Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?

Debt Relief Lawyer Assisting Oakland County Residents

In the midst of a financial crisis, thoughts of filing for bankruptcy often come to mind. In many cases, filing for protection from creditors and collection companies under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy laws may be a good option when dealing with mounting debt, aggressive collection efforts, and other pressures, but there may be other alternatives as well. Sometimes, a debtor may have other options, including dealing with a foreclosure, tax levy, or garnishment head-on rather than through the bankruptcy court. For more than 30 years, Oakland County bankruptcy attorney Ronald S. Siegel has been helping Michigan residents and families find solutions designed for their particular situation. He can help you decide whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you.

One of the first considerations in determining whether bankruptcy is a viable solution to your financial issues is identifying and analyzing the types of debts that you have. While a debtor may receive a discharge in bankruptcy for many different types of debt, such as credit cards, payday loans, and medical expenses, certain types of financial obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. These include alimony, child support, certain taxes, most government-funded or guaranteed educational loans, judgments in personal injury lawsuits stemming from drunk driving accidents and criminal fines. Other debts that may be non-dischargeable, depending on the particular facts, include debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses or for fraud, and debts for restitution or damages awarded in a civil case for willful or malicious actions by the debtor that caused injuries or death.

Types of Bankruptcy and How They May Affect the Debtor’s Obligations

Under most circumstances, the two types of bankruptcies available to individuals fall under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, commonly referred to as a wage earner bankruptcy. Deciding which chapter is better depends on your income and living expenses, whether there are any secured debts that you want or need to reaffirm, and whether you are in danger of losing your home through foreclosure. For instance, while you can in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy opt to either reaffirm the debt owed on your car or redeem the car (purchase it for fair market value) so that you can continue to have reliable transportation, (alternatively, you can also surrender a car and get out from burdensome payments), the most advantageous use of Chapter 7 is to eliminate, or “discharge,” unsecured debt, such as credit card bills, medical bills, and other personal debt.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor is subject to a repayment plan in which certain debts are paid off either in part or in full over a period of three to five years, typically at zero interest to the creditors. If you are behind in your mortgage payments and are being threatened with foreclosure, Chapter 13 can stop foreclosures and force the mortgage company to accept an extended plan with affordable monthly payments. And in some instances, second mortgages or home equity loans can also be eliminated.

Seek Advice from an Experienced Oakland County Attorney

To speak to an experienced debt relief lawyer about whether and which type of bankruptcy is right for you, call Attorney Ronald S. Siegel at 248-646-4600 or contact us online. He will be glad to discuss your options, including Chapter 7, Chapter 13, direct negotiations with creditors, and other possible ways to put your financial difficulties behind you. Oakland County lawyer Ronald S. Siegel represents people in Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Southfield, Waterford, Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn, Flint, Sterling Heights, and Roseville, as well as elsewhere in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Genesee, Livingston, and Washtenaw Counties.

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