Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts discharged, in part or in whole. It is usually treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some major long-term consequences. This warrants careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Since it's a product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Michigan will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Individual courts in Troy, Michigan will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Troy, Michigan
There are 2 main types of consumer bankruptcies in Troy, Michigan: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a liquidation of some of the debtor's assets, which pays off part of his or her debt. Once this is done, the remaining debt is discharged. Fortunately for debtors, many types of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, essential personal items, and retirement accounts.
Once the eligible property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is excused. Some types of debt, however, can't be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Troy, Michigan. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be discharged, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Troy, Michigan
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Troy, Michigan is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not eliminate debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with a new repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original agreements that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, usually involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Troy, Michigan
Which Bankruptcy type to file under depends heavily on the facts of each individual case. If you have a steady stream of income (enough to make a payment plan manageable), and a large amount of non-exempt property that you don't want to part with, Chapter 13 may be best for you. If you don't have a steady income or large amounts of non-exempt property, you may be better off filing for Chapter 7.
In any case, you should talk with a local Troy, Michigan bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney can advise you of your options and inform you of their likely consequences. This will make it much easier for your to make an informed choice.