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Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer in Sterling Heights

Considering filing for bankruptcy? Below you will find some frequently asked questions about the bankruptcy process.

Will I be able to obtain credit after bankruptcy?

Yes, you will be able to rebuild your credit over time. There are many steps that you can take to improve your credit score that a Michigan bankruptcy attorney can explain.

Can I file for bankruptcy more than once?

Yes, under certain circumstances. If you are filing a Chapter 7, you will have to wait 8 years before you can file again. Chapter 13 rules are different, allowing you to file for bankruptcy more frequently.

Will I have to file a joint bankruptcy petition if I am married?

No, you have the option of filing as an individual or as a couple.

Will I still get calls from creditors after I file my petition?

Once your bankruptcy petition has been submitted, the court will issue an automatic stay which will stop all creditor collection activities, including phone calls, letters, and emails.

Can I eliminate my tax debt through bankruptcy?

You may be able to discharge tax obligations more than 3 years old depending on the situation.

Will all of my assets get sold in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Only non-exempt assets will be liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are both state and federal guidelines that cover what type of property must get sold.

How will I know if I qualify for bankruptcy?

Your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by the means test. If you do not meet the criteria for Chapter 7, you will be able to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.

I'm several months past due on my house payment, and I've received notice that my mortgage company has started foreclosure proceedings. Is it too late to save my house?

No. Chapter 13 can allow you to stop the foreclosure process and permit you to propose a plan to pay the amount that you're past due back to the mortgage company over time.

My paycheck is presently being garnished due to a collection lawsuit. Can bankruptcy stop this?

Absolutely. The "automatic stay" of proceedings afforded by the bankruptcy code can immediately stop a garnishment. In many cases, bankruptcy can force a judgment creditor to return garnished wages to you!

Can I get rid of my student loans by filing bankruptcy?

No. Except in the rarest of circumstances.

I'm considering filing a Chapter 7, but I have one particular loan that my mother co-signed on. What happens in this situation and can I protect her?

When there are two parties who are obligated on the same debt, generally the debt is discharged as to the party filing bankruptcy but not as to the party who didn't file. In order to protect mom from collection action, a reaffirmation agreement may be entered into with this particular creditor. Such an agreement re-establishes your obligation on this debt - and so long as you keep up your payments, no action will be taken against mom.

Do I need an attorney to help me file for bankruptcy?

Technically no. However, technically you don't need a surgeon to perform an appendectomy either. Bankruptcy is a complicated area of the law. To say it is a good idea to hire a professional to assist you would be an understatement.

My co-worker filed Chapter 7 and received a discharge of all of his debts. Can I do the same thing?

Every case is different. Each case depends on the financial circumstances of the individual or married couple. Call for a free consultation to determine exactly what your options are.

My mortgage interest rate adjusted, so now I can't afford my house payment and I can't sell it due to the depressed real estate market. Is there a way that I can walk away from my house?

Yes. By invoking your rights under the bankruptcy code you can elect to surrender your home without exposing yourself to personal liability on the note. Also, depending on your situation, you may be able to do a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure - without even having to file bankruptcy.

Do I need to go to Court if I file bankruptcy?

Yes. In a Chapter 7 proceeding, you will need to appear once (in most situations). In Chapter 13 you may be required to appear on two separate dates. Attorney Hensel will accompany you at all hearings.

Client Testimonials

  • You made a difficult experience so much easier.

    “Back a few years ago, you helped me through a bankruptcy. I still tell people how you made a difficult experience so much easier, with your clarity, support, and friendly approach to the law. I'm still very appreciative for all your help – it really helped to pull me out of a difficult place and put my life back on track.”


  • 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.”


  • 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.”


  • We couldn't have gotten through this difficult process without Tom.

    “We couldn't have gotten through this difficult process without Tom. We evaluated a number of bankruptcy attorneys and found Tom to be the most knowledgeable and compassionate. He takes the time to explain all aspects of the process and answers your questions thoroughly and promptly both in person and via email. He knows the law and ensures that you receive the best treatment possible depending on your particular situation.”

    T & J

  • He is respectful and down to earth with his approach to very complicated legal matters.

    “Hensel Law Office has helped me during a very difficult time in my life. Tom has done a wonderful job with my Chapter 13 case. He always kept in touch with me and explained everything in terms I could understand. I would highly recommend Mr. Hensel to anyone who is facing any bankruptcy filing. He is respectful and down to earth with his approach to very complicated legal matters.”