Many people refuse to consider filing for bankruptcy in Ohio because they fear what they will lose in the process. A bankruptcy attorney can help you get rid of debt and keep many of your assets. They can make your life easier by no longer having to worry about debt. During the first step of the process, the attorney will determine if you qualify for bankruptcy, what kind of bankruptcy, and which debts you will eliminate by filing bankruptcy. In addition, the lawyer guides you, prepares documents, and attends court with you. In the end, you gain peace of mind and a new start.
When you’re considering bankruptcy, though, the questions seem to pile up, and their answers seem too frightening to contemplate.
Will I lose my house? my car? my furniture? How much does filing bankruptcy cost? Can I file bankruptcy if I’m employed? How long will this impact my credit rating?
With so many questions, where to start filing bankruptcy can feel too overwhelming to begin. Not exploring your legal debt relief options, though, is even more overwhelming. Below, Integrity Law answers some of these frequently asked questions about the losses people fear when filing bankruptcy in Ohio to help you start moving forward and reclaim your life.
Filing Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The first step to understanding filing bankruptcy in Ohio is understanding the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13. An experienced attorney can help you determine which option is right for you based on your current income and debt situation. We cover some of the basics here to help you start understanding how both can be helpful when needed.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to eliminate eligible debts, so you can move on with your life. Credit card debt, medical debt, etc. can many times be terminated forever. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which debts may be eliminated. The elimination of this debt is called a discharge.
Will I lose my house in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Probably not. The State of Ohio allows you to keep in excess of $100,000 of equity in your home. You need to consult an attorney for all of the rules and whether you are eligible.
Will I lose my retirement savings in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Likely not. Qualified retirement accounts like a 401(k) and pension have many protections under bankruptcy law. Many debtors file bankruptcy and keep their retirement accounts.
Will a trustee come out to my house and look at my furniture?
Almost never. Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that you may lose some assets, which are used to pay your creditors. However, most household possessions are protected in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Can I discharge tax debts when filing chapter 7?
Sometimes. Old income tax debts can often be discharged, depending on the circumstances. But this is a tricky area where qualified legal advice can help you.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you make payments to the bankruptcy trustee for several years (often 5) and the money goes to your creditors. If you owe debt above what you paid, it will be discharged if it qualified.
Why would I want to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
There are many benefits to Chapter 13. Primarily, if you have assets that you would lose in Chapter 7, filing Chapter 13 may allow you to keep these assets. If you earn too much money, you may have to file this bankruptcy.
Can I keep my car with chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio?
Many times you can keep it if you can keep making payments. Sometimes you can pay less than the money you owe on the car if your car is worth less than the debt. This is called a cram down.
How much does filing bankruptcy cost?
It depends on the circumstances of each case, but it is often a flat fee based on the complexity of each case. Chapter 7 may take four or five hours of time. Chapter 13 is often paid out of the money you pay to a Chapter 13 trustee. Either way, the cost of not getting your finances in order costs you far more in the long run.
Get help filing bankruptcy in Ohio.
Navigating the laws of bankruptcy gets complicated. Working with an attorney who is familiar with both chapter 7 and chapter 13 requirements, advantages, and considerations can save you valuable time and money. Don’t let the dread of unpaid, crippling debt steal another moment of peace from your life. If you’re in Northeast Ohio, Integrity Law is here to help. Call for your free consultation.