Bankruptcy Blog

How Estate Planning Can Help Prevent Bankruptcy

When you’ve worked hard to accumulate assets, the last thing you want is for your beneficiaries to lose it all if they find themselves having to file for bankruptcy.  This can happen if your heirs wind up in financial trouble and have to face bankruptcy when their inheritance arrives. While assets from an estate can be just what people need to prevent bankruptcy, they can be lost if planned incorrectly.  Money or retirement funds that come to your heirs directly... CONTINUE READING

Debt Relief or Bankruptcy?

If your bills and debts are becoming overwhelming, you may be tempted by advertisements that offer the promise of debt relief.  Before you plunge into solutions that may actually worsen your debt situation, you should be aware of the advantages, disadvantages, and the long-term effects of each. The skilled and seasoned Ohio debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that financial problems can happen to even the mo... CONTINUE READING

Inheritance During Your Bankruptcy Case

It is wonderful to receive an inheritance, but you may not be able to keep it if you have recently filed for bankruptcy.  It all depends on factors such as timing, the way the inheritance was created, the exemptions you can claim, and what type of bankruptcy you have filed. The bankruptcy process is complex, so to increase the chances of keeping assets such as an inheritance, it pays to have the guidance of an experie... CONTINUE READING

Protecting Your Firearms in Bankruptcy

If you are a gun owner who is worried about losing your weapons when filing for bankruptcy, there is good news. Both Ohio and federal bankruptcy laws exempt certain property, so your guns may be part of the property you wind up keeping. Most of the time, the federal property exemption is large enough to protect your firearms; but what is even better is that Ohio is one of the states that specifically names firearms in its list... CONTINUE READING

The Difference Between a Bankruptcy “Dismissal” and “Discharge”

If you file for bankruptcy in Ohio, there is a big difference whether your case ends with a discharge or ends with a dismissal.  Bankruptcy terms and concepts can be confusing, but the goal of bankruptcy is always the same – getting a discharge that will give you a fresh financial start by eliminating debts that have become overwhelming. Unfortunately, if you make mistakes that lead to a dismissal, your case will be dismissed by the court and ended without a... CONTINUE READING

The Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcies

Medical bills are a leading cause of people filing for bankruptcy in Ohio, but the situation has improved since the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Since the act went into effect and expanded public healthcare coverage, fewer Americans have taken the step of filing for personal bankruptcy.  Filings have dropped about 50 percent, from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016. Unlike other causes of debt, medical bills are often unexpected, involuntary, and large. Even people who hav... CONTINUE READING

What is the Role of Bankruptcy Judges?

What Bankruptcy Judges Do Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies." In 1978, with this authority, Congress enacted the "Bankruptcy Code," the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases. This law has been amended several times. There is a bankruptcy court for each of the 90 judicial districts in the country. Each state has one or more districts, and the bankruptcy courts genera... CONTINUE READING

The IRS is Hiring Private Telephone Collection Agencies to Collect Owed Taxes

There is bad news for those who are behind in paying tax debts -- the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is taking a hard line against taxpayers who have certain overdue tax debts by hiring private debt collectors to do their collecting.  These private collectors are allowed to use tactics and methods that government agents are normally forbidden to use. The reason most people owe back taxes is that they do not have the money to pay them.  However, even if you find yourself drowning in... CONTINUE READING

Student Loan Laws are Changing

Student loan debt is a major problem in Ohio, with 67 percent of the state’s college graduates dealing with debt from financing their education. According to The Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt report, the average Ohio student loan debt stood at $29,353 in 2014, a 53% increase from 2004. Since many people cannot find a job after graduation with pay high enough to meet expense... CONTINUE READING

Tips to Prevent Credit and Debit Card Fraud

The bad guys are after your credit cards, and you can’t be too careful in protecting them.  Credit card fraud costs billions of dollars each year in the United States, and everyone winds up paying through increased finance charges and annual fees. In Ohio, credit card fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of another person’s credit or debit cards or their information.  This includes making online purchases, making or possessing fake card readers, and making purchases... CONTINUE READING

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