or car payments and can discharge many remaining unsecured debts at the end of the plan. The Chapter 13 discharge is complicated and has recently undergone several changes, so consult with an attorney to better understand what you can expect and whether it’s right for you.

Other Types

While Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common types for individuals, other forms of bankruptcy exist, including Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. Businesses commonly use Chapter 11 to restructure their debts as it allows them to continue operating while repaying their creditors in a more manageable way. This form of bankruptcy allows businesses to change their finances and obligations, often involving negotiations with creditors to alter terms and payment schedules.

In addition, Chapter 12 provides a framework for family farmers and fishermen to adjust their debts, allowing them to maintain their fishing or agricultural operations. This type of bankruptcy provides more flexible repayment terms and considers the seasonal nature of these professions’ income.

Signs You Might Need to File for Bankruptcy

Wondering if bankruptcy might be right for you? Here are some signs to consider:

  • Overwhelming Debt – When your debts far exceed your ability to repay them, bankruptcy may provide the relief you need. Potentially dischargeable debts include medical expenses, credit card debt, and other unsecured obligations.
  • Creditor Harassment – Persistent calls and threats from creditors can be incredibly stressful and disrupt your peace of mind. The automatic stay of bankruptcy can put an end to these aggressive collection tactics.
  • Foreclosure Threats – If you are facing the threat of losing your home due to missing mortgage payments, certain bankruptcy chapters can provide protective measures to help you retain your property and establish a repayment plan.

Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy offers several potential benefits, including the following:

  • Debt Discharge – Bankruptcy can discharge many of your debts, including credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans, giving you a fresh start free from overwhelming obligations.
  • Automatic Stay – This legal provision immediately stops most collection actions against you as soon as you file for bankruptcy. This includes halting wage garnishments, repossessions, and creditor phone calls.
  • Fresh Financial Start – Bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your finances, create a manageable repayment plan if required, and start anew. It provides an opportunity to rebuild your credit and financial stability over time.

The Role of a Bankruptcy Attorney

A bankruptcy attorney serving Tecumseh can guide you through the bankruptcy process from the initial consultation to the filing stage. During your first meeting, the attorney will learn about your financial circumstances. This includes reviewing information about your income, expenses, debts, and assets in order to fully understand your situation and explore potential solutions.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your attorney will offer advice based on your specific needs and goals and whether bankruptcy can help. They will explain the options available to you, as Chapter 7 involves a means test while Chapter 13 requires regular income.

Providing the correct documentation is essential, as any errors could result in delays or even dismissal of your case. Your attorney can file your paperwork on your behalf, streamlining the process and helping you avoid the kind of common mistakes and errors that could derail your case. Their goal is to guide you through an often complicated process so that you can move forward on the road to financial well-being with confidence.

Common Questions about Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a complicated process, and you probably have questions about it. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we’re most frequently asked by clients in Tecmuseh.

Will I Lose My Home or Car?

Bankruptcy law provides some exemptions that protect certain assets, such as your home or car, up to a specific value. These exemptions help you maintain a basic living standard while working through your financial difficulties. Your attorney will explain these protections in detail, including the specific exemption and how they apply to your unique case.

How Long Will the Bankruptcy Process Take?

How long it might take you to complete your bankruptcy case depends in part on the chapter under which you file as well as your unique circumstances. Here’s what to expect:

  • Chapter 7: This process generally takes about four to six months from the initial filing to the final discharge. During this period, non-exempt assets are liquidated to pay off creditors. Upon the conclusion of the case, most remaining unsecured debts are discharged.
  • Chapter 13: This type of bankruptcy involves a repayment plan that lasts three or five years. Debtors work with the court and a trustee to create a plan that outlines how they will repay all or part of their debts. Upon successful completion of the repayment plan, the remaining eligible debts are discharged, allowing individuals to retain their property while reorganizing their financial obligations.

What Happens to My Credit Score?

Although bankruptcy can have a substantial effect on your credit score, it also presents an opportunity for rebuilding and starting anew. After bankruptcy, you can improve your credit through responsible financial behavior, such as paying your bills on time and using your credit responsibly.

Can You Discharge all debts?

Depending on the chapter, bankruptcy allows you to discharge unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills, in bankruptcy. However, others, including student loans, child support, and certain taxes, are typically non-dischargeable.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Are you thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Tecumseh, Michigan? If so, Marrs & Terry can guide you on your path toward financial well-being. Contact us today for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney serving Tecumseh, and take the first step together.