Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts excused, in part or in whole. It is typically treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some influential 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. Distinct courts in Washtenaw County, Michigan will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Washtenaw County, Michigan

There are 2 typical types of consumer bankruptcies in Washtenaw County, 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 excused. Fortunately for debtors, many types of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, necessary personal items, and retirement accounts.

Once the appropriate property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is absolved. Some types of debt, however, can't be excused in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Washtenaw County, Michigan. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be excused, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Washtenaw County, Michigan

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Washtenaw County, Michigan differs considerably from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your case. Chapter 13 does not absolve any debt, but it creates a new payment plan that should give the debtor some breathing room. Usually, all of the debts are consolidated into 1 periodic payment. While this might make it take longer to pay off the debt, if the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, the plan should be manageable.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Washtenaw County, Michigan

Which Bankruptcy type to file under depends heavily on the facts of each distinct 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, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy attorney in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Your attorney can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).