Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy - Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy

Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

Archive for February, 2013

Phoenix Law to sponsor event with new US Congressman

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 28th

CongressmanPhoenix Law to sponsor Livonia Chamber event with new US Congressman to be held at School Craft College on March 27.

Congressman Kerry Bentivolio was newly sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2013. Bentivolio says his top priority is to fight for common-sense solutions in Washington and provide superb constituent services to the people of Southeast Michigan.

Bentivolio, a Michigan native, background includes military service, business, automotive design, real estate, political activism, education, and community involvement. After high school, Kerry enlisted into the U.S. Army, serving as an infantry rifleman in Vietnam. Upon his honorable discharge, he attended Oakland Community College. He then transferred from OCC to Michigan State University and later earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s College and a Master of Education from Marygrove College.

For more than 20 years, Bentivolio proudly served with the Michigan Army National Guard where he worked to protect and defend the U.S. He served with the military police on the home front during Desert Storm and in Iraq in 2007, at age 56, with an Artillery Unit in an administrative capacity. Kerry was medically evacuated from Iraq after suffering a neck injury and retired.

At the Livonia Chamber’s Wake-Up Livonia program on March 27, Bentivolio will talk about his initiatives to support small business and answer your questions on other issues.  

 

Peter Behrmann is a Livonia Bankruptcy Attorney.  From my Livonia, Michigan location, I represent clients throughout Metro Detroit and beyond, including Garden City, Wayne, Westland, Redford, Dearborn, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Northville, Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Canton, and the Counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw. My practice is limited to helping consumers like you file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Foreclosure Prevention.

Bankruptcy is not a game

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 21st

Bankruptcy GameYesterday, I was sitting at a Bankruptcy 341 meeting with my clients in Detroit watching a hearing prior to our case being called.  We got a real show, an individual that obviously was not prepared by his attorney on how the bankruptcy and 341 process goes.   This individual sat down at the table, his face was red and he was obviously mad that he was even there.  Now don’t get me wrong, no one wants to be at bankruptcy court; however, your bankruptcy hearing which is usually a quick five minute hearing is basically the last step you have to take in becoming debt free.

 

As the hearing with this individual progressed, it was obvious that he was simply not listening to the questions the Trustee was asking him.  The Trustee who was beginning to also become flustered with this individual finally asked what seemed like a simple yes or no question.  “Have you destroyed any of the books and papers of your business?”  The individual continuing his uncooperative nature answered that question “I have the last seven years of books and papers for the business.”  The Trustee then again asked the individual to listen to his question, and again asked “Have you destroyed any books and papers of the business?”  Again, the individual responded “I have the last seven years.”   The Trustee and the individual then went back in forth for several moments before the individual disclosed that he has recently discarded all paperwork that was over seven years old.

 

As the hearing progressed further the combativeness continued and the Trustee eventually pointed out on the record that the individual was not listening to the questions, not providing him with correct answers, and “not scoring any points with the way he was acting.”  To even my surprise, the individual responded to the Trustee that he did not realize that this was a game that he was trying to score points for.

 

Now, thankfully I have never had a client act this rude at a hearing before.  Perhaps it is because I sit down with each of my clients prior to the hearing and go over with them what is going to happen:

  • The first thing that is going to happen is both you and me are going to sit down at the table, you will be sworn in where you will promise that you will tell the truth.
  • Next, I put my appearance on the record and I will ask you to verify your bankruptcy petition signatures where you will testify that you read and reviewed the bankruptcy paperwork prior to it being filed with the court and the information contained in your bankruptcy paperwork is truthful and accurate. 
  • Finally, the Trustee and any of your creditors will have the opportunity to ask you questions regarding the information that is in your bankruptcy paperwork.  You have a duty to cooperate with the Trustee and answer the questions truthfully.

 

Now simply by following this most of my bankruptcy hearings last less than five minutes.  Whereas the hearing for the above individual went over twenty minuets and will mostly be drawn out in a further hearing under section 2004 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Worse, if this individual continues his combative nature he may not even receive his bankruptcy discharge, the entire purpose for him even being there in the first place.    You see Section 521 (a) (3) of the bankruptcy code require debtors to “cooperate with the trustee as necessary to enable the trustee to perform the trustee’s duties under this title.” If you as a debtor do not cooperate with the Trustee, the trustee may ask the bankruptcy court to deny the relief you are seeking, specifically to deny your bankruptcy discharge.  Simply put bankruptcy is not a game, and if you treat it as such you will come out on the losing end. 

 

Peter Behrmann is a Livonia Bankruptcy Attorney.  From my Livonia, Michigan location, I represent clients throughout Metro Detroit and beyond, including Garden City, Wayne, Westland, Redford, Dearborn, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Northville, Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Canton, and the Counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw. My practice is limited to helping consumers like you file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

 

Image Credit to: garlandcannon

Most Common Questions After Filing Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 19th

FAQSo you have filed bankruptcy.  Here is a list of Most Common Questions After Filing Your Case:

 

What happens next in my case?

 

1)  You will receive a notice from the court and our office regarding your 341 Meeting of Creditors and/or Confirmation Hearing (Confirmation Hearing is for Chapter 13’s only.)

2)  Complete your Debtor’s Education Course, before the 341 meeting, one week prior to your 341 Meeting.  Instructions to take this course will be with the 341 notice mailed to you next week.

3)  Attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors and/or Confirmation Hearing and make sure you:

  • Arrive on time. (15 min early at the latest!)
  • Bring your Social Security card.
  • Bring your state identification card.

 

I am keeping my home or car.  What do I need to do?

 

If you filed Chapter 7, you will have to handle payment directly with your lender; do not fall behind if you’re planning on keeping a car or your home.  If you filed a Chapter 13 you will need to continue the payments that are listed as “Direct by debtor” in your plan, again, do not fall behind!

  • Lenders will not allow you to continue paying online or by telephone while you’re in Bankruptcy.  Make sure your have the address to send your monthly payments during bankruptcy, make sure you mail your payment with enough time for them to arrive timely!
  • In a Chapter 7, most lenders will require you to “reaffirm” your vehicle in order to keep it.  They will provide a reaffirmation agreement/contract for you to sign.

 

I do not understand the Trustee’s questions.  What was the purpose of them?

 

The 341 Meeting (Meeting of the Creditors) is the Trustee’s chance to examine the petition you filed with the Court and compare it to your oral answers on the record.

 

Why am I getting all of this paperwork in the mail?

 

Do not worry about any mail you receive from the Court, trustees, or creditors.

  • If we need any information from you, we will contact you.
  • If there is anything you need to do, we will contact you.

 

You do not need to inform us of documents you receive from the Trustee or the Court.  We receive a copy of all correspondence from the Trustee, the Court, and all of your creditors related to your case.  We want to do an excellent job for you, but please keep in mind that numerous phone calls actually slow us down from helping you.

 

 

Peter Behrmann is a Livonia Bankruptcy Attorney.  From my Livonia, Michigan location, I represent clients throughout Metro Detroit and beyond, including Garden City, Wayne, Westland, Redford, Dearborn, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Northville, Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Canton, and the Counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw. My practice is limited to helping consumers like you file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.