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Lynnmarie Johnson Lynnmarie Johnson, Attorney-at-Law Trust Lynnmarie
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Lynnmarie A. Johnson, JD, CPA
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW
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4488 W. Bristol Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
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Office: (810) 820-2791
Fax: (810) 820-2794
contact@trustlynnmarie.com



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Frequently Asked Questions

My home is about to be foreclosed and sold. Will filing chapter 13 bankruptcy let me keep my home?
 
Filing a chapter 13 can help you keep your home, but you must act before the sale takes place. Chapter 13 allows you to make up secured loan payments that you are behind over the life of the plan. While you are in chapter 13 and making payments, according to the plan, to the trustee, you are generally portected from legal actions being taken by your creditors. This protection can be applied to any secured loan, such as a car payment, boat payment, etc. The plan usually lasts between three and five years. In order to keep your home, you are generally required to pay the amount you are behind, plus any fees or penalties that have been validly assessed, over the course of the plan. You also need to be able to make your regular monthly payments. The key is not to delay -- see an attorney immediately!

 
I heard the laws have changed and most people can no longer file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Is this true?
 
The laws did change in October, 2005, but most people are still eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. It is available to people with regular income from any source. For example, it does not have to be from wages, it can be from a pension, rent, or self-employment income, it just has to be a source of income that you can count on coming in on a regular basis. Even a sole proprietor can be eligible for Chapter 13 relief. The goal of a Chapter 13 plan is to protect you from your creditors taking legal action against you while you reorganize your finances and pay your creditors. The amount you have to pay the creditors depends on whether the debt is secured or unsecured and the amount of disposable income you have available. Generally your unsecured debts (things like credits cards) must be under $269,250, while your secured debts (items like mortgages or auto loans) must be under $807,250.

 
Will I lose my house and car if I file bankruptcy?
 
Usually you do not lose your house or car when you file bankruptcy as long as your equity in the property is fully exempt. A bankruptcy attorney could evaluate your property and help you decide what would be protected if you filed bankruptcy. Even if your property is not fully exempt, you will still be able to keep it if you pay the non-exempt value to the creditor through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, you do need to beware that some of your creditors may have a secured interest in an item. This means that you obtained the loan or mortgage using the property (for example you home or car) as collateral. Filing bankruptcy does not get rid of these secured interests. If you donŐt make your payments, the creditors may be able to take your property and sell it to recoup their loan amount. Chapter 13 often allows you to take the amount of the payment you are behind and spread out the repayment over 36 to 60 months. There may also be other options to help you keep your property and pay less than you currently owe. Don't delay! Consult with an attorney prior to your car being repossessed or your home being foreclosed on.


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Any information that you obtain at this site is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. Before taking any action based on this information, you should first consult an attorney in your area about your specific situation. No Attorney-Client relationship is formed unless it is first agreed upon in writing.

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