Personal Bankruptcy in Cincinnati

If you’re living in or near Cincinnati, Ohio, and you find yourself in a financial hole so severe that you are considering bankruptcy, you need help and guidance.

How do you even know if bankruptcy is right for you?
Where do you start?
What type of legal assistance do you need when filing?

Bankruptcy is a way to get a “fresh start” for individuals who are struggling with debts that become unpayable.  Often people are already having financial difficulty and then are hit with additional problems, such as losing a job, facing uninsured medical expenses, or divorce.  Debts mount up, and harassment by creditors becomes overwhelming.

Consulting a bankruptcy attorney when considering filing will assist you in avoiding costly mistakes. There is a lot of paperwork that must be completed when filing and it is not worth the risk to file on your own and end up with additional expenses. Bankruptcy paperwork can include fees for:

  • mandatory pre-filing credit counseling
  • court filing fees
  • mandatory debt management ‘education’
  • advice and information to help you decide whether to file
  • preparing your forms for filing, making the required number of copies, and assembling them in the proper order
  • other court procedures that may be required or beneficial

In any case, it pays to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer who knows the intricacies of the courts, the judges, and the system. The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand what you are going through and offer a free consultation to evaluate your financial situation and come up with a plan that is best for you.

Know What Is Involved Before Filing

To start, you need to understand what bankruptcy is and determine if you qualify.  There are two major types of consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy, and it will eliminate most or all debts, but you can use it only once every eight years. It’s quick — over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit. There are exemptions that can protect certain types of property, but it is advisable to consult with an attorney to confirm that your particular property is protected. Exemptions can include clothing, cars, equipment used for work (like tools) and household furnishings. If all your property is exempt, you may qualify for a “no asset” bankruptcy.

Ohio requires that you pass something called a “means test” to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7.  This formula takes into account your average monthly income for the past six months (which must be below the Ohio median for your size household –, your debts, and other aspects of your financial situation.

If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may still be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, under which you can consolidate payments to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three- to five-year period. This plan is best for those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 and who have equity in an asset that they want to protect. Harassing calls and letters from creditors stop, and once you successfully complete the payment plan, dischargeable debts covered by the plan are discharged.

Be aware that exemption laws do not protect all property; a bankruptcy filing does not discharge all types of debts; and there are different classes of creditors that may be able to seize your property. The attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand each of these distinctions and can provide the best legal advice to protect your assets and provide financial freedom

Where to File For Bankruptcy

If you have lived in Butler, Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Highland, Adams, Scioto and Lawrence County for the better part of 180 days your bankruptcy attorney will file on your behalf at the Ohio Southern District Bankruptcy Court. In Cincinnati, the address is:

221 E. Fourth Street
Atrium Two Suite 800
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
(513) 684-2572

What You Need To Do

In preparing for bankruptcy, you and your attorney will work together to:

  • Gather financial paperwork and run the means test calculator to gauge your bankruptcy options
  • Determine how much of your property is exempt
  • Attend mandatory pre-filing credit counseling
  • Prepare and assemble your bankruptcy papers. There are 50+ pages of forms detailing current debts, assets, income, and expenses, and your intentions regarding loans secured by collateral
  • Make copies of forms and assemble them according to Cincinnati local court rules
  • File forms with the court
  • Pay the required filing fee
  • Meet with the bankruptcy court trustee and Creditors (341 Meeting). At this meeting, the trustee can ask you questions about the information on your forms. Creditors can ask questions and object to or challenge exemptions you are claiming
  • File motions to eliminate liens and respond to objections from creditors
  • Attend a mandatory pre-discharge Credit Education session

Because the process is so complicated, it makes sense to take advantage of our free consultation offer. Contact the experienced and compassionate Ohio debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer for help, information, and support through this process. We will evaluate your entire financial situation, discuss your options, and help you decide on the path to a brighter future that makes sense in your individual case.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email today to set up your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.

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