Legal Tips

Bankruptcy Tips

Bankruptcy Tips

The following information is general and does not necessarily apply to your individual situation. Only an individualized consult with Jill Creech Bauer can determine what your personal options are.

DO NOT LIQUIDATE YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS! Being in debt and unable to maintain bills and payments is extremely stressful. Being harassed by creditors can cause people to make decisions to deplete assets that are unnecessary. Jill Creech Bauer has had many clients who have made the decision to liquidate a retirement account, thinking that maybe it would be enough to eliminate debt, only to have those same clients end up needing to file bankruptcy after their 401(k) account is gone. Liquidating a 401(k) can have devastating tax consequences that, more often than not, cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy, so people end up losing this asset to creditors, ultimately filing bankruptcy, and then having to pay off the IRS. You can save all of your retirement assets in bankruptcy, so it is wise to explore your bankruptcy options before you cash in your 401!

EMERGENCY BANKRUPTCYS CAN BE FILED WITHIN A MATTER OF DAYS TO STOP A GARNISHMENT, REPOSSESSION, AND SHERIFF’S SALE OR UTILITY SHUT OFF! If you are facing an urgent matter, an emergency bankruptcy can be filed to stop the harmful action from occurring and give you time to figure out your options. However, you must complete an on-line credit counseling program and obtain a certificate before the emergency petition can be filed. If you need to file an emergency petition, please go to or another approved agency and get your certificate today.

YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A REFUND OF A GARNISHMENT OR THE RETURN OF A REPOSSESSED VEHICLE! YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STOP A GARNISHMENT OF YOUR STATE INCOME TAX FROM HAPPENING! If your vehicle has been repossessed, you must act quickly. Call immediately to start an emergency bankruptcy! If you have been garnished more than $600 in the last 90 days, you may be entitled to have all of this money returned to you. If you have received notice that your state income tax is being garnished, you may be able to stop the fund from being released to a creditor by filing bankruptcy quickly.

YOU MAY QUALIFY TO HAVE YOUR DEBT RESTRUCTURED OR REDUCED EVEN IF YOU MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY TO QUALIFY FOR A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY (WHICH IS A COMPLETE DISCHARGE OF MOST TYPES OF DEBT)! Chapter 13 bankruptcies do not necessarily offer a quick debt-free life, but there are amazing benefits that people can get from filing a Chapter 13, such as reducing the principle owed on a vehicle or removing a second mortgage.

(CPS) Child Protective Services

(CPS) Child Protective Services

Tips for dealing with Child Protective Services:


When CPS calls you or visits your home or takes your child, it may seem like you have
no rights. THAT IS NOT TRUE! Michigan law and the United States Constitution give families many rights when the state interferes with your family or takes your child, but you have to know your rights and voice them to government officials.

• to let a CPS worker or police officer in your home
• to be interviewed or to let your child be interviewed
• to leave your home
• to take your children to a CPS office or police station
• to send your children to live with someone else
• to give up your privacy rights to treatment records


• identification and name of the CPS investigator
• to know the specific complaints against you before answering questions
• to be present for a medical examination of your child
• to be notified of any CPS interview of your child
• a court hearing with you present before a judge decides to take your children from you
• a written court order before CPS takes your children
• a jury trial on the CPS accusations
• a court appointed attorney for all court hearings
• the right to an appropriate relative caregiver for your children
• frequent visits with your child, at least weekly
• continued participation in your child’s life

Criminal Matters

Criminal Matters

• Many people think that talking to the police about their case may resolve the matter and make it go away. Often the police will tell them that this is true. IT IS NOT TRUE! The police are allowed to lie to people to get information. Generally speaking, when the police want to talk to you about a situation, their goal is not to help you out—it is to build their case against you. Never make a statement, even if you are confident of your innocence. Always assert your right to have an attorney present and continue to assert it, whether the police try to intimidate you, make you feel foolish for asking for an attorney or promise you that you can go free after you talk to them. You need an attorney to protect your rights and, unless you demand one, you could do something to weaken your defense without even knowing it.

• A traffic stop does not provide a basis for the police to search your vehicle. If they ask to search your vehicle, politely and firmly tell them “No.” A lot of people end up facing criminal charges because they waived their right to the privacy of their vehicle and thought that being cooperative would make things go more smoothly than standing up for their rights.