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FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions for Ohio Bankruptcy

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People from all walks of life sometimes need the help of the bankruptcy system. I have filed bankruptcy for people working in all positions from store clerks to vice presidents of banks. I’ve filed for doctors and attorneys and even a Judge.
I’ve personally been insolvent, sued and treated with indifference and cruelty by attorneys who sued me when I could not pay my bills.

So I understand, from personal experience, what it’s like to need help. This is the “dark side of debt” that nobody talks about. Bankruptcy can be the solution, and should NOT be considered a “last resort” as is so often stated. It should be considered BEFORE you “hit the bottom” because filing early can prevent loss of income and property, and avoid needless suffering.

Most of your debts are dischargable. Often you want to keep property and continue to pay for your car and home. Unsecured debts like credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans are considered “unsecured” and discharged in bankruptcy.
Although most debts are dischargable, some are not. These include the ones you would expect to be excluded from discharge. Child support, most taxes, court fines, and student loans are the most common.
Alternatives to bankruptcy include credit Counseling, debt consolidation loans, debt management programs, and debt settlement programs. They can be effective if your income is sufficient to pay most of your debts with the extra income you have available after meeting your required living expenses.
Normally, you will not. Exemptions protect property, up to a maximum limit. For example, your household goods and furnishings are protected up to $13,400, per person. Car equity is protected up to $4,000, and your home equity is protected up to $145,425 per person. If you have more equity than the exemptions cover, there are several approaches to making sure you don’t lose any property you want to keep.
There is a lot to know about the differences between these two chapters. It is not true, for example, that chapter 7 is mainly for low income families. I file chapter 7 for families making over $100,000 per year. Similarly, chapter 13 is not just for families who have income over the median income level. I am able to save thousands of dollars by filing chapter 13 for families under median income, who could qualify for chapter 7 but get much better results with chapter 13.
If you have a proven program like the one we have here at West Law Office, your credit will be recovered to “good credit” status within one year after discharge if you file chapter 7, and even before you finish your plan if you are filing chapter 13. Don’t believe it when you read that simply because bankruptcy stays on your credit for 7 years (chapter 13) or 10 years (chapter 7) that your credit score will be low for that length of time. That’s just not true.
Bankruptcy is a public record, but it’s not that easy to find. Anyone can go to the courthouse and look up bankruptcy filings, but they are not commonly published in newspapers or their online counterparts. Employers are generally not notified unless the employer is a creditor or you are in a chapter 13 and paying your chapter 13 plan payment by wage deduction. You are permitted to request an exception to the wage deduction payment method if you have reason to.

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Useful Calculators

Here are two helpful calculators for managing your debt repayments and Chapter 13 commitments.