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Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy

Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

Beware of the Sheriff Sale Realtors after you have filed Bankruptcy!

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On August 28th

Beware of the Sheriff Sale Realtors after you have filed Bankruptcy!

 

This is becoming more and more of an issue, so I am writing to share this issue with you.  If you have filed for Bankruptcy, specifically Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Metro Detroit and made the decision to “Surrender Your Home” you need to continue reading.

 

When you filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy all of your property including your surrendered home became property of the bankruptcy estate.  This means that the home you no longer want is property of your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy estate.  Property of your bankruptcy estate is controlled by your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee.  For 99% of my clients this is not an issue, they can simply stay in the home until the bank forecloses by way of a Sheriff Sale.  Then they still remain in the home for the 6 months redemption period following the Sheriff Sale. 

 

At the Sheriff Sale the bank has two options, they can either bid the amount you owe on the home or they can bid fair market value.  If the bank bids what you owe on the home, you will most likely be left alone from the Sheriff Sale Realtors due to the bank bidding more than your home is worth.  In this scenario you should be able to remain in your home for the remaining 6 months and then leave your property.

 

Now there is the bidding fair market value approach.  In this scenario, the bank bids what they think is fair market value; however what the Bankruptcy Trustees and realtors have been learning is that the bank has a bad habit at severely undervaluing their properties.  I have seen banks bid anywhere from $20,000 to $150,000 less then what your property is worth.  If this happens to you, you will know.  Sheriff Sale Realtors will begin showing up at your home 24/7 trying to convince you to list your home for sale with them.  I have seen realtors pay people to leave their home and turn over the keys to them.  All of these realtors will promise you thousands of dollars and you may think that this is too good to be true. 

 

Well it is too good to be true.  Remember you filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and all of your property (including your home you are surrendering) is property of the bankruptcy estate.  You do not have the right to sell, transfer, or cut a deal with any Sheriff Sale Realtor.  You need to meet with your bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.  The good news is you most likely have exemptions available to help protect the new equity now in your home.  I have had clients in this very situation receive a check for over $10,000 for working with their Bankruptcy Trustee.     

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.

“X” is for Xerox of Your Financial Life in Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On July 20th

“X” is for Xerox of Your Financial Life in Bankruptcy

When you file bankruptcy you have to fill out the bankruptcy petition.  You will go over your bankruptcy petition with me at our Livonia office before we file your case.  In a nutshell, the bankruptcy petition is a complete Xerox (Copy) of your financial picture.

Your bankruptcy petition has to contain all of your assets, all of your liabilities, all of your income and all of your expenses.  Basically, it should be drafted in a way that your bankruptcy Trustee can review the petition and at the end conclude that you really do need the assistance of a bankruptcy.  We don’t hide things from the bankruptcy petition.  We include everything that is required because both you and I have to sign the bankruptcy petition that the information provided in it is truthful and accurate.   

In order for us to make sure your bankruptcy petition is a complete Xerox of your life, we need you to provide us with the information we request and then lastly review the petition we drafted just to make sure we got everything correct.  After that we will make you a Xerox of the petition to take home and keep for your records.  Then we will file the petition with the court to get you your debt relief and a fresh start. 

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.

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on the Letter “X”:

  • Ex-Spouse – Maui Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • OEX – Santa Clara County Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran
  • X-Factor – Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bret Nason
  • Xantusiidae – Cleveland Bankruptcy Attorney, Bill Balena 
  • Xenagogue – Omaha Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell          
  • Xenocracy – Jay S. Fleischman, New York bankruptcy lawyer     
  • X Factor – Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein         

“U” is for Unsecured Creditor in Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On June 29th

“U” is for Unsecured Creditor in Bankruptcy

Unsecured creditors are the lowest creditors in priority in Bankruptcy.  Due to this low ranking in priority, often unsecured creditors will receive nothing, or a very small percent of the amount of money you owe them in Bankruptcy.  For example, secured debt (such as a house or car) and priority debt (such as IRS Tax Debt and Child support) have to be paid 100% before your unsecured creditors even begin to receive a dividend in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

 

Examples of Unsecured Debt include but are not limited to:

  • Credit Card Bills
  • Medical Bills
  • Payday Loans
  • Student Loans
  • Mortgage Deficiencies
  • Personal Loans
  • Back Utilities Bills
  • Rent and Lease Deficiencies

The most important thing to remember about your Unsecured Creditors in Bankruptcy is you must list EVERY creditor you have in your Bankruptcy.  You cannot keep a creditor out of Bankruptcy just because you like them and want to keep paying them.  The best advice is to make me aware of every unsecured creditor you have and let me guide you through the Bankruptcy process. 

 

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.

Photo Credit: Ayeupmeduck

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on the Letter “U”:

“E” is for Exemptions in Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On March 5th

Michigan Bankruruptcy Exemptions in Chapter 7 BankruptcyBankruptcy Exemptions Overview:

Bankruptcy offers you a fresh start if you’re overwhelmed by debt.  When you go through bankruptcy most of your debts are discharged quickly in a Chapter 7, or you pay them back with a payment you can afford in a Chapter 13.  However, when you file bankruptcy you may not be able to keep everything you own if is not covered by a bankruptcy exemption.  Basically, the Bankruptcy Code provides you with a list of property you will be able to protect and keep with exemptions when you file bankruptcy.  If the assets you own fit into a proper exemption, you will keep the asset when you file bankruptcy.  If the assets you own are not covered by an exemption, the bankruptcy trustee could liquidate the asset for the benefit of your creditors.

 

Bankruptcy Exemptions Choices:

 

For most people who file bankruptcy in Michigan, we have two choices of exemptions, state or federal.  For the most part, the state exemptions are a poor decision in Michigan.   I almost always use the federal exemptions for my clients. 

 

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions:

The federal exemptions allow my clients to keep the following assets:

  • $21,625 worth of equity in your primary home ($43,250 for a home owned jointly by a husband and wife)
  • $3,450 of equity in a vehicle
  • $11,525 of household goods and furnishings
  • $1,450 worth of Jewelry
  • $1,150 of any property (Cash, equity in a car over the exemption above, etc.)  plus up to $10,825 of any unused amount of the exemption for equity in your home
  • $2,175 in assets needed for your work or profession
  • Term Life insurance policies
  • $11,525 in cash value in Whole life insurance policies
  • Professionally prescribed health aids
  • Social security benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit, veterans’ benefit, disability, illness, or unemployment benefit, alimony, support, or separate maintenance payments
  • Some payments under a stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, or similar plans
  • IRA and 401k retirement funds

*This list is not a complete list, a complete list of the Federal Exemptions are available here.

As you can see the exemptions available are pretty generous.  I once filed a bankruptcy for a married couple with $20,000.00 in a bank account and they were able to keep every cent.  The best advice I can give you is to make your bankruptcy attorney aware of every asset you own so it can be protected by the proper exemption.

 

Chapter 7, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is all I do!

 

Peter Behrmann is a Michigan 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.

 

Photo Credit:  TooFarNorth

 

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on the Letter “E”:

 

  • Early Preparation – Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer, Monica D. Shepard
  • Eligibility – Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney, Kimberly Coleman
  • Emergency Filing – Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney Bob Doig
  • Emergency Fund – San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeena Cho
  • Equitable Distribution -Miami Bankruptcy lawyer, Dorota Trzeciecka
  • Equity – Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein
  • Equity – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe
  • Euphoria – Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Lawyer Bill Balena
  • Everything – Daniel J. Winter, Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Eviction – Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr
  • Examination – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus
  • Exceptions to Discharge – Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bret Nason
  • Executory Contract – New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman
  • Exemptions -Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell
  • Exemptions – Northern California Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran Exemptions – Hilo Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing          
  • Exemptions – Downriver, Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Christopher McAvoy
  • Exemptions – Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein
  • Emotion – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Law Monitor, Christine A. Wilton

“D” is for the Do’s and Don’ts of Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 29th

What YoMichigan Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Do and Dont'su Should Do If You Are Going to File for Bankruptcy

  • DO Stop using ALL credit cards and other charge accounts.  If you were to max out your credit cards, or purchase luxury items before filing bankruptcy this debt may be held non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

 

  • If you want to keep your house or car, DO PAY your house or car payments on time.

Remember: not paying will likely cause creditors to call and collect from you.  If your behind on your car and home payments we may be able to help you get current through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. 

 

  • If you DON’T want to keep your house or car (and you are sure), stop paying your house or car payments.

Good News:  You will have more available cash. Bad News:  Creditors may start repossession or foreclosure.

 

  • DO Open a new checking and savings account at a bank where you don’t owe any money.  This is to prevent your current bank you owe money to from taking your money.

 

  • DO Stop paying all credit card and charge accounts.

Good News:  You will have more available cash. Bad News:  Creditors will call and try to collect from you.

  • DO Pay for food, insurance, utilities, rent, and other things you want to keep or use.

 

  • DO NOT PAY BACK any relatives or close friends you owe money to before filing bankruptcy.

*Pursuant to the bankruptcy code, the Bankruptcy Trustee can sue them for the money you pay them, you are not doing them any favors by paying them.

 

  • DO NOT TRANFER ANYTHING (Real-estate, cars, bank-accounts, etc) to others prior to bankruptcy.

Leaving everything the way you have it is your best option!

 

  • DON’T HIDE INFORMATION FROM YOUR BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY If you’re hiring me to be your bankruptcy attorney, tell me everything!

* Keep in mind your realtor/accountant/car salesman/ friend is probably not your best source of information about bankruptcy, let me advise you correctly. 

 

 

Chapter 7, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is all I do!

 

Peter Behrmann is a Michigan 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.

 

Photo Credit: TooFarNorth

 

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on the Letter “D”:

  • Debt Relief Agency – Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein 
  • Debtor – New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman   
  • Debtor – Taylor Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy 
  • Declaring Bankruptcy – Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bret Nason
  • Deconsolidate – Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – Kansas City Missouri Bankruptcy Attorney, Rachel Lynn Foley           
  • Discharge – Northern California Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran       
  • Discharge – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus 
  • Discharge – Kona Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing         
  • Discharge – Daniel J. Winter, Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney           
  • Disclose – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe 
  • Disclosures – Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney Bob Doig
  • Divorce – Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Monica D. Shepard           
  • Do’s and Don’ts – San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeena Cho   
  • Documents – Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer, Kim Coleman      
  • Domestic Support – Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr           
  • DUI, DWI, OVI – Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Lawyer Bill Balena      
  • Discharge  – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Law Monitor, Christine A. Wilton           
  • Domicile – Miami Bankruptcy Attorney, Dorota Trzeciecka 
  • Dischargeable Debt – Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Kyle A. Lindsey   

“C” is for Creditors

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 23rd

"C" is for Creditor, Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy AttorneyThe underlining reason anyone has to file bankruptcy is their Creditors.  Creditors come in various forms including by not limited to:

  • Credit Cards (Visa, America Express, Discover, Target, etc.)
  • Payday Loans  (Cash Advances)
  • Medical Bills  (Dr’s, Dentists, Vet Bills)
  • Mortgages (First, Second, and Home Equity Lines)
  • Car Lenders (Ford, Ally, TD Auto, Credit Acceptance, etc.)
  • Back Utilities (DTE, Consumers, AT&T, Comcast, etc.)
  • Personal Guarantees  (Business Debts, Co-Signing for someone else)
  • Internal Revenue Service (Tax Debt)
  • State of Michigan (Tax Debt, Drivers Responsibility Fees)
  • Family Members (Personal Loans)
  • Student Loans (They do not go away, but they still have to be listed!)
  • Ex-spouses  (Alimony and Child Support Obligations)

This by no means is an inclusive list, but the important part is that you tell your bankruptcy attorney about EVERYONE who is a creditor to you, so your attorney can properly advise you on your situation.  Some debts will not go away by you filing bankruptcy (Student Loans, Child Support, etc) but you still have to list them in your bankruptcy filing.

Further, the bankruptcy code requires you to fully disclose EVERY creditor you have.  This includes people you want to continue to pay and people you want to get rid of.  A common example of this is “I want to keep my car, home or loan I owe my brother out of my bankruptcy.”  My answer is always the same.  “The Bankruptcy code requires you to list everyone you owe money to on your bankruptcy petition, you then have to sign this bankruptcy petition under penalty of perjury, we have to list everyone!”

Now just because you listed your home, your car or your brother does not mean you cannot pay them back, or keep your home or car.  For homes, you simply continue paying the mortgage if you want to keep the home.  For cars, we will have you sign a reaffirmation agreement reaffirming the loan.  For your brother, you can pay him back, just as you can pay Visa back one day if you really want too.  The important part is that you list all of your Creditors and follow the bankruptcy laws. 

Peter Behrmann is a Michigan bankruptcy attorneyFrom 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.

 

Photo Credit  TooFarNorth

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on the Letter “C”

  • Cars – San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeena Cho
  • Chapter 7 – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe
  • Chapter Choice – Ormond Beach, Florida Bankruptcy Attorney, Lewis Roberts
  • Chapter of Relief – Taylor Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Christopher McAvoy
  • Collection Agencies – Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Monica D. Shepard
  • Competence and Compassion – Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr
  • Congress – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Law Monitor, Christine A. Wilton
  • Conversion – Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell
  • Cosigner – Cleveland Area Bankruptcy lawyer Bill Balena
  • Counseling – Northern California Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran
  • Cramdown – Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney Bob Doig
  • Cramdown – Oahu Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing 
  • Cramdown – Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein
  • Credit Card Tips – Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bret Nason
  • Credit Counseling – Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Kyle A. Lindsey  
  • Credit Counseling – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog, Mark J. Markus
  • Credit Counseling – Daniel J. Winter, Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Creditor – New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman
  • Creditor – St. Clair Shores MI Bankruptcy Attorney, Kurt O’Keefe
  • Creditors Meeting – Bankruptcy Attorneys Coleman and Kempinski          
  • Costs – Miami bankruptcy Attorney, Dorota Trzeciecka    

“A” is for Automatic Stay

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On February 16th

“A” is for Automatic Stay, Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy AttorneyThe Automatic Stay is one of the most powerful tools in bankruptcy.

In most situations, the actual filing of the bankruptcy case itself automatically stays collection and other actions against the debtor, the debtor’s property, and codebtors.  This means that by simply filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy we can immediately stops foreclosures, garnishments, lawsuits, and any other collection activity.

Your creditors are all mailed a notice making them aware that they cannot take the following actions against you:

  • “Prohibited collection actions against the debtor and certain codebtors are listed in Bankruptcy Code §§ 362 and §§1301. Common examples of prohibited actions include contacting the debtor by telephone, mail or otherwise to demand repayment; taking actions to collect money or obtain property from the debtor; repossessing the debtor’s property; starting or continuing lawsuits or foreclosures; and garnishing or deducting from the debtor’s wages.”

If your creditors ignore the automatic stay, they can be penalized and liable for damages to you!

We use the Automatic Stay in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save our clients homes from foreclosure, to save a car that had been repossessed, and to simply help our clients get back on their feet.

It is important to note that under certain circumstances, the automatic stay may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the debtor can request the court to extend or impose a stay.

Peter Behrmann is a Michigan 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.

Photo Credit:  TooFarNorth

Other Bankruptcy Attorneys Blogging on letter “A”:

  • Abandonment – New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman
  • Abuse – Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bret Nason
  • Advantages –  Columbus, Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer, Athena Inembolidis
  • Adversary Proceeding – Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer, Kimberly Coleman
  • Alimony – Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr           
  • Application – Lakewood, CA Bankruptcy Attorney, Christine A. Wilton
  • Arrest – Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Attorney Bill Balena
  • Ask – San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeena Ch
  • Assets – Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing         
  • Assets – Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Monica D. Shepard
  • Assets – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe        
  • Assets – Richmond Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein           
  • Assume – Northern California Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran        
  • Assumption – Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer, Mark J. Markus    
  • Assumption – Taylor Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Christopher McAvoy
  • Assumptions – Newnan, Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyer, Rick Palmer 
  • Attorney – Law Offices of Daniel J. Winter         
  • Automatic Stay – Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Kyle A. Lindsey 
  • Automatic Stay – Connecticut Bankruptcy Lawyer William E. Carter           
  • Automatic Stay – Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell           
  • Automobiles – Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Lawyer Bob Doig   
  • Avoidance – Ormond Beach Bankruptcy Attorney, Lewis Roberts
  • Amendment – Miami Bankruptcy Attorney, Dorota Trzeciecka           
  • Abuse –  Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Attorney, Shawn N. Wright    
  • Address – Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Bankruptcy Lawyer, Melinda Murphy Dionne
  • Attachment – Vermont-New Hampshire Bankruptcy Lawyer, Michelle Kainen