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Bankruptcy FAQ

Detroit Bankruptcy Attorney

Are you struggling with an unsustainable debt load that is leading to damaged credit, unnecessary stress and financial struggle? At the Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC, we have been assisting individuals and couples with their Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings for years and we have helped countless individuals obtain the second chance and fresh start that they deserve. We encourage you to continue reading the questions and answers about bankruptcy that we have provided below. If you are interested in learning more about the bankruptcy process, don't hesitate to contact a Detroit bankruptcy lawyer from our firm directly – we are here to guide you every step of the way!

Common Questions About Bankruptcy

  1. Where are bankruptcy cases filed?
  2. What are the most common bankruptcy chapters?
  3. Will I have to stand before a judge?
  4. What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  5. What is a Chapter 13?
  6. What is a bankruptcy discharge?
  7. Can all debt be discharged in a bankruptcy?
  8. Can I keep my home and my car if I file for bankruptcy?
  9. How will bankruptcy affect my credit?

Where are bankruptcy cases filed?

There are 94 federal judicial districts that handle bankruptcy matters and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy case cannot be filed in the state court.

If you are filing for bankruptcy in Detroit, Michigan, you can file in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, which is located in downtown Detroit.

What are the most common bankruptcy chapters?

While there are six basic types of bankruptcy, the vast majority of bankruptcies filed are under three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code and these include the Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy), Chapter 13 (repayment), and Chapter 11 (reorganization involving businesses).

Will I have to stand before a judge?

The debtor's involvement with a bankruptcy judge is normally very limited. For example, a typical Chapter 7 debtor will not appear in court and will not even see a bankruptcy judge unless an objection is raised in his or her case. However, a Chapter 13 debtor may have to appear before a bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing.

What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy is an orderly, court-supervised procedure where a trustee takes over the debtor's non-exempt assets, converts them to cash and distributes them to creditors. However, since a large percentage of Chapter 7 filers don't have any non-exempt assets, many Chapter 7 bankruptcies are "no-asset" bankruptcies where the debtor gets to keep everything that they own. With a Chapter 7 case, the debtor is able to erase or wipe out qualifying debts.

What is a Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 is known as the "wage earners" bankruptcy. Those debtors who have a regular and steady source of income and whose income exceeds the threshold for a Chapter 7 will have to file a Chapter 13 instead. A Chapter 13 allows the debtor to pay off all or a portion of their debt over 3 to 5 years and it can be used as a vehicle to save one's home from foreclosure.

What is a bankruptcy discharge?

A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from all personal liability for discharged debts. The discharge also acts as a formal order that prohibits creditors from taking any sort of collection action on discharged debts.

Can all debt be discharged in a bankruptcy?

No, not all debt can be included or discharged in a bankruptcy. The main types of debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy include: government-backed student loans, child support debt, spousal support, condominium fees, certain taxes (less than 3 years), and government ordered fines or restitution, and personal injury awards for DUI accidents.

Can I keep my home and my car if I file for bankruptcy?

Whether or not you keep your home and car depend on the specific exemptions in your state. In Michigan, debtors can choose between state or federal exemptions for all of their assets and properties; you are not permitted to pick and choose which exemptions apply to which property.

If you are filing for Chapter 13, you will most likely be able to keep your primary home and your car (assuming you are able to keep up with the repayment plans).

If you are filing for Chapter 7, you may keep your home and car if they are within the bankruptcy exemptions. You should always discuss your situation with our Detroit bankruptcy attorneys and we can tell you what you can keep and what will end up being liquidated.

How will bankruptcy affect my credit?

There is no clear answer to this, but most debtors who end up filing for bankruptcy already have bad credit. When you file for bankruptcy you can wipe the slate clean and have an opportunity to start rebuilding your credit. In general, a bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for around 7 to 10 years. During this time, you can slowly make a positive impact on your credit report by paying your bills on time, opening a secured credit card and using it wisely, and by practicing smart budgeting. At Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC, our Detroit bankruptcy attorney can counsel you from bankruptcy filing all the way to post-bankruptcy life.

Contact the Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC

If you have more questions regarding bankruptcy or if you want to determine if bankruptcy is right for you, we encourage you to contact a Detroit bankruptcy lawyer from the Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC Our founding attorney, Andrea D. Cartwright has an 8.0 Excellent Avvo Rating. She is also a member of the Consumer Bankruptcy Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the American Bar Association and other distinguished legal organizations. With our in-depth knowledge of bankruptcy law, we can provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision about your financial future.

Contact our office today at (248) 973-7834 to schedule your free consultation.

Chapter 7
Chapter 13
Bankruptcy Exemptions
Bankruptcy FAQ
Bankruptcy Myths
Benefits of Bankruptcy
Creditor Harassment
Credit Repair
Discharging Debt
Debt Relief
Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?
The Bankruptcy Process
Life After Bankruptcy
Loan Modification
Means Test
Mistakes To Avoid
Free Consultation: 248-973-7834
Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC - Detroit Bankruptcy Lawyer
Located at 24750 Lahser Road Southfield, MI 48033. View Map
Phone: (248) 973-7834