14 Misconceptions about Bankruptcy, Part 3

All my debts will be discharged in bankruptcy. 

False.  There are some debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  These debts are considered unsecured priorty debts.  They are:

  • student loans,
  • taxes, custom duties, and penalties owed to a federal, state or local government agency,
  • domestic support obligations such as child support and spousal support owed to a spouse, former spouse, debtor’s child, or the legal guardian of debtor’s child, or governmental unit to whom the support has been assigned,
  • extensions of credit in an involuntary case,
  • wages, salaries and commissions, including vacation, severance and sick leave pay owed to employees and commissions owed to qualifying independent sales representatives,
  • contributions to employee benefit plans, 
  • claims of certain farmers and fishermen,
  • deposits for the purchase, lease and rental of property or services for personal, family, or household use, and,
  • claims for death or personal injury resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle or vessel while the debtor was intoxicated from the use of alcohol, a drug or another substance.

14 Misconceptions about Bankruptcy, Part 2

Misconception # 2 – I can keep my car and house and I don’t have to repay the car loan or mortgage after my debts are discharged through bankruptcy.

False.  A house with a mortgage on it or a car with an outstanding loan are considered secured property or debt.  The mortgage company or bank has a secured interest in the house meaning that if a person does not pay the applicable mortgage payments, the mortgage company can foreclose and obtain possession of the house.  The same thing occurs for a car with an outstanding note.  If a person does not make the monthly payments on the car note, the holder of the note (bank, credit union) can repossess the car.  In Michigan, the bank, mortgage company, and credit union after they obtain possession of the property have six years whereby they can sue the debtor for the outstanding debt even though the company obtained the property.  Bankruptcy discharges the debtor’s liability behind the mortgage or note; however, in order for the debtor to remain in possession of the house or car, the debtor must make the monthly payments as scheduled.

14 Misconceptions about Bankruptcy, Part 1

Misconception #1  –  I can file for Bankrupcty as many times as I want.

False.   There are restrictions on the number of times a person can file for bankruptcy protection under the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. Sec. 101 – 1532).   If a person filed for Chapter 7 protection, that person cannot file for Chapter 7 protection again within 8 years of the initial filing date.  If a person filed for Chapter 13 protection, that person cannot file for Chapter 13 protection again within 3 years of the initial filing date and he/she cannot file for Chapter 7 protection within 4 years of the filing date.

Tried & True Ways to Avoid Probate, Part 3

Financial Power of Attorney

If due to illness, accident or old age you become disabled and cannot manage your own finances, the Probate Court in the county in which you live has the power to appoint someone to control your finances.  This someone may be your relative, an agency, or public administrator.

Solution:   Sign a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, also known as a FInancial Power of Attorney, and decide for yourself who you want to manage and control your finances should the time arise.  Keep the Probate Court out of your business.

True & True Ways to Avoid Probate, Part 2

Medical Power of Attorney

If due to illness, accident, or old age, you become disabled and cannot make medical decisions for yourself, the Probate Court in the county in which you live has the power to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you as well as decisions about where you will live.  This someone may be a relative or it may be an agency or public administrator. 

Solution:  Sign a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, also known as a Medical Power of Attorney or Patient Advocate Designation.  Decide for yourself who you want, should the time arise, to make decisions for you.  Keep the Court out of your life.

Do you have an Estate Plan?

My question to everyone age 18 on up is “Do you have an estate plan?”

It is essential that you have certain legal documents in place. Here are a few important questions to ask yourselves, your parents, and your adult children.

1. Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and one for Finance?
2. Do you have either a will or a trust?
3. Do you know what type of end-of-life care do you want? Do you have these wishes written down?
4. Are all of these documents current?
5. Do you know where you keep these documents?
6. Do you have an attorney or financial advisor?

If you have answered “No” to any of these questions or ask “What is an estate plan?”, please contact me.  I will provide you with answers as well as information on how to protect yourself and your assets..

Welcome to Peace of Mind Through Law

Welcome to my website and blog “Peace of Mind Through Law“.

Through my website and blog, I hope to provide you with helpful information about Consumer Bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13), Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney), Probate Issues, Child Custody / Child Support, Divorce, Parenting Time, Grandparenting Time, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning / Eligibility, and Property issues. I may occasionally discuss other legal topics that I feel are either relevant to current events or are helpful to you.

As sole owner of Jane F. Rusin Law, PLLC, I am committed to providing my clients, throughout the Metro Detroit area, “peace of mind through law.”  I thoroughly advocate for my clients through unwavering commitment, integrity, and strict adherence to the highest ethical standards.  I provide sound legal advice specific to each client’s individual needs.