I, Walter Metzen
, will provide, free of charge as part of your free initial Bankruptcy Analysis, a means test calculation to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Nearly 90% of the people who walk through my door are eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Michigan
and get a permanent discharge of their debt. With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Michigan
, we can develop and affordable repayment plan to fit every budget.
Contact me, Michigan bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how I can help you get a Fresh Financial Start!.
- adversary proceeding A lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case that is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.
- amendment The process of formally altering or adding to a document or record ususally the bankruptcy petition.
- assume An agreement to continue performing duties under a contract or lease. CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Leased Vehicles
- automatic stay An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosure, garnishments, and all collection activity CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion on the EFFECT OF THE AUTOMATIC STAY IN BANKRUPTCY against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed. CLICK HERE to read about the AUTOMATIC STAY Section 362(a) creates an "automatic stay" upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition that affords debtors expansive relief from virtually all post-petition collection activities by creditors, unless those activities fall within certain limited exemptions afforded by section 362(b), or unless a bankruptcy court grants relief from the automatic stay. CLICK HERE to learn about the AUTOMATIC STAY IN BANKRUPTCY CLICK HERE to see a Written Opinion about why you should hire a Board Certified Bankruptcy Attorney in Michigan
- bankruptcy A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). CLICK HERE to read a pdf from the US Government on Bankruptcy Basics and Michigan Debt Relief Agency
- Bankruptcy Administrator An officer of the judiciary serving in the judicial districts of Alabama and North Carolina who, like the United States trustee, is responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees, monitoring plans and disclosure statements, monitoring creditors' committees, monitoring fee applications, and performing other statutory duties.
- Bankruptcy Code The informal name for title 11 of the United States Code (11 U.S.C. §§ 101 - 1330), the federal bankruptcy law. CLICK HERE to read about causes of Bankruptcy li>Bankruptcy in the Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 (Bankruptcy) To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States. CLICK HERE to read about Bankruptcy.
- bankruptcy court The bankruptcy judges in regular active service in each district; a unit of the district court. CLICK HERE for a DIRECTORY to the Michigan United States Bankruptcy Courts
- bankruptcy estate All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property at the time of the bankruptcy filing. (The estate includes all property in which the debtor has an interest, even if it is owned or held by another person.)
- bankruptcy fraud Bankruptcy fraud is a crime. While difficult to generalize across jurisdictions, common criminal acts under bankruptcy statutes typically involve concealment of assets, concealment or destruction of documents, conflicts of interest, fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, and fee fixing or redistribution arrangements. Falsifications on bankruptcy forms often constitutes perjury. Multiple filings are not in and of themselves criminal, but they may violate provisions of bankruptcy law. In the U.S., bankruptcy fraud statutes are particularly focused on the mental state of a debtor’s actions. CLICK HERE for a Link to Report Suspected Bankruptcy Fraud, and CLICK HERE to read about a case of Bankruptcy FraudCLICK HERE to read about Contempt of CourtCLICK HERE to read about high income Bankruptcy
- Bankruptcy Forms Official Bankruptcy Forms must be used to file and take action in bankruptcy cases. Procedural Forms also may be necessary for use during the course of some bankruptcy proceedings. .Additional filing instructions, along with the forms, are available Here(PDF format).
- Bankruptcy Judge A judicial officer of the United States district court who is the court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases.CLICK HERE to Link to United States Courts CLICK HERE to read Eastern District of Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinions
- bankruptcy mill A business not authorized to practice law that provides bankruptcy counseling and prepares bankruptcy petitions.
- Bankruptcy Myth There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding Bankruptcy. CLICK HERE to read some misconceptions surrounding Bankruptcy
- bankruptcy petition A formal request for the protection of the federal bankruptcy laws. (There is an official form for bankruptcy petitions.) CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter Choice in Bankruptcy
- bankruptcy trustee A private individual or corporation appointed in all chapter 7 cases CLICK HERE for a LIST OF MICHIGAN CHAPTER 7 TRUSTEES, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the debtor's creditors. CLICK HERE to read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet from the United States Trustee's Office
- business bankruptcy A bankruptcy case in which the debtor is a business or an individual involved in business and the debts are for business purposes. CLICK HERE for UNITED STATES TRUSTEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- cancellation of debt If you borrow money from a commercial lender and the lender later cancels or forgives the debt, you may have to include the cancelled amount in income for tax purposes, depending on the circumstances. When you borrowed the money you were not required to include the loan proceeds in income because you had an obligation to repay the lender. When that obligation is subsequently forgiven, the amount you received as loan proceeds is reportable as income because you no longer have an obligation to repay the lender. The lender is usually required to report the amount of the canceled debt to you and the IRS on a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt.. See Foreclosure and Cancellation of Debt
- chapter 7 The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for "liquidation," i.e., the sale of a debtor's nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.
- chapter 7 trustee A person appointed in a chapter 7 case to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the unsecured creditors. (The trustee's responsibilities include reviewing the debtor's petition and schedules, liquidating the property of the estate, and making distributions to creditors. CLICK HERE to read excerpts from the UNITED STATES CHAPTER 7 TRUSTEE HANDBOOK The trustee may also bring actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate.) CLICK HERE for UNITED STATES TRUSTEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- chapter 11 A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership. (A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. CLICK HERE to read about Chapter 11 Bankruptcy People in business or individuals can also seek relief in chapter 11.)
- chapter 12 The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a "family farmer," as that term is defined in the Code.
- chapter 13 The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income. (Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and pay debts over time, usually three to five years.)CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Expenses and Distributions CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter 13 Distributions and CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter Thirteen
- chapter 13 trustee A person appointed to administer a chapter 13 case. (A chapter 13 trustee's responsibilities are similar to those of a chapter 7 trustee; however, a chapter 13 trustee has the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor's plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.) CLICK HERE to read an article about Chapter 13 Yields
- claim A creditor's assertion of a right to payment from a debtor or the debtor's property.
- complaint The first or initiatory document in a lawsuit that notifies the court and the defendant of the grounds claimed by the plaintiff for an award of money or other relief against the defendant.
- confirmation Approval of a plan of reorganization by a bankruptcy judge.
- consumer bankruptcy A bankruptcy case filed to reduce or eliminate debts that are primarily consumer debts. Also called filing bankruptcy and declaring bankruptcy or claiming bankruptcy see also: Read about Consumer Filings in a Complex Economy
- consumer debts Debts incurred for personal, as opposed to business, needs. Read about Consumer Filings CLICK HERE to read about Careful use of Credit Cards and CLICK HERE to read about Credit Cards and your Consumer Rights
- contingent claim A claim that may be owed by the debtor under certain circumstances, for example, where the debtor is a cosigner on another person's loan and that person fails to pay.
- conversion Converting from one Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code to another Chapter. Most commonly Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. Read about Conversion issues in Chapter 7
- credit counseling Before filing a Bankruptcy petition (and included in the fee), each one of my clients will explore all possible alternatives prior to filing in my office. My office works with on of the nations premier federally approved credit counseling agencies. A reputable credit counseling agency helps a debtor explore the possibility of repaying debts outside of bankruptcy and educates the debtor about credit, budgeting, and financial management. Credit Counseling Information Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Information United States Trustees: Approval of Credit Counseling Services and Click here to read about Credit Counseling and Click Here if you are Knee Deep in Debt
- Credit Practices Rule The Credit Practices Rule, which became effective March l, l985, prohibits many creditors from including certain provisions in consumer credit contracts. It also requires creditors to provide a written notice to consumers before they cosign obligations for others about their potential liability if the other person fails to pay. Finally, it prohibits one method of assessing late charges. . and CLICK HERE to read about The Credit Practices Rule and What you need to Know About Your Credit and What you need to Know About Gold Cards
- creditor A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor. and CLICK HERE to read about Credit Cards and your Consumer Rights
- debtor A person who has filed a petition for relief under the bankruptcy laws. CLICK HERE to read an article about Bankruptcy Debtors CLICK HERE to read an article about Low Income Bankruptcy Debtors and CLICK HERE to read about Debtor Profiles and Debtor's Duties in Bankruptcy
- defendant An individual (or business) against whom a lawsuit is filed.
- discharge A release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts (defined below) and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor's property to collect the debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor regarding the debt, including telephone calls, letters, and personal contact. CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion on Discharge of Condominium Association Dues
- dischargeable debt A debt for which the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor's personal liability to be eliminated. CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Dischargeability
- disclosure statement A written document prepared by the chapter 11 debtor or other plan proponent that is designed to provide "adequate information" to creditors to enable them to evaluate the chapter 11 plan of reorganization. li>domestic support obligation The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 introduces the term “domestic support obligation or DSO”. The definition is set forth in §101(14A) and states: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 nonbankruptcylaw notwithstanding any other provision of this title. CLICK HERE to read about DSO and Bankruptcy
- Elderly and Bankruptcy Elderly debtors accounted for 4.4% of the total debtor population for which we were able to determine the age. The Bureau of the Census reports that 12.4% of the adult population in the U.S. is aged 70 or more. CLICK HERE to read an article about the Elderly and Bankruptcy
- Equal Credit Opportunity The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ensures that all consumers are given an equal chance to obtain credit. This doesn’t mean all consumers who apply for credit get it: Factors such as income, expenses, debt, and credit history are considerations for creditworthiness. CLICK HERE to read an article about Equal Credit Opportunity
- equity The value of a debtor's interest in property that remains after liens and other creditors' interests are considered. (Example: If a house valued at $60,000 is subject to a $30,000 mortgage, there is $30,000 of equity.)
- executory contract or lease Generally includes contracts or leases under which both parties to the agreement have duties remaining to be performed. (If a contract or lease is executory, a debtor may assume it or reject it.)
- exempt A description of any property that a debtor may prevent creditors from recovering.
- exemption Property that the Bankruptcy Code or applicable state law permits a debtor to keep from creditors. CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Exemptions CLICK HERE to read about Bankruptcy Filings
- exempt property Property or value in property that a debtor is allowed to retain, free from the claims of creditors who do not have liens. CLICK HERE to read the Michigan State Bankruptcy Exemptions
- expenses a debtor may deduct reasonable monthly expenses from income to determine if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is appropriate. Whether you will be allowed to file a Chapter 7 (straight) bankruptcy case depends on your family income, family size, and family expenses. If your household income is greater than the state median income for a family of your size then your creditors, the court, or the bankruptcy trustee may request that the court dismiss your case due to “abuse," unless you can demonstrate that your monthly expenses justify filing a Chapter 7 case. CLICK HERE to read about Debtor Expenses in Bankruptcy
- 401k Plan A retirement plan that allows employees in private companies to make contributions of pre-tax dollars to a company pool that is then invested in stocks, bonds, or money markets.
- face sheet filing A bankruptcy case filed either without schedules or with incomplete schedules listing few creditors and debts. (Face sheet filings are often made for the purpose of delaying an eviction or foreclosure.)
- family farmer An individual, individual and spouse, corporation, or partnership engaged in a farming operation who meet certain debt limits and other statutory criteria for filing a petition under chapter 12.
- filing fee A fee charged by the United States Bankruptcy Court to accept a document (usually the Bankruptcy petition) for processing.CLICK HERE to read about Michigan Bankruptcy Filing Fees and CLICK HERE to read about Filing Fee Waivers
- final report The trustee submits the final report when the case is fully administered. As a working definition, a case may be considered "fully administered" once all assets have been reduced to cash, all claims objections resolved and all applicable tax returns accepted. .< CLICK HERE to read about Chapter 7 Trustee Final Reports
- foreclosure The legal process utilized by a bank or other lender to terminate the borrower's interest in a property after a loan has been defaulted. When the process is completed, the lender may sell the property and keep the proceeds to satisfy its mortgage and any legal costs. Any excess proceeds may be used to satisfy other liens or returned to the borrower.CLICK HERE to read about Michigan Foreclosure Law CLICK HERE to read about Bankruptcy Foreclosure Scams and CLICK HERE to read more about Michigan Foreclosure Law CLICK HERE for Mortgage Lender Contact Information
- foreclosure rescue scam Foreclosure rescue scams, also known as home equity thefts or deed thefts, target vulnerable homeowners who are short of money and fear losing their homes. Desperate for assistance, many of these homeowners are easy prey for so-called “foreclosure rescue specialists” who claim they can “stop the foreclosure” or “save your house.”CLICK HERE to read about Michigan Foreclosure Rescue Scams
- fraudulent transfer A transfer of a debtor's property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property's value.
- fresh start The characterization of a debtor's status after bankruptcy,i.e., free of most debts. (Giving debtors a fresh start is one purpose of the Bankruptcy Code.) CLICK HERE to read about Bankruptcy Fresh Start
- full disclosure Generally includes the duty of a debtor(s) (and debtor's attorney) make a full, accurate and complete disclosure in the bankruptcy petition and schedules of all questions pertaining to assets, debts, income, expenses and other financial affairs of the debtor(s) CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Consequenses of Concealment of Assets from a Bankruptcy Petition or the .341 Meeting of Creditors and CLICK HERE to read about Integrity in the Bankruptcy System and CLICK HERE to read about Quality legal Representation in the Bankruptcy System
- Gambling Debt and Bankruptcy Not so long ago, bankruptcy courts regularly found gambling debt nondischargeable. More recently, however, and perhaps as a repercussion of the upsurge in legalized gambling in many states, the courts are allowing discharge of this debt. CLICK HERE to read an article regarding Gambling and Bankruptcy
- Identity Theft a term for crimes involving illegal usage of another individual's identity. The most common form of identity theft is credit card fraud. Believe it or not, some individuals actually steal people’s identity and later attempt to file Bankruptcy as that person. CLICK HERE to read an article regarding Identity Theft in Bankruptcy Court CLICK HERE to read an article regarding Privacy Concerns and Protections in Bankruptcy Court and CLICK HERE to read an article about ID Theft in Bankruptcy What to do if your Credit Cards are lost or stolen and read Credit Card Loss Protection Offers: They're the Real Steal
- insider (of individual debtor) Any relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor; partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; general partner of the debtor; or corporation of which the debtor is a director, officer, or person in control.
- insider (of corporate debtor) A director, officer, or person in control of the debtor; a partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; a general partner of the debtor; or a relative of a general partner, director, officer, or person in control of the debtor.
- joint administration A court-approved mechanism under which two or more cases can be administered together. (Assuming no conflicts of interest, these separate businesses or individuals can pool their resources, hire the same professionals, etc.)
- joint petition One bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.
- lien A charge upon specific property designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation.
- liquidation A sale of a debtor's property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors.
- liquidated claim A creditor's claim for a fixed amount of money.
- Means Test Section 707(b)(2)(the “means test”) provides: 1The National and Local Standards referred to are the Collection Financial Standards used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine a taxpayer’s ability to pay delinquent taxes. CLICK HERE to read an article regarding Means Testing in Consumer Bankruptcy CasesAs applied in this case, those standards set the monthly transportation expense for this geographic area at $471. 3 (2)(A)(i) In considering under paragraph (1) whether the granting of relief would be an abuse of the provisions of this chapter, the court shall presume abuse exists if the debtor’s current monthly income reduced by the amounts determined under clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv), and multiplied by 60 is not less than the lesser of – (I) 25 percent of the debtor’s nonpriority unsecured claims in the case, or $10,000.CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: The Means Test and See In re Skaggs CLICK HERE to read about The Means Test and See In re Skaggs
- mortgagee Mortgagor is the person who pledges a property or title to a property as a security for the loan taken by him from the mortgagee. The Law requires registration of the mortgage. mortgagor loss his right on the property when he fails to close the loan .CLICK HERE to read about Michigan Foreclosure CLICK HERE to read about Chapter 13
- mortgagor Mortgagee is the person or entity (usually a bank or mortgage lender) who accepts a property or title to a property as a security for the loan given to the owner of the property. The mortgagee can utilise the property so pledged to recover his legitimate dues from that mortgage agreement if the Mortgagor fail to close the loan.CLICK HERE to read about Michigan Foreclosure Law
- motion "to lift" or "relief from" the automatic stay A request by a creditor to allow the creditor to take an action against a debtor or the debtor's property that would otherwise be prohibited by the automatic stay.CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Motion for Relief
- motion to dismiss (707b Motion) After notice and a hearing, the court, on its own motion or on a motion by the United States trustee, but not at the request or suggestion of any party in interest, may dismiss a case filed by an individual debtor under this chapter whose debts are primarily consumer debts if it finds that the granting of relief would be a substantial abuse of the provisions of this chapter. There shall be a presumption in favor of granting the relief requested by the debtor. In making a determination whether to dismiss a case under this section, the court may not take into consideration whether a debtor has made, or continues to make, charitable contributions .CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: 707(b)Motion to Dismiss Another Opinion CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: A Chapter 7 Trustee Motion to Dismiss a Chapter 13 Contra: .CLICK HERE to read a Contra View: Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: 707(b)Motion to Dismiss
- no-asset case A chapter 7 case where there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors' unsecured claims.
- non-dischargeable debt A debt that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Non-dischargeability of Spousal Support
- objection to discharge A trustee's or creditor's objection to the debtor's being released from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts.
- objection to exemptions A trustee's or creditor's objection to a debtor's attempt to claim certain property as exempt, i.e., not liable for any pre-petition debt of the debtor.
- omitted creditor or inadvertently omitted creditor a creditor accidentally or unknowingly not included in the list of creditors on schedules D, E or F of the bankruptcy petition and subsequently the Matrix. A procedural mechanism exists whereby the creditor may be added to the case if needed.CLICK HERE to read a Michigan Bankruptcy Court Opinion Re: Omitted Creditors
- party in interest A party who is actually and substantially interested in the subject matter, as distinguished from one who has only a nominal on technical interest in it.
- Patterson vs. Schumate A United States Supreme Court Bankruptcy decision in which a unanimous Court held that a participant's interest in an ERISA qualified retirement plan is protected from the claims of his creditors in bankruptcy. CLICK HERE to read the entire opinion Patterson vs. Schumate.
- plan A debtor's detailed description of how the debtor proposes to pay creditors' claims over a fixed period of time.
- plaintiff A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.
- post-petition transfer A transfer of a debtor's property made after the commencement of the case.
- pre-bankruptcy planning The arrangement (or rearrangement) of a debtor's property to allow the debtor to take maximum advantage of exemptions. (Pre-bankruptcy planning typically includes converting nonexempt assets into exempt assets.) CLICK HERE to read an article about Pre-Bankruptcy-Planning. and CLICK HERE to read an article about Bankruptcy Legislation.
- preferential debt payment A debt payment made to a creditor in the 90-day period before a debtor files bankruptcy (or within one year if the creditor was an insider) that gives the creditor more than the creditor would receive in the debtor's chapter 7 case.
- priority The Bankruptcy Code's statutory ranking of unsecured claims that determines the order in which unsecured claims will be paid if there is not enough money to pay all unsecured claims in full.
- priority claim An unsecured claim that is entitled to be paid ahead of other unsecured claims that are not entitled to priority status. Priority refers to the order in which these unsecured claims are to be paid.
- proof of claim A written statement, filed by a creditor, describing the reason a debtor owes the creditor money. (There is an official form for this purpose.)
- property of the estate All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case.
- reaffirmation agreement An agreement by a chapter 7 debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt after the bankruptcy, usually for the purpose of keeping collateral or mortgaged property that would otherwise be subject to repossession. CLICK HERE to read the United States Trustee Bankruptcy Information Sheet-Required in all Michigan Bankruptcy Cases CLICK HERE to read about Reaffirmation Agreements and CLICK HERE to read an article About Signing Reaffirmations
- In re REMBERT The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, In re Rembert, held that, “the proper inquiry to determine a debtor’s fraudulent intent is whether the debtor subjectively intended to repay the debt.” Click here to read the entire REMBERT Opinion
- Representation in Bankruptcy Court the act or action of representing : the state of being represented. When seeking Bankruptcy counsel, be sure to hire a Board Certified Bankruptcy Attorney. Click here to read an Article regarding the present Quality of Bankruptcy Attorneys
- Reopening A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be reopened after discharge and case closure under certain circumstances. Bankruptcy Code Section 350(b) authorizes the bankruptcy court to reopen a case for various reasons including to "administer assets, to accord relief to the debtor, or for other cause." Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5010 states: "A case may be reopened on motion of the debtor or other party in interest pursuant to §350(b) of the Code. CLICK HERE to read an article about Reopening Bankruptcy Cases.
- secured creditor An individual or business holding a claim against the debtor that is secured by a lien on property of the estate or that is subject to a right of setoff.
- secured credit card a secured card requires you to open and maintain a savings account as security for your line of credit; an unsecured card does not. The required savings deposit for a secured card may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Your credit line is a percentage of your deposit, typically 50 to 100 percent. Usually, a bank will pay interest on your deposit. In addition, you also may have to pay application and processing fees — sometimes totaling hundreds of dollars. Before you apply, be sure to ask what the total fees are and whether they will be refunded if you’re denied a card. Typically, a secured card requires an annual fee and has a higher interest rate than an unsecured card. Click here to learn about Secured Credit Card Scams
- secured debt Debt backed by a mortgage, pledge of collateral, or other lien; debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default.
- schedules Lists submitted by the debtor along with the petition (or shortly thereafter) showing the debtor's assets, liabilities, and other financial information. (There are official forms a debtor must use.)
- small business Bankruptcy A Chapter 7, for a corporation, may be the best choice when a business has no future, no substantial assets or qualities that cannot be reproduced, or the debts are so overwhelming that restructuring them is not feasible. Individuals can get a discharge of dischargeable debts and a chance to start over. Corporations cannot get discharges, but a Chapter 7 can provide an orderly liquidation under the direction of the trustee and at no expense to the debtor (a proper burial if you will). Creditors are will be paid to the extent of the assets available and the priority of their claim. Former management is assured that the assets that are available go (after the expenses of the Chapter 7) to pay taxes for which the individuals may be liable.. Click here to read about Small Business Bankruptcy
- statement of financial affairs A series of questions the debtor must answer in writing concerning sources of income, transfers of property, lawsuits by creditors, etc. (There is an official form a debtor must use.)
- statement of intention A declaration made by a chapter 7 debtor concerning plans for dealing with consumer debts that are secured by property of the estate.
- subprime loan A loan that is offered at a rate above prime to individuals who do not qualify for prime rate loans. Subprime loans tend to have a rate that is 0.1% to 0.6% higher than the prime rate. Although the additional percentage may seem small, for mortgages and other large loans, this translates to thousands of dollars worth of additional interest payments. Click here to read a Detroit Free Press Article about Subprime Loans
- substantial abuse The characterization of a bankruptcy case filed by an individual whose debts are primarily consumer debts where the court finds that the granting of relief would be an abuse of chapter 7 because, for example, the debtor can pay its debts. Click here to read an Opinion Regarding the United States Trustees Duties to timely file a Statement of Presumed Abuse>
- substantive consolidation Putting the assets and liabilities of two or more related debtors into a single pool to pay creditors. (Courts are reluctant to allow substantive consolidation since the action must not only justify the benefit that one set of creditors receives, but also the harm that other creditors suffer as a result.)
- In re TILL In Till v. SCS Credit Corporation, 124 S.Ct. 1951 (May 17, 2004), the United States Supreme Court addressed the appropriate methodology to determine a cram down rate of interest in a Chapter 13 Reorganization. Click here to read the entire TILL Opinion
- 341 meeting A meeting of creditors at which the debtor is questioned under oath by creditors, a trustee, examiner, or the United States trustee about his/her financial affairs. Click here to read about the United States Trustee Program and United States Trustee Civil Enforcement Program
- transfer Any mode or means by which a debtor disposes of or parts with his/her property.
- trustee The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the United States trustee or Bankruptcy Administrator. Click here for UNITED STATES TRUSTEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- typing service A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions.
- United States trustee An officer of the Justice Department responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees, monitoring plans and disclosure statements, monitoring creditors' committees, monitoring fee applications, and performing other statutory duties. Click here to learn about the UNITED STATES TRUSTEE PROGRAM and Click here for UNITED STATES TRUSTEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- undersecured claim A debt secured by property that is worth less than the amount of the debt.
- unlawful detainer action A lawsuit brought by a landlord against a tenant to evict the tenant from rental property--usually for nonpayment of rent.
- unliquidated claim A claim for which a specific value has not been determined.
- unscheduled debt A debt that should have been listed by a debtor in the schedules filed with the court but was not. (Depending on the circumstances, an unscheduled debt may or may not be discharged.)
- unsecured claim A claim or debt for which a creditor holds no special assurance of payment, such as a mortgage or lien; a debt for which credit was extended based solely upon the creditor's assessment of the debtor's future ability to pay.
- voluntary transfer A transfer of a debtor's property with the debtor's consent. CLICK HERE to read more Michigan Bankruptcy Terms and HERE for more Michigan Bankruptcy Terms CLICK HERE to read about a Day in Bankruptcy Court and CLICK HERE for more Bankruptcy Terms
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