A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a straight liquidation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is ideal for people in these situations:
When someone files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay takes effect immediately, and any repossessions, foreclosures, and garnishments will immediately cease.
A bankruptcy attorney can review your income, assets, and debt and help you determine whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers flexibility. It is a comprehensive debt reorganization and debt restructuring that results in an affordable monthly payment.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that you have some source of regular and reliable income, and it’s ideal for people in these situations:
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will still enjoy:
A bankruptcy attorney can review your income, assets, and debts and help you determine whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be right for you.
The IRS scares people! Clients often come into our office with stacks of certified letters from the IRS that have never been opened. They are afraid of what those letters contain.
Dealing with IRS and state income tax issues can be a nuanced and delicate process. But help is available. Each person’s case is different and requires careful consideration. A knowledgeable attorney is a must.
And yes, we can open those letters from the IRS if you would rather not do so!
Wages, Bank Account, or Tax Refund
Garnishments push people over the edge. Things are tight, and you are barely making ends meet, and then you discover that a creditor is garnishing 25% out of your paycheck. Or your bank account is completely emptied by a creditor when you need to pay the rent and buy groceries.
It is perfectly legal for a creditor who holds a judgment to garnish your paycheck, bank account, or tax refund. It is time-consuming and expensive for the creditor to collect on a debt, obtain a judgment, and then file writs of garnishment. A creditor is typically no longer willing to negotiate or “work things out” at this point – it is playing hardball.
Fortunately, you do have legal options! You should contact an attorney knowledgeable in these matters without delay. An attorney can help explain what options you may have.
If you are behind on your mortgage, you may be facing the possibility of the mortgage company foreclosing on your home. You may have received a notice of foreclosure, or a notice of an impending sheriff’s sale.
Often, the mortgage company will set a date for foreclosure even while you are in the process of completing a loan modification. It is important that you contact an attorney for legal advice during this period. Once the sheriff’s sale or foreclosure has occurred, your rights may be limited.
An attorney can help preserve your rights and maximize your chances of keeping your home.
Mortgage loan modifications are being utilized more often to make mortgages more affordable for homeowners.
In a mortgage loan modification, the mortgage company essentially re-writes the home loan voluntarily. The new note may reduce the interest rate on the loan, recapitalize any arrearage into the new principal, reduce the principal, convert an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage, or any combination of the above.
But this process is completely voluntary by the mortgage servicers and it can be a frustrating and seemingly endless process for homeowners. Quite often a mortgage servicer will string a homeowner along all the while preparing to foreclose on the property.
Bankruptcy brings the possibility of completely removing (or “stripping”) second mortgages off your home if certain circumstances exist.
An attorney can be helpful during this process to help you sort through options and to preserve your rights.
Click Here to schedule a 60-minute consultation with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate your mortgage loan modification options outside of bankruptcy.
Some background information can be found here: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
After a mortgage company has foreclosed on your home, it will sell the home to a new owner. That owner may end up paying a lot less for the home than what you owed on the mortgage. The mortgage company can sue you for that difference or deficiency. The mortgage company will typically also tack on lots of fees and surcharges to that deficiency balance.
Recently, we have seen mortgage companies sue homeowners without foreclosing on the property first.
The mortgage company goes straight to circuit court and sues the homeowner for the entire amount of the balance owed on the mortgage on a theory of breach of contract. The mortgage company does not appear to have any interest in foreclosing on the property. Any junior mortgage (second or third mortgages) can sue under the same theory.
This can be an overwhelming situation for a homeowner! An attorney can be helpful during this process to help you sort through options and to preserve your rights.
In the State of Michigan, if you are three years or more behind on property taxes you could lose your home or other real estate properties due to property tax foreclosure. You may have received a notice of an impending date of this foreclosure. It is important that you contact an attorney for legal advice as soon as possible.
Once the foreclosure has taken place, your rights may be limited! An attorney can help preserve your rights and maximize your chances of keeping your home.
Any creditor who has a judgment against you has several tools at its disposal to collect on that debt. One of tools available is the ability to seize a vehicle that has no lien (even if the vehicle is paid in full!).
The creditor will then sell the vehicle at auction and use the proceeds to pay down the debt. If your vehicle is seized by a court officer, you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss what options you may have.
It is getting more and more expensive to get own a vehicle, especially if your credit is not perfect. Owning is a vehicle is a necessity to reliably get to work and to get the children to school. Car creditors know this and will often finance older vehicles for more than the vehicle is worth at a ridiculous interest rate.
The New York Times recently published an article exposing the predatory nature of these loans.
The odds are stacked against you! And if you get behind in payments at all, your vehicle will be promptly repossessed. An attorney can be critical to helping you navigate this issue.
This is a problem that quickly snowballs!
You get a garden-variety traffic ticket – for speeding or running a stop sign—and you have no way to pay it. The judge then orders you to you attend a hearing to show cause as to why you did not pay the ticket. You still can’t pay so you don’t attend.
Now you have violated a judge’s order to appear, and the judge has issued a bench warrant. Meanwhile, your license is suspended because of unpaid tickets and you’re unable to get vehicle insurance. Then you get pulled over again – for speeding or running a stop sign—and now you also get tickets for driving with a suspended license and driving without insurance. Under Michigan law, these are misdemeanors.
That original $150 speeding ticket now costs you thousands! Which incidentally, you are still unable to pay. This is one of the most common issues that we see at our office. The solution can be complicated and will probably require you to pay back some or all of what you owe over time.
The good news is that an attorney can help you get your license back fairly quickly (usually within a few weeks) and guide you in the process of sorting out the mess so you can start fresh.
Receiving constant calls, notices, and even court papers from creditors can be exhausting both physically and mentally. If you’re ready to put a stop to the creditor harassment, we can help.
Creditors MUST follow specific laws related to debt collection under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act and the Consumer Credit Protect Act. For instance, they may not:
Filing for bankruptcy immediately prevents all creditors from contacting you. If creditors do contact you after the bankruptcy filing, they may face serious penalties.
Creditors should never be allowed to proceed with illegal and abusive behavior. The attorneys at Freedom Law are well versed in all debt collection laws and will hold creditors responsible for their harassment if necessary. As soon as you retain our office, we will fend off creditors on your behalf.
Another very common issue that we see at our office is debts related to an over-payment of unemployment benefits.
This is a serious issue, since Michigan law allows for the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to quadruple damages where it is alleging fraud. A relatively small claim for an over-payment of benefits can quickly spiral into forty or fifty thousand dollars.
An attorney can be critical to helping you navigate this issue. If you have UIA issues and need assistance, we offer a 45-minute consultation with an attorney who will help you review your UIA correspondence, provide guidance, and offer strategies for you to resolve with the UIA. To book this consultation, visit the link below or call our office at (313) 887-0807.
Click here to schedule an Unemployment Overpayment Consultation. By the end of the consultation, you will have the advise and strategy you need to resolve your UIA claim.