Ohio Bankruptcy: Know Your Options, Get Expert Help. If you’re considering bankruptcy, understanding the different chapters is key. Our experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyers can clarify the process and help you make the best decision for your fresh start. Get a free consultation.

Call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation so we can determine what financial solutions will work best for you.

While the bankruptcy code outlines five types of bankruptcy, the most common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

This is the most common form of bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is also known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, and it allows the debtor to make a fresh start. It enables you to discharge (eliminate) most or all consumer and/or business debts, and it is over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit quickly.

Once Chapter 7 has been filed, a trustee collects assets that are not exempt, sells them, and distributes proceeds to creditors. There are Ohio bankruptcy exemptions that list types of property that cannot be sold; including clothing, cars, equipment used for work (like tools) and household furnishings. If you do not own a great deal of property, your possessions may be all be exempt, qualifying you for a “no asset” case.

If your income is too low to pay credit card bills, medical bills, utilities, payday loans or personal loans, if there are no cosigners involved, or if you are facing court action by creditors, Chapter 7 may be your best option.  It is also good for businesses that wish to liquidate their assets and discontinue business.

Not everyone is eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Your income and debt will be subjected to something called a “means test” to determine whether you qualify.  If you don’t, you may still qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 and who have a steady income, financial problems that are temporary, and a desire to repay some of their debt in order to keep an asset such as a car or a house.  Under Chapter 13, the court will approve a plan that allows you to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three to five year period. Payments to creditors are made through a trustee; and during the repayment period you are protected from actions by creditors including; lawsuits, wage garnishments and harassment. If you successfully complete the court-approved payment plan, the remaining debts covered by the plan are discharged.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is preferable if you owe debts that are not dischargeable under Chapter 7 (such as taxes and child support), if you have liens that are larger than the value of the assets securing the debt, if you have years of unfiled taxes, if you are behind on car or house payments, or if your assets are worth more than the available exemptions.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 is primarily for commercial businesses that wish to continue operations while repaying creditors through a court-approved reorganization plan. The debtor files a plan of reorganization within 120 days after the order for relief and provides creditors with a disclosure statement that allows the creditors to evaluate the plan.  The courts then decide whether to approve the plan that should return the business to profitability.

Plan options include:

  • reducing debts by repaying a portion of them while discharging others
  • discharging burdensome contracts and leases
  • rescaling operations of the business

If the plan is completed successfully, the debtor will have reduced debt and a reorganized — more profitable — business.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

This is available only to “family farmers” with regular annual income and who meet requirements relating to income, assets and debts. Similar to Chapter 13, Chapter 12 provides a period of debt repayment over three to five years and a trustee to oversee the bankruptcy process and payments to the creditors. Chapter 12 allows a family farmer to continue to operate the farm during the repayment period.

Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

This is available only to municipalities, such as cities, towns, villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts. Under Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, the municipality reorganizes and proposes a plan of repayment, similar to Chapter 11.

Contact Us for Help and Guidance

The experienced Ohio debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer know how frightening and confusing it can be to be faced with the decision of filing for bankruptcy.

We recognize that everyone’s individual situation is different, so we offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to evaluate your entire financial situation and make sure you are aware of all your options. We will examine your income, your debts and your goals and help you find the best and most affordable path to a brighter financial future.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so take control of your financial future and learn more about how our firm can be of assistance today. Call one of our conveniently located office branches or email for your free consultation so we can determine what financial solutions will work best for you.

Attorney Tom Fesenmyer

Attorney Thomas M. Fesenmyer (Tom) is dedicated to helping his clients solve their financial issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Tom has personally filed several thousand cases and has the expertise to achieve immediate results for his clients, including stopping Foreclosures, Repossessions, Wage Garnishments, Law Suits, Utility Shut-offs, Creditor Harassment, Bank Attachments, and Pay-Day Loans. Tom’s goal for all of his clients is asset protection and debt elimination.[ Attorney Bio ]


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