Get Affordable Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help in Columbus Ohio
If you are being harassed by collectors, facing inquiries from creditors, or becoming increasingly worried about your debt, it may be time to speak with our Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers about your options.
Whether you’re managing medical debt or credit card debt or struggling to pay off personal loans, debt is a constant factor for people everywhere. If you feel there’s no end in sight to your debt, bankruptcy could provide the fresh start you need.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Explained: Get the Facts in Columbus
An Experienced, Caring Columbus Chapter 7 Lawyer Can Guide You Through the Bankruptcy Process.
If you’re considering declaring bankruptcy, it’s important to understand the process and to team up with the right Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. Declaring bankruptcy can offer you certain protections while helping to realign your financial future.
Don’t let debt continue to control your life. Find out how a Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can get your finances and your future back on track. Call us today at 614-228-4435.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that quickly clears debts that are not tied to financial assets like your home or car. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is ideal for debtors with substantial unsecured debt. Unsecured debts include credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, and other types of debt that are not backed by collateral or assets.
If your income is too low to repay these growing debts, declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, by discharging these debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, leaves little to no debt remaining. By working with a Columbus Chapter 7 lawyer, the liquidation bankruptcy process can often be completed within a few months, after which collectors and creditors can no longer pursue you for debt repayment.
The Means Test for Ohio Residents
When working with your attorney, they will complete the means test to make sure you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As part of the test, your household income will be compared with the median Ohio household income, which will be used to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Basics: Dischargeable vs. Non-Dischargeable Debt Explained
Which Debts Can Be Discharged? Our Columbus Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Explain.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is used to discharge non-secured debt like credit card debt and personal loan debt. However, certain debts are priority unsecured debts, which are only dischargeable in some situations. These obligations include:
- Past-due income taxes
- Alimony payments
- Student loans
- Fees and penalties for certain crimes or offenses
- Child support payments
For example, student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy if the debtor has an undue hardship. The law recently changed significantly on this point. So, if you did not think Chapter 7 bankruptcy was a good idea before, a Columbus Chapter 7 lawyer should re-evaluate your situation.
Columbus Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Your Questions, Answered
Below are several common questions for your Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. You likely have many questions, and the answers below can help you further understand the bankruptcy process and how our attorneys can assist you.
Why do I need a Columbus Chapter 7 lawyer when declaring bankruptcy?
If you plan to declare bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer will be invaluable. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can be sure you’re correctly completing the bankruptcy filing process, which is essential for avoiding costly or damaging filing errors. A Chapter 7 attorney in Columbus can also help you make the best decisions for your financial future.
Is it time to declare bankruptcy? Can a Columbus Chapter 7 attorney help me decide?
Making the decision to declare bankruptcy looks different for everybody. But if you’ve been struggling with debt, facing creditors’ inquiries, or feeling uncertain about your future, a Columbus Chapter 7 attorney can help you decide if bankruptcy is your best option.
Can declaring bankruptcy and working with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney stop creditors and wage garnishments?
Yes. After declaring bankruptcy, you will be protected from collections, repossessions, wage garnishments, debt-related lawsuits, and loan deficiencies. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that you are no longer harassed by creditors and that your bankruptcy protections are in full effect.
Can a Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney help me keep my home and car?
After declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep your home and your car in most situations. However, you may need to negotiate with lenders to maintain possession of assets like your home and car. A Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help advise you on protecting these assets.
Should I contact a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney?
These two types of consumer bankruptcies are designed for different financial needs. Chapter 7 quickly discharges credit cards and most other kinds of unsecured debt. Chapter 13 gives families up to five years to catch up on mortgage loans and other secured debts. A Columbus debt relief lawyer can also offer other services, such as non-bankruptcy debt negotiation.
If you are thinking of declaring bankruptcy, you likely have many questions for a Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. Don’t wait to contact a Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. The sooner you reach out, the sooner our attorneys can help solve your financial situation.
Preparing to Declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Read This First.
Let Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Walk You Through the Process and Provide Reassurance
Sometimes, people wait to deal with their debt until it becomes insurmountable. Therefore, by the time these families reach out to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, their financial situations are often dire. Generally, a creditor is threatening dire adverse action, like garnishing wages or filing a debt collection lawsuit.
In these situations, it’s easy to let emotion take over. Carefully preparing to file bankruptcy helps keep emotions from running amok and spoiling your family’s fresh start. Consider taking the following steps:
- Realistically assess your situation. Struggling to make minimum credit card and other unsecured debt payments puts families on a debt treadmill. Every month, they scrape up money to pay bills, and every month, the UPB (unpaid principal balance) hardly moves.
- Find the right Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. Your attorney should be highly experienced. Additionally, your lawyer should be dedicated to upholding your financial rights. Not all bankruptcy lawyers in Franklin County have these key qualities. So, search diligently but also search quickly. Bankruptcy can prevent bad things from happening, but it’s almost impossible to undo things like repossession and foreclosure.
- Gather paperwork. The bankruptcy trustee will probably want to review financial documents, like tax returns, W-2 statements, and property records. Gathering these documents now prevents a last-minute scramble for documents later. Additionally, the trustee requires a current state-issued identification card as well as a Social Security card.
- Understand the process. Your Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer will review the process in detail. Usually, Chapter 7 debtors meet with trustees about six weeks after they file their petitions. Assuming everything goes well at this meeting, the trustee favorably recommends debt discharge to the judge. The judge normally signs a discharge order about four months after your case is filed. Your bankruptcy could be considerably more complex, especially if you have student loans, back taxes, and other priority unsecured debts.
- Get ready for post-bankruptcy life. Contrary to popular myth, filing bankruptcy doesn’t “ruin” your credit. However, it does lower your score temporarily. To maximize your fresh start, your attorney will review a post-bankruptcy financial plan with you. This plan usually involves the responsible use of credit, like a new credit card or car loan.
Following this plan makes bankruptcy much smoother and much easier to recover from.
Why Choose Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer
Need a Columbus Chapter 7 Attorney? We Can Help.
Large cities like Columbus usually have thousands of lawyers. Any of them could handle a simple bankruptcy filing. But there is usually nothing “simple” about filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a complex process involving filing many documents with the court and understanding the ever-changing laws. Furthermore, objections, turnover motions and other adversarial actions are the norm in bankruptcy, not the exception. Therefore, your Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney should have the right combination of the following:
- Accessibility: This often-overlooked quality is critical in a lawyer, especially a bankruptcy lawyer. Many debtors work with large “bankruptcy mill” law firms. Legal assistants handle almost all the work in these law firms. But at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, your attorney works with you directly and assumes primary responsibility for your case.
- Dedication: Frankly, many lawyers practice bankruptcy because they think it’s an easy way to build a profitable practice. So, if things go sideways, they quickly lose heart. In contrast, the Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer legal team is with you until the end of the case.
- Experience: Many lawyers are experienced at filling out bankruptcy forms or sitting in meetings with bankruptcy trustees (people who oversee bankruptcies for judges). But only a few attorneys are experienced in matters like adversarial hearings and objections to discharge hearings.
If done properly, bankruptcy is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Don’t leave your fresh start to chance with a less-than-qualified attorney. Instead, reach out to our experienced and compassionate team at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer. Call us at 614-228-4435 and ask for a free consultation with our Columbus office today.