Ohio Bankruptcy Information – FAQs
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the legal method for a debtor to discharge or relieve debt. It is a way for people, who owe more money than they can pay, to either work out a plan to repay the money over time or to have their debt wiped out. While no debtor is guaranteed a total discharge, most debtors who file for bankruptcy are given such relief. One of the primary purposes of the bankruptcy act is to relieve the honest debtor from the weight of oppressive indebtedness and to provide the debtor with a fresh start. Title 11 of the United States Code regulates these filings. Ohio bankruptcy lawyers help you navigate the Bankruptcy Code, which regulates what chapter you must file under, what bills can be eliminated, how long payments may be extended, what possessions you may keep, and all other details concerning the discharge of your debt.
How do I know if I should file a bankruptcy?
You should consult an Ohio bankruptcy lawyer if any or all of the following apply to you OR if you think any or all of these may apply to you in the near future:
- You are struggling to make minimum payments to creditors,
- You are receiving harassing telephone calls from creditors and/or collection agencies,
- You have taken out a payday loan,
- You have taken out cash advances on your credit cards,
- You have refinanced your home or vehicle to pay back other creditors,
- You are using credit cards for daily necessities,
- You have been sued and are facing a wage garnishment,
- Your car has been repossessed or sold by your lender,
- Your home is in foreclosure or has been foreclosed, and/or
- You have a utility disconnect notice.
What if I am married?
If you are married, you may file a joint petition or an individual petition. If you decide to file an individual petition, your spouse’s credit will not jeopardized.
Will a bankruptcy ruin my credit?
Unfortunately, by the time you consider filing, your credit may already be ruined. Bankruptcy will put you in the position to redeem your credit and give you a fresh start. Most clients typically start receiving multiple offers of credit about 90 days after filing a Chapter 7, because your debt to income ratio has gone to zero. So, it can actually become a tool to rebuild your credit. Ohio bankruptcy lawyers can help you understand the potential impact on your credit situation.
Will I have to go to court?
Yes, but you don’t have to do it alone. Attorney Cydrus, as your personal Ohio bankruptcy lawyer, will prepare you for what to expect, and will accompany you in front of the Trustee assigned to your case. The typical length of an individual hearing is approximately 7 minutes. During this time, the Trustee will verify your identification and that the answers you provided to the court when filing are true and accurate.
Will I lose any property?
Everyone who files is allowed to keep and maintain a certain amount of property. Attorney Cydrus will analyze your financial situation and personally assist you in choosing the best solution for you. The vast majority of people who file bankruptcy do not lose any property — just their debt!
Will everyone know I filed bankruptcy?
Chances are you work with or interact with several people that have filed bankruptcy, and you don’t know it. It is public record, but unless you are a prominent person and the media picks it up, chances are no one but your attorney, creditors, and Trustee will know unless you tell them. The number of filings is so massive, that unless someone was specifically trying to track down Ohio bankruptcy information on you, there is little likelihood anyone else would know.
Can I file for bankruptcy more than once?
Yes, but there is a required wait between filings. You can only file Chapter 7 once every eight years. You have to wait two years to repeat a Chapter 13 filing and four years between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 case in order to get into a lower percentage rate plan. If you have filed for either previously, an Ohio bankruptcy lawyer can determine if/when you’re eligible to file.
Is filing for bankruptcy morally wrong?
No. There is a basis for debt relief laws in the U.S. Constitution and the English Common Law. Being in too much debt is financial slavery. Bankruptcy helps to end financial slavery. Most of our clients are suffering from circumstances that are beyond their control, such as temporary job or income loss, illness, divorce, or other economic crisis. It is often creditors that force people to file bankruptcy by charging exorbitant interest rates, late fees, and utilizing unscrupulous collection tactics.
How much does bankruptcy cost?
In the state of Ohio, there is a Federal Court Filing Fee of $299 for a Chapter 7 and $274 for a Chapter 13. These fees must be paid prior to filing the case. Additionally, there are attorney fees. However, the fees are dependent upon the simplicity/complexity of your case and which chapter you are filing. The cost is determined during a free consultation with your Ohio bankruptcy lawyer. In some cases attorney fees are deferred.
How long does it take to file bankruptcy?
This varies greatly on your situation and your preferences. We will give you all the Ohio bankruptcy information you need. Once you have everything in order, and you give us the go ahead, we can file your case.
I’m still not sure bankruptcy is for me. Should I wait to come in for the consultation when or if I decide to file?
NO! This is one of the biggest misconceptions. It is best to come in as soon as you think you may need some financial relief. The initial consultation evaluates your entire situation. This means that your Ohio bankruptcy lawyer will be able to let you know if you qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, when you would want to file your case, and provide you with legal advice in regards to your financial future.
After meeting with Ohio bankruptcy lawyers, some clients do not file for a year, while others file within a week. It is best to know your options in the event you do decide you need to file. Since the consultation is free, you don’t have to worry about whether this is best for you now. You can make that decision later and be confident it is the right decision since you will be equipped with the proper knowledge.
Don’t wait until you have lost everything! Bankruptcy can be the tool you need for the fresh start that you deserve!
Call us today or contact us to schedule your free consultation with an expert Ohio bankruptcy lawyer.