Once you've filed for bankruptcy, the court issues something known as an "automatic stay." This bars your creditors from taking further action against you unless the bankruptcy court specifically allows it. That doesn't always stop the harassment immediately, however.
The final outcome of a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States certainly isn't a cause for celebration by General Motors (GM).
Many people don't realize this, but from the moment that you file your bankruptcy, the trustee assigned to your case has the status and power of a creditor -- but not just any ordinary creditor.
Bankruptcy is as much about asset protection as it is debt relief. In Michigan, debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection are entitled to choose between the federal exemptions or the state system of exemptions.
Tax season can collide with post-holiday bankruptcies in some unusual ways. If you intend to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy soon, it's important to understand what you can and can't do with any tax refund that you receive.
Most bankruptcies go forward fairly smoothly—unless a debtor receives notice that he or she is facing an adversary proceeding, which means a creditor wants the bankruptcy judge to deny the discharge of a debt and force the debtor to pay up.
Sometimes it seems like old debts just won't die. These "zombie debts" may be past the statutory point where the creditor can sue for breach of contract (which, in Michigan, is 6 years), and they may even be from before you received a bankruptcy discharge, but that won't stop some collectors from trying to get you to pay.
Driving under the influence is treated seriously in Michigan, with laws targeting both lower and higher blood-alcohol levels. Anyone driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher risks getting charged with DUI, which means that most people have some leeway if they go out and have a drink, though they still need to be careful about how much they drink and turning over their car keys if they become impaired.
There are a lot of people who see the national legalization of marijuana as all-but-inevitable. In the meantime, however, there's a standoff between the states that have legalized marijuana use in one form or another and the Department of Justice, which is obligated to treat all marijuana use and business of any kind as a federal crime. This sometimes creates conflicts of the law in surprising areas, like bankruptcy court.
What happens if the trustee or a creditor suspects that you're being less-than-honest about your financial situation? Your right to bankruptcy relief can be put in jeopardy, and you could actually end up facing criminal charges.