Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Detroit, MI and Surrounding Communities
Bankruptcy Attorney Guiding Oakland County Residents and Other Michigan Debtors
If financial strain is causing you to consider the possibility of filing for protection from your creditors under the federal bankruptcy laws, you should talk to attorney Ronald S. Siegel about your options, including protection under Chapter 13. Along with Chapter 7, bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Code is one of the most commonly filed forms of bankruptcy. Sometimes referred to as a “wage earner’s plan” and the section of the bankruptcy code used most often to save a home from foreclosure due to delinquent payments and/or taxes, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is, at its core, a reorganization of the debtor’s finances and obligations. Seasoned Oakland County bankruptcy lawyer Ronald S. Siegel is well-versed in Chapter 13 and other alternatives for Michigan residents who find themselves unable to meet their current obligations to creditors.
Discharge Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 is often the right choice for debtors who, because of relatively high income, either may not qualify for Chapter 7 or who wish to save their home from an impending or threatened foreclosure. It allows people who cannot afford to pay the monthly amounts that their creditors want to pay down their debts as much as their monthly income and living expenses will allow. Under Chapter 13, the debtor (and their spouse, if they file jointly) proposes a plan that allows them to pay a court approved amount towards certain debts over a period of three to five years that may, depending on the amount of the payment and the amount of the debt, result in the creditors getting only a small portion of what is owed (and usually at zero interest), with the balance of whatever debt that is not paid being discharged. In some cases, debts may be discharged with minimal payment or even no payment, depending upon the nature of the debtor’s obligations. The exact amount of the Chapter 13 payment will vary from case to case depending on the debtor’s monthly income and monthly living expenses as well as the nature and amount of the debts. Attorney Siegel's experience and familiarity with the bankruptcy code, the courts and the trustees will help formulate an acceptable yet affordable plan that allows you and your family to live a normal and happy life free from the constant pressure of lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosures and creditor harassment.
A debtor filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 must file documents with the court, referred to as “schedules,” of their assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, and any contracts or unexpired leases to which the debtor is a party. In Chapter 13, the debtor must also file a plan, which is the debtor’s proposal on how to deal with their debt. Typically, the plan will propose to either keep a house (while outlining a proposal for how to pay the monthly mortgage payments along with any arrearage that exists) or to surrender the house, as well as whether to keep or surrender vehicles. Finally, the plan will set forth a proposal on how and how much to pay towards unsecured debt. Almost all plans propose a payment period of three to five years and at no interest for unsecured creditors. After the documents have been filed and the filing fee has been paid, the bankruptcy court will schedule a meeting of the debtor’s creditors, called the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. The meeting is an opportunity for the Chapter 13 Trustee (a person appointed by the court to oversee your case) and creditors to ask you questions about your property and finances. The hearing for determining whether your plan will be confirmed is called the Confirmation Hearing. It will be scheduled to take place about two months after the Creditors’ Meeting. If you have made timely payments under the plan and if there are no objections, the court will approve the plan. (If there are objections, there will be plenty of opportunity to resolve those objections with either the Chapter 13 Trustee or the creditors). If your plan is confirmed, your creditors are obligated to abide by and honor the provisions of the plan—even if they disagreed with it.
Once you have completed all of the payments required under your plan, and once you have completed all other requirements, such as keeping up on their domestic support payments (child support and alimony) and completing a required course in financial management, you will be forgiven from ever having to pay any of the remaining balances that were not paid in the Chapter 13. In other words, you will receive a discharge of the remaining balances of the debt that you owed at the time that your case was filed. When a debt is discharged in bankruptcy, you are released from further obligations to the creditor, and that creditor is not allowed to make future collection efforts or maintain a legal action against you.
Get Reliable Advice from an Oakland County Lawyer
Knowledgeable Oakland County attorney Ronald S. Siegel has been working with Michigan debtors for many years, creating appropriate solutions for each individual and their family during times of financial crisis. Call us today at 248-633-8866 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. Ronald S. Siegel serves people who need a consumer law attorney throughout the Detroit area, including in Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Southfield, Waterford, Livonia, Dearborn, Flint, Sterling Heights, Roseville, and other communities in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Genesee, Livingston, and Washtenaw Counties.
It was 2012. I was 61 years old. The automotive company I worked at for 36 years was asking me to leave. I had never missed a payment, but I knew I could not make ends meet with the loss of my job. The bust of the real estate bubble and drop in home values meant that my mortgage was now under water. This was uncharted territory for me. I had some 401K savings but not enough to put everything right. What should I do? Who could help? What were my options? Bankruptcy? Filing for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can be a challenging and intense experience, but working with Ron relieved the stress. He was thorough and clear when walking through the various options. He provided guidance and counsel to develop the original plan as well as plan modifications due to changing income and expenses throughout the 5 year period. He always answered my calls and got back to me quickly. Best of all his expertise and recommendations saved us thousands of dollars and helped secure our financial future in retirement.
If your looking for an experienced, professional, efficient and ethically sincere attorney, then look no further than Mr. Siegel. From our very first conversation over the phone, Ron immediately went to work answering our questions concerning our situation and how bankruptcy could help us if we decided to go that route. Ron is not the type of guy who will tell you anything to get you in the door, Rather, he will be honest and forthcoming about the process. Even though the bankruptcy was very tough time for us, We NEVER felt unsure or hesitant of Mr. Siegel's professional opinion or the process. He will answer all of your questions throughout the process in a timely (usually within minutes) of calling or emailing him. He even made sure to call us when he was out of the country. This is why he is NOT your typical attorney and why we drove over an hour to see him. By the end of the process, we were so comfortable with him, that we felt as if we had known Ron for years. if your thinking of declaring bankruptcy, stop looking and call. He is the real deal!
High Quality, Professional, Quick Responsiveness
Going through bankruptcy can be a scary thing, yet one meeting with Ron Siegel reassured my elderly parents that he was going to take action quickly and make sure they would not have to worry about anything. From the start Ron moved expeditiously and thoroughly through the process and was always available for the extra questions and phone calls that popped up. I am grateful that the experience was positive for my parents. I would highly recommend Ron to anyone going through bankruptcy.
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