File Flint Chapter Seven Bankruptcy you will not be alone. Call 235-1970

September 23, 2012

HAVING PROBLEMS PAYING YOUR DEBTS? FLINT BANKRUPTCY 235-1970

Because of our poor economy nationally and in Michigan many families have economic problems. Do you? Having problems paying your debts? Is your family threatened with garnishment, foreclosure or repossession? If yes you are not alone. see http://goodmorningflint.blogspot.com/2012/09/having-problems-paying-your-debts-flint.html

We are a debt relief agency helping you as a Flint Bankruptcy Lawyer file and get relief.

Bankruptcy is a way to deal with these problems.

You Did know you have the right under federal law to file for bankruptcy relief from your creditors.

The theory of Bankruptcy is that it is a legal proceeding in which a person can get a fresh financial start. Do you need as fresh start?

Try to pay your bills before filing bankruptcy because you can do so only once every six years. In most cases, you will want to save this valuable option until you really need it. Also, you may not need to file bankruptcy even though creditors are threatening you because you may have no nonexempt property or wages.

This means you have nothing the creditors can take from you. You can’t be put in jail for failing to pay your civil debts (other than fines or other court ordered amounts).

Just like Wall Street got their Fresh start a chapter seven Flint Bankruptcy is your fresh start.
https://dumpmycreditors.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/your-persoanl-wall-street-type-bailout-a-chapter-sebven-bankruptcy-810-235-1970/

Some things bankruptcy can do:

Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a “discharge” of debts.
Stop foreclosure of your home and allow you to catch up on missed payments.
Stop repossession of a car or other property, or, in some situations, force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed.
Stop wage garnishments.
Stop debt collection harassment.
Restore or prevent termination of utility service for nonpayment of previous bills (you will probably have to pay a deposit, but the deposit cannot be more than 1-1/2 to 2 times your previous regular bills according to the Arizona Administrative Code).
Get your drivers license back if it has been suspended because you didn’t pay court-ordered damages for a driving accident (unless you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol).
Some things bankruptcy can’t do
Eliminate certain rights of secured creditors. Some examples of secured debts are car loans and home mortgages. You can force secured creditors to take payments over time, but generally, you cannot keep the collateral unless you continue to pay the debt.
Discharge debts that arise after the bankruptcy has been filed.
Discharge certain types of debts, such as child support, alimony (spousal maintenance), certain other debts related to divorce, most student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines, and most taxes.
Eliminate the obligation of a co-signer on your loan in most cases.

Chapter Seven Bankruptcy is known as a “fresh start” bankruptcy, or “liquidation”. Your debts are discharged (canceled), but you must give up any nonexempt property to the trustee to pay to your creditors. You can keep secured property if you are current on the payments and continue making the payments regularly.

When you file for bankruptcy you will not be alone.
http://occupyflintlegal.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/when-you-file-for-chapter-seven-bankruptcy-you-will-not-be-alone-810-235-1970/

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee must take your nonexempt property and use it to pay your creditors.Most debtors in Genesee County because of our loss of residential value keep all of their possessions that are not encumbered by a loan or mortgage.

If you have property, which is non-exempt, you could sell it before filing bankruptcy and use the money to purchase things, which are exempt; such are food, furniture, or clothing. However, you cannot give property away to friends or relatives, and have them give it back to you after the bankruptcy. Any transfers of property without receiving fair value for it within one year before filing bankruptcy are called a fraudulent transfer. The property could be taken by the bankruptcy court and sold to pay some of your debts. If the court finds you have been dishonest in your bankruptcy, you could be denied your discharge. You could also be charged with federal or state crimes, which carry serious fines and jail sentences.

Also, you cannot prefer one creditor over another by making payments on the debt within 90 days before filing bankruptcy (one year if the person paid is an “insider” (family, friend, etc.) If you do so, the bankruptcy court can take that money away from the person you paid. This is to insure that all creditors are treated equally. This does not apply, however, to regular monthly payments such as your car payment, house payment, rent, utilities.

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Filing Chapter Seven Bankruptcy? You are not alone

September 11, 2012

FLINT BANKRUPTCY REPORT 235-1970- You are not alone when filing for Bankruptcy. “ Arkansas coach John L. Smith filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Thursday for debts he incurred through real estate investments in Kentucky.”[1]

Smith told The Associated Press in July he expected to make the filing but also was trying to avoid it.[1]
Chapter Seven Bankruptcy is not just for the traditional poor or just regular folks.

Bankruptcy filing start with submission of schedules that show your debt and assets.

Bankruptcy debt relief can involve millions of dollars. “Documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of Arkansas show Smith has assets of between $1 million and $10 million and debts of between $10 million and $50 million. The filing is preliminary and more details will be added to the record later.”[1]

You may say I want a Chapter Seven Bankruptcy “A Chapter 7 filing is used to liquidate debts, as opposed to chapters 11 and 13 which are used for reorganization”[1]

Bankruptcy gives you a fresh start. “Smith discussed his dismal financial condition during the summer because he didn’t want his situation to become a distraction when the No. 8 Razorbacks started playing games.”[1]

Why are you in Bankruptcy? Here’s Smiths reason. “Smith said in July that he began the land investments when he was coaching Louisville from 1998-2002 and that he and other investors lost money when the real estate market softened.”[1]

The fresh start of Bankruptcy and its fresh start allows you to stay focused on the issues of life. I am sure Arkansa supporters want Smith not to be distracted.

“After Arkansas fired Bobby Petrino in the spring, Smith came on board for a 10-month contract worth $850,000. He left Weber State, where he had accepted the head coaching job.”[1]

Athletic director Jeff Long told the AP that Smith had been candid about his financial situation and he didn’t hold it against him, especially considering the economy.[1]

Arkansas spokesman Derek Satterfield said he didn’t anticipate the program would issue a statement Thursday.
Messages were left seeking comment from Smith’s attorney, Jill Jacoway of Fayetteville.[1]

YOU SHOULD NOT BE EMBARRASSED TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY SMITH IS NOT

Smith said in July he didn’t want his financial woes to impact the school.”From a personal standpoint, I don’t want the university being embarrassed, but I’m not embarrassed,” Smith said at the time. “It’s something that’s happened. I made some mistakes, and to be honest with you, I’m a football coach, not a businessman.”[1]

For your Bankruptcy information call 810-235-1970 Terry Bankert for your Genesee County Michigan Bankruptcy.

[1]
standard.net/stories/2012/09/06/arkansas-smith-files-chapter-7-bankruptcy


BANKRUPTCY IN FLINT MICHIGAN 235-1970

May 7, 2012

THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS

I represent good people in economic hardship.We are called a debt relief agency under the law. In reality I am a local Flint attorney that practices bankruptcy. We try to educate you as to the process and your full set of rights in bankruptcy.

BANKRUPTCY FLINT MICHIGAN

Talk to Flint Bankruptcy Attorney Terry Bankert at 810-235-1970. Questions for Bankruptcy Lawyer Terry Bankert can be found at http://www.attorneybankert.com

Within a month of your filing bankruptcy a mandatory attendance at a meeting with a Bankruptcy Trustee is required. This is called a creditors meeting or a 341 Hearing after the Code Section.

The Trustee is an attorney that is not a judge and does not work for one. The trustee works for the U.S.Attorney a Federal Prosecutor.

In Flint the 341 hearing is held in the basement of the Federal Building. The bankruptcy trustee chairs the meeting. The trustee’s job may begin with finding you not eligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is too great. The core purpose of the trustee is to have you swear an oath that the information you provided to the Bankruptcy Court is true. You can be federally prosecuted if it is not.

The trustee will question you about the information you provided to the court. You will be asked if all property was listed. How did you determine the value for the property you listed. Inquiry will be made of the net equity you have in personal and real property. Too much value in some property and you will not be able to exempt it from the bankruptcy.

Following is a list of topics the bankruptcy trustee may ask you about:

-inconsistencies that point to your being less than honest.
-your failure to file necessary documents.
-a decision that you must file for Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7
-what methods did you use to arrive at the value of big ticket items that you are claiming as exempt like a car or house.
– what have done with your most recent tax refund

If the trustee sees items non dischargeable in bankruptcy you will be asked about them. Most people discharge all their debt like credit cards, medical and legal debts. The most common types of debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy are:
-non dischargeable taxes and the debts incurred to pay them.
-court-imposed fines and rstitution
-back child support and alimony
-debts owed to an ex spouse in a divorce or separation
-loans owed to a retirement system such as a 401(k)
-student loans
-federal and state loans that were due less than three years before you filed.
-fines for driving under the influence of alcohol
-personal injury claims resulting from your drunk driving

Some debts not listed above will survive bankruptcy if the creditor seeks an order excluding the debt. These debts most often are: fraudulent transactions, recent credit card charges for luxuries and willful and malicious acts causing personal injury or property damage.

Your creditors seldom show up. If they do they can ask you questions. The purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to ask you questions. Your attorney will say very little at these meetings.


FLINT BANKRUPTCY LAWYER TERRY BANKERT 810-235-1970

December 28, 2011

Did you know that when a bankruptcy case is filed by or against a spouse while a divorce is pending, exclusive jurisdiction over the property of the debtor spouse (the bankruptcy estate) is automatically transferred to the bankruptcy court. See In re White, 851 F2d 170, 173 (6th Cir 1988).

Posted here by Flint Bankruptcy Attorney Terry Bankert 235-1970. See Http://www.attorneybankert.com

In the law of Bankruptcy all your possessions and debt become what is called an estate. The bankruptcy estate is created when the bankruptcy case is filed (whether filed voluntarily by the debtor or filed involuntarily against the debtor by creditors meeting the requirements of 11 USC 303). The bankruptcy estate consists of all property of the debtor. 11 USC 541 defines property of the estate very broadly; generally, it includes all property of the debtor “wherever located and by whomever held.” See 11 USC 541 discussed in §§17.5–17.6.

Family distress comes in many forms, financial and emotional.When a bankruptcy is filed by (or against) a spouse while a divorce case is pending in state court, the state court’s ability to take action against property of the debtor’s estate is automatically stayed or limited by 11 USC 362. There are some exceptions to the automatic stay pertaining to family law matters, which are found in 11 USC 362(b)(2).

see Michigan Family Law ch 17 (Hon. Marilyn J. Kelly et al eds, ICLE 7th ed 2011), at
http://www.icle.org/modules/books/chapter.aspx/?lib=family&book=2011553510&chapter=17
(last updated 12/16/2011).


Flint Bankruptcy Lawyer 235-1970

December 26, 2011

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy sets up a 3 or 5 yr plan to pay certain debts ending with a discharge of remaining unsecured debt like credit cards. A chapter 7 Bankruptcy takes several months and ends with a discharge of your unsecured debt excluding things like taxes and student loans.
If you have Bankruptcy Questioins call Flint Bankruptcy Lawyer Terry R. Bankert 235-1970

BANKRUTPCY Issues: Chapter 13; Whether the bankruptcy court correctly concluded that the debtor has standing to pursue an avoidance action; Debtor’s “derivative” standing to pursue lien avoidance under 11 USC § 544; Countrywide Home Loans v. Dickson (In re Dickson); Realty Portfolio, Inc. v. Hamilton (In re Hamilton)(5th Cir.); Hyundai Translead, Inc. v. Jackson Truck & Trailer Repair, Inc. (In re Trailer Source, Inc.); Adhering to precedent; CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride; Freedom to seek review in the Court of Appeals; Phar-Mor, Inc. v. McKesson Corp. (In re Phar-Mor, Inc.); Jurisdiction; Midland Asphalt Corp. v. United States; Drown v. National City Bank (In re Ingersoll); Standard of review; International Dairy Foods Ass’n v. Boggs; Perfection of the bank’s lien on debtor’s manufactured home; 11 USC § 541(a)(1); Lyon v. Eiseman (In re Forbes); Butner v. United States; Waiver; Bailey v. Floyd Cnty. Bd. of Educ.

Court: U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Sixth Circuit
Case Name: In re Barbee
e-Journal Number: 50351
Judge(s): Harris, Boswell, and McIvor

Following the holding in Dickson, the court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s determination that the Chapter 13 debtor had derivative standing to avoid the appellant-Bank’s lien pursuant to § 544. Thus, the court also affirmed the bankruptcy court’s order granting the debtor summary judgment.

DEBTOR TOOK LOAN FROM COUNTRY WIDE HOME LOANS

The relevant facts were undisputed. On 11/15/99, the debtor and G borrowed $75,558.93 from Countrywide Home Loans, repayment of which was secured by the grant of a mortgage lien in favor of Countrywide.

1999 MORTGAGE

The mortgage was dated 11/15/99, and was recorded on 12/1/99. The mortgage encumbered the real property and all improvements and fixtures located on it.

2009 THE COUNTYWIDE NOTE ASSIGNED TO BANK

On 10/22/09, the note and mortgage were assigned to the Bank. The debtor and G used the proceeds of the loan to acquire the real property. Located on the property is the debtor and G’s manufactured home.
DOUBLE WIDE TRAILER TURNED INTOI AN ACTUAL HOUSE

In the record was a letter from a loan officer to Countrywide as to the debtor’s loan from Countrywide advising that “[i]n 1997, this double wide mobile home was gutted and rebuild (sic) as an actual house.”
THE DEBTOR DID NOT GET A SEPARATE TITLE
The debtor and G did not acquire a separate title to the manufactured home and the record was unclear as to whether a certificate of title was ever issued for the manufactured home.
DEBTOR FILES FOR CHAPTER 13
On 11/11/09, the debtor filed a petition for relief under Chapter 13. The debtor later filed his adversary complaint, asserting that as a hypothetical lien creditor, he has superior title to the manufactured home located on the property, and that any interest the Bank has in the home was avoidable pursuant to § 544 because the Bank failed to perfect its lien on the manufactured home pursuant to Kentucky law.

The Bank asserted, inter alia, that the debtor did not have standing to bring the avoidance action. Citing Dickson, the bankruptcy court held that the debtor had derivative standing to pursue the lien avoidance under § 544. The Bank argued that the debtor lacked standing to bring the avoidance action because a debtor cannot be granted derivative standing to exercise the trustee’s strong arm powers as to consensual liens.

The debtor asserted that he had derivative standing to pursue lien avoidance under § 544 pursuant to the decision in Dickson. While acknowledging the holding in Dickson, the Bank argued that the debtor lacked standing to pursue avoidance of the lien based on the plain language of the Bankruptcy Code and the reasoning of courts which have found that a Chapter 13 debtor lacks standing to exercise the trustee’s avoidance powers. When the Bank filed its brief in this appeal, an appeal of the decision in Dickson was pending before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thus, the court issued an order holding this appeal in abeyance pending a decision in Dickson. The Sixth Circuit issued a decision in Dickson on 8/26/11. However, the Court of Appeals never reached the issue of derivative standing. Instead, the Sixth Circuit held that the transfer at issue in Dickson was involuntary, so that the debtor had direct, statutory standing to seek avoidance of the creditor’s lien. “Without deciding whether a later panel must always follow the precedent of a prior panel,” the court saw no reason in this case to break with the principles of stare decisis and thus, followed the holding in Dickson. “Adhering to precedent promotes uniformity of case law” in the Circuit and “the goals of ‘stability’ and ‘predictability’ that the doctrine of statutory stare decisis aims to ensure.” The court noted that the Bank was free to seek review of its decision in the Court of Appeals, which is not bound by decisions of Bankruptcy Appellate Panels.


YOUR PERSONAL WALL STREET TYPE BAILOUT A CHAPTER SEVEN BANKRUPTCY -810-235-1970

November 15, 2011

WE HAVE WATCHED WALL STREET, BIG BANK AND BIG BUSINESS GET BAILED OUT. WHAT ABOUT YOU? The Bankruptcy code was written for you and can be your own personal bail out. Flint BankruptcyAttorney Terry Bankert  presents on Flint D ivorce and Flint Bankruptcy 810-235-1970.

Basic Bankruptcy options available.

Types of Bankruptcies. The four main types of bankruptcies are as follows:
Chapter 7—Liquidation: In a Chapter 7 the debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the Chapter 7 Trustee: this Trustee sells or liquidates the property and distributes the proceeds to creditors according to the priority scheme set forth in the bankruptcy code, and usually in a small one-time payment. The debtor will be released (discharged) from the unpaid portion of many types of debt unless a creditor objects to the debtor’s discharge, or unless a creditor objects to the dischargeability of its particular claim. The Chapter 7 Trustee is always appointed by the United States Trustee and is usually a member of a panel of Trustees.
Chapter 11—Reorganization: The purpose of Chapter 11 is to allow the debtor a breathing spell from creditors, thereby enabling the debtor to reorganize its financial affairs. This is the most expensive and complicated type of bankruptcy and can last for years. If successful, a plan of reorganization would be proposed which is subject to the vote of creditors.
Chapter 12—Family Farmer Bankruptcy: Chapter 12 can only be filed by a family farmer with regular annual income. This proceeding is similar to a Chapter 13, described below.
Chapter 13—Adjustment of Debts: Chapter 13 can only be filed by individuals with regular income (filing with or without a spouse) and with unsecured debts of less than $336,900 and secured debts of less than $1,010,650—See ll U.S.C. § 109(e). (These dollar limits are adjusted at 3-year intervals: the most recent adjustment was effective April 1, 2007.) The purpose of a Chapter 13 is for the debtor to pledge part of his or her income over a period of time (usually 3 to 5 years) to pay all or a portion of the debt. Once this portion of the debt is paid, the debtor is released (i.e. discharged) from the unpaid portion of the debts. Soon after the case is commenced, the debtor must propose a plan which fits within the strict requirements of the Bankruptcy Code. Priority debts must be paid in full. (See 11 U.S.C. §1322(a)(2).) Pursuant to §507(a)(1), a debt for a domestic support obligation (defined below) is a first priority unsecured claim

.
PERSONAL BAILOUT OR Discharge: The main reason why any individual files bankruptcy is to try to get a discharge from debts which are owing to creditors. 11 U.S.C. § 727 says that all individual debtors are eligible to receive a discharge unless he or she committed one of the “bad acts” described in 11 U.S.C. § 727.

III. WHAT IN BANKRUPTCY IS A DOMESTIC SUPPORT OBLIGATION.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act gives us a new term—“domestic support obligation”—which is defined in 11 U.S.C. § 101(14A), as follows:
(14A) The term “domestic support obligation” means a debt that accrues before, on, or after the date of the order for relief in a case under this title, including interest that accrues on that debt as provided under applicable nonbankruptcy law notwithstanding any other provision of this title, that is—
(A) owed to or recoverable by—
(i) a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor or such child’s parent, legal guardian, or responsible relative; or
(ii) a governmental unit;
(B) in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support (including assistance provided by a governmental unit) of such spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor or such child’s parent, without regard to whether such debt is expressly so designated;
(C) established or subject to establishment before, on, or after the date of the order for relief in a case under this title, by reason of applicable provisions of—
(i) a separation agreement, divorce decree, or property settlement agreement;
(ii) an order of a court of record; or
(iii) a determination made in accordance with applicable nonbankruptcy law by a governmental unit; and
(D) not assigned to a nongovernmental entity, unless that obligation is assigned voluntarily by the spouse, former spouse, child of the debtor, or such child’s parent, legal guardian, or responsible relative for the purpose of collecting the debt.
Nondischargeability of Domestic Support Obligations: 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) provides that a DSO cannot be discharged in Bankruptcy.
§ 523. Exceptions to discharge
(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—…
(5) for a domestic support obligation;
Special Impact of Domestic Support Obligations in Chapter 13 Cases:

IV. Nondischargeability of Property Settlement
Before the Bankruptcy Reform Act, 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) provided that property settlement debts were nondischargeable unless the debtor lacked the ability to pay it according to the criteria described in the statute, or unless discharging the property settlement would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighed the detriment to the non-debtor spouse, former spouse or child. The old law also required that the non-debtor spouse commence an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court to determine the nondischargeability of the property settlement and, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) the complaint in that adversary proceeding was required to be filed within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341. If a nondischargeability complaint was not timely filed, the property settlement was automatically discharged under 11 U.S.C. § 727. 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) often resulted in non-debtor spouses having to spend limited funds in order to “protect” their property settlements.
11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) was oddly written. Courts, attorneys, and litigants consistently struggled with it. The Bankruptcy Reform Act resolves the difficulty by revising § 523(a)(15) so that it reads as follows:
§ 523. Exceptions to discharge
(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—…
(15) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and not of the kind described in paragraph (5) that is incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record or, a determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit;…
Thus, under the Bankruptcy Reform Act, even if a debtor’s obligation in a divorce decree does not come within the definition of “domestic support obligation” so as to be nondischargeable under § 523(a)(5), it is still nondischargeable under § 523(a)(15) if it is a property settlement debt to a spouse, former spouse or child.
In applying the Bankruptcy Reform Act, bankruptcy judges are now more likely to view any obligation in a divorce decree as being nondischargeable by a party to that divorce who later winds up in bankruptcy.
Also, the Reform Act amends 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) so that the non-debtor spouse is not required to file an adversary proceeding in order to preserve the nondischargeability of the debtor’s obligations that fall within the scope of 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15). This is an important change in the law, designed to protect non-debtor spouses and children by eliminating the need for them to spend precious resources trying to “protect” the property settlement by commencing an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court.
Taken together, the Reform Act’s changes to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) and (15) operate to exempt from discharge all alimony, maintenance, support, property settlements, hold-harmless obligations, etc. to a spouse, former spouse or child so long as they are incurred in the course of a divorce or separation, or in connection with the divorce decree, separation agreement or other order.

V. Are There Any Remaining Differences Between Nondischargeable Domestic Support Obligation Under 11 U.S.C. § 523(A)(5) and Nondischargeable Property Settlement Under the Reform Act’s 11 U.S.C. § 523(A)(15)? The Answer Remains “Yes”—Even Under the Bankruptcy Reform Act
A debt which is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) (e.g., a property settlement that is not in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support) is dischargeable in a Chapter 13 under the Reform Act if the debtor makes all payments under the Chapter 13 plan. However, a domestic support obligation which is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) is nondischargeable even under Chapter 13, even if the debtor makes all of its payments due under the plan and receives a super-discharge. See 11 U.S.C. § 1328(a).
In Chapter 13 cases, domestic support obligations get better treatment than do property settlements. For example, the failure of a Chapter 13 debtor’s failure to pay a domestic support obligation post-petition is grounds for denial of confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan (11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(8)), and if the failure occurs post-confirmation, it is a ground for dismissal or conversion of the Chapter 13 case (see 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c)(11)). Debts for property settlement are not given similar protection. Furthermore, the debtor’s plan is required to cure all domestic support obligation arrearages during the life of the Chapter 13 plan, unless the recipient agrees to a different treatment.
First Priority for Domestic Support Obligations: Another difference between domestic support obligations and property settlement debts is that 11 U.S.C. § 507 makes unsecured claims for domestic support obligations first priority, subject only to the fees and expenses incurred by a trustee in collecting them. Property settlement does not enjoy this high priority. The pertinent section of the Bankruptcy Reform Act reads as follows:
VI. Exceptions to the Automatic Stay

Bankruptcy’s automatic stay is a comprehensive injunction that stays actions against the debtor, property of the debtor and/or property of the bankruptcy estate.[1] The automatic stay is embodied in 11 U.S.C. §362(a), but there are 28 statutory exceptions to the automatic stay: those exceptions are set forth in 11 U.S.C. §362(b)(1)–(28).
The Bankruptcy Reform Act amended the exceptions to the automatic stay which pertain to family law matters. These changes in the Bankruptcy Code clarify that a broader range of family-law proceedings can continue even when one spouse files bankruptcy. Consequently, the following activities do not constitute a violation of bankruptcy’s automatic stay:
§ 362. Automatic Stay…
(b) The filing of a petition under section 301, 302, or 303 of this title, or of an application under section 5(a)(3) of the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, does not operate as a stay—
(1) under subsection (a) of this section, of the commencement or continuation of a criminal action or proceeding against the debtor;
(2) under subsection (a)—
(A) of the commencement or continuation of a civil action or proceeding—
(i) for the establishment of paternity;
(ii) for the establishment or modification of an order for domestic support obligations;
(iii) concerning child custody or visitation;
(iv) for the dissolution of a marriage, except to the extent that such proceeding seeks to determine the division of property that is property of the estate; or
(v) regarding domestic violence;
(B) of the collection of a domestic support obligation from property that is not property of the estate;
(C) with respect to the withholding of income that is property of the estate or property of the debtor for payment of a domestic support obligation under a judicial or administrative order or a statute;
(D) of the withholding, suspension, or restriction of a driver’s license, a professional or occupational license, or a recreational license, under State law, as specified in section 466 (a) (16) of the Social Security Act;
(E) of the reporting of overdue support owed by a parent to any consumer reporting agency as specified in section 466(a)(7) of the Social Security Act;
(F) of the interception of a tax refund, as specified in sections 464 and 466(a)(3) of the Social Security Act or under an analogous State law; or
(G) of the enforcement of a medical obligation, as specified under title IV of the Social Security Act.
The highlights of this new exemption from automatic stay are:
In addition to criminal proceedings, a wide variety of civil actions can proceed against a person who files bankruptcy including civil actions regarding paternity, civil actions to establish or modify domestic support obligations, civil actions regarding custody or visitation, civil actions regarding domestic violence, and civil actions to dissolve a marriage (but actions concerning property of the debtor’s estate are stayed).
Income/wage withholding orders can still proceed, even if they target the debtor’s property or property of the estate.
Suspension of driver’s license or professional license to the extent that state law provides for such a suspension, reporting of overdue support, can proceed.

VII. Can Property Settlements in Divorce Judgments Be Challenged as Fraudulent Transfers?
In and out of bankruptcy, there are various laws that generally enable creditors to avoid (i.e. undo) transfers made or obligations incurred that have the effect of improperly putting a debtor’s assets beyond the reach of his or her creditors. Generally, transfers made (or obligations incurred) are considered to be a “fraud on creditors” when they are “actually fraudulent” (e.g. with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor: See MCL 566.34(a)) or “constructively fraudulent” (e.g. transfers made (or obligations incurred) in exchange for less than reasonably equivalent value and by one who is either: (i) insolvent or rendered insolvent by the transfer made or obligation incurred (See MCL 566.35(1)), or (ii) engaged (or about to engage) in a business or transaction with unreasonably small assets (See MCL 566.34(b)(i)) or (iii) who intends or reasonably should have known that he or she is about to incur debt that is beyond his or her ability to pay when the debt becomes due. (See MCL 566.34(b)(ii)). Outside of bankruptcy, creditors can use MCL 566.31, et seq., which is Michigan’s version of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“UFTA”) to avoid and recover fraudulent transfers. In bankruptcy, the debtor or trustee can use 11 USC §§ 544 and 548 to recover fraudulent transfers (11 U.S.C. § 544 “incorporates” applicable non-bankruptcy law, including UFTA).

Basic Bankruptcy options available.
Types of Bankruptcies. The four main types of bankruptcies are as follows:
Chapter 7—Liquidation: In a Chapter 7 the debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the Chapter 7 Trustee: this Trustee sells or liquidates the property and distributes the proceeds to creditors according to the priority scheme set forth in the bankruptcy code, and usually in a small one-time payment. The debtor will be released (discharged) from the unpaid portion of many types of debt unless a creditor objects to the debtor’s discharge, or unless a creditor objects to the dischargeability of its particular claim. The Chapter 7 Trustee is always appointed by the United States Trustee and is usually a member of a panel of Trustees.
Chapter 11—Reorganization: The purpose of Chapter 11 is to allow the debtor a breathing spell from creditors, thereby enabling the debtor to reorganize its financial affairs. This is the most expensive and complicated type of bankruptcy and can last for years. If successful, a plan of reorganization would be proposed which is subject to the vote of creditors.
Chapter 12—Family Farmer Bankruptcy: Chapter 12 can only be filed by a family farmer with regular annual income. This proceeding is similar to a Chapter 13, described below.
Chapter 13—Adjustment of Debts: Chapter 13 can only be filed by individuals with regular income (filing with or without a spouse) and with unsecured debts of less than $336,900 and secured debts of less than $1,010,650—See ll U.S.C. § 109(e). (These dollar limits are adjusted at 3-year intervals: the most recent adjustment was effective April 1, 2007.) The purpose of a Chapter 13 is for the debtor to pledge part of his or her income over a period of time (usually 3 to 5 years) to pay all or a portion of the debt. Once this portion of the debt is paid, the debtor is released (i.e. discharged) from the unpaid portion of the debts. Soon after the case is commenced, the debtor must propose a plan which fits within the strict requirements of the Bankruptcy Code. Priority debts must be paid in full. (See 11 U.S.C. §1322(a)(2).) Pursuant to §507(a)(1), a debt for a domestic support obligation (defined below) is a first priority unsecured claim

.
PERSONAL BAILOUT OR Discharge: The main reason why any individual files bankruptcy is to try to get a discharge from debts which are owing to creditors. 11 U.S.C. § 727 says that all individual debtors are eligible to receive a discharge unless he or she committed one of the “bad acts” described in 11 U.S.C. § 727.

III. WHAT IN BANKRUPTCY IS A DOMESTIC SUPPORT OBLIGATION.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act gives us a new term—“domestic support obligation”—which is defined in 11 U.S.C. § 101(14A), as follows:
(14A) The term “domestic support obligation” means a debt that accrues before, on, or after the date of the order for relief in a case under this title, including interest that accrues on that debt as provided under applicable nonbankruptcy law notwithstanding any other provision of this title, that is—
(A) owed to or recoverable by—
(i) a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor or such child’s parent, legal guardian, or responsible relative; or
(ii) a governmental unit;
(B) in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support (including assistance provided by a governmental unit) of such spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor or such child’s parent, without regard to whether such debt is expressly so designated;
(C) established or subject to establishment before, on, or after the date of the order for relief in a case under this title, by reason of applicable provisions of—
(i) a separation agreement, divorce decree, or property settlement agreement;
(ii) an order of a court of record; or
(iii) a determination made in accordance with applicable nonbankruptcy law by a governmental unit; and
(D) not assigned to a nongovernmental entity, unless that obligation is assigned voluntarily by the spouse, former spouse, child of the debtor, or such child’s parent, legal guardian, or responsible relative for the purpose of collecting the debt.
Nondischargeability of Domestic Support Obligations: 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) provides that a DSO cannot be discharged in Bankruptcy.
§ 523. Exceptions to discharge
(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—…
(5) for a domestic support obligation;
Special Impact of Domestic Support Obligations in Chapter 13 Cases:

IV. Nondischargeability of Property Settlement
Before the Bankruptcy Reform Act, 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) provided that property settlement debts were nondischargeable unless the debtor lacked the ability to pay it according to the criteria described in the statute, or unless discharging the property settlement would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighed the detriment to the non-debtor spouse, former spouse or child. The old law also required that the non-debtor spouse commence an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court to determine the nondischargeability of the property settlement and, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) the complaint in that adversary proceeding was required to be filed within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341. If a nondischargeability complaint was not timely filed, the property settlement was automatically discharged under 11 U.S.C. § 727. 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) often resulted in non-debtor spouses having to spend limited funds in order to “protect” their property settlements.
11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) was oddly written. Courts, attorneys, and litigants consistently struggled with it. The Bankruptcy Reform Act resolves the difficulty by revising § 523(a)(15) so that it reads as follows:
§ 523. Exceptions to discharge
(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—…
(15) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and not of the kind described in paragraph (5) that is incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record or, a determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit;…
Thus, under the Bankruptcy Reform Act, even if a debtor’s obligation in a divorce decree does not come within the definition of “domestic support obligation” so as to be nondischargeable under § 523(a)(5), it is still nondischargeable under § 523(a)(15) if it is a property settlement debt to a spouse, former spouse or child.
In applying the Bankruptcy Reform Act, bankruptcy judges are now more likely to view any obligation in a divorce decree as being nondischargeable by a party to that divorce who later winds up in bankruptcy.
Also, the Reform Act amends 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) so that the non-debtor spouse is not required to file an adversary proceeding in order to preserve the nondischargeability of the debtor’s obligations that fall within the scope of 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15). This is an important change in the law, designed to protect non-debtor spouses and children by eliminating the need for them to spend precious resources trying to “protect” the property settlement by commencing an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court.
Taken together, the Reform Act’s changes to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) and (15) operate to exempt from discharge all alimony, maintenance, support, property settlements, hold-harmless obligations, etc. to a spouse, former spouse or child so long as they are incurred in the course of a divorce or separation, or in connection with the divorce decree, separation agreement or other order.

V. Are There Any Remaining Differences Between Nondischargeable Domestic Support Obligation Under 11 U.S.C. § 523(A)(5) and Nondischargeable Property Settlement Under the Reform Act’s 11 U.S.C. § 523(A)(15)? The Answer Remains “Yes”—Even Under the Bankruptcy Reform Act
A debt which is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) (e.g., a property settlement that is not in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support) is dischargeable in a Chapter 13 under the Reform Act if the debtor makes all payments under the Chapter 13 plan. However, a domestic support obligation which is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) is nondischargeable even under Chapter 13, even if the debtor makes all of its payments due under the plan and receives a super-discharge. See 11 U.S.C. § 1328(a).
In Chapter 13 cases, domestic support obligations get better treatment than do property settlements. For example, the failure of a Chapter 13 debtor’s failure to pay a domestic support obligation post-petition is grounds for denial of confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan (11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(8)), and if the failure occurs post-confirmation, it is a ground for dismissal or conversion of the Chapter 13 case (see 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c)(11)). Debts for property settlement are not given similar protection. Furthermore, the debtor’s plan is required to cure all domestic support obligation arrearages during the life of the Chapter 13 plan, unless the recipient agrees to a different treatment.
First Priority for Domestic Support Obligations: Another difference between domestic support obligations and property settlement debts is that 11 U.S.C. § 507 makes unsecured claims for domestic support obligations first priority, subject only to the fees and expenses incurred by a trustee in collecting them. Property settlement does not enjoy this high priority. The pertinent section of the Bankruptcy Reform Act reads as follows:
VI. Exceptions to the Automatic Stay

Bankruptcy’s automatic stay is a comprehensive injunction that stays actions against the debtor, property of the debtor and/or property of the bankruptcy estate.[1] The automatic stay is embodied in 11 U.S.C. §362(a), but there are 28 statutory exceptions to the automatic stay: those exceptions are set forth in 11 U.S.C. §362(b)(1)–(28).
The Bankruptcy Reform Act amended the exceptions to the automatic stay which pertain to family law matters. These changes in the Bankruptcy Code clarify that a broader range of family-law proceedings can continue even when one spouse files bankruptcy. Consequently, the following activities do not constitute a violation of bankruptcy’s automatic stay:
§ 362. Automatic Stay…
(b) The filing of a petition under section 301, 302, or 303 of this title, or of an application under section 5(a)(3) of the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, does not operate as a stay—
(1) under subsection (a) of this section, of the commencement or continuation of a criminal action or proceeding against the debtor;
(2) under subsection (a)—
(A) of the commencement or continuation of a civil action or proceeding—
(i) for the establishment of paternity;
(ii) for the establishment or modification of an order for domestic support obligations;
(iii) concerning child custody or visitation;
(iv) for the dissolution of a marriage, except to the extent that such proceeding seeks to determine the division of property that is property of the estate; or
(v) regarding domestic violence;
(B) of the collection of a domestic support obligation from property that is not property of the estate;
(C) with respect to the withholding of income that is property of the estate or property of the debtor for payment of a domestic support obligation under a judicial or administrative order or a statute;
(D) of the withholding, suspension, or restriction of a driver’s license, a professional or occupational license, or a recreational license, under State law, as specified in section 466 (a) (16) of the Social Security Act;
(E) of the reporting of overdue support owed by a parent to any consumer reporting agency as specified in section 466(a)(7) of the Social Security Act;
(F) of the interception of a tax refund, as specified in sections 464 and 466(a)(3) of the Social Security Act or under an analogous State law; or
(G) of the enforcement of a medical obligation, as specified under title IV of the Social Security Act.
The highlights of this new exemption from automatic stay are:
In addition to criminal proceedings, a wide variety of civil actions can proceed against a person who files bankruptcy including civil actions regarding paternity, civil actions to establish or modify domestic support obligations, civil actions regarding custody or visitation, civil actions regarding domestic violence, and civil actions to dissolve a marriage (but actions concerning property of the debtor’s estate are stayed).
Income/wage withholding orders can still proceed, even if they target the debtor’s property or property of the estate.
Suspension of driver’s license or professional license to the extent that state law provides for such a suspension, reporting of overdue support, can proceed.

VII. Can Property Settlements in Divorce Judgments Be Challenged as Fraudulent Transfers?
In and out of bankruptcy, there are various laws that generally enable creditors to avoid (i.e. undo) transfers made or obligations incurred that have the effect of improperly putting a debtor’s assets beyond the reach of his or her creditors. Generally, transfers made (or obligations incurred) are considered to be a “fraud on creditors” when they are “actually fraudulent” (e.g. with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor: See MCL 566.34(a)) or “constructively fraudulent” (e.g. transfers made (or obligations incurred) in exchange for less than reasonably equivalent value and by one who is either: (i) insolvent or rendered insolvent by the transfer made or obligation incurred (See MCL 566.35(1)), or (ii) engaged (or about to engage) in a business or transaction with unreasonably small assets (See MCL 566.34(b)(i)) or (iii) who intends or reasonably should have known that he or she is about to incur debt that is beyond his or her ability to pay when the debt becomes due. (See MCL 566.34(b)(ii)). Outside of bankruptcy, creditors can use MCL 566.31, et seq., which is Michigan’s version of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“UFTA”) to avoid and recover fraudulent transfers. In bankruptcy, the debtor or trustee can use 11 USC §§ 544 and 548 to recover fraudulent transfers (11 U.S.C. § 544 “incorporates” applicable non-bankruptcy law, including UFTA).


FLINT BANKRUPTCY

October 9, 2011

History of Bankruptcy Law

Flint Bankrutpcy Lawyer  posts here this overview of Flint Bankruptcy. See cite at the bottom.

§1.1 Laws that provide for the distribution of a debtor’s property among creditors have been a part of civil jurisprudence since ancient times. Under the Code of Hammurabi, an insolvent debtor was often sold into slavery. In Celtic Ireland, a creditor would often “fast on” a debtor by placing himself or herself before the debtor’s doorway until the debt was paid. See generally Louis Edward Levinthal, The Early History of Bankruptcy Law, 66 U Pa L Rev 223 (1918).

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The 2005 amendments changed over 100 years of bankruptcy law. Some of the important changes made by BAPCPA include the following:
requiring consumer debtors to undergo financial counseling before filing for bankruptcy, 11 USC 109(h), 521(b), and before discharge, 11 USC 727(a)(11), 1328(g)(1)
means testing for consumer debtors seeking to discharge debts under Chapter 7, 11 USC 707(b)
bars against repetitive filing through limitation of the automatic stay, 11 USC 362(c)(3)
elimination of the debtor’s ability to retain secured collateral without redemption or reaffirmation, 11 USC 521(a)(6)

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II. Sources of Bankruptcy Law: The Bankruptcy Code and Rules

A. Structure of the Bankruptcy Code

§1.2 Most of the operative provisions of the Bankruptcy Code are located in Title 11 of the United States Code. This title is divided into nine chapters—1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. Some of them offer separate forms of relief to financially distressed debtors. Chapter 7 provides for the automatic appointment of a trustee who will liquidate all of the debtor’s nonexempt property and distribute the proceeds to creditors. Chapter 9 permits troubled municipalities to reorganize their affairs under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Chapter 11 allows for the reorganization of distressed debtors; this form of relief is often selected by troubled businesses that need some time to restructure their financial affairs. Chapter 12 permits family farmers to reorganize their farming operations under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Chapter 13 provides for the adjustment of debts of persons with “regular income.” This chapter expands the scope of the old wage-earner provisions contained in Chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898. Finally, Chapter 15 deals with ancillary and cross-border cases.

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B. Rules Governing Bankruptcy Procedure: National and Local

§1.3 In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court, acting pursuant to 28 USC 2075, adopted the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules). These rules were drafted to conform with the provisions of the Code and govern procedure in all federal bankruptcy courts; they may not abridge, enlarge, or modify the substantive rights granted under the Code. 28 USC 2075. Recent revisions to the Bankruptcy Rules were made in 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2010 (effective December 1).

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B. Core and Related Proceedings

1. The Significant Distinction

§1.6 When litigating in the bankruptcy court, the practitioner must be keenly aware of the distinction made in the jurisdictional provisions of the Bankruptcy Code between core and noncore (or related) proceedings. This distinction is important primarily because in related proceedings, bankruptcy judges may not enter final orders and judgments without the consent of the litigants.

2. Core Proceedings

§1.7 What’s New in this Section Bankruptcy judges may hear and decide all core proceedings and may enter orders and judgments in those proceedings subject to appellate review. 28 USC 157(b)(1). Examples of core proceedings are listed in 28 USC 157(b)(2) and include (1) motions to lift the automatic stay, (2) actions to recover fraudulent conveyances and preferences, and (3) determinations whether certain debts are dischargeable. Also included on the list are “other proceedings affecting the liquidation of the assets of the estate or the adjustment of the debtor-creditor or the equity security holder relationship.” 28 USC 157(b)(2)(O). For decisions construing the scope of core proceedings, see In re Pioneer Inv Servs Co, 946 F2d 445 (6th Cir 1991); Bliss Techs, Inc v HMI Indus (In re Bliss Techs, Inc), 307 BR 598 (ED Mich 2004); and In re Marshall, 118 BR 954 (WD Mich 1990).

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E. Venue of Bankruptcy Cases and Proceedings
§1.17 In general, a debtor who seeks bankruptcy relief may file a bankruptcy petition in the court for the district in which the debtor’s domicile, residence, principal place of business, or principal assets have been located for 180 days before the date of filing. 28 USC 1408. In the Eastern District of Michigan, LBR 1071-1(a) (ED Mich) establishes three administrative units (Detroit, Flint, and Bay City) for cases filed in that district. If a case is filed in the wrong administrative unit—for example, if a corporation headquartered in Bay City files its petition in Detroit—the bankruptcy judge may transfer that case to the proper administrative unit. LBR 1071-1(c)(1) (ED Mich); see, e.g., In re Romzek, 50 BR 720 (Bankr ED Mich 1985). The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan has adopted a similar local rule. See LBR 1014 (WD Mich).

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H. Electronic Filing of Cases and Pleadings
§1.20 On February 3, 2004, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan adopted Administrative Order No 2004-02, which provides for the electronic filing, signing, verification, and service of documents. This order provides that the electronic filing of a document in accordance with the Administrative Procedures “constitutes the filing of the document for all purposes.” On July 14, 2004, this court followed with Administrative Order No 2004-06, which requires “all petitions, pleadings and other papers filed in all cases and proceedings, whether pending or new,” to be filed electronically beginning on January 1, 2005. The Administrative Order was incorporated into and was superseded by the February 1, 2007, comprehensive revisions to the Western District Local Rules. Similarly, the Eastern District implemented electronic filing on a mandatory basis on January 1, 2006, and electronic filing is covered in the Eastern District’s local rules.

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IV. Parties in Interest in Bankruptcy Cases
A. In General
§1.21 In every bankruptcy case, there are certain persons, called parties in interest, who perform their statutory duties and attempt to enforce their rights and privileges. They are the debtor, the trustee, the U.S. trustee, secured creditors, unsecured creditors, and, in certain cases, creditors’ committees and equity security holders.

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B. Debtors
1. Chapter 7 Cases
§1.22 In Chapter 7 cases, a debtor may be an individual, a partnership, a corporation, or some other artificial person. However, only an individual may receive a discharge of debts in Chapter 7 cases; other entities may not. The 2005 amendments require that a debtor receive an individual or group briefing that outlines the opportunities available for credit counseling. The briefing must have been received within the 180-day period preceding the filing of the bankruptcy case. 11 USC 109(h)(1). This requirement is commonly referred to as the requirement for prefiling credit counseling.
Chapter 7 debtors must file certain documents with the bankruptcy court; must appear for questioning by creditors, the bankruptcy administrator, and the trustee at the meeting of creditors; and must perform other duties specified in the Code and the Bankruptcy Rules. If the individual debtor performs these duties and is not guilty of any bad acts as defined in the Code, the debtor will be granted a general discharge of prepetition debts and will retain exempt property to be able to make a fresh start in life.
After the debtor meets the duties specifically required under the Code, the debtor is required to complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management to obtain a discharge. 11 USC 727(a)(1). This is another requirement added by BAPCPA.

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2. Chapter 11 Cases
§1.23 Individuals, partnerships, and corporations all qualify for relief under Chapter 11 of the Code. A Chapter 11 debtor is normally retained as debtor-in-possession at the outset of the case and, as such, continues to operate its business as a fiduciary for all creditors within the guidelines prescribed by the bankruptcy court. The debtor, if not displaced by a trustee, then negotiates with its secured and unsecured creditors the terms of a plan calling for either the reorganization or the liquidation of the debtor’s assets and the adjustment of the rights of creditors and stockholders. This plan is sent to all creditors for a vote, and, after the votes are tallied, the plan may be confirmed and given effect by the bankruptcy court. Special rules apply for small businesses. See chapter 6.
In 2005, BAPCPA enacted comprehensive revisions to 11 USC 1112 and 1104, addressing conversion or dismissal and appointment of trustees. As amended, 11 USC 1112 provides that the courts “shall” rather than “may” convert or dismiss a case if it is in the best interests of creditors and if the movant establishes cause. Comprehensive examples of cause are set forth in the provision, and, in the event that the court decides that there is a basis or cause to dismiss or convert, the court has the alternative of appointing a Chapter 11 trustee or examiner.

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3. Chapter 12 Cases
§1.24 Only “a family farmer or family fisherman with regular annual income” may be the subject of a Chapter 12 case. 11 USC 109(f). The term family farmer includes individuals, partnerships, and corporations but does not encompass all entities that are engaged in farming operations. 11 USC 101(18). Family farmers who seek relief under Chapter 12 normally file their reorganization plans soon after their case has been commenced. Chapter 12 plans provide for payments to be made on secured and unsecured debt over a period that may last as long as five years. Confirmation of the plan does not result in the family farmer’s discharge; this is granted only when the debtor completes making payments under the plan or qualifies for a hardship discharge.
Although Congress retroactively extended Chapter 12 in 2004 ( Pub L No 108-369, 118 Stat 1749 (2004)), BAPCPA made Chapter 12 a permanent provision of the Code.

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4. Chapter 13 Cases
§1.25 Only “individuals with regular income” may file Chapter 13 petitions and propose plans providing for the composition and extension of debts. Relief under this chapter is not available to artificial persons, nor is it available to individuals who do not receive regular income or are carrying heavy debt loads. 11 USC 109. A Chapter 13 debtor normally files, along with a voluntary petition, a proposed Chapter 13 plan, in which the debtor proposes to pay all or a portion of the debts over time with regular income. Unlike the Chapter 7 debtor, the Chapter 13 debtor is not required to surrender nonexempt property to the trustee for liquidation; the plan may propose that the debtor keep this property while he or she pays the debts. Unlike the Chapter 11 debtor, the Chapter 13 debtor does not receive a discharge once the plan is confirmed; discharge is granted only when the debtor performs all the obligations under the plan or otherwise qualifies for a hardship discharge.
As of April 1, 2007, the eligibility requirements for Chapter 13 debtors have been increased. Only individuals with regular income who have, on the date of filing a Chapter 13 petition, noncontingent and liquidated secured debts in an amount less than $1,010,650 and noncontingent and liquidated unsecured debts in an amount less than $336,900 are eligible for Chapter 13 relief. 11 USC 109(e). The debt limits are adjusted every three years, 11 USC 104(a), and increased to $1,081,400 and $360,475 effective April 1, 2010. See generally In re Pisczek, 269 BR 641 (Bankr ED Mich 2001); In re Faulhaber, 269 BR 348 (Bankr WD Mich 2001).

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C. Trustees
1. Chapter 7 Cases
§1.26 In Chapter 7 cases, the U.S. trustee appoints an interim trustee on the entry of an order for relief, which generally occurs when the bankruptcy petition is filed. The trustee is selected from the panel of trustees for the judicial district in which the Chapter 7 petition has been filed by or against the debtor. The U.S. trustee may serve as trustee in a Chapter 7 case if none of the panel trustees are able or willing to serve. At the meeting of creditors, the creditors may vote either to allow the interim trustee to continue as the permanent trustee or to replace that person with another from the panel. See generally In re Lindell Drop Forge Co, 111 BR 137 (Bankr WD Mich 1990). If no voting takes place, the interim trustee becomes the permanent trustee.
The trustee is a representative of the debtor’s estate and as such is required to investigate the debtor’s affairs and liquidate his or her nonexempt property for the benefit of creditors. The trustee may also seek to augment property of the estate by filing actions to recover preferences, fraudulent conveyances, and other voidable transfers made by the debtor to third parties. Once this property is collected and reduced to cash, the Chapter 7 trustee files a final report and account with the bankruptcy court in which the trustee proposes how these cash proceeds should be distributed. When the court approves this final report and account, the trustee distributes the cash to creditors and closes the Chapter 7 case. See chapter 5 for further discussion of the trustee’s role in Chapter 7 cases.

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SOURCE
Handling Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcies in Michigan ch 1 (Richardo I. Kilpatrick et al eds, ICLE 2009), at http://www.icle.org/modules/books/chapter.aspx/?lib=bankruptcy&book=2009550820&chapter=01

(last updated 09/30/2011