Oakland County Bankruptcy Attorney

Recent years have been hard on many people in the Detroit metropolitan area. If you are struggling financially and having difficulty making ends meet, you have an experienced fighter in your corner to help you deal with mounting debt and high-pressure collection efforts. Representing people in Oakland County and surrounding areas, bankruptcy lawyer Ronald S. Siegel has more than 30 years of experience helping Michigan families get their financial lives back on track. With his experience and track record of helping Michigan residents eliminate burdensome debt while protecting their homes and property from foreclosure and garnishment, he can help you make a fresh start to financial recovery. He will be happy to explore and discuss all of the different options available to you to help bring your financial problems to an end.

Attorney Siegel personally handles each case, and each client has direct access to him. He always keeps his door and phone line open and is on a first-name basis with all of his clients. He goes through a careful analysis with each client to determine the best course of action for their specific situation, which may involve filing bankruptcy, determining which type of bankruptcy would be most beneficial or exploring alternatives to bankruptcy such as possible negotiations and settlements with creditors. Attorney Siegel is familiar and experienced at dealing with issues that commonly arise in bankruptcy, such as foreclosure, tax levies garnishment and asset protection. Attorney Siegel handles all phases of each case and starts working to protect his clients right from the first meeting.

Understanding Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Other Options

Debt relief and asset protection under the bankruptcy laws are governed mainly by federal law, found in United States Code Title 11. Under federal bankruptcy law, there are several possible types of relief available to individuals, depending upon their income, monthly living expenses, their property, the nature of the debts and whether they want to retain property secured by some of the debts, such as a home or car.

Most consumer bankruptcies are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Eligibility for Chapter 7 (often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy) is determined by a two part test called the “means test.” The means test is a formula that takes into consideration a debtor’s income and living expenses. The purpose of the means test is to limit eligibility for Chapter 7 to people who truly need and qualify for it. And while most debtors who are eligible for Chapter 7 do in fact choose Chapter 7, Chapter 7 may not necessarily be the best option for those debtors whose assets and property exceeds the maximum value that the law allows. In other words, even if you do pass the means test, Chapter 7 may not necessarily be the best option. Oakland County bankruptcy lawyer Ronald S. Siegel will review all aspects of Chapter 7 before deciding whether to file.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically ends in a discharge of most or all of the debts owed by the person or couple seeking relief, although some debts, such as a car loan, may be reaffirmed. There are some debts that are not dischargeable. These include alimony and child support, judgments in some personal injury cases, and usually (but not always) student loans.

The second most common type of consumer bankruptcy is Chapter 13, sometimes called a “wage earner’s plan” or a “reorganization” bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy requires the debtor to have a repayment plan, and monthly payments are typically made for three to five years. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor may be able to save their home from foreclosure and still discharge unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, medical bills, collection lawsuits and payday loans.. Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies may be filed by individuals or by married couples, but spouses are not required to file together if they would rather file separately. State law exempts some of a debtor’s assets from liquidation in both types of bankruptcies.

Under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, an automatic stay goes into effect as soon as the bankruptcy case is filed, stopping most collection efforts such as lawsuits, garnishments, levies, foreclosures and harassing telephone calls by creditors and collection agencies. This is a significant benefit of filing for bankruptcy because it reduces the stress on a debtor as they try to get their finances reorganized.

For business owners, a third type of bankruptcy under Chapter 11 may be a useful option to pursue. These cases are often complex and benefit from the assistance of a legal professional who can help the business owner protect their financial well-being to the extent possible.

Consult an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Genesee, Livingston, or Washtenaw Counties

If you choose to file for bankruptcy after carefully weighing your options, there is a considerable amount of paperwork that must be filed with the court clerk. Hearings (such as the meeting of creditors) must be scheduled, so the sooner that you make the call to an attorney, the better. Once these steps are taken, you can focus on moving forward to the next stage of your financial life, free from the stress and uncertainty that often accompanies this process. Oakland County bankruptcy attorney Ronald S. Siegel can help you understand your options and determine a course of action that will be beneficial for you and your family. He represents people who need a debt relief lawyer throughout Oakland, Wayne, Genesee, Washtenaw, Livingston, and Macomb Counties, including in Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Southfield, Waterford, Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn, Flint, Sterling Heights, and Roseville. Whatever your question or legal need, our door is always open to you. Contact us online or at 248-646-4600 to set up a free consultation.

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