Columbus Bankruptcy Attorney
Is Debt Taking Over Your Financial Life?
As you become deeper and deeper in debt, you may wonder when the time comes to call a Columbus bankruptcy attorney. Being in debt can cause problems in all areas of your life, from being less productive at work to having money arguments at home that lead to divorce and family breakdown.
Adding to the stress is the accompanying harassment by creditors and the fear of repossession of your property and foreclosure on your home.
Often people in debt are already having financial difficulty and may then be hit with additional problems such as losing a job, facing uninsured medical expenses, or divorce. Debts mount up, and harassment by creditors becomes overwhelming. If this is your situation, be aware that bankruptcy is a way to eliminate many debts and get a “fresh start” for individuals who are struggling with debts that have taken over their financial life.
Bankruptcy Help in Columbus
Know What Is Involved Before Filing Bankruptcy in Columbus
To start, you need to understand what bankruptcy is and know if you qualify. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Columbus can assist you in deciding if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If your average monthly income for the past six months is below the Ohio median for your size household, you meet the requirements (section 707(b)(2)) to qualify for Chapter 7.
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 ( Exemption Laws of Ohio) that can protect your 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 you are not eligible for Chapter 7, filing for Chapter 13 is an option. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, 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, who want to keep an asset that they are behind on or 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, qualifying 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.
Should You Call a Columbus Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’re living in Franklin County or surrounding counties near Columbus, Ohio and you find yourself overwhelmed with debt, harassed by creditors, and considering bankruptcy as an option, what do you do? How do you even know if bankruptcy is right for you? Can you do it on your own, or should you have legal assistance?
Filing for bankruptcy yourself may save you money, but you need to do it properly as mistakes can cost far more than you save. Even if you do it yourself, there are fees for:
In any case, it pays to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Columbus, Ohio who knows the intricacies of the courts, the judges, and the system. The skilled and seasoned 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.
What You Need to Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy
In preparing for bankruptcy, you will need 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 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 mandatory pre-discharge Credit Education session. (Credit counselors are approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office for use in the Ohio Southern District Bankruptcy Court.)
Our trusted Columbus bankruptcy attorneys will ensure you are prepared to file, by guiding you through these necessary steps.
What Makes a Good Bankruptcy Attorney?
Good attorneys should be experienced and knowledgeable in the law and their field, but also be someone you can relate to and feel comfortable with. Your attorney should answer your questions and concerns, inspire confidence, provide advice and assistance and show you the best way to proceed to a fresh financial start.
Your attorney should give you a personalized case evaluation and counsel regarding your debt relief options, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 debt reorganization, debt settlement negotiations with creditors, and foreclosure defense for mortgage holders. Your attorney should handle your individualized situation professionally and uniquely and begin implementing solutions without delay.
Four Reasons Why You Need a Columbus Bankruptcy Lawyer
Since the initial consultation is free, it pays to make an appointment with an experienced bankruptcy attorney
to determine what options are best for you.
How Much Does a Columbus Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?
Attorney fees vary, based on factors such as how complicated your case is and which chapter you are filing under. Attorneys typically charge more to handle Chapter 13 cases, which are more complex than Chapter 7. Attorneys also charge more if there are special issues that require spending more time to resolve. Many bankruptcy lawyers in Columbus offer free consultations, and they should explain how they charge and give you an advance estimate of what your fees should be.
Where to File for Bankruptcy in Columbus
If you have lived in Franklin County or the surrounding counties for the better part of 180 days you are eligible to file at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Ohio:
Columbus Divisional Office,
170 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
If you’ve moved recently, you may have to file at the court for your old zip code. Check the US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Ohio for updates.
How We Can Help
The skilled and seasoned Columbus debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that even the most well-intentioned people can find themselves in financial trouble. However, if you are at the point where you can’t meet your bills and find yourself drowning in debt, we can guide you through a correctly filed bankruptcy that can eliminate many debts, provide protection from creditors, and give you a fresh financial start.
Our compassionate attorneys know what you are going through and have helped many people in similar situations. A bankruptcy attorney in our Columbus, Ohio office will provide a free consultation to evaluate your individual situation and make sure you avoid costly problems before, during, and after your bankruptcy procedure.
We understand that those struggling to deal with debt cannot afford to be burdened with large attorney fees, so we make our services as affordable as possible. By efficiently analyzing your situation and your options, we can prevent you from making mistakes that can wind up costing you more in the long run.
Talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney in Columbus and Relieve Your Stress
Because the process is so complicated, it makes sense to take advantage of our free consultation offer. Contact the experienced and compassionate Columbus 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 our office today to set up your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.