How to stop DTE from shutting off your services?

Using chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to prevent a utility or DTE from shutting-off your services. There are many ways that bankruptcy can save the day and can be an excellent tool to protects consumers at the same time. During bankruptcy, utility companies may not shut off essential services because of past due amounts, so long as they are listed as creditors in your bankruptcy case. Federal law prohibits utility companies from discontinuing service to you because you declare bankruptcy.

As soon as you file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy Court, the bankruptcy automatic stay goes into effect. With a few exceptions, the automatic stay prohibits all collections efforts by your creditors on delinquent accounts, such as phone calls, billing statements, lawsuits, or termination of utility services including DTE. So, once you have filed for bankruptcy protection, DTE company can no longer collect on your past due utility bill. Of course, you are responsible for paying new, post-bankruptcy utility charges as they come due.
In addition to the general automatic stay, the Bankruptcy Code has a special section that specifically relates to utility companies: 11 USC §366. That section provides that a utility company may not discontinue utility services or refuse utility service to you solely because you file bankruptcy or because you are behind on your utility bill when you file bankruptcy.

If the utility company or DTE is threatening to shut off your utilities, then a bankruptcy can also make them stop the cutoff process.

You will have your utilities restored after bankruptcy, and your bankruptcy will also discharge the debts owed to the utility company, so you don’t have to catch up with your payments.
If you’re struggling to pay your utilities and your utility company is threatening to cut you off, then filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help.
If you have questions about your DTE bill, call us at (248) 281-6299 or visit our website to discuss the best course of action for your circumstances. Our Detroit bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you.

Bankruptcy in the Time of Coronavirus

Deciding whether or not it’s the right time to file for bankruptcy during COVID-19 is a difficult decision in the best of times. The decision only becomes more difficult during these unprecedented times of pandemic and economic crisis. There are several things that need to be considered by anyone thinking of filing for bankruptcy while the Coronavirus remains a global issue. Some of those issues

The number of unemployed in Michigan has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people have lost their jobs and their incomes have dropped substantially and many businesses are shut down and have laid off workers who have filed for unemployment but is that having an effect on people filing for bankruptcy?

With the global economy thrashed by the ongoing pandemic, countless companies are now treading the waters of near-insolvency, we have seen that Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection, unable to withstand the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled global travel and with it, the heavily indebted 102-year-old car rental company’s business. Department stores have been on the decline for years, and now that the pandemic has emptied brick-and-mortar stores, they may die out entirely. JCPenney filed for bankruptcy, becoming the third major retailer following J.Crew and Neiman Marcus to restructure its debt as the coronavirus continues to pummel the retail industry.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act will provide many Americans with a one-time cash payment to help cover household expenses – i.e., rent, food, utility bills. How will these stimulus payments affect debtors going through the bankruptcy process? Can they be seized? Yes, the funds can be seized. The CARES Act itself has no protections for stimulus payments from creditors. If there is a garnishment order against a bank account, a creditor could seize those funds. The good news is that the bankruptcy system ordinarily works well, even in times of crisis. For cases under chapter 7 and 13, the CARES Act modifies the definition of “current monthly income” in 11 U.S.C. § 101(10A)(B)(ii) to expressly exclude payments made under federal law relating to the national emergency declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act with respect to COVID-19. Similarly, the Act provides that any payments made to individuals under federal law relating to the COVID-19 pandemic do not constitute “disposable income” required to be committed to a chapter 13 debtor’s plan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(2). The amended definition of “disposable income” will benefit both current chapter 13 debtors who did not have confirmed plans as of the date of enactment of the CARES Act, as well as future chapter 13 debtors.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Detroit, Michigan and the entire world has damaged the economy, leaving many families and business owners in Detroit metro areas worried about how they’ll pay for even the most basic expenses. In the midst of this crisis, you might be considering filing for personal bankruptcy whether chapter 7 or chapter 13, researching how bankruptcy would affect your business, or wondering how COVID-19 will affect an existing bankruptcy filing. No matter your situation, our Detroit bankruptcy lawyers in Southfield, Michigan are here to help give you the answers and assistance that you need.

With so many people in Detroit, Wayne County, Macomb County, Oakland County and many cities in Michigan having lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals will have no option other than to file for a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, no one should be in any way ashamed to speak to our Detroit bankruptcy lawyers to discuss the appropriate strategy for getting through this crisis. After all, we are all in this together. We are here to help you.

If you are seeking legal representation or if you are looking for a free bankruptcy consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 248-281-6299 to schedule a consultation. No office visit necessary. We offer zoom chat and consultation over the phone.

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What are the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions?

When you file for bankruptcy in Michigan, you must own either  real property, personal property or both. For example If you own a house mean you own a real property. If you own a car, cash, checking , saving account, tools, clothing and etc  mean you own personal property. The bankruptcy code allows to exempt certain property and keep them.


Federal bankruptcy exemptions are generally more generous, except for the homestead and vehicle exemptions. The federal homestead exemption is only $22,975 or $45,950 for a married couple filing jointly. Likewise, the federal vehicle exemption is only $3,675, with no provision to increase the exemption for the disabled. On the other hand, the exemption for personal injury claims is much greater under the federal exemptions —$22,975 under federal law. The most attractive feature of the federal exemptions is the more generous “wildcard” exemption, which can be used to protect any asset and apply up to $11,850 to any other property.

Under federal rule, you can exempt the following:

  • $23,675 of home equity and property
  • $3,775 for your car or truck
  • $12,625 total value (up to $600 per item) on household furnishings, appliances, animals, crops, clothes, books and musical instruments
  • $12,625 in loan value, accrued dividends, or interest in a life insurance policy.
  • $2,375 for tools of the trade including implements and books
  • $1,600 in jewelry value
  • $23,675 for personal injury claims, except for pain and suffering
  • Any compensation for wrongful death decisions or criminal restitution you were awarded
  • Any alimony or child support you receive
  • Welfare and Social Security income

Contact us today to determine which set of exemptions are applicable to you.

It is important for you to talk to our Detroit experienced bankruptcy attorney at to determine what property will be exempt. To keep more of your property, you might want to discuss filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In most cases, people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have more exempt property than they realize and lose very little. To learn more contact us  today to schedule your free consultation by calling us at (248) 281-6299. or contacting us online for your free consultation.

Can Bankruptcy Stop Creditor Harassment?

End Creditor Harassment With Bankruptcy

BankruptcyTrack are here to protect you from creditor harassment. As soon as you retain our Detroit, Michigan bankruptcy lawyers to represent you,  you can rest assured that no more creditors will be legally able to contact you.  After you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy  in Detroit, Michigan,  your creditors will receive 341 notice of bankruptcy filing.  After this notice is received, an automatic stay is put into effect. This means that your creditors are prohibited  from taking any action that is an attempt to collect debt during the time that the stay is in place. They cannot contact you directly and instead can contact our law firm if they have any questions. Debt collectors are prohibited by law to take any actions during the automatic stay include:

  • Calling your home or workplace
  • Sending threatening letters
  • Continuing to mail bills
  • Foreclosing on or repossessing a property
  • Wage garnishment

Collection Abuses

BankruptcyTrack can Protect and assist you in stopping Illegal creditor harassment and collection abuses activities! If you have debt or credit card problems, are being harassed by collection agencies, or are being held down by a bad credit rating, we may be able to help. Call us at 248-281-6299 for a free consultation!

Debt collectors may not harass or abuse you by:

  • Making repeated and continuous phone calls
  • Calling you at work after you asked them to stop.
  • Making annoying, harassing, and abusive phone calls
  • Telling family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers about your debt or that they are trying to collect a debt
  • Disclosing to anyone that you owe a debt.
  • Attempting to contact you once you’ve retained an attorney.
  • Not disclosing to you that they are a debt collector during every communication
  • Contacting anyone except you, your attorney, or a credit bureau (with very limited exceptions)
  • Threatening to have you arrested if you do not pay your debts
  • Threatening any action they do not intend to take, such as lawsuit or wage garnishment
  • Using profane or abusive language
  • Using threats of violence or harm of person, property, or reputation

Debt collectors may NOT contact you:

  • After they know you are presented by an attorney
  • At any unusual time (before 8am or after 9pm) or place

Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (248) 281-6299, where we can discuss your financial situation. We will be honest with you about the best options to protect your financial future. Whether you choose to file for bankruptcy or not, you still deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We are located at 24300 Southfield Road, Suite 210, Southfield, MI. 48075.

How Long Does The Chapter 7 Process Take In Michigan?

The entire process typically takes between 4-5 months, depending on your situation. Each Chapter 7 petition has different circumstances that can impact the approval process and the time it takes the trustee to get court approval of your case, whether it be a Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 filing and to make a report of no distribution and the court will enter an order of discharge. One of the benefits of working with us, is that you will have our legal expertise and ability to leverage our experience with the debt relief process, getting you on your way to financial freedom sooner rather than later.

Our experienced Michigan bankruptcy attorneys in Detroit, Southfield, Wayne County, Macomb County and Oakland County provide our clients, both large and small, with the highest quality debt relief representation typically only associated with larger bankruptcy firms, but with the personal service, attention and responsiveness of a smaller firm.

Our Detroit bankruptcy lawyers understand that clients deserve more attention and hands on time from their bankruptcy attorney. Many large bankruptcy firms are unable to dedicate their time due to high volume. At The Bankruptcy Track Firm in Detroit, our clients are given ample time and opportunity to address all questions and concerns they have with their bankruptcy practitioner as we offer Free one (1) hour consultations. We will not hurry you out the door! Our Detroit bankruptcy attorneys offer affordable, cheap and low cost flat fees for bankruptcy and we don’t ‘nickel and dime’ you.

Filing Bankruptcy in Michigan

Bankruptcy courts require that legal and filing fees be paid before your Michigan Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed in court. You cannot pay for your bankruptcy case with your own credit card. However, we do accept credit cards from other people if they want to pay for your bankruptcy case. Friends and family members sometimes can help, but they must give you the money for the fees – not simply loan you the money. All or some photos shown depict models and may not be actual attorneys or clients. We expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, suspend, or discontinue all or any part of this website or the content at any time without prior notice or liability.

An attorney responsible for the content of this Site is M. Zaher, Esq., licensed in the State of Michigan with offices at 24300 Southfield Road, Ste 210, Southfield, MI. 48075.  Our Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyers represent individual and small business debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, in all in all counties that are within the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan including Detroit, Ann Arbor, Allen Park, Albion, Lincoln Park, Brighton, Howell, Saline, Monroe, Blissfield, Romulus, Southgate, Wyandotte, Livonia, Dearborn, Westland, Lansing, Hamtramck, Livonia, Canton, Redford, Lincoln Park, Taylor, East Lansing, Okemos, Warren, Sterling Heights, Roseville, Eastpointe, Battle Creek, Oak Park, Hillsdale, Inkster, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Whitmore Lake, Plymouth, Farmington, Trenton, Flat Rock, Tecumseh, Clinton, Chelsea, Novi, Garden City, Westland, Northville, South Lyon, Milan, Brooklyn, Melvindale, Ecorse, Belleville, Canton, •Beverly Hills | Bloomfield Hills | Commerce Township | Farmington Hills | Highland Township | Keego Harbor | Oakland Township | Orchard Lake Village | Oxford Township | Pontiac | Royal Oak Township | Walled Lake | |Beverly Hills | Bingham Farms | Bloomfield Hills | Commerce Township| Farmington Hills | Franklin Village | Keego Harbor | Lake Orion | Novi | Oakland Township | Orchard Lake Village | Oxford Township | Pontiac | Royal Oak Township | Walled Lake | White Lake Township, Armada, Center Line, Clinton Township, Eastpointe, Fraser, Harrison Township, Macomb, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray, Richmond, Romeo, Roseville, Sterling Heights, Utica, Warren, Washington, Wayne County, Ingham County, Washtenaw County, Monroe County, Macomb County, Livingston County, Shiawassee County, Clinton County, Eaton County, Calhoun County, Branch County, Hillsdale

We are a debt relief agency helping people get out of debt, including, where appropriate, filing petitions for relief in Michigan  bankruptcy courts.

Find a Resolution for Your Debt Problems

Bankruptcy should be avoided whenever possible, but there are times when people who are overwhelmed with debt have no other choice but to file for bankruptcy relief. Bankruptcy laws are designed to ease the financial pressure on people who can’t pay their bills, like credit card debt, unpaid medical bills, personal loans or business debts.

Filing for bankruptcy can erase unsecured debts, prevent foreclosures, and stop debt collection activity. It’s a proactive tool to dig out of debt and rebuild your finances without taking the extreme measures a Chapter 7 filing can bring.

Is Bankruptcy the Right Choice for You?

If you are feeling cautious about filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. Many individuals incorrectly believe that bankruptcy automatically ruins their credit and will result in the loss of all of their belongings and valuable property. In fact, bankruptcy may allow individuals to keep their home, car, bank account, tools, furniture and more while also helping to stabilize and rebuild their credit.

The banking and lending industries may not want consumers to know this, and for a simple reason: filing for bankruptcy is one of the most effective methods of eliminating debt. When individuals fail to make timely payments, the debt collectors come calling. A debt-related lawsuit may follow soon after, and then wage garnishment, and even repossession.

The longer you wait to explore your options and pursue an effective course of action, the more financial trouble you may end up facing. It’s your hard-earned money—do not let collection agencies take it away. Take steps to protect your future. If you are struggling with financial burdens in Detroit or elsewhere in Michigan, our bankruptcy attorney is here to help.

Am I eligible for bankruptcy?

Almost certainly. There are different kinds of bankruptcy for different situations. You may be eligible for more than one kind, so consulting with our attorneys will be a good first step:

Chapter 7

This is the most common kind of bankruptcy used by people in Detroit areas. It’s usually called a “liquidation” bankruptcy.

Chapter 12

This is used by farmers.

Chapter 11

This is usually used by businesses to reorganize their finances, though individuals can file Chapter 11 in limited circumstances.

Chapter 13

This is another kind of bankruptcy for individuals. You pay back more of your debt with this type of bankruptcy, but you also keep more of your assets.