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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 I 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 a Chapter 13 you may be required to appear on two separate dates. Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney Hensel will accompany you at all hearings.

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

  • Sincerest thanks for all of your help in affording me what I consider a real "fresh start."

    “I wanted to give you my sincerest thanks for all of your help in affording me what I consider a real "fresh start". My divorce was unfortunate but definitely a needed change for the better. However, the financial side of things still seemed to keep that past linked, which makes this an enormous weight lifted. I just can't believe the impact it's made on my outlook with...everything.I will be sure to keep your business cards handy to distribute along with highly favorable words of recommendation should the needs arise.Thank you again for your time and professional guidance.”

    Michelle

  • His knowledge and expertise made a very difficult time in our lives much easier.

    “From start to finish our experience with Mr. Hensel was great. He carefully and thoroughly explained the entire process to us and was always available for any questions or concerns we had. His knowledge and expertise made a very difficult time in our lives much easier. We are very thankful for his help in our situation.”

    Christine and John

  • Professional, competent, empathetic attorney.

    “My husband and I were forced into a position to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We were devastated and mortified that we had to choose that route, but Tom eased our stress about the filing and court hearing process, as he thoroughly explained what Chapter 7 entails, as well as exactly what to expect during and after the filing process; he was accurate on each point that he advised us on. Tom also kept in frequent contact with us and responded quickly to any questions or concerns that we had while we worked with him. Tom's expertise and tact was invaluable for us, and we will absolutely recommend him to any of our friends and relatives that may find themselves in similar positions to ours. Thank you, Tom, for your dedicated help during this process.”

    EJO

  • 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.”

    Eric