19th Dec 2013

Peter T. Mooney

Here are 10 myths about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 Michigan bankruptcy laws:

1. You Cannot File Bankruptcy Under The New Law

Many people believe that the new bankruptcy law passed in 2005 essentially made bankruptcy unavailable to most people. While eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may depend on your income, bankruptcy is still available. In many cases, all of the benefits under the old Michigan law remain under the new law.

2. You Will Lose Your House

While you cannot wipe out a mortgage in bankruptcy, if you are able to maintain your payments on your house you can keep it. If you file a Chapter 13 monthly payment bankruptcy, you can use your bankruptcy plan to catch up past due payments over a much longer period than the bank is like.

3. You Will Lose All Your Possessions

People are often afraid that if they file bankruptcy they will lose everything they have. The new Michigan bankruptcy laws generally allow you to keep personal items such as the equity in your home, appliances, furniture, vehicles and similar household property. In most cases, you can also keep your retirement accounts.

4. Your Bankruptcy Will Be Public Knowledge

While anyone in theory can go to the Bankruptcy Court and review case files, this is very uncommon. Most people that file bankruptcy do so without their friends or family knowing anything about it.

5. You Will Never Be Able To Get Credit Again

While bankruptcy has a negative effect on your credit rating, it also reduces your overall debt. Many individuals are able to rebuild their credit over a matter of a few years after filing bankruptcy, and find that bankruptcy itself does not prevent them from obtaining loans for a vehicle or a home.

6. Bankruptcy Cannot Wipe Out Court Judgments

Many people believe that once a there is a court judgment there is nothing they can do. In fact, bankruptcy prevents a court judgment from being collected. However, certain judgments, such as divorce judgments, generally are still collectible.

7. Creditors Will Continue To Call You

Once you file bankruptcy, the law prevents a creditor from contacting you directly or by phone or mail in an attempt to collect a debt.

8. You Can Pick Or Choose Which Debts To Include In A Bankruptcy

When you file Bankruptcy, you need to notify all of your creditors. Some people prefer to leave certain debts off their bankruptcy and “not include” them in the bankruptcy. While on some cases you can agree to pay a debt despite the bankruptcy, you must list all of your debts and creditors in the bankruptcy papers.

9. You Still Owe All The Unpaid Back Taxes

While taxes are sometimes non-dischargeable, you can often discharge personal income taxes as long as they are at least 3 years old and you have filed returns.

10. Filing Bankruptcy Is Difficult

While it is important to carefully review all of the information included in a bankruptcy filing, we strive to make the process very smooth and relatively painless.

Have more questions about Michigan bankruptcy laws? Give me a call now at (810) 235-9000 and let our team of experts help you navigate your way through this process.