Closing the Door to the Perfect Home - Bankruptcy

November 16, 2015


What does a purchaser do when he or she is about to close on the perfect house, but the seller files for bankruptcy? The options for the purchaser are limited, largely because of 11 USC 365. 11 USC 365 provides that a debtor-in-possession or a trustee may assume or reject any executory contract. “Rejection denies the right of the contracting creditor to require the bankrupt estate to specifically perform the . . . executory portions of the contract. Rejection also limits the creditor’s claim to damages for breach of contract.” Leasing Serv Corp v First Tenn Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 826 F2d 434, 436 (6th Cir., 1987). In other words, a purchaser may have a claim for damages – costs of finding another perfect house. However, a purchaser cannot request specific performance of the contract.

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Special Protection for a Marital Home in Michigan

November 12, 2015

Protecting your home in a bankruptcy can be a big concern. If there is too much equity to qualify the house as exempt, the trustee can sell the house and use the un-exempt proceeds to pay creditors. Michigan is one of the states that allows for a special type of joint tenancy between a husband and a wife called a tenancy by the entirety. In a bankruptcy context, this may allow a couple to protect their home by giving them a much larger exemption amount, avoiding this equity problem.

marital home

A recent court case even allowed the entireties exemption for a debtor whose husband had died after the filing of the case, eliminating the tenancy by the entirety.

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Michigan Driver Responsibility

November 9, 2015

The State of Michigan has claimed that the purpose of the Driver Responsibility Law is to encourage traffic safety by deterring dangerous traffic behavior.  However, Driver’s Responsibility Fees can often result in thousands of dollars of obligations to the State. The Department of Treasury can take collection action if payments aren’t set up and made timely including income tax offsets, wage levies, bank account levies or levies on any other assets.  This is when a bankruptcy may be helpful.

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Best Law Firms 2016

November 4, 2015

We are pleased to announce

Keller & Almassian, PLC

has received ranking in the

2016 Edition of U.S. News - Best Lawyers

“Best Law Firms.”


Land Contracts in Bankruptcy

November 03, 2015

Purchasing property on a land sale contract is fairly straightforward. The buyer (vendee) provides the seller (vendor) with a down payment for the home and the seller acts as the bank, financing the balance of the purchase price. Thereafter, the buyer continually makes monthly payments until the land contract is satisfied.

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Business Bankruptcy

October 29, 2015

Small business debtors are faced with a challenge when attempting to confirm a business bankruptcy plan under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Satisfying the “new value” exception to the “absolute priority rule” by providing value money or money’s worth to the Debtor can be a difficult test. 11 USC 1129 addresses confirmation of a chapter 11 plan. 11 USC 1129(a) states, in relevant part:      

(a) The court shall confirm a plan only if all of the following requirements are met:

* * *

(8) With respect to each class of claims or interests —

(A) such class has accepted the plan; or

(B) such class is not impaired under the plan.

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Court Holds Quadruple-Damage Unemployment Penalty is Dischargeable

October 19, 2015

On October 2, 2015 the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan held that you can discharge the quadruple –damage penalty incurred by overpayment of unemployment benefits through a Chapter 13 discharge.

The Court has decided whether Debtors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are able to discharge penalties related to the State of Michigan unemployment reporting errors.  The issue was related to the quadruple damage penalty that is statutorily assessed by the State of Michigan Unemployment Agency in certain circumstances, usually for overpayment, incorrect reporting of income, missing deadlines or similar reasons.

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Fraudulent Transfer

September 25, 2015

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as a liquidation, where the non-exempt assets of the individual are sold and the proceeds used to pay off debts.  Often people will remove their name from a deed or title in anticipation of bankruptcy, or transfer their real or personal property to a friend or family member to try to prevent creditors from seizing the property. This can be a big problem in a bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy & Foreclosure

September 9, 2015


Bankruptcy may be used to help people faced with a pending foreclosure.  Chapter 13 is a type of personal bankruptcy that can often be used to stop the foreclosure process and provide the property owners time in order to pay back the amounts they are behind.

The Foreclosure Process

A foreclosure typically occurs after a homeowner has fallen behind on mortgage payments for a number of months.  Foreclosure basically means that the home or real estate is going to be sold at a public auction.  The homeowner will receive notification of the approaching sale as part of the process.  Once you receive notice of the pending foreclosure sale, you should review your chapter 13 bankruptcy options as a possible means of avoiding foreclosure and curing the arrears you owe to the lender over a period of time.  It is important to act quickly if you do receive a notice of a pending foreclosure sale to ensure that you are fully aware of your options. 

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