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Call Us Today!
(517) 393-4545 | (517) 394-4430
Call Us Today!
(517) 393-4545 | (517) 394-4430

Common Questions

Bankruptcy Law Services

bankruptcy law services
1. Will I lose anything if I file for bankruptcy?
Generally, you may file bankruptcy and retain all of your belongings, including your house, your car and all household goods. Even if your property is worth more than what is owed on it, usually we can use the state bankruptcy exemptions to protect these items.
You may be more at risk of losing property if you don’t file bankruptcy, as creditors can sue you and attack your bank accounts, garnish your wages and attack and seize your property. As a result, you may miss rent, mortgage or car payments, making it difficult to survive.
2. When do I get relief from creditor harassment?
Immediately. As soon as you come into our office and retain us, you may then refer all future creditor calls to your bankruptcy attorney. No more credit card payments and no more harassment immediately upon retaining.
3. Who knows about my bankruptcy case?
The only parties that receive notice of the bankruptcy are your creditors, the bankruptcy court and the IRS. Generally, the bankruptcy will have no effect whatsoever on your taxes. Your employer will not be notified of the bankruptcy unless your employer is also a creditor. The bankruptcy record is a public record, so anyone who wants to find out could determine that you had filed.
4. Will I be able to rent after the bankruptcy?
There were over 1 million bankruptcies filed in the United States last year alone. Common sense will tell you that these people are not all living on the street. If you are presently renting, usually your present landlord will renew your lease without running an updated credit report and will have no knowledge that you even filed a bankruptcy. If you are applying for a new lease, there could be some slight difficulties that can easily be overcome. We have found that larger leasing companies usually have stricter policies regarding leasing to applicants with blemished credit. Remember that it is the blemished credit report, not necessarily the bankruptcy that is reflecting poorly on your application. Also, with no outstanding debt, you may appear to be a better risk than other applicants who have outstanding debt and blemished credit reports. We find that a good faith gesture, such as offering an extra security deposit, may be enough for you to get a new lease.
5. How do I know if I should file bankruptcy?
Are you calling me because you are being sued?
If you are being sued, we strongly urge you to speak with an attorney immediately about filing a bankruptcy. A bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit and prevent your creditors from placing a lien on your home or garnishing your hard-earned wages.
Is your home being foreclosed or is your car about to be repossessed?
If it is, very often bankruptcy may prevent the foreclosure action or repossession from proceeding and allow you to consolidate your mortgage arrears or automobile balance and make payments on those debts over time through a chapter 13 payment plan designed by us with your help.
Do credit cards or medical bills have you so deep in debt that it is hard for you to make your monthly payments?
If you are only paying the minimum payment on the credit card bills from month to month, you will take about 10 or 20 years to pay that off. Do you really want to be in the same financial situation in twenty years? Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with a fresh start that you are entitled to under the law and get you out of debt NOW.
6. Is filing for bankruptcy immoral or does it make me a bad person?
Everyone is entitled to a fresh start. Many times, events occur in people’s lives that cannot be expected, prevented or avoided. You may have had a sudden loss in income, a family medical catastrophe, a work injury or any one of numerous other difficulties that would have been almost impossible to plan for. Most of the people that we represent are good people who have encountered unfortunate circumstances and just want to get a fresh start. We understand that for most of our clients, bankruptcy is the last resort. Many of our clients have a very difficult time determining if bankruptcy is the right decision for them.
You may ask yourself: Are the credit card companies concerned with your financial difficulties? Are you paying your creditors instead of saving for your children’s education or your retirement? When is the last time you took a vacation? The Bankruptcy Law Center believes that it is very important for an attorney to provide both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy alternatives. We believe in giving you our honest opinion as to what will put you in the best possible financial condition now and into your future. The client always comes first.
7. How do I choose a bankruptcy attorney?
When considering filing for bankruptcy, you want to be advised by someone who is familiar and experienced with all the “ins and outs” of bankruptcy law. Especially when you own a home, car or have other assets that you are trying to protect, you do not want your advice from an attorney who knows a little bit about a lot of different areas of law, but not a lot about bankruptcy. At The Bankruptcy Law Center, we spend most of our time on bankruptcy and getting people, just like you, out of debt. When you call a bankruptcy attorney for information regarding bankruptcy, ask him exactly how many bankruptcies he has done (both before and after the law changed in October 2005) and see if his experience comes close to that of our attorneys Robert J. Kempf and Marshall A. Yee. Educate yourself about your options, but be educated by someone who is qualified.
Many attorneys charge fees of $1500 or more for a straightforward, Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At The Bankruptcy Law Center, we do not believe that a consumer debtor should have to pay that much money to get a fresh start. We provide high quality legal representation. We have thousands of clients to speak for our reputation of excellence. The fees we charge are commensurate with the work performed in your case, and since The Bankruptcy Law Center has combined the highest levels of technology along with experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we are able to pass the cost savings on to you.
As for no-money-down firms, beware. Make them quote you the entire fee up-front before you go into their office. Do not waste your time finding out that you will be paying them hundreds of dollars more than you would have by using The Bankruptcy Law Center. They will try to convince you how important it is to have your case filed immediately. What they will not tell you, is that as soon as you retain The Bankruptcy Law Center, for as little as $500 down, we will take all future calls from your creditors and the creditor harassment will stop. In most instances, taking a month or two to pay The Bankruptcy Law Center the balance of your fee will not allow the creditors enough time to garnish your wages. When you speak to an attorney here, we will tell you if you are in any danger of losing anything by waiting. Please remember that if you need your case filed immediately, Attorneys Robert J. Kempf and Marshall A. Yee may be able to work with you. By waiting a short time until you can pay some or all of our fees, you will usually save hundreds of dollars and cost yourself nothing.
8. Can I get rid of student loans or tax debts?
Any bankruptcy attorney must have a sophisticated understanding of bankruptcy law to deal with student loan and tax debts. Attorneys Robert J. Kempf and Marshall A. Yee can still help you obtain relief from your student loan debts through the use of Chapter 13. Under Chapter 13, our attorneys can consolidate your student loan debt, along with any other outstanding bills, and arrange an interest-free repayment plan, so that you do not have to suffer through the burden of garnishments, harassment and other collection efforts by student loan agencies. We may even be able to reduce the amount paid to the student loan agency during the course of your Chapter 13 so that your consolidation payment is as low as possible.
Tax debts are generally subject to discharge only if you file bankruptcy more than three years after you file a timely, truthful tax return. If your return is filed late, the taxes are generally discharged only if you file bankruptcy more than two years after filing a truthful tax return. Of course, these are general rules and you should speak with our attorneys who will perform a detailed analysis of these issues.
9. Will I be able to get credit after filing bankruptcy?
Although bankruptcy may legally be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years, you can begin to re-establish your credit immediately. Remember that “credit” is your ability to borrow money. Lenders consider many factors while determining whether to loan you money, but most importantly, they consider your debt-to-income ratio. You are probably visiting this site because you already have more outstanding debt than you have the ability to pay. So, arguably, you do not have credit.
Filing eliminates most, if not all of your debts, therefore reducing your debt-to-income ratio, potentially improving your ability to borrow money in the future. Some financial institutions actively solicit business from people who have filed. Lenders are in business to make money by lending you money and charging you interest. Lenders know that once you have filed, you will not be able to file again for 8 years.
Many of our clients have purchased cars immediately upon receiving their discharge orders. Many lenders have programs that provide for post-bankruptcy borrows to obtain home financing within a year or two after a discharge. Many of our clients even receive solicitations for unsecured credit cards almost immediately upon receiving their discharge. Of course, you need to be careful not to get back into the credit card “trap.”

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  • Contact Information

    The Bankruptcy Law Center
    913 West Holmes Rd., Suite 130
    Lansing, MI 48910
    Phone: 517-393-4545
    Phone: 517-394-4430
    (At the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd.)
    In Business Since 1989