For over 30 years, Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer Walter A. Metzen has represented thousands of consumers needing a fresh financial start. All bankruptcy attorneys at our office pride ourselves in giving personal attention to our clients. Our bankruptcy law firm primarily represents individuals and small businesses, not large corporations. We believe that bankruptcy is an honest solution to debt problems and offer free initial consultations to determine if we can help you.
Walter received his law degree in 1991 from the University of Detroit and his undergraduate B.S. degree in 1987 from Michigan State University. He is licensed to practice in the State of Michigan and before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, as well as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western District of Michigan. Attorney Metzen is a member of the Michigan Bar, the American Bar Association, the Consumer Bankruptcy Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Inc., the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Debtor’s Bar Association of Detroit Michigan. Mr. Metzen has been a Board Certified Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy since 2005 and was recently recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer in Consumer Bankruptcy.
Estimated Consumer Bankruptcy Filings to Date:
Chapter 7 15,000+
- Juris Doctor, University of Detroit School of Law, 1991
- 3.7 GPA, Class Rank: 1st in Class
- Dean’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence for all terms
- Michigan Jurisprudence Award (Book awards-Torts, Civil Procedure, Insurance Law)
- Bachelor of Science, Criminalistics and Forensic Science, Michigan State University, June 1987
- Michigan Higher Education Award for Academic Excellence
- High School Diploma, Milford High School, Milford MI., June 1981
- Board Certified Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy, 2005 American Board of Certification
- American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure
- American Jurisprudence Award for Torts
- Dean’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence
- State of Michigan Competitive Scholarship
- Honor Roll all terms of attendance in Law School
- 2012 to 2020 Michigan Super Lawyer in Consumer Bankruptcy
- Avvo Client Choice Award 2015-2020
This case revolved around the definition of property of the bankruptcy estate and my arguments relied primarily on United States Supreme Court Bankruptcy case law. The District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found in favor of my client.
IN RE: GORDON C. VAUGHN, Debtor,
TIDEWATER FINANCE COMPANY, Appellant. Case No. 03-CV-70906-DT. United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division. January 6, 2006.
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Professional Memberships and Associations
- State of Michigan Bar Association
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Federal Bar
- Consumer Bankruptcy Association
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Contributing Speaker, Consumer Bankruptcy Association & The Institute of Continuing Legal Educations Consumer Bankruptcy Institute’s 2nd Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Institute: Updates, Strategies and Judicial Insights, April 1, 2011, The Inn at St. John’s Plymouth, Michigan: Ethics in Bankruptcy Practice: Avoiding Conflicts, Problems and Malpractice
“Walter was wonderful to work with. He was knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive. Bankruptcy is a stressful and upsetting process and I felt at ease knowing that Walter had my back. I met with two other lawyers before him and he is hands down the best. I would recommend him in a heartbeat.” – Emily L
“I would highly recommend Walter Metzen and his team for your bankruptcy needs. They were a pleasure to work with and they helped me understand everything that was happening during the process. Walter went over and beyond to make sure I was happy with my services.” – Camille A
“Even years later when creditor tried to report my debt to IRS as a forgiven loan, Water was there for me to send me needed paperwork and tax form to take care of it. Thanks Walter! Everything was resolved!” – Jacqueline M
Continuing Legal Education
- 34th Annual FBA Western District of Michigan Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Seminar July 29th through July 31st, 2022, at Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island Michigan. 8.0 Hrs. Seminar Topics Included: BREAKFAST WITH THE JUDGES with discussions on difficult ethical issues encountered by bankruptcy attorneys, The Non-Filing Spouse Dilemma in Consumer Cases, Unusual, Alternative, and Just Weird Assets: The Debtor Owns Them, So What Do We Do With Them?, PLENARY SESSION: The Economy and Bankruptcy Filings: Where We’ve Been and What Comes Next?, Current Mortgage Issues in Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, I Want to Sell Your Home!!, Creative Ch. 13 Plan Drafting; How Far Can You Go, and What Can You Do?, Caselaw Update.
The New Normal in Bankruptcy Court: A Discussion with Chief Judge Daniel Opperman Thursday, September 09, 2021. 1.25 Hrs. Zoom Teleconference.
2021 Steven W. Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Conference Presented by the Consumer Bankruptcy Association. Online, November 11, 2021, 12.67 Hrs. Downloaded and listened to all Breakout Sessions: Topics included: Case Law Update, Disclosures: Art or Science? Sub V. Nuts and Bolts, “I’m Not Behind On My Mortgage, I’m In Forbearance”: Navigating Post-Pandemic Mortgage Forbearance Agreements and Related Mortgage Default, Pushing it to the limit: How far should debtors be expected to stretch? Legislative Update, All Things Claims, Subchapter V. Developing Case Law and Trends, Post-Covid Bankruptcy Practice, Cybersecurity for the Legal and Financial Services Professionals.
2020 Steven Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Forum presented by the Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Online, November 11, 2020 12.67 Hrs. Downloaded and listened to all Breakout Sessions: Topics included: Consumer Case Law Update, Identifying and Addressing Issues Arising at the End of Chapter 13 Cases, Racial Disparities in the Bankruptcy System, Stress and Lawyers, Advance Issues in Chapter 13 Practice, Intersection Between Bankruptcy and Divorce, Issues with Means Testing and Schedules I and J, Duties and Obligations Upon Conversion, Chapter 13: The Problem, or the Solutions, Best Practices for Virtual Meetings, COVID-19 and Bankruptcy.
Brown Bag Lunch and Learn: The requirements for the Means Test and Schedules I and J and issues surrounding the Forms, the Bankruptcy Code and Rules Moderated by Cheif Judge Phillip Shefferly, August 1, 2019, 2 Hrs., 211 West Fort Street, Detroit MI 48226.
ABI American Bankruptcy Institute 2019 Detroit 15th Annual Hon. Steven W. Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Conference, Somerset Inn, Troy, Michigan, November 11, 2019 7.00 Hrs. Seminar topics included: ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, Dealing with Co-Owners of Bankruptcy Estate Property, Legislative Update: Student Loans, Small Business Bankruptcy Bill and More, What Would You Do? Ethics in Bankruptcy Practice: Avoiding Problems — and Malpractice and Annual Bankruptcy Case Law Update.
30th Annual FBA Western District of Michigan Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Seminar July 26th through July 28th, 2018, at Park Place Hotel, Traverse City , Michigan. 8.0 Hrs. Seminar Topics Included: Chapter 13 Potpourri, Post-Petition Income in Chapter 13: Mine! Mine! Mine!, Property of the Estate, Breakfast with the Judges, Ethics, Keynote Address, The End of the Show: Wrapping Up a Chapter 13 Case ,Case Law Update re: Bankruptcy Practice, Eastern District of Michigan and Western District Bankruptcy Judges Panel.
Evidentiary Issues in Bankruptcy Proceedings, October 25th, 2018, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Presentation , Questions /Wrap Up1.5 hrs., The Iroquois Club, 43248 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills MI Featured Speakers William Blasses, Kerr Russell & Weber PLC, Joseph Grekin, Schafer & Weiner, PLLC, Erika Hart, The Taunt Law Firm, Shanna Kaminski, Schafer & Weiner, PLLC.
ABI American Bankruptcy Institute 2018 Detroit 14th Annual Hon. Steven W. Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Conference, Somerset Inn, Troy, Michigan, November 12, 2018 7.00 Hrs. Seminar topics included: Race and Bankruptcy, Understanding Financial Information for Small Businesses, Credit Reporting and Bankruptcy, Nonbankruptcy Alternatives for Dealing with Consumer Debt, Annual Bankruptcy Case Law Update.
Collision Course: Protecting Against Bankruptcy’s Impact in Other Practice Areas. Elks Lodge, Ferndale MI. 2 Hrs. Moderated by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Phil Shefferly. Topics included: effective ways to ensure application of collateral estoppel to state court judgments in bankruptcy proceedings; a chapter 7 trustee’s role in assessing and pursuing state law causes of action outside of bankruptcy; the ramifications of the Debtor’s non-disclosure of lawsuits and claims; and the impacts on state court proceedings that are property of the estate which are improperly pursued by the Debtor without the chapter 7 trustee’s participation.
Motion Practice-Dos and Don’ts. Iroquois Club, 43248 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills MI 48302. Panel of Speakers: Judge Marci B. McIvor, Judge Daniel S. Opperman, Judge Mark Randon. February 23, 2017. 1.5 Hrs.
ABI American Bankruptcy Institute 2017 Central States 24th Annual Bankruptcy Workshop, Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, MI-June 8th through 12th 2017-9.0 CLE Credit Hrs. Seminar topics attended. Supreme Court Round-Up, Consumer: Chapter 13 Potpourri with Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff, Trusts and Other Interests with Hon. Mary Ann Whipple. ABI Panel Speaker on topic Consumer: Student Loans with Hon. Donald R. Cassling, Moderator, Saskia N. Bryan, Latimer LeVay and Fyock, LLC; Chicago and Brittany S. Ogden, Quarles & Brady LLP; Milwaukee, Unshackled: Musings of Retired Bankruptcy Judges, Ethics, Fraudulent Transfers, Pre-Bankruptcy Planning Workshop.
29th Annual FBA Western District of Michigan Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Seminar July 27th through July 29th, 2017, at Boyne Highlands Resort , Michigan. 8.0 Hrs. Seminar Topics Included: Divorce & Bankruptcy, Exemptions, Nondischargeability, Property of the Estate, Breakfast with the Judges, Ethics Keynote Address, Small Chapter 11s ,Case Law Update re: Bankruptcy Practice, Eastern District of Michigan and Western District Bankruptcy Judges Panel.
ABI American Bankruptcy Institute 2017 Detroit 13th Annual Hon. Steven W. Rhodes Consumer Bankruptcy Conference, Somerset Inn, Troy, Michigan, November 10, 2017 7.00 Hrs. Seminar topics included: Bankruptcy Case Law Update, Evidence and Trial Skills in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases, Representing Chapter 7 Debtors After the Petition is Filed and the Section 341 Meeting is Held, Pre-Bankruptcy Planning Issues and Strategies for Debtors’ Attorneys Regarding Protection of Assets, Advising Potential Consumer Debtors About Their Tax Debts, Proper Valuation of Assets in Consumer Bankruptcy, Representing Secured Creditors in Chapters 7 and 13, Annual Case Law Update.
- 28th Annual FBA Western District of Michigan Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Seminar July 29th through July 31st, 2016, at Mission Point Resort , Mackinac Island Michigan. 8.0 Hrs. Seminar Topics Included: Secrets of the Courts, Unemployment Compensation Insurance Issues, Model Chapter 13 Plan and Other Considerations, Judge’s Round Table: Breakfast with Judges, Recent Decisions Impacting Bankruptcy Practice in the Western District of Michigan and Western District Bankruptcy Judges Panel: Another Year!
- ABI Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, Traverse City, MI-June 2000-8.75 Hrs.
- National Business Institute Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Issues in Michigan, Southfield, MI.-October, 2000-7 Hrs.
- Bankruptcy Practice 1999 Seminar, PESI Inc., Novi MI, April 1999-7 Hrs.
- ABI 6th Annual Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, Traverse City, MI- June 1999-12 Hrs.
- Chapter 13 Seminar, Consumer Bankruptcy Association and Office of the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee-Detroit, Troy MI- September 1999-7 Hrs.
- Bankruptcy Practice 1998 Seminar, PESI Inc., Novi MI, May 1998-7 Hrs.
- ABI 5th Annual Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, Traverse City, MI- June 1998-12 Hrs.
- New Local Bankruptcy Rules Seminar, Oakland County Bar Association, Birmingham MI, September, 1998-3.5 Hrs.
- ABI Fourth Annual Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, Traverse City, MI., June 1997-12 Hrs.