Bankruptcy Saves House from Foreclosure
Cathy of Flat Rock, Michigan, was in foreclosure when she came to us for help. Despite earning less than $25,000 a year, we were able to use a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save her house and eliminate $20,000 of medical bills.
$200/Month Payment Plan = Relief to Homeowner
Sue of Flat Rock, Michigan, owned a house with $40,000 in equity and owed $25,000 in credit card debt. She was unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but we were able to get her into a Chapter 13. Sue’s bankruptcy payment was approved at only $200 per month. She kept her house, and at the end of her case, all of her debt was to be discharged.
Home Saved after Most of $60,000 Debt is Discharged
Nancy, who owned a house in Southgate, came to us with almost $60,000 of debt. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, her house would likely have been seized by a bankruptcy trustee and sold out from under her. Instead, we helped Nancy file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a payment of only $380 per month. At the end of her case, she was expected to be able to keep her home while having $60,000 in debt wiped out.
Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge Saves Debtor from Disaster
We helped Angie in Rockwood file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, got it approved by the court despite her income being about $98,000 annually, and then got her a very special kind of discharge. Angie received a “Hardship Discharge.” This is a bankruptcy discharge that is only available in limited circumstances, when the debtor has made a good and honest effort to repay their creditors in Chapter 13 but has been unable to do so due to circumstances beyond their control. Hardship discharges are rare, and many bankruptcy attorneys are unwilling to even attempt to obtain them. But with the right circumstances and an attorney who is willing to fight for you, a Chapter 13 hardship discharge is a tool that can save a debtor from disaster.
Home Kept and Debt Repayment Reduced to $360/Month
John and Kathy had a second mortgage on their Rockwood home. Like many Americans when the housing market collapsed in 2009, they were left owing more than double what their house was worth just a few years before. They came to us for help. We were able to take advantage of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy rule commonly called a “lienstrip” action. Basically, when a person owes a second mortgage, but their first mortgage is already more than their house is worth, they can discharge the second mortgage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, essentially “stripping” the lien off their house. John and Kathy received a court-approved Chapter 13 repayment plan for $360 per month. By the end of the process, the $40,000 second mortgage would be wiped out.
Debt Reduced to $400 Per Month Payment Plan
Donald and Sarah came to us with a large amount of debt. They were in the enviable position of having more than $100,000 of equity in their home, but unfortunately this meant that they could not file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Instead, we helped them file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was approved by the court with a payment of only $400 per month for three years. That means that they would now get to pay their creditors only $400 per month, and after three years, all of their debt would be discharged. The best part? They would get this deal and get to keep their Utica home.
Bills and Debt Discharged, Unemployment Repayment Reduced
Dustin was a victim of the collapsing economy in Detroit. As his job in the auto industry put him on layoff after layoff, he did what everyone else was doing: he sought unemployment benefits. After being told time and again that he was entitled to benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Agency accused him of fraud and demanded $60,000 of repayment. Unable to fight the convoluted and draconian unemployment insurance restitution system, he came to us for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Dustin discharged $40,000 of medical bills and credit card debt. Even better, we negotiated a repayment plan with the Unemployment Insurance Agency, reducing his debt from $60,000 to $26,000 paid at $150 per month.
House Saved from Liquidation
Normally, this office helps people get out of debt by filing for bankruptcy. Greg’s case was a bit different. The Trenton, Michigan, resident tried to help his daughter by giving her a place to stay in an old house that he owned but no longer lived in. When she had to file a bankruptcy, she sought the advice of a lawyer, who failed to tell her that the house she lived in, Greg’s house, might be an issue in the bankruptcy. When the Chapter 7 trustee put a “for sale” sign in front of the house, Greg called us. Ultimately, we were able to use various Michigan and bankruptcy laws to protect Greg’s house from liquidation.
Successful Bankruptcy Despite Fraudulent Conveyance Claim
Dan of Lincoln Park needed a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy and qualified easily. Unfortunately, shortly before he filed, he gave his car away to a friend. In bankruptcy, this can be construed as a “fraudulent conveyance.” When the Chapter 7 trustee tried to sue Dan’s friend for the value of the car, we negotiated a settlement of less than $2,000. Dan got his bankruptcy discharge, and the friend got to keep the car.
Home Saved by Chapter 13 Filing
Chris was in debt beyond his ability to pay, but he owned his home in Taylor outright. It was worth about $50,000, and if he filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it might have been taken and sold by the Chapter 7 trustee. Instead, we were able to get Chris into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a plan payment of $385 per month for three years. At the end of the court-approved repayment plan, Chris would discharge about $20,000, be debt free, and still own his Taylor home.
Chapter 7 Eliminates Over $40,000 of Credit Card Debt and Medical Bills
Courtney of Riverview, Michigan, came to us expecting to file a Chapter 13 because her husband earned more than $80,000 a year. She did not believe she could qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because internet research told her that her household income was too high. In fact, Courtney was an excellent candidate for Chapter 7 and was able to discharge more than $40,000 of credit card debt and medical bills. The moral is that not everything you find on the internet is credible, and there are exceptions to most rules. A good lawyer knows the rules and the exceptions and is not afraid to shatter a few preconceived notions.
Home Equity Protected from Credit Card Debt
Jan owned a house with $170,000 of equity, but had significant credit card debt and needed relief. Jan was able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and keep her Brownstown home despite the huge amount of equity she owned. How? There is a rule in place that allows married couples in Michigan to protect their jointly owned property from creditors. This type of ownership, called “tenancy by the entireties,” is only available to a husband and wife, under Michigan law, who own their property together. While there are conditions and exceptions to this rule, it worked for Jan, and it remains one of the single best protections against the claims of creditors in the whole of the law.
Couple Keeps Their Home after Their Debt is Wiped Out
Timothy and Amanda, a small business owner and a nurse, came to us with $40,000 of debt. Theirs was actually a very simple and straightforward Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which they wiped out their debt, kept their Allen Park house, and moved on with their lives. All of this was accomplished in less than four months.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Helps Small Business Owner
Kristen is a small business owner from New Boston who was very successful before the economic downturn. Like so many other people, her income sharply declined from about 2010 to 2014, and ultimately, she and her husband had to seek the protection of the bankruptcy laws. We helped Kristen to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which would discharge almost $120,000 of debt. Despite the large amount of debt, her monthly payment was approved by the court at only $200 per month.
Chapter 7 Protects Social Security Disability Income
Sherry’s only source of income was Social Security Disability, and she received less than $1,400 per month. She filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, and since that time managed to live within her means despite her very limited income. Then, out of the blue one day, she received a lawsuit for $40,000. A family member who Sherry gave a car to had gotten into an accident and hurt someone. That family member did not have insurance on the car, but the title was still in Sherry’s name. In Michigan, a person injured in a car accident can sue the owner of the car for their injuries, even if the owner was not driving the car. The cost of defending the lawsuit would have been thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, and Sherry could not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection because she had filed in 2010. We were able to get Sherry into a Chapter 13 that would protect her from the lawsuit and discharge the $40,000 debt with a court approved payment of only $102 per month for three years.
Home Foreclosure Stopped and Second Mortgage Discharged
Bob and Mary had a home equity mortgage on their Woodhaven, Michigan, home. Like many Americans when home values collapsed in 2009, they ended up owing on a house worth less than half of what they bought it for a few years earlier. They came to us for help with a pending foreclosure, but we did much better than just stop the foreclosure. We were able to use a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding commonly called a “lienstrip” action. Basically, when a person owes a second mortgage, but the first mortgage is already more than the house is worth, they can discharge the second mortgage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, essentially “stripping” the lien off the house. Bob and Mary were not protected from foreclosure, but their second mortgage was expected to be discharged within a few years.
Student Loan Payments Lowered in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Like many young people today, Mandy of Wyandotte paid for college using student loans. She believed the commonly accepted notion that when she graduated, a high-paying, high-quality job would be waiting for her. Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t. When Mandy came to us, she had more than $200,000 of student loan debt and no way to pay it. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but they can be included in a Chapter 13 plan and paid back on terms the debtor can afford. As a result of her case, Mandy would pay much less than the minimum payment on her student loans. She also could not be sued or have wages garnished because she had the protection of the Bankruptcy Code. Mandy’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy gave her five years of low payments that she could afford, allowing her time to find her dream job.
Flat Rock Home Saved from Foreclosure
The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou, PLLC, helped prevent the foreclosure of a Flat Rock resident’s home and eliminated $20,000 in medical bills through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. All of this was accomplished on a flat fee basis, which was paid through the debtor’s bankruptcy plan.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Eliminates $60,000 of Debt for Southgate Family
Through the creation of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we were able to assist a Southgate resident by discharging $60,000 of debt. This debtor was able to keep the house, free and clear, and would only be required to make a small payment of $380 per month to pay off the remaining debt.