Bankruptcy in Cincinnati, OH
Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.
Types of Bankruptcy in Cincinnati, Ohio
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In Cincinnati, OH to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Residents of Cincinnati must file for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Cincinnati who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.
Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.
The Ohio State Bar states that once chapter 7 has taken effect, it is illegal for a creditor to try and solicit payment from you. However, it is worth noting that chapter 7 does not wipe away all debt. Student, loans, alimony, child support, and back taxes must all still be paid, even if your debt is discharged. In addition, you are required to pass a means test to measure your level of income and ascertain if chapter 7 is right for you.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.
The U.S. Courts state that there are certain filing requirements for those seeking protections under Chapter 11, and failing to follow the guidelines for these filings can result in the dismissal of your case and leave you vulnerable to creditors. Filings such as current monthly income, unsecured creditors, and claims against your property are all paramount and must be filed. Generally Chapter 11 is for use by businesses who are seeking alternatives to liquidation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In Cincinnati, OH after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.
Ohio Bankruptcy Law states that chapter 13 is ideal for individuals who are trying to protect their home, make up for missed car or loan payments, pay off back taxes, and keep interest from accruing on other accounts. Unlike chapter 7 where the debt is wiped out, chapter 13 allows the debtor to pay off the debt under a revised timeline. However, the most crucial part of chapter 13 is your repayment plan, and for this you may want the help of an experienced attorney in Cincinnati.
The Bankruptcy Process in Cincinnati, Ohio
There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation and help you get back on track.
In Cincinnati to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.
Cincinnati residents filing for bankruptcy have to file the appropriate forms and pay the accompanying fees. You’ll have to decide if bankruptcy can actually alleviate your debt, and which particular type of bankruptcy you will pursue. Then you’ll need to stop paying qualifying debts and file for your exemptions. Remember, for anything to be exempt during the bankruptcy process you must file the appropriate forms. The U.S. Courts provide a timeline for these requirements.
Ohio provides a homestead exemption up to $145, 425. You can protect up to $1,700 in jewelry, and up to $13, 400 in home goods and appliances. In addition, if you’ve received a personal injury award within 12 months of filing for bankruptcy, you’ll be able to be exempt up to $25, 175 of the award. An experienced attorney in Cincinnati can help you determine what you can and cannot protect.
At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.
Work With an Experienced Cincinnati, Ohio Lawyer
Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in Cincinnati during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case, especially which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced Ohio attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.
Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Cincinnati can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Ohio state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!