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There are more than 150 Detroit bankruptcy lawyers (154 are listed in the local Yellow Pages) in the greater Detroit metropolitan area, and judging from the dearth of new jobs, a massive population exodus, and continuation of a bad economy in Detroit, these 154 Detroit bankruptcy lawyers will continue to see their business boom while the rest of the city staggers under crushing statistics.

Although the typical Detroit bankruptcy lawyer is too busy these days to provide exact statistics just for Detroit bankruptcy filings alone, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Eastern District of Michigan, where Detroit residents filing for bankruptcy must register, have consistently been on the top 10 list in the nation for per-capita bankruptcy filings since 2006. In 2010 alone, there were between 3000 and 3750 bankruptcy filings per month in eastern Michigan, making 61% of all bankruptcy cases in Michigan. That's an average of nearly 114 new bankruptcy cases every day!

A Detroit bankruptcy lawyer must advise clients as to which form of bankruptcy they are eligible. Under Chapter 13, those who file will work out a plan whereby they can have some of their debt load reduced, and then pay off the remaining debts within three to five years. Chapter 13 filings remain on a client's credit record for seven years. Under Chapter 7, all debts are discharged. In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, a client must pass a federal means test to determine eligibility. In this case, clients may lose their house or other property, and the bankruptcy stays on their record for 10 years. In 2010, about 84% of all Michigan bankruptcies were classed as Chapter 7 bankruptcies, leaving only 14% as Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Breaking it down closer to Detroit, this would mean an average of 34,010 Chapter 7 bankruptcies in 2010 alone. That's like 94 families losing their homes every day.

With such an enormous workload, it is no wonder that the bankruptcy process has been partially automated by the United States Bankruptcy Court. People can take the federal means tests online to determine which type of bankruptcy to file for, print forms and get instructions on how to proceed. Even with this automation in place, however, it is critical for clients to get on the waiting list for a good and experienced Detroit bankruptcy lawyer to make the best of a bad situation.

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