- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Representation of Debtors and Creditors.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Representation of Debtors and Creditors.
- Sub-Chapter V Chapter 11.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Representation of Debtors and Creditors.
- Out of Court Workouts.
- Business Wind-downs/Asset Liquidations.
- Representation of Creditors, including auto finance companies and Landlords in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases.
- Defense of preference actions.
- Pursuing and defending adversary proceedings.
Steven J. Cohen has 30 years of experience practicing law, the last 26 of which he has spent primarily in the areas of Bankruptcy and Insolvency law representing individuals and businesses in chapters 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy cases, out of court workouts, business wind-downs and asset liquidations.
Steve presented at the ABI’s 11th Annual Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference on the topic “Student Loans A to Z”. Steve has also presented to the MICPA on the topic of cancellation of debt through bankruptcy.
Steve has received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell since 2001. In addition, Steve has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer in Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law since 2010.
When not practicing law, Steve serves as the sponsorship chairperson for the South Oakland County American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
- “You made the process understandable and less stressful because of the knowledge you imparted…the devastation of these times can only really be understood by people like us experiencing the pain and people like you who provide this valuable service.” – N.N., Client Testimonial
- “My sincere thanks for the work you did on my case. I realize it is your job but you did it with patience and compassion… And that has meant a lot to me. “ – J.L
- “We truly appreciate your kindness and patience.” – K.C.
Does My Business Have to File for Bankruptcy?
No. If the business is duly organized as a separate legal entity, the business entity is not required to file a bankruptcy if one of its principals files for individual bankruptcy protection. In the case of a corporation, a shareholder’s bankruptcy generally does not affect the business, but the shareholder’s stock in the business is an asset of his or her individual bankruptcy estate. Similarly, the filing of a corporate bankruptcy does not automatically require the shareholder(s) to then file a personal bankruptcy. However, if the shareholder(s) is/are personally liable for the debts of the business, they then may need to review their options relating to their personal exposure for the business debts.
Can I Keep My House and/or My Car?
Yes. If the equity in your house or car is exempt, you are current on your payments and you are financially able to continue to make the payments on the house and/or car, then you should be able to retain your house and/or car. You will be required to discuss the process called “Reaffirmation of Debt” with your attorney. Please note that it is sometimes advisable to surrender your house or your car if the amount of the debt owed on the house or the car exceeds the value of the house or the car, or if the continued payment of these obligations will cause an undue financial hardship on you and/or your dependents.
Can I Save My House?
Yes. If the equity in your house is exempt, and if you can continue to make payments on the house, then you will be able to keep your house. However, it is sometimes advisable to give up your house if the debt on the house is greater than the value of the house, or if the cost of paying a mortgage is more than the cost of renting a home.
Will I Lose My Business?
Not necessarily. If the business can successfully confirm a chapter 11 plan of reorganization, or if an out of court workout can be negotiated successfully, then the business owner need not lose his/her business. However, if an acceptable reorganization plan, whether through the bankruptcy court, or out of court, cannot be reached, then the business may be forced to cease operations and the assets of the business will likely be liquidated.
Will I be Able to Obtain a Loan/Credit or Buy a Car?
It is possible. Though it will likely be more expensive (higher interest rates or points) and the credit limits may be low, credit is often available to those who recently filed for bankruptcy. The amount and type of the credit sought, and various other factors, will dictate how soon a Debtor may be able to obtain credit after filing a bankruptcy case. In addition, the Debtor must be mindful of the cost of the credit in terms of the interest rate and the cost of the loan (i. e. points, fees, etc.).
Will Bankruptcy Affect My Prospects for Future Employment?
Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against or using a person’s bankruptcy as a basis to terminate or deny employment to that person.
Does My Spouse Have to File for Bankruptcy?
No. If only one spouse is responsible for the debt, then the other spouse need not file. There is no legal requirement that a husband and wife must file together. On the other hand, only a husband and a wife can file a joint personal bankruptcy.
What Debts Will Not be Discharged?
Debts not listed in a Debtor’s bankruptcy schedules may not be discharged. Other debts that cannot be discharged include most taxes, student loans, domestic support obligations including alimony and child support payments, debts obtained through fraud, debts incurred through the deliberate injury to another person or person’s property, debts resulting from injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and debts for criminal restitution or reimbursement orders.
Our experience and expertise will make the difference. To learn more about how the Lipson Neilson bankruptcy attorneys can work for you, please email me at SCohen@lipsonneilson.com or call our office at 248-593-5000.