Okemos Chapter 13 Attorney
Serving Clients throughout the Lansing Area
Facing serious financial trouble is a stressful feeling. It takes courage to acknowledge that you have lost control of your debt. The good news is that there is hope for your situation.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to manage your debt on a manageable schedule agreed upon by you and your creditors, putting a stop to harassing phone calls and debt notices. At White Law PLLC, our Okemos Chapter 13 attorney can help you plan for this next step.
- Eliminate Medical debt
- Stop Credit Card Debt & Harassment
- Stop Foreclosure Proceedings
- Stop Garnishment
- Protect Your Home & Car
- Shield Your Wages from Creditors
- Keep Your Furniture
Qualifying for Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that allows you to schedule debt repayments to stop interest from collecting. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debt will not be discharged. You and your creditors will agree on a payment schedule in court: you will repay your debts, and your creditors will stop their efforts to collect money from you.
To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must:
- Have a limited amount of debt: As of 2019, the debt limits for secured debt cannot exceed $1.25 million, and unsecured debt cannot exceed $419 thousand
- Maintain a steady income: You will not be able to repay your debts if you don't have money, so you must first prove that you have adequate income
- Be liable for the debts in question: This simply means you cannot use personal bankruptcy plans to cover business debts for which you are not liable
How a Lawyer Can Help
While filing for bankruptcy means you are unable to pay back your debts, your creditors still want to recover their money. At White Law PLLC, we can negotiate with creditors to get you the best possible outcome before you sign any agreements about what to pay back. Some applicants have even negotiated debt forgiveness with their creditors.
Our firm can also help you protect your property. While Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers the benefit of keeping your property, you may need to verify that those items are eligible for exemptions.
Getting a Fresh Start
Our team at White Law PLLC helps clients to successfully prepare and apply for bankruptcy proceedings in the state of Michigan. With our help, you can overcome your debt problems and regain your financial independence.
- Legal protection isn't just for your creditors—you can protect yourself too by exercising your rights to have your debts cleared
- By filing for bankruptcy, you can silence your creditors and keep them from trying to contact you
- The goal of bankruptcy is to give you a fresh start once your finances get out of control, and you deserve a chance to find financial freedom again
- Debts that can be cleared include your car payments, mortgage payments, credit card balances, medical bills, and more
You Are Not to Blame
Far too many people think bankruptcy is caused by a lack of responsibility and restraint. The truth is nearly all everyone who files does so because of unexpected expenses. In situations like the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 50 million people lost their jobs and were suddenly unable to pay their bills.
Bad things happen to good people. Bankruptcy is a legal vehicle that helps people find solutions to their financial problems. At White Law PLLC, we understand your situation and can help you put your finances in order to stop living in fear of ruin.
We also serve clients outside Michigan.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are approved for bankruptcy, all your debts are stayed so that interest stops accruing and creditors stop calling. This means that you will no longer be at risk of having your bank account garnished and you will know exactly where you stand with your debts. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, you won't have to give up your property unless you fail to make any payments.
Will I lose any of my property?
The beauty of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that your property is, in most cases, safe from forfeiture. By scheduling payments for the balances you owe on your home, car, credit card balances, and other debts, you can live life without fear of growing interest payments while you clear your balances.
What does pro rata mean?
Each of your creditors expects to be paid back. Pro rata simply lays out how much money you will pay back to each of them out of the total amount you agree to repay. With your Okemos bankruptcy lawyer, you can negotiate with creditors and judges to minimize your remaining balance to the lowest amount possible before agreeing to make payments on it.
What should I do before filing for bankruptcy?
You will need to pass a means test in order to be eligible for bankruptcy. Knowing your assets and income in detail will help make this process easier.
Why should I repay my debts instead of clearing them?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not always be the best option for you, but it generally looks better for your credit score. The ability to repay debts shows that you are responsible and can be counted on to be honest. Unless you simply don't have a way to repay your debts, Chapter 13 can help you keep all your property and avoid any major interruptions to your life.
Should I get rid of property before I file for bankruptcy?
No, you should not do that. It is illegal to misrepresent your finances as a way to become eligible for bankruptcy. Any money you acquire or give away as a gift within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy can be counted among your assets and factored in when determining your eligibility.
Will child support payments be affected?
There are two answers to this question, and each one deals with whether or not you receive or pay child support. If you are hoping to have overdue child support payments forgiven through bankruptcy, that will not be possible. However, all money given or received in child support within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy will be counted toward your eligibility.
How are retirement accounts affected by bankruptcy?
Your retirement accounts will not be affected because you file for bankruptcy. However, money you contribute or withdraw from those accounts 180 days before your application can be assessed for bankruptcy eligibility.
What Comes Next?
Filing for bankruptcy can be a huge relief. Now that you don't have to worry about the growing interest payments and bothersome creditors, you have a chance to make lasting, positive changes in your life.
After successfully filing for bankruptcy, consider:
- Reflecting on how you ended up here: By the time bankruptcy becomes someone's last resort, they usually have significant debt elsewhere that they've been able to manage. Under the best of circumstances, you may be able to pay off credit card and payday loan balances, but once there is a significant and unexpected expense, those bills can grow out of control.
- Design a budget for yourself: By identifying where your money does and how it is being spent, you can build habits that will help you avoid getting into another situation like this. You will also find out some information about the way you live your life.
- Make a schedule for your required expenses: Rent, car insurance, and other expenses don't change month to month. Laying out a payment schedule can help you build a more accurate budget and stay financially independent, even when money gets tight.
- Consumer debt is bad, but credit limits are good: While you don't want to let a credit card balance grow with interest, you should not simply cancel your cards in order to avoid having any balance. Your credit score is based on how much creditors trust you to repay and how regularly you make those payments. Vary your credit sources—keep small, manageable balances on a variety of cards. Don't abuse them.
- Check your credit score often: Your credit score provides you with many opportunities to get better rates on loans, credit cards, and rent amounts. Make sure it's accurate. With many companies, you can check your score annually for free without any negative credit effects, helping you to check for errors that could have been reported.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Our Okemos Chapter 13 attorney understands how stressed out you feel right now. We want to help you explore your options so that you can put your debt worries behind you. With decades in practice and numerous industry awards, you can count on White Law PLLC to inform you of your rights and get you on the path to freedom.
Call (517) 316-1195now to schedule your consultation.
Serving Clients Throughout Michigan & Nationwide
We've Successfully Resolved Thousands of Cases
We Never Back Down From a Challenge
We Use Cutting Edge Technology
Experience Handling High-Profile Cases
Over 60 Years of Combined Legal Experience