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Questions and answers to bankruptcy that can help you.
If you are struggling with debt or being harassed by creditors, a phone call to an Ohio bankruptcy attorney could be your first step toward a financial fresh start.
Bankruptcy can be the fresh start that you’re looking for to get you on the path to a brighter financial future.
The Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer will help you understand all of your available options. For a free consultation to evaluate your financial situation, call us at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati). Our goal is to help you implement the best financial solution for your individual situation.
There are two common forms of bankruptcy —Chapter 7, which allows you to have a fresh financial start, and Chapter 13, which is a consumer debt reorganization. Deciding which is best depends on your individual situation.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy. Also known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, it enables you to discharge (eliminate) most or all consumer and/or business debts. It is over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit quickly.
Chapter 7 may be your best option if your income is too low to pay credit card bills, medical bills, utilities, payday loans or personal loans or if you are facing court action or collection activities by creditors.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 and who have a steady income and financial problems that are temporary. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also recommended for individuals in Ohio that may be facing foreclosure or repossessions. Chapter 13 provides a court-approved reorganization plan for you to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three- to five-year period. You are protected from harassment by creditors, and if you successfully complete the plan, the remaining unsecured debts covered by the plan are discharged.
Bankruptcy laws can be complex and financial difficulties can be stressful. If you’re looking for legal solutions to difficult financial problems, then you want a skilled and experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney at your side. Our attorneys specialize in bankruptcy and have decades of legal experience and financial knowledge. They know the intricate details of federal and state laws, and they will work with each client to choose the best path possible for every individual circumstance.
The nice thing about working with an Ohio bankruptcy lawyer is that you don’t have to be a financial or legal expert – that’s what the attorney is for. You probably already have your hands full with work and family, and you likely have spent a lot of time worrying about finances. An experienced and skilled Ohio bankruptcy attorney can simplify the whole process for you. He or she will walk you through the legal process, tell you what things to do and not to do, stop the annoying phone calls from collections agencies, and prepare and file all legal documents with the court. The best thing is that an attorney will always be on hand to answer your questions and settle your worries so that you can focus on making a fresh start.
The cost of a bankruptcy depends on whether it is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and the complexity of the case. We strive to make filing bankruptcy as affordable as possible for our clients as we understand the financial hardships you are facing. We offer a free consultation so that we can review your entire financial situation and give you an exact fee quote. For more specific information about the cost of a bankruptcy, call us at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).
Although there will be an initial setback in your credit rating, after bankruptcy credit starts to rebound quickly, and you will typically wind up with an improved credit score.
After bankruptcy, you may be in a better position to get credit because most or all of your debts will be eliminated and you reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Our experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyers can advise clients on the best ways to begin rebuilding their credit after bankruptcy.
In many cases, clients who file bankruptcy end up keeping their house and vehicle(s). In general, with a Chapter 7 if you are current on your home mortgage payments at the time of filing and all of the equity you have in the property is exempt under state or federal laws, then you may be able to keep your house. Similarly, if you are current on your car loan payments (or if you own the vehicle outright), then it is likely that you will be able to retain the vehicle. A Chapter 13 repayment plan can help you keep your home or car if you are behind on payments or if there is unprotected equity in an asset. As each case is different, it is important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney regarding your assets and how they would be treated in a bankruptcy filing
First, know that your Social Security benefits cannot be lost by filing for bankruptcy, as this is a protected asset. These benefits will not be considered as income to pay your creditors, though the court may consider your Social Security benefits when determining your ability to pay some debts. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will calculate your Social Security benefits when determining whether you have the ability to make the payments required by your repayment plan.
Generally, retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs and defined-benefit plans are protected during bankruptcy, though the amount protected may be capped. If you have a pension when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, typically you can exempt at least some of your pension.
If you are married, you can file a joint bankruptcy with your husband or wife, or you can file a bankruptcy as an individual. However, even if you file as an individual, your bankruptcy may affect your spouse. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, and deciding whether you file an individual or joint bankruptcy will depend on your individual situation and whose name each debt is in.
For a more complete explanation of how bankruptcy affects spouses, contact our skilled bankruptcy attorneys for a free consultation.
Having a bankruptcy on your record should not affect your current employment. By law, an employer cannot terminate you because you’ve declared bankruptcy. However, when applying for certain jobs such as in the financial industry, certain employers might check your credit score before offering you a job.
When faced with foreclosure, there are many options available — from letting the house go, to filing for bankruptcy, or even reinstating a loan. Once a foreclosure complaint is filed with the county court, it is imperative to seek legal advice immediately to ensure your rights are protected. One of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can review your foreclosure proceeding to determine what solution will work best for you.
A debt settlement agreement can sometimes be a workable alternative to bankruptcy. Debt settlement involves negotiating a reduced payoff amount for bills such as medical bills, credit cards, mortgages and vehicles.
Your creditors may agree to a settlement for less than what you owe in order to prevent having you file for bankruptcy, in which case they might not get anything. They may settle for a lump payment if you can come up with 40 to 60 percent of what you owe, or they may accept payments for a lesser amount. An experienced attorney can help you negotiate the best possible settlement.
The Right Choice for Your Financial Situation
If you find yourself struggling with debt and unable to deal with creditors, there is help available. Take the first step toward debt relief and contact us today for a free initial consultation. To schedule a consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers in Ohio, email us through this website or call us at one of our office branches: 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).
We are an Ohio debt relief agency. We help people in Ohio file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
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