I'm filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. All my income is from social security, but I don't see social secutiry listed in the Michigan bankruptcy exemptions. Will I lose that money in the bank? What about future payments? I have to use Michigan to keep my house.
You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney for help with your potential case. Property exemptions under Michigan law need to be carefully reviewed, as well as obtaining a reliable estimate for the true value of your home today. Otherwise, even if you think your home might be safe in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on paper, you run the risk that the trustee (and his/her real estate agent) may disagree, and you could lose your home.
In the past, it was believed that cash in a bank account was not exempt under Michigan law. However, there was a recent appellate opinion out of the Eastern District of Michigan that ruled to the contrary.
You would be best off hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your area to assist you with this. Filing bankruptcy is not a do-it-yourself job, at least if you want it to go smoothly and predictably and obtain a successful result.
Disclaimer: As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney in your area about your specific situation before you choose to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one. I am a Michigan attorney and I do not give advice about state law other than Michigan law. If you live outside of Michigan the information presented here is based on federal law and general legal principles, and should not be construed as advice specific to your state's law.
You really need to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney. It isn't an exemption, it is part of the means test.
I agree that you should retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist you. Social Security benefits are not exempt under state law but they are exempt from the claims of creditors and bankruptcy trustees pursuant to 42 USC 407. Do not commingle your SS benefits into an account with any other money from any other source because that could cause them to lose their status as exempt. In my district, SS benefits do not have to included on the means test nor do they have to be included on the Ch7 schedule I. Your district may have different requirements.
DISCLAIMER: This message is intended as a general discussion of legal issues...
I agree with my colleagues above. An attorney can help you avoid any pitfalls. I believe Michigan allows you to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the state exemptions. Social Security benefits are exempt under the federal statute. Of course, I am not a Michigan attorney so this post may be worth what you paid for it. So call an attorney in your area and set up a consultation. Most lawyers give free consultations and have payment terms for fees.
Please note this is to be considered general advice and not legal advice about any particular situation. The answering of any question does not create an attorney client relationship and does not make the answer specific legal advice. I am an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the state of Georgia. Â
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