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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Michigan

How much will it cost & how long will it take?

Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is executed over three to five years, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process can be completed in a matter of months. More specifically, you could expect it to take 4-6 months. This includes participating in a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course, filling out all of the necessary paperwork, filing your petition with the court and attending the "creditors meeting." After all is said and done, you can expect to pay about $300 in filing and administrative fees—as well as a small fee for the credit counseling course. Once your bankruptcy has been resolved, however, you will be legally absolved of the obligation to repay most, if not all, of your debt.

Can anyone file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

The short answer to this question is, no. While Chapter 7 is the most widely used form of bankruptcy, certain measures have been taken to ensure that only those facing the direst of financial situations can actually file. That being said, you will be required to take a means test to determine whether or not you qualify. The means test will evaluate your income and expenses, deducting specific monthly expenses from your current monthly income. The figure that is left over will be deemed your "disposable income"—which is the monthly sum of money that you should, ideally, be able to contribute to repaying debt. The higher the number, the less likely it will be that you qualify.

What information will I need to provide on the forms?

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to fill out a petition and numerous different forms. Once your paperwork has been completed, you will submit it to the bankruptcy court in your area—the purpose of which is to give the court a better idea of how you are faring financially.

This means that you will need to describe the following information in detail:

  • Any property that you currently own
  • Your current income & living expenses
  • All debts that you have incurred
  • Property you wish to claim as an exemption
  • Money you spent during the previous 2 years
  • Property you sold in the previous 2 years

Can creditors still contact me after I have filed?

Once you have officially filed your bankruptcy petition with the court, a judge will issue an "automatic stay." This court order will immediately prohibit creditors from continuing their collection efforts—which also means that you cannot be subject to any further wage garnishments, repossessions or foreclosures. All efforts must be stopped until your bankruptcy case has been resolved, giving you the peace of mind that you need during this time. If a creditor attempts to contact you, you should immediately inform them that you have initiated the bankruptcy process. If this behavior persists, however, let a Michigan bankruptcy attorney step in.

Will I be required to appear in bankruptcy court?

Typically, those who file under Chapter 7 will only need to appear in court once. One to two weeks after filing your petition, a "creditors meeting" will be scheduled. During this court visit, you and your lawyer will meet with the bankruptcy trustee who has been assigned to your case and/or any of your creditors who wish to attend. The bankruptcy trustee will then question you about why you are filing for bankruptcy, whether or not you have listed the accurate values of all property that is included in the petition, whether or not you have transferred money to relatives or friends before filing, etc. Since they are acting on behalf of your creditors, they will want to ensure that your debts are repaid in the fullest amount possible.

Will all debts be wiped out during bankruptcy?

Once your bankruptcy trustee has taken measures to liquidate non-exempt assets and repay creditors, the bankruptcy court will discharge any remaining debt. This includes credit card debt, medical debt, business debt, etc. It is important to understand that not all debt is dischargeable, however, as certain debts will always survive bankruptcy.

These may include:

  • Child & spousal support
  • Student loans
  • Government fines
  • Parking tickets
  • State & federal taxes
  • Housing & rental fees

Will I need to hire a Michigan bankruptcy lawyer?

When dealing with any type of complex legal matter, it is always advisable that you rely on the advice of an experienced legal professional. While filing for bankruptcy may seem fairly cut and dry, it is important to understand that your financial stability could be on the line. For this reason, Hensel Law Office, PLLC encourages you to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. My name is Thomas Hensel, and I have been practicing law since 1999, personally managing every single case for my clients. This means that you will never be passed off to a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney when you work with my firm. As a Madison Heights bankruptcy attorney, I will be by your side throughout every step of the bankruptcy process.

If you are interested in scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation with me, call today for fast support. I am even available to meet in the evening or on the weekend, in addition to regular business hours. I am focused on making this experience as convenient and painless as possible for you. That being said, there is no reason why you should wait any longer to retain the professional assistance that you will need!

You can contact my firm locally at (888) 258-0651.

Client Testimonials

  • Utmost dedication and professionalism.

    “I chose to work with Tom Hensel after meeting with several big name firms in the area. Tom handled my unique situation with the utmost dedication and professionalism. The personal service I received from him made all the difference in my case. My only regret is that I didn't call him first.”

    Craig

  • Tom Hensel is definitely the right attorney to call!

    “I was referred to Tom Hensel by a friend. My first impression was not only was Tom professional but he's so kind and caring too. He helped my husband and I through an embarrassing, scary situation and definitely made it more positive one. He guided us through our options and helped us make the right decision for us which ended up being a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Tom was so knowledgeable and helped us throughout the whole process. He never once made us feel uncomfortable or dumb when we had questions. He was also very easy to get a hold of when questions would come up and would always return our calls and emails promptly. I strongly recommend Tom to anyone going through this kind of financial nightmare. Do yourselves a favor and call him right away. He will help you get on the right path again. Our only mistake was waiting so long to call him!! When we in court waiting our turn all the other attorneys referred to their clients as "The debtors" Tom on the other hand acknowledged us by our names. Little things mean a lot and that left a lasting impression with us. Tom Thank You again for all your help!!”

    Stacy S.

  • He always responded quickly and intelligently.

    “Mr. Hensel made a difficult and uncomfortable situation as easy as possible for me. He always responded quickly and intelligently to my questions and never made me feel as if I were bothering him. He explained the unknown aspects of bankruptcy, the court system, and my options in clearly understandable terms. I felt confident that he was handling my case in the best possible manner and in my best possible interests. I feel lucky to have found the Hensel Law Office and I never hesitate to refer others who could use assistance - because I know they will get superior service and help.”

    Kelly

  • We have and will continue to recommend you to others in need of a fresh start.

    “Dear Tom, my husband and I wanted to express our deepest thanks for the help you gave us during our embarrassing and stressful time. I was very impressed that you returned every phone call in a timely manner. You were able to explain exactly what was going to happen in words that "we" could understand. You answered every question we threw at you. The whole bankruptcy process from start to finish was complete in the time you told us it would take. Your professionalism yet friendliness made the whole experience for us almost enjoyable... almost! We have and will continue to recommend you to others in need of a fresh start.”

    Melissa

  • Tom was the most professional.

    “I researched 3 attorneys before signing with the Hensel Law Office for my bankruptcy proceedings. Tom was the most professional and he explained all of my questions without trying to make a quick buck on me. I would recommend Hensel Law Office to my friends or family going through a similar difficult situation.”

    Jerry