Blog Posts in 2012

  • Eligibility for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    || 20-Dec-2012

    A lot of people would choose filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy over a Chapter 13 if they were given the choice. However, not everyone has the ability to choose between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. What sets the two bankruptcies apart? With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee cancels all or the majority of your debts, meaning they are literally wiped out and you are no longer ...
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  • H is for Hensel Law Office

    || 11-Dec-2012

    Okay it's time for a little shameless self-promotion! My name is Thomas Hensel and I'm a Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney. I've been practicing for a little more than 13 years now. I opened my firm – Hensel Law Office, PLLC - in 2008. My practice is 100% dedicated to representing Debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Prior to opening my firm I spent considerable ...
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  • G is for Garnishment

    || 4-Dec-2012

    Garnishment is one of the most powerful weapons that a judgment creditor can wield. It can take many forms – wage garnishment, bank account garnishment, tax refund garnishment. Any or all of these may be utilized in order to collect on a judgment. In the state of Michigan, a judgment creditor can seize up to 25% of your wages via a wage garnishment – this may continue until the debt is ...
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  • Understanding the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy

    || 4-Dec-2012

    Once a debtor files for bankruptcy, they typically notice the immediate benefits of what is called the "automatic stay." What is the automatic stay and how does it affect you directly? The automatic stay is automatic injunction (a legal order) that immediately halts creditors from collecting on debts from a debtor who has filed bankruptcy. Under 11 USC §362 – Automatic Stay, ...
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  • F is for First Meeting

    || 28-Nov-2012

    In both types of consumer bankruptcy cases - Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 - you will be required to appear at your " first meeting " or " first meeting of the creditors " or " 341 hearing " (341 being the section of the Bankruptcy Code that sets out the details of this hearing). This is your initial Court date. In Chapter 7 cases, it should be your only Court date. Many of ...
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  • E is for Exemptions

    || 20-Nov-2012

    When you file a bankruptcy petition ALL of your property becomes property of your 'bankruptcy estate'. Exemptions are what the bankruptcy code allows you use in order to KEEP or PROTECT certain property. In the context of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any non-exempt property is subject to liquidation by a Chapter 7 Trustee (the party who appointed by the Court to convert all non-exempt property ...
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  • D is for Discharge

    || 13-Nov-2012

    Obtaining a Discharge is the goal in every individual Chapter 7 case and it's also the goal in about 99% of Chapter 13 cases too. It's the final Order of the Court indicating that your case has completed successfully and you are legally 'Discharged' of all of your debts....with certain exceptions. It's a piece of paper that's symbolic of your 'fresh start '. In a ...
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  • C is for Cars

    || 7-Nov-2012

    A common first question I'll get over the phone or via email from a perspective Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 client is something along the lines of "if I file bankruptcy, can I keep my car?". The answer is almost always YES. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you're able to protect a certain amount of assets by using the applicable exemptions available under the bankruptcy code. The most ...
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  • B is for Bank Accounts

    || 29-Oct-2012

    One of the most common assets that a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy Debtor (the person filng bankruptcy) has is a bank account. What types of bank accounts must be listed as assets? Any account that the Debtor's name is on (or the Debtor's spouse is on in a joint case) in any capacity. This includes bank accounts that a Debtor may be on that are actually for his children. This also ...
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  • Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    || 8-Aug-2012

    In today's economy, it is no surprise that countless people have been severely impacted by uncontrollable debt. Whether a family is upside down on their mortgage or creditors won't stop harassing someone that owes a large amount of debt, a great number of people have decided to explore their options for relief. One of the most effective ways that a person may do so is to file for ...
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  • ABC's of Bankruptcy

    || 6-Apr-2012

    A is for " Assets ". In a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding (or any other type of bankruptcy proceeding for that matter) it is necessary for you to disclose all of your assets. What constitutes an asset? Anything, in any form, that you own. This includes tangible items such as real estate, cars, jewelry, and bank accounts as well intangible assets, such as the right to sue ...
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  • Tax refunds and bankruptcy

    || 2-Feb-2012

    A popular question this time of year is "what happens to my 2011 tax refund in my bankruptcy case"? In Chapter 7 cases, we need to determine what your anticipated tax refund is and then use the appropriate exemption to protect this 'anticipated refund'. If the refund ends up being less than what was forecasted, there is little to be concerned with. However, if the refund ends up ...
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  • New Year's Resolution - Get a Fresh Start

    || 6-Jan-2012

    Happy New Year! January is typically one of the busiest times of the year for a Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney. Since the underlying philosophy of a bankruptcy filing is to obtain a 'fresh start ' - this really shouldn't come as a surprise. It is understandable that sometimes it's easier to try to forget our problems than to deal with them. However, there's something about ...
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