Below are just some of our client success stories in bankruptcy cases. Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case: we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters.
Cathy from Flat Rock was in foreclosure when she came to us for help. Despite earning less than $25,000 a year, we were able to use a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save her house and eliminate $20,000 of medical bills.
Sue in Flat Rock owned a house with $40,000 of equity and owed $25,000 of credit card debt. She was unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but we were able to get her into a Chapter 13. Sue’s bankruptcy payment was approved at only $200 per month, she kept her house, and at the end of her case, all of her debt will be discharged.
Nancy came to us with almost $60,000 of debt, and a house that she owned outright in Southgate. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, her house would likely have been seized by a bankruptcy Trustee and sold out from under her. Instead, we helped Nancy file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a payment of only $380 per month. At the end of her case, she will wipe out most of the $60,000 of debt while still keeping her home.
We helped Angie in Rockwood file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, got it approved by the court despite her income being about $98,000 annually, and then got her a very special kind of discharge. Angie received a “Hardship Discharge.” This is a bankruptcy discharge that is only available in limited circumstances, when the debtor has made a good and honest effort to repay their creditors in Chapter 13, but has been unable to do so due to circumstances beyond their control. Hardship Discharges are rare, and many bankruptcy attorneys are unwilling to even attempt to obtain them, but with the right circumstances and an attorney who is willing to fight for you, a Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge is a tool that can save a debtor from disaster.
Joe and Kim had a second mortgage on their Rockwood home. Like many Americans when the housing market collapsed in 2009, they were left owing more than double what their house was worth just a few years before. They came to us for help. We were able to take advantage of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy rule commonly called a “lienstrip” action. Basically, when a person owes a second mortgage, but their first mortgage is already more than their house is worth, they can discharge the second mortgage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and “strip” its lien off their house. Joe and Kim are now in a court-approved Chapter 13 repayment plan for $360 per month. At the end of it, they will have wiped out their $40,000 second mortgage.
Dennis and Stacy came to us with a large amount of debt, in need of help. They were in the enviable position of having more than $100,000 of equity in their home, unfortunately this meant that they could not file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Instead, we helped them file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was approved by the court with a payment of only $400 per month for three years. That means that they now get to pay their creditors only $400 per month, and after three years, all of their debt will be discharged. The best part? They get this deal AND they get to keep their Utica home.
Dustin was a victim of the collapsing economy in Detroit. As his job in the auto industry put him on lay-off after lay-off, he did what everyone else was doing, he sought Unemployment benefits. After being told time and again that he was entitled to benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Agency accused him of fraud and demanded $60,000 of repayment. Unable to fight the convoluted and draconian Unemployment Insurance restitution system, he came to us for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Dustin discharged $40,000 of medical bills and credit card debt. Even better, we negotiated a repayment plan with the Unemployment Insurance Agency reducing his debt from $60,000 to $26,000, paid at $150 per month.
Normally this office helps people get out of debt by filing for bankruptcy. Greg in Trenton’s case was a bit different. Greg tried to help his daughter by giving her a place to stay in an old house that he owned but no longer lived in. When she had to file a bankruptcy, she sought the advice of a lawyer, who failed to tell her that the house she lived in, Greg’s house, might be an issue in the bankruptcy. When the Chapter 7 Trustee put a “for sale” sign in front of the house, Greg called us. Ultimately we were able to use various Michigan and Bankruptcy laws to protect Greg’s house from liquidation.
Dan from Lincoln Park needed a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and qualified easily. Unfortunately, shortly before he filed, he gave his car away to a friend. In bankruptcy, this can be construed as a “fraudulent conveyance.” When the Chapter 7 Trustee tried to sue Dan’s friend for the value of the car, we negotiated a settlement of less than $2,000. Dan got his bankruptcy discharge, and the friend got to keep the car.
Chris was in debt beyond his ability to pay, but he owned his home in Taylor outright. It was worth about $50,000, and if he filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it might have been taken and sold by the Chapter 7 Trustee. Instead, we were able to get Chris into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a plan payment of $385 per month for three years. At the end of the court-approved repayment plan, Chris will discharge about $20,000, be debt free, and will still own his Taylor home.
Courtney from Riverview came to us expecting to file a Chapter 13 because her husband earns more than $80,000 a year. She did not believe she could qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because internet research told her that her household income was too high. In fact, Courtney was an excellent candidate for Chapter 7 and was able to discharge more than $40,000 of credit card debt and medical bills. The moral is that not everything you find on the internet is credible, and there are exceptions to most rules. A good lawyer knows the rules and the exceptions, and is not afraid to shatter a few preconceived notions.
Jan owned a house with $170,000 of equity, but had significant credit card debt and needed relief. Jan was able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and keep her Brownstown home despite the huge amount of equity she owned because of a rule that allows married couples in Michigan to protect their jointly owned property from creditors. This type of ownership, called “tenancy by the entireties” is only available to a husband and wife, under Michigan law, who own their property together. While there are conditions and exceptions to this rule, it worked for Jan, and remains one of the single best protections against the claims of creditors in the whole of the law.
Trevor and Ashley, a small business owner and a nurse, came to us with $40,000 of debt. Theirs was actually a very simple and straightforward Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which they wiped out their debt, kept their Allen Park house, and moved on with their lives. All of this was accomplished in less than four months.
Kelly is a small business owner from New Boston who was very successful before the economic downturn. Like so many other people, her income sharply declined from about 2010 to 2014, and ultimately she and her husband had to seek the protection of the bankruptcy laws. We helped Kelly to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which would discharge almost $120,000 of debt. Despite the large amount of debt, her monthly payment was approved by the court at only $200 per month.
Sherry’s only source of income is Social Security Disability, and she receives less than $1400 per month. She filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, and since that time managed to live within her means despite her very limited income. Then, one day, entirely “out of the blue” she received a law suit for $40,000. It seems a family member that Sherry gave a car to had gotten into an accident and hurt someone. That family member did not have insurance on the car, but the title was still in Sherry’s name. In Michigan, a person injured in a car accident can sue the owner of the car for their injuries, even if the owner was not driving the car. The cost of defending the lawsuit would have been thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, and Sherry could not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection because she had filed in 2010. We were able to get Sherry into a Chapter 13 that would protect her from the lawsuit and discharge the $40,000 debt, with a court approved payment of only $102 per month for three years.
Bill and Mary had a home equity mortgage on their Woodhaven home. Like many Americans when home values collapsed in 2009, they ended up owing mortgages on a house worth less than half of what they bought it for a few years earlier. They came to us for help with a pending foreclosure, but we did much better than just stop the foreclosure. We were able to use a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding commonly called a “lienstrip” action. Basically, when a person owes a second mortgage, but their first mortgage is already more than their house is worth, they can discharge the second mortgage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and “strip” its lien off their house. Bill and Mary are not protected from foreclosure, and stand to Discharge their second mortgage in a few short years.
Like many young people today, Mandy in Wyandotte paid for college using student loans. She believed the commonly accepted notion that when she graduated, a high-paying, high-quality job would be waiting for her. It wasn’t. When Mandy came to us, she had more than $200,000 of student loan debt and no way to pay it. Student loans cannot be Discharged in bankruptcy, but they can be included in a Chapter 13 Plan and paid back on terms the debtor can afford. Mandy is now paying much less than the minimum payment on her student loans, and they cannot sue or garnish her because she has the protection of the Bankruptcy Code. Mandy’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy is giving her five years of low payments, payments that she can afford, to hopefully find the high-paying job that she hoped college would allow her to obtain.
The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou, PLLC, helped prevent the foreclosure of a Flat Rock resident’s home and eliminated $20,000 in medical bills through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. All of this was accomplished on a flat fee basis, which was paid through the Debtor’s bankruptcy plan.
Through the creation of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we were able to assist a Southgate resident by discharging $60,000 of debt. This Debtor was able to keep their house, free and clear, and is now only making a small payment of $380/month to pay off the remaining debt.