Monthly Archives

June 2020

What is the Means Test in Bankruptcy?

By | Bankruptcy, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you probably already know that a key benefit of the process is emerging debt-free and getting a fresh start. If you qualify, you can wipe out credit cards, medical bills, and other unsecured debt, while also enjoying an automatic stay against creditors seeking payment. However, there are strict rules associated with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. One of the most important is the “means test,” which assesses your income as a determining factor for purposes of eligibility.

There’s more to the Chapter 7 means test than a simple dollar amount, as bankruptcy courts will evaluate multiple factors and apply them to your unique situation. For this reason, retaining a Toledo bankruptcy attorney is crucial. You might also find it helpful to review some of the basics.

Purpose of the Means Test:

Though there are drawbacks in terms of your credit rating, the benefits of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy are significant for the individual who files. When the process concludes, you have opportunities to build good credit without the burden of overwhelming debt. For many people dealing with interest and late fees they can’t pay off, bankruptcy is a smart financial move. The means test was implemented to prevent high wage earners from eliminating their debts when they do have the ability. In short, if you make too much, you’re not eligible for Chapter 7.

Eligibility Rules:

According to US Bankruptcy Code regulations, there are two factors for determining whether you qualify for Chapter 7 according to the means test:

  1. If your current monthly earnings are under the threshold median income for Ohio, you pass the means test. The amount is based upon your household size and how many people contribute financially. You can file for Chapter 7.
  2. When your monthly household income exceeds the threshold amount, your disposable income is the focus. To calculate the amount, refer to what you earn and subtract allowable expenses. Examples include housing costs, utilities, food, and other necessities. If it’s possible to pay some of your unsecured debts, you may NOT qualify under the means test.

Pass-Fail on the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test:

For individuals who aren’t eligible under the rules regarding the means test, Chapter 13 might be an option. Repayment is the objective of the process, though you may not have to pay the full amount that you owe creditors. There are additional advantages of filing Chapter 13 if you want to retain assets that would otherwise be liquidated in Chapter 7.

Get Additional Details from a Toledo, OH Bankruptcy Lawyer

The Chapter 7 means test is just of many complicated laws involved with the bankruptcy process, so it’s wise to work with an experienced attorney who can assist with your matter. Our team at Groth & Associates is dedicated to helping clients look forward to a brighter financial future through bankruptcy, so please contact us to set up a consultation. You can reach our Toledo, OH office by calling 419.482.1176 or visiting our website.

Which Dogs Tend to Bite the Most?

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Dogs rank high among America’s favorite pets, but not all of these canines are friendly. Dog bite statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than 344,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for injuries every year. Victims are devastated by physical pain, but the emotional and financial implications can be just as extreme. Ohio laws do provide you with options if you were hurt in an animal attack, but it’s difficult to know what to do because of the complicated laws regarding liability.

If you were injured under such circumstances, your first priority should be retaining a Toledo dog bite lawyer who will strive to recover monetary damages for your losses. Some information about the types of dogs that tend to bite may also help you understand the risks.

Statistics on Dog Bites by Breed

There’s no absolute test for what dog breeds are dangerous, so much analysis focuses on the frequency and extent of the harm for the human victim. Data indicates that Chihuahuas, Papillion, and Lhasa Apso breeds are the most likely to bite. However, the dog breeds that are most likely to cause serious, scarring injuries are:

  • Pit bulls;
  • Bulldogs;
  • German and Australian Shepherds;
  • Bull terriers;
  • Rottweilers;
  • Pinschers; and,
  • Mixed breeds.

Liability in Ohio Dog Bite Claims

Ohio is one of several US states that follows the strict liability theory for dog bite injuries. A victim who suffers a bite or any other type of injury can pursue the animal’s owner for damages without the legal requirement of showing fault. This rule is different from other jurisdictions where it’s necessary to show that the dog had bitten or showed other types of aggression in the past. Still, there are other theories of liability in dog bite claims, such as:

  • Negligence, if the dog’s owner failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care in controlling the animal; and,
  • Negligence per se, where the owner violated a law related to securing, handling, or leashing. Many Ohio counties and local governments have enacted statutes on these issues.

Compensation in Ohio Dog Bite Cases

The losses for a dog bite victim extend beyond the physical pain, since there are often emotional implications. Whether your claim proceeds according to statutory law or negligence concepts, you may qualify to recover a wide range of monetary damages. Examples include:

  • Medical costs for treatment, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, and related expenses;
  • Costs for psychiatric and/or psychological treatment;
  • Lost wages;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and,
  • Many more.

Speak to a Toledo, OH Dog Bite Attorney About Your Rights

At Groth & Associates, our lawyers know that an animal attack is scary and carries many more losses than you might expect. We’re dedicated to assisting you with the claims process to get the compensation you deserve under Ohio law, including medical costs, pain, and suffering. To learn more about your options, please contact our office in Toledo. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 419.482.1176 or filling out on our online request form.

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