Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts absolved, in part or in whole. It is normally treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some huge long-term consequences. This warrants careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Being a product of federal law, bankruptcy will go through federal courts. Accordingly, the procedure for filing for bankruptcy in Michigan is basically the same as the procedure anywhere else in the United States. However, individual courts in Benton Harbor, Michigan will have particular rules for exemptions, so you should speak with a local attorney before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Benton Harbor, Michigan
There are 2 main types of bankruptcy in Benton Harbor, Michigan. They are known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of some of a debtor's assets. It requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property to be sold to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of property that most people own, however, is exempt. This normally includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is eliminated. Some types of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Benton Harbor, Michigan is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Benton Harbor, Michigan is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is highly dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not excuse debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with an altered repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original contracts that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, normally involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Chapter 13 is normally a good option for people who have a steady income, and a large amount of non-exempt property that they can't part with. On the other hand, if most of the debtor's property is exempt, and he or she does not have a steady income, Chapter 7 might be more beneficial.
Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an experienced local Benton Harbor, Michigan bankruptcy attorney before you make the decision to file. He or she will be able to advise you of your options, and suggest the best possible course of action for your individual situation.