Freedom from Debt Is Possible
Good people fall into debt. Financially responsible people fall into debt. If debt is controlling your life and finances, it’s time to get out. Bankruptcy is a financial tool that’s designed to protect consumers from creditors and from falling further into debt.
Given rising costs of goods, the challenging housing market, and exorbitant medical bills, it’s no wonder that people are accruing debt. Yet it’s equally important that people like you who are facing debt know where to turn.
A Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer can help you explore your financial options. Our legal team has decades of experience helping people navigate bankruptcy and figure out the most manageable plan to bring their debt under control. Bankruptcy should not be stressful, confusing, or intimidating; we can help.
How Can Our Huber Heights Bankruptcy Lawyers Help You?
Managing debt and bankruptcy is tough enough. Doing it alone is even harder. Filing for bankruptcy can be complicated and expensive. But by working with an experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney, you’ll get the help and guidance that you need. Below are just some of the ways our experienced attorneys can help you.
Our bankruptcy lawyers will walk you through the bankruptcy process from start to finish. This means help with preparing to file, gathering and filling out all of the necessary documentation to send to the court, and attending bankruptcy court sessions.
Gathering Documents and Processing Paperwork
It’s true that bankruptcy involves plenty of forms, paperwork, and filings. We’ll help with all of that. Doing this part on your own can be time-consuming and confusing. We’ll make sure the paperwork is done and that it’s done right.
Protection from Creditors
Once you file for bankruptcy, creditors can no longer harass you or contact you about money owed. Your bankruptcy filing legally protects you from creditors. However, if creditors do continue to contact you, we can step in. By saying that you’re working with a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer, most creditors know better than to keep harassing you, which violates your protections.
Personal Attention and Care
Our bankruptcy law firm is not a large corporate firm where clients are given a number and rarely referred to by name. We work one-on-one with our clients to truly learn about their situations and what can be done to help. We can help simply by caring and figuring out the best strategy to get you out of debt. And when it comes to bankruptcy filings, we make sure you’re informed, not intimidated.
We’ve helped people just like you in similar situations. You’re facing enough stress and financial hardship as is. That’s why we recommend partnering with a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer.
Why Choose Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer?
We know that you have many different Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyers and law firms to choose from. There are plenty of good bankruptcy lawyers in Ohio. But we believe that our combination of experience, knowledge, and compassion makes us a great choice for you.
At Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, our Ohio bankruptcy lawyers have decades of experience helping people just like you. No matter how complicated or dire your situation is, we fully believe we can help you. We’ve seen people facing all types of financial hardships and forms of debt and have helped them navigate bankruptcy and find solutions that work.
We focus only on bankruptcy and personal debt solutions. That means that we have significant knowledge of and experience with bankruptcy law and related fields. It pays to work with such a knowledgeable legal team; we know how to use available laws and resources to help you get a fresh financial start.
We are experienced attorneys who know how to manage debt. But we’re also people who help people. We care about our clients, and we want what’s best for them. As a result, we call clients by name, not by case number. We frequently check in, and we are here to answer your questions.
We hope that you’ll consider our legal team when looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Ohio. Our experience, knowledge, and compassion can all be used to help you, no matter your circumstances.
Our Bankruptcy Attorney Explains the Different Types of Bankruptcy
Most people in debt file for one of two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These two types of bankruptcy differ based on type of debt, repayment length, and eligibility. Below, our Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer outlines each type of bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a tool for quickly discharging unsecured debt. A Chapter 7 is usually over in about 4 months and at that time the eligible debt is discharged, or eliminated.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unsecured debt refers to debt that’s not backed by collateral or physical possessions. So credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, and personal loans, are all considered unsecured debt.
The Means Test and Chapter 7 Eligibility
Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot be used by all debtors. You must pass a means test in order to qualify for this type of bankruptcy. A means test compares your income to that of the median household income for a same-size family in Ohio. If your income is too high based on this test, you will not be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Sometimes called “wager earner’s” bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for debtors who have active income and who do not qualify for a Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves consolidating debt and making regular payments over a three- to five-year period. Consolidating debt often lets the debtor avoid additional fees and fines.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a common choice for people who don’t want to lose any assets, like their home or car. By filing for bankruptcy, they can be protected against foreclosure, repossession, and other threats to their property. After making agreed-upon payments, remaining debt may be discharged or made more manageable after the three- to five-year repayment period.
Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
You may be wondering which type of bankruptcy is best for you. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 have similarities and differences. Below are several points to consider.
- Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy protect debtors from creditors. After declaring bankruptcy, creditors and collection agencies must legally stop contacting you about your debt.
- Both forms of bankruptcy involve discharging (eliminating) debt. While in a Chapter 13 you must make some repayments toward your debt, after this repayment period, much or all of your remaining debt can be discharged.
- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can both help with protecting your assets and possessions. Ohio law states that many assets are exempt from possession by creditors when filing for bankruptcy. So your home, insurance benefits, household possessions, and other assets may all be covered by bankruptcy protections.
- The timeframes for each type of bankruptcy are different. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is used to quickly discharge debt over several months, while Chapter 13 lasts three to five years.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically used for debt that’s not backed by collateral or physical property. High credit card debt or medical bills, for example, may be better suited for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that a debtor have some disposable income. This income must be used for bankruptcy repayments. Further, if a debtor’s income is too high compared to average Ohioans, the debtor might not even qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
These are just a few basic similarities and differences between each type of bankruptcy. Our Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyers can explain each in more detail and can recommend which type would be best for you.
Understanding Automatic Stay Protections
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay is a provision of bankruptcy law that protects debtors from creditors. The automatic stay blocks harassing letters, phone calls, and other forms of creditor contact.
The automatic stay is a powerful injunction because the law and courts essentially step in on your behalf to say that you can no longer be harassed. Most creditors are aware of automatic stay protections and no longer contact debtors. But if contact continues, the provision provides legally enforceable protections.
Common Sources of Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy can be necessary after everyday expenses and essential spending pile up. Given the high interest rates on credit card debt, the growing cost of owning a home, and persistently expensive healthcare costs, debt can happen to anyone.
Some of the most common causes of debt that lead to bankruptcy include:
- Mortgages: Mortgage debt and being late on payments is common. Before declaring bankruptcy, try speaking with your bank and lender to see if the terms of your mortgage can be negotiated. Most mortgage lenders would rather negotiate with you than see your home go into foreclosure. Still, remember that a bankruptcy filing can protect your home from foreclosure.
- Credit card debt: Credit card debt can be hard to avoid or escape. When credit cards are used for unforeseen expenses, consumers can be more likely to fall into credit card debt. In most cases, credit card debt can be discharged after completing a bankruptcy filing. Credit card debt is often the cause of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Medical bills: The healthcare system in the US can be very expensive. Unpaid medical bills can pile up, and paid bills can leave patients without any money left over. It may be possible to negotiate payments and terms with healthcare providers and insurance companies. Yet having to declare bankruptcy due to medical debt is also common.
Many people like you who are considering bankruptcy did not end up in their situation after spending irresponsibly. Necessary expenses or simply wanting to own a home can lead to unmanageable debt. Just remember that you’re not alone: a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer can help you navigate bankruptcy and figure out next steps.
Mistakes in the Bankruptcy Filing Process
Mistakes in bankruptcy filings are common and can be expensive. Common mistakes include missing a filing date, filing or filling out forms incorrectly, and not following or understanding the terms of your bankruptcy case.
These mistakes can mean increased filing fees, delayed processing, and even missed exemptions and loss of non-exempt assets. In short, bankruptcy protections can fail to protect as a result of mistakes. To prevent mistakes, work with an experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyer.
Why You Need a Huber Heights Bankruptcy Lawyer
It is possible to file for bankruptcy alone. However, doing so is not recommended. Working with a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer can actually save you money, make sure you have an optimal repayment plan, and prevent mistakes and filing errors.
A Bankruptcy Attorney Could Save You Money
Even though attorneys have fees, not having a bankruptcy lawyer on your side could mean accidentally failing to disclose a creditor, filing incorrectly, or not filing on time. As a result, you could have to pay debt outside of your bankruptcy terms or could have your filing canceled or denied. These can be costly mistakes.
An Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney Can Improve Your Outcome and Terms
When figuring out the details of your repayment plan, it pays to have an attorney on your side. A Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand your plan and ensure its terms are reasonable and fair. Your plan should follow your desired terms, not your creditors’ wants.
What You Should Look for in an Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer
Facing bankruptcy can be intimidating, but if you have a good Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer, it shouldn’t be. A good attorney will take the time to listen to and understand your unique situation. They’ll answer your questions and provide you with sufficient explanation and reassurance about the bankruptcy process.
Perhaps most importantly, a good lawyer will care. The outcome of your bankruptcy case and repayment plan affects the outcome of your life and situation. A good lawyer will recognize the importance of your financial decisions and their ability to help.
Your attorney should handle your situation with courtesy and professionalism and should not delay in finding and implementing the best solutions for your situation. At Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, we strive to embody these qualities and practices.
Will a Bankruptcy Declaration Help You?
Bankruptcy is a tool that’s designed to help people get out of debt and reset their financial life. For some, the choice of debt consolidation vs. bankruptcy should be considered. While bankruptcy isn’t always the best choice, its advantages and protections could be essential.
- When filing for bankruptcy, you can consolidate debt into one repayment plan. This means tracking debt and making payments could be easier.
- Protections after filing for bankruptcy mean that, according to the law, creditors can no longer harass you or contact you about your debt.
- Bankruptcy lets you repay your debt under better conditions and with lower interest rates. This means you can make progress on repayment while reducing costs.
- Much or all of your debt could be discharged after you complete your repayment plan.
- Foreclosures, repossessions, wage garnishments, and debt-related lawsuits must all stop and cannot be initiated.
A Huber Heights bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out if bankruptcy is your best option. While there are distinct advantages and protections to filing, it is important to consider all options and seek the best advice possible.
Debts that Can and Cannot Be Discharged in Bankruptcy
Even though bankruptcy is designed to relieve debt, not all forms of debt can be discharged, or eliminated. Certain debts cannot be reduced or eliminated under a bankruptcy repayment plan. Still, many forms can. Bankruptcy can be used to discharge:
- Medical bills and debt
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Other forms of consumer debt
Even though your mortgage or car payment may not be dischargeable after declaring bankruptcy, bankruptcy can protect these assets as well. There are, however, certain debts that typically cannot be discharged when filing for bankruptcy. They include:
- Some taxes
- Alimony payments
- Child support payments
- Student loans
- Fees for criminal penalties
- Court fees
Everyone’s situation and types of debt are unique. So speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in Ohio to figure out which of your debts could be dischargeable with bankruptcy.
FAQs: Common Questions for Our Huber Heights Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy is a complicated process. You likely have plenty of questions for our Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer. Below are some common questions and their answers to help you be informed.
How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?
A bankruptcy declaration could affect your credit score and the interest rates you pay. However, bankruptcy will also lower your debt-to-income ratio, which could lessen negative effects on your score. After your bankruptcy ends, it may be easier to obtain loans and rebuild credit because you won’t be weighed down by as much debt. A bankruptcy declaration could stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years.
Should I Declare Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
The type of bankruptcy you pursue depends on several factors. If you have a high income, you may not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have medical debt, credit card debt, or other debts not backed by collateral, Chapter 7 may be your best choice. If you’re trying to save your home or car, Chapter 13 may be best. A bankruptcy attorney in Ohio can explain more.
Can I Keep My Possessions and Assets If I Declare Bankruptcy?
There are many bankruptcy exemptions under Ohio law that seek to protect debtors’ property. Your home, car, pension and retirement savings, household goods, work-related tools and equipment, and other assets may all be protected after filing for bankruptcy.
Will Bankruptcy Stop Me from Getting a Job?
Even though a new employer could see your bankruptcy filing on your credit report, not all employers conduct a credit check before hiring. Further, the decision not to hire a candidate based on bankruptcy history could be unlikely. Government agencies are also prohibited from disqualifying a candidate based on bankruptcy history.
How Much Will Hiring a Huber Heights Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?
Hiring a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer could make a big difference in the outcomes and terms of your bankruptcy declaration. But a lawyer must also be affordable. Attorney fees are based on the complexity of your case and time involved, with Chapter 13 typically having higher fees than Chapter 7. Because Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer specializes in bankruptcy and debt relief, our skilled attorneys know how to operate efficiently to keep costs low and avoid add-on fees.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to an Ohio bankruptcy attorney to have all your questions answered. Bankruptcy is an involved process, so you should have all your questions fully answered.
We Can Help. Call Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Today
It’s time to bring your debt and your finances under control. By contacting a Huber Heights bankruptcy lawyer from Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, you can get the help and guidance you need when filing for bankruptcy. Our legal team wants to put our experience and knowledge to work for you.
Call us today at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).
By scheduling a free consultation, we can get to work learning more about your financial situation and how we can assist. Today can be the day when you start taking control of your debt.