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Bankruptcy Cases in the News

Bankruptcy Cases in the News

             The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan) issued a very important decision in Richardson v. Schafer, 689 F.3d 601 (6th Cir., 2012). The case is noteworthy because it is of assistance to debtors in their bankruptcy case by allowing them to retain more property.

In this case, the debtor elected to exempt property under the Michigan State Bankruptcy Exemptions instead of the Federal Exemptions. The selection was probably because the debtor had a great deal of home equity protectable as tennants by the entireties (marital home) laws and little joint debt. The trustee, to unlock value for unsecured creditors argued that the Michigan Bankruptcy Exemptions were unconstitutional and that the debtor was only allowed the lesser exemptions provided by the general exemptions statute in Michigan.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. It held that Michigan debtors were allowed to use either set, i.e., the general exemptions under MCL 600.6023 or the Bankruptcy Exemptions under MCL 600.5451. Generally speaking the latter is more generous to debtors. This allows the debtor to retain more property for his/her fresh start. The bottom line was that the Michigan Legislature did not violate the Constitution by intruding in a Federal law.

Proper exemption planning is critical to a successful outcome in a bankruptcy case. If you or a loved one would like information concerning protection from creditors and obtaining a fresh start, just call Guy Vining. Guy Vining is pleased to discuss your situation confidentially, and without initial charge.

Guy Vining, a bankruptcy attorney, in metro-Detroit, maintains his office in Taylor, Michigan where he serves the downriver communities of Monroe, South Rockwood, Gibraltar, Brownstown Township, Grosse Ile, Woodhaven, Trenton, Southgate, Riverview, Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland, Wayne, and Ecorse. If you or a family member of friend would like a no-obligation no cost consultation/financial analysis, just call or E-mail Guy Vining of Vining Law Group, P.L.C to schedule a meeting.]

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