Every case presents a unique set of circumstances, and I consider it essential to my job to enable my clients to not only know how their case will proceed, but to understand how various factors may impact the results they might achieve through the court system

Lawyer in Flint
Bankruptcy Lawyer Flint

I've practiced law in Flint for more than 35 years and in the same location for the last 24 years. When you hire me, you'll deal directly with me; your case will never be handed off to an associate, or farmed out to another law firm. I believe that the practice of law is a hands-on endeavor, and in order to stay accessible to my clients, I typically answer my own phones, schedule my own appointments, and meet face-to-face with clients as often as necessary.

In the era of financial distress, I am well aware that few of my clients can afford to pay top dollar for legal services. I work closely with clients to work within their budgets, and make effective use of my time to keep the cost down. For those with difficult work schedules, I am available for client meetings on Saturdays.


Publication name Title Date
Bar Beat (Genesee County Bar Association publication) "The Impact of a Participant's Social Security Disability Award on the Alternate Payee" 2008
Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Confessing Error to Clients and the Courts" 2001
Michigan Bar Journal "The Error-in Judgment Rule: A Lawyer's Best Defense to Malpractice Claims" 1996
Callaghan & Co. "Let's Talk Money: A Lawyer's Guide to Setting and Collecting Fees" 1987


Award name Grantor Date Granted
Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell 2018
Fivestar Reviews Site John Streby lawyer
Contact us today at 810-767-2700
for a free initial consultation
Applies for personal injury cases




Financial upheaval can victimize even those who follow all of the unwritten rules of success, with an unexpected layoff, business reversal, or expensive illness. I have helped hundreds of financially distressed clients get the "fresh start" bankruptcy can provide. Bankruptcy requires near-fanatical attention to detail, particularly relating to listing assets and correctly declaring them as "exempt" so that they won't be seized by the Trustee.



Some divorce lawyers use an aggressive approach, calculated to embarrass the spouse. But this strategy is often driven by the goal of fee enhancement, and may inflict collateral damage on the parties' children. Divorce is not an athletic contest where one team wins and the other loses; it is a creative process that benefits from maturity and common sense. A game plan that is effective in one case may not work in another. Further, appeasing a difficult adversary often encourages more demands for concessions. A well-handled divorce can make both spouses "winners," whereas a bad choice of lawyer can exact a high price, both financially and on the children's emotional health.

consumer protection


People can be bilked in a variety of ways, and my experience gives me the tools to fight back.  Whether you were swindled out of caregiver pay, by a defective vehicle, or by a relative who borrowed money and won't pay it back, I know what can be done, and just as important, what sadly cannot be done.  Those who have already been victimized once are occasionally victimized yet again by disreputable individuals in various fields.

limited scope representation


Until recently, a lawyer accepting a case was in it for the duration---even if it was far more time-consuming than expected.  For that reason, lawyers were unwilling to take on such responsibilities without collecting a "retainer" that was beyond the means of most litigants.  Fortunately, recent changes in the Michigan Court Rules allow an attorney to contract for "limited scope representation,"  and only handle some, but not all, aspects of the case.  These might include:

  • Drafting initial lawsuit papers (the complaint);
  • Drafting initial lawsuit papers (the complaint);
  • Answering a complaint for a client who is being sued;
  • Defending a motion for dismissal;
  • Defending a motion for dismissal;
  • Representing the client in an arbitration, mediation, or other non-judicial proceeding;
  • *Appearing in court as needed.

Limited scope representation is no magic bullet, but may be the only way that a litigant of ordinary means can acquire the benefit of high-quality legal investigation, analysis and advice without paying more than he or she can possibly afford.

altenative dispute resolution


If you are fighting over a divorce, custody, parenting time, a contract dispute, a personal injury proceeding, or otherwise, your chances of actually going before a judge or jury are diminishing every day.  Courts put increasing pressure 2 on litigants, and even order them to attempt one of several forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a faster, economical, and confidential way of dispute resolution.

Whether we like it or not, the traditional trial, whether by the court or by a jury, is far from efficient.  Further, the litigants are resting their fate on the laurels of a judge whose ruling may reflect personal beliefs about what the result should be, rather than adherence to the law. Further, judicial rulings in state courts reflect a shallow impressionistic approach rather than a carefully structured legal analysis grounded on the facts and law. Some of this can be avoided by giving your case the thoughtful consideration it deserves.

ADR has its disadvantages:  The litigants must split the cost of paying the arbitrator, mediator, or facilitator, which typically runs at least $1,500.00 for even a half-day session.  In my experience, these proceedings tend to focus more on the practical costs of not settling, and less on the underlying merits of the case.  While I would not downplay the practical costs of taking a dispute to court, including further delays, legal fees, and the uncertainty of how a judge might rule, I would emphasize the merits of the case, based on the law as it exists.

Bankcruptcy FAQs

What are the different types of bankruptcy?

There are four different types of bankruptcy:
● Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are used by individuals who are struggling financially.
● Chapter 11 bankruptcy is used by businesses that are struggling financially, and in some rare cases by individuals.
● Chapter 12 is an option for farmers. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy to come to mind when someone says they are filing and it results in the discharge of all unsecured debts. Chapter 13, the second most common type filed by individuals provides a means by which to repay debt over an extended period of time.

What are the main differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

The main difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is how assets are dealt with.
● Chapter 7 results in the liquidation of any assets and the funds are used to repay creditors.
● Chapter 13 provides protection for assets and debtors are given the opportunity to repay their debts over the course of several years through a court-approved payment plan. In most cases, people without many assets will choose Chapter 7 and people who have a steady income and assets they wish to protect will choose Chapter 13.

Should I file for bankruptcy?

Determining whether bankruptcy is right for you is a very personal decision. It’s important to have a financial expert review your situation and discuss with you the pros and cons. Bankruptcy might be right for you if:
● You have fallen behind on your bills.
● Yare unable to afford monthly payments with no significant financial improvement on the horizon.
● You are considering borrowing from retirement savings to alleviate your debt. Everyone who begins the bankruptcy process must participate in an educational program that helps them assess their financial situation and determine if bankruptcy is truly their best option.

Is there a certain amount of debt to qualify for bankruptcy?

Legally, there is no minimum amount of debt to file for bankruptcy. However, it’s important to consider how much debt you have when determining whether bankruptcy is in your best interest. There are options for dealing with debt that are not as drastic as bankruptcy and for many people, these tools will be more effective for resolving financial issues. If you feel you are struggling financially and bankruptcy seems as if it could be a viable option, it’s important to speak to a financial expert. He or she can review your situation and help you determine how to proceed.

Do I have to be a certain age to file for bankruptcy?

There is no official age requirement for filing for bankruptcy. It’s a tool adults of all ages use to get back on their feet financially. There does tend to be certain periods in a person’s life when he or she faces a higher risk for financial difficulties. For instance:
● Young adults often struggling financially because they are just entering the job market and earning low wages, and likely accumulated debt while in college.
● Seniors tend to struggle more financially because many of them are on a fixed retirement income and medical issues tend to arise later in life.

Do you need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy or can you file on your own?

Legally, you do not need a lawyer to represent you when you file for bankruptcy. It’s an official court proceeding and you have the right to represent yourself. However, most people opt to work with a bankruptcy lawyer when they file because the process is complicated. Filing on your own is risky because:
● Mistakes can result in your case being dismissed.
● Even an honest mistake can make it look as though you were trying to commit fraud and you can end up in legal trouble in addition to failing to resolve your financial issues .

What is the process for filing for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a multi-step legal process that requires several things from you. These steps include:
1. Financial assessment with review of your debts, income, and assets.
2. Determination of which chapter is right for you.
3. Court filing that initiates automatic stay.
4. Credit counseling.
5. 341 Meeting of Creditors that allows creditors a chance to dispute debt discharge or ask questions.
6. Liquidation of assets if you own any.
7. Discharge of debts or beginning of payment plan.
8. Post-bankruptcy financial counseling.
Every bankruptcy case is different, so this is just a general overview of the steps of the process.

Does bankruptcy eliminate all of my debts?

The simplest answer to this question is “sometimes.” It all depends on what type of debt you have. Much of whether a debt is discharged depends on whether it is secured or unsecured. Debts that are linked to assets, such as a house or vehicle debt is not discharged. Instead, the lender takes the asset linked to the debt. In general, debts that are dismissed include:
● Credit card debt.
● Medical debt.
● Older tax debts. Debts that are non-dischargeable include:
● Court fines and fees.
● Spousal or child support.
● Most student loan debts.
● Most tax debts.

Who will know if I file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a matter of public record, so when you file anyone who wants to know will be able to look it up. This includes:
● Current and potential employers.
● Friends.
● Family.
● Significant others.
● Attorneys.
Keep in mind, these people do not receive notification you’ve filed unless they are involved in some way in the legal aspects of you filing. For instance, if your wages are garnished, your employer receives notification that an automatic stay has been enacted when you file and your wages should return to normal. Otherwise, a person would need to search court records for information about your bankruptcy.

Call Today For A Free Consultation

Business Office Hours: 8-5 M-F / Evenings by appointment
Office Phone Number: 810-767-2700
Email: johnstreby@gmail.com

Contact Us

personal injury lawyer
John A. Streby , Attorney at Law
444 Church St
Flint, MI, 48502