Ohio Archives - Groth & Associates



What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor in Ohio?

By | Criminal Defense, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Ohio generally divides criminal violations into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Of the two, felonies are more serious and typically garner a defendant more time behind bars as well as larger fines. Felonies also carry a more serious loss of civil rights, which can be particularly difficult for defendants to bear.

Both felonies and misdemeanors are serious, and we encourage anyone suspected of a crime to quickly reach out to a Toledo criminal defense attorney. You do not want to delay pulling together a defense.

Maximum Punishments for Misdemeanors

Ohio classifies misdemeanors by degree, with First Degree being the most serious and Fourth Degree and minor misdemeanors being the least. You can find the maximum punishment in Ohio Revised Code  §§ 2929.24 and 2929.28.  To summarize:

  • Minor misdemeanor: No jail time and a maximum $150 fine
  • Fourth-degree misdemeanor: maximum of 30 days in jail and $250 fine
  • Third-degree misdemeanor: maximum 60 days in jail and $500 fine
  • Second-degree misdemeanor: maximum 90 days in jail and $750 fine
  • First-degree misdemeanor: maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine

Felony Sentencing in Ohio

Because felonies are more serious, they will result in more serious penalties. Ohio has revised the penalties, which go into effect in April 2021:

  • Fifth-degree felony: 6-12 months in prison and maximum $2,500 fine
  • Fourth-degree felony: 6-18 months in prison and maximum $5,000 fine
  • Third-degree felony: 9-60 months in prison and maximum $10,000 fine
  • Second-degree felony: minimum of 2 years in prison and maximum $15,000 fine
  • First-degree felony: minimum of 3 years in prison and maximum of $20,000 fine

You will need to check the charges brought against you to determine what penalties you are facing. Remember that murder is a separate crime with its own penalties not discussed in this article.

A word of caution: maximums are just that. Most defendants will not receive the maximum unless they have a lengthy criminal history or there were aggravating circumstances present.

A Felon’s Loss of Civil Rights

Unfortunately, felons will also lose important civil rights once convicted. These are listed in Ohio Revised Code § 2961.01(A). For example, felons will lose the ability to vote while incarcerated, though they are restored on release.

Convicted felons also cannot serve on a jury or hold public office. Both are generally restored when the defendant completes his or her sentences; however, the disqualification from public office might be permanent for offenses that involved official misconduct.

Most significantly, a felon will lose firearm rights for certain violence and drug convictions. A court can restore these when the defendant completes his or her sentence. Otherwise, being caught with a firearm when your rights have not been restored will result in additional criminal penalties.

Speak with an Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Groth & Associates has the experience you need in a criminal defense attorney. Too many people quickly accept the prosecutor’s plea deal without meeting with an attorney. We can review your charges and discuss the most likely resolution to your case. Call us today.

how long does a divorce take in Toledo, Ohio

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Ohio?

By | Divorce, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

This is a common question. The short answer is, “It takes longer to get divorced than it does to get married.” This might seem unfair, but there are so many issues that a divorce must resolve that Ohio does not offer “quick” divorces. Instead, the amount of time will depend on whether you have children or not and whether you can reach an agreement with your spouse on the key issues involved.

Generally, you are looking at 3-4 months at a minimum. For longer, contested divorces, you could be waiting a couple of years before you finally receive your divorce decree. Consult a Toledo divorce lawyer for more information.

Is Dissolution Faster?

Ohio allows couples to seek dissolution or divorce. With dissolution, the couple has negotiated an agreement on all key issues, such as child custody, child support, division of marital property, and spousal support. But that doesn’t necessarily mean dissolution is faster than divorce.

For one thing, you might need to negotiate. The longer you have been married, the more property you will have, for example. Couples might passionately disagree about the terms of the divorce. So although the dissolution process can be quick once you file, the groundwork can be lengthy.

There Is No Separation Requirement

Some states require that divorce couples must live apart for a certain amount of time before they can divorce. Ohio does not have this requirement. True, you can seek a no-fault divorce if you have lived apart for at least a year. But there are other grounds for divorce you can seek.

Have You Met the Residency Requirements?

If you just moved to Ohio, you’ll need to wait before you can get divorced. Ohio courts do not have the power to hear a divorce case (called “jurisdiction”) unless you have lived in the state for six months. There is also a county-level residency requirement: you or your spouse must have lived for at least 90 days in the county where you file for divorce.

As you can see, Ohio does not let people jet into the state and seek a quick divorce. Instead, you need to have laid down some roots first.

Pregnancy Will Slow a Divorce

Judges do not want to finalize a divorce decree until a child is born so that they can deal with child support and other issues. You can file, but you will need to wait for the child’s birth before completing the divorce process.

Why Divorce Takes So Long

We are not joking that your divorce could take up to two years, especially if you are fighting tooth and nail for custody of the kids. There are many steps to a custody fight, including psychological evaluations and pre-trial discovery. These steps take quite a bit of time. Because so much is at stake, we encourage our clients to be deliberate about the process.

Contact Groth & Associates Today

We can discuss ways to speed up your divorce but protecting your rights must be at the forefront. To begin the discussion, please call us or send us an online message.

child support in Ohio

What Does Child Support Cover in Ohio?

By | Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Parents are legally obligated to support their children, and this obligation continues even if a parent doesn’t live with the child. After most divorces in Ohio, one parent will have primary custody of the child, and the other will pay child support. The same is true if the parents never married.

Child support covers many different things. Our Toledo divorce lawyer looks at some of the more important below.

Basic Necessities

Children need food, clothes, electricity, clean water, transportation, and other basic necessities. Child support money goes to these things.

Of course, when calculating the amount of child support owed, a judge is not interested in looking at receipts that show how much a parent spends for these necessities. Instead, a judge basically looks at each parent’s income and the amount of time they have with the children to arrive at a number. This number represents the basic child support obligation.

Child Care

The custodial parent might work, so he or she needs to pay for childcare. These expenses are not included in the basic support obligation. Instead, the child support worksheet requires information about whether either parent has out-of-pocket child care expenses. If your three-year-old goes to daycare, for example, then this is an expense a child support order can cover.

Health Insurance

One parent should provide health insurance to a child. For example, Dad might be the custodial parent, but Mom has health insurance through her job. In this example, a judge might order Mom to carry her daughter on her policy, even if she does not have primary custody.

If neither parent has health insurance through a job, then the judge might divide the costs of getting a private health insurance policy. Low-income children might also qualify for Medicaid.

Medical Expenses

Even with health insurance, children often have medical expenses that one parent must pay out-of-pocket. These expenses can include physician, optical, dental, and psychological services. Medical expenses also include orthodontic work.

In Ohio, child support orders should contain cash medical support. This is the amount of money that Parent A pays to Parent B each year and represents a fund that Parent B draws on to pay medical expenses.

Of course, expenses might exceed this amount. For example, parent A might pay Parent B $400 a year for medical expenses. If the child has $1,000 of expenses, then $600 is not covered.

These uncovered expenses are called “extraordinary medical expenses,” and the child support order should identify how they will be paid. The order might assign all extraordinary medical expenses to one parent or divide them on a percentage basis. As an example, the order might state Parent A must cover 80% of all extraordinary medical expenses, and Parent B must chip in 20%.

Contact Our Child Support Lawyer for More Details

Child support is one of the more confusing aspects of a divorce. We encourage all parents to fully understand their child support order and do what is right for their children. For assistance, contact Groth & Associates today for a free consultation.

injured arm in cast

What is Considered a Serious Bodily Injury?

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Accidents like car wrecks and slip and falls cause many different types of injuries to victims. Some injuries are relatively minor, and a victim should heal within a matter of weeks. But other bodily injuries are serious, and our clients deserve substantial compensation to assist them.

Serious bodily injuries cause our clients to miss out on school or work because the pain or bodily limitation is too much to overcome. Below, our Toledo personal injury lawyer looks at some common features of serious bodily injuries.

Temporary or Permanent Impairment

Any injury that impairs a person’s capacity to move or feel sensation is a serious bodily injury. A person with a serious bodily injury cannot take care of themselves or return to work. They might even become helpless and need someone’s assistance bathing, eating, and cleaning up.

Bodily injuries that cause impairment include:

  • Back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures, particularly on the leg or ribs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations

Impairments can be permanent, or they might improve with sufficient rest and rehabilitation. For example, leg fractures can make it impossible to walk for so long that a person needs rehab to reverse muscle atrophy. Someone who loses a limb, however, has suffered a permanent loss.


Bodily injuries that require surgery are serious. Someone with fractures might need a pin, screw, or plate inserted to hold bone fragments together so they can heal. Other surgeries are necessary to stop bleeding or fix damaged tissue or organs.

Surgery is a serious undertaking, and complications are common. Minor injuries rarely, if ever, require surgery, so being wheeled into the operating room is a sign that your injury is significant.

Acute Pain

Any bodily injury that causes sharp, intense pain is serious. When suffering from pain, a person cannot move or go about their daily business with ease. Pain typically impairs sleep and can lead to depression or other emotional problems.

Even if a person can take painkillers, pain is still a serious injury. Painkillers, such as opioids, often cloud a person’s thinking and alter their mood. Coming off painkillers is also difficult.

There are many sources of pain, including fractures, compressed nerves, and soft-tissue injuries. Sometimes, the pain has no obvious source but is still disabling.

Intense Emotional Anguish

Any bodily injury that causes intense emotional distress can qualify as serious. A disfiguring facial injury, for example, might not be physically immobilizing. However, the embarrassment and anxiety it causes could force a person to stay inside and avoid human contact. When a person’s injury requires psychiatric treatment or prescription drugs, then it is serious.


Burn injuries are unique in that all of the above characteristics are present. Someone who suffers a serious burn will experience intense pain and be immobilized as they wait for the burn to heal. However, burns can also lead to contractures and blisters, which limit the range of mobility. Rehabilitation and surgery are common.

Not every burn is serious. If you have a small, shallow burn, it will heal relatively quickly. Second- or third-degree burns, by contrast, often require skin grafts and longer rest times.

Contact Groth & Associates Today

Serious bodily injuries warrant serious compensation. Get the legal help you need by calling our Toledo personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

bankruptcy in ohio

What Debts Are Left after Bankruptcy in Ohio?

By | Bankruptcy, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Bankruptcy is an effective means of wiping out debt. But not all debts are eligible for “discharge” in the bankruptcy process. It is possible that you will remain several thousands of dollars in debt even going through bankruptcy. For this reason, it is important that you meet with a Toledo bankruptcy attorney to review your debts and determine which you can eliminate.

Secured Debts

Every secured debt has two parts—a debt you personally owe and a security agreement where you pledge collateral in the event you default. Technically, you can eliminate the personal debt in bankruptcy. However, you cannot get rid of the security agreement. Consequently, your creditor can still seize the collateral if you don’t pay—so it doesn’t make sense to say you can “eliminate” secured debts.

The most common secured debts are car loans and home mortgages. Many people hope to eliminate their mortgage in bankruptcy but keep their home, but that is not possible. Instead, you will need to reaffirm your loan, which means it survives bankruptcy. Otherwise, you can give up the collateral.

Child Support & Alimony Debts

If you fell behind on these domestic support obligations, you cannot eliminate them in bankruptcy. Any past-due payments are called “arrearages,” and you will still owe them even after the bankruptcy process. Congress identified these debts as “non-dischargeable” in 11 U.S.C. § 523(5).

Of course, you can still use bankruptcy to help with these debts. If you file Chapter 13, for example, you can spread out your arrearages over the course of your payment plan and avoid wage garnishment. But you can’t eliminate them.

Most Taxes

The government wants taxpayers to pay up, so the bankruptcy code makes most taxes non-dischargeable. You can’t get rid of them.

An exception exists for certain income taxes only. They must meet a long list of conditions, such as:

  • The taxes are more than 3 years old
  • You timely filed your returns or filed for the relevant tax year at least 2 years ago
  • You did not commit tax fraud or evasion
  • The IRS assessed the debt more than 240 days before you filed for bankruptcy

Payroll taxes and tax penalties are not eligible for discharge. Debtors must also realize they cannot eliminate a tax lien that is already in place. Instead, they will need to pay off the lien to get it removed.

Some Court Judgments

A court judgment against you is a debt you must repay. You can eliminate some court judgments in bankruptcy—but not all. For example, the code states that any penalty or judgment based on drunk driving is non-dischargeable.

With other court judgments, it depends on the actions your creditor takes. He or she would have to file an adversary proceeding with the court to object to the discharge. This might happen if your judgment is for an injury caused by fraud or malicious acts.

Student Loans

For now, student loans are difficult to eliminate in bankruptcy. Basically, you will need to show that paying them back is an “undue hardship” by showing the following:

  • You can’t maintain a minimal standard of living and pay your debts at the same time
  • This financial situation will exist for most of the repayment period
  • You have made a good faith effort to pay back the loans

For example, you might be disabled and unable to find full-time employment. If your loans eat up most of your disability check, then they are a hardship.

Let Us Review Your Debt

At Groth & Associates, we perform a full review of all debt to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

toledo skyline

Where to File for Divorce in Toledo

By | Divorce, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

No matter how eager you are to divorce, you cannot officially split from your spouse until a judge approves and issues a divorce decree. And to obtain a decree, you need to file paperwork in the correct court.

If you live in Toledo, you will file for divorce in Lucas County. You will need to go to the Domestic Relations Division of the county court, which has a physical address at 429 N. Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604.

However, before you rush off to the office to file for divorce, you need to check whether you are even eligible for divorce in Ohio at all. Our state does not allow for “quickie divorces,” so you must satisfy certain residential requirements first.

Are You Filing for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage?

People refer to both as “divorce,” but they are legally distinct in Ohio.

Couples can seek a dissolution of marriage when they both agree to divorce. Neither party alleges fault, and the couple agrees on all critical issues.

A couple divorces when they allege fault and/or they disagree about a critical issue such as child custody, child support, spousal support, or the division of marital property and debts. The divorce becomes contested, and the judge must decide one or more of these issues.

Has Either Spouse Lived in Ohio for at Least Six Months Before Filing for Dissolution?

This is the first requirement, found in Ohio Revised Code §3105.62. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Ohio for the six months right before you file for dissolution of your marriage. If you just laid down roots, you’ll need to wait before filing.

Critical: If you are filing for divorce (and not dissolution), see below.

Have You Lived in Ohio for at Least Six Months Before You File for Divorce?

If you are filing for divorce, you must have personally lived in the state for six months before you file your complaint in court. This requirement is found in ORC §3105.03. Unlike with dissolution, it’s not enough that your spouse meets the requirement. If you are filing the paperwork, you must meet this requirement yourself.

Has Either Spouse Lived in Lucas County for at Least 90 Days?

This is another requirement you must meet. Under Ohio Revised Code §3105.03, at least one spouse must have lived in the county where you file for at least 90 days. Again, you will have to wait if neither spouse meets this requirement.

Of course, only one spouse must have lived in the county. You could have moved to a different part of Ohio. So long as your spouse is still living in Lucas County, you can file for divorce here.

Our Toledo Divorce Attorneys Will Untangle the Legal Issues

Deciding when and where to file can be a headache for many people. Let us help. Fortunately, all men and women filing for divorce can hire an attorney to represent them. We will draft all legal pleadings, file them for you, and serve copies on your spouse.

Contact Groth & Associates today to speak with an attorney. Our consultations are confidential.

How Do I Know I Have Been Charged with a Crime?

By | Criminal Defense, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we know that time matters. The sooner you can begin building a defense, the stronger your chances of success. But how will you know you have been charged with a crime?

In Ohio, most criminal charges are by complaint or indictment. You will know what charges you face at your arraignment, which is typically held after being arrested or receiving a summons that commands that you show up in court. For help with your case, contact a criminal defense attorney at Groth & Associates today.


Getting handcuffed is one way you will know you have been charged with a crime. Of course, the police can arrest someone before any criminal charges are filed. But as they put the handcuffs on, they should tell you whether you have been charged with a crime.

There is no sense in resisting arrest—or even asking too many questions. You will learn more about the criminal charges against you at your arraignment. Remember, anything you say could be introduced later in court.


Not every criminal defendant is arrested. You might receive a summons, which tells you to show up to court. According to the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 4(B)(2), the summons should state the time and place where the defendant should appear. The summons will also tell the defendant they will be arrested if they do not show up at the appointed time voluntarily.

Prosecutors have the option of choosing a summons over an arrest warrant when they believe that a summons is adequate to get a defendant to show up in court. This often happens. Also, under Rule 4(A)(2), an officer with a warrant for arrest can, in misdemeanor cases, issue a summons instead of making an arrest.

A summons usually has a copy of the criminal complaint attached. This complaint should include the factual basis for the criminal charge, so you gain a better sense of what the prosecutor is accusing you of. Review the summons and the complaint carefully with an attorney.


An arraignment is typically a defendant’s first appearance before a judge. It is not a trial, and no witnesses will testify. A defendant is not convicted at the arraignment. Instead, the judge will read out the charges and the defendant enters a plea. A defendant can request a public defender at that time or have their own attorney present. A judge also informs a defendant of other important rights, such as the right to bail and the right to remain silent.

Under Ohio law, your arraignment must happen within days of your arrest—within 48 hours is standard. If the prosecutor needs more time, then they need to point to extraordinary circumstances that support holding you for longer.

If you do not have an attorney, we strongly encourage you to enter a “Not Guilty” plea and request a lawyer immediately. In some cases, the prosecutor will need to convince a judge that they have probable cause for charging you.

Speak with Groth & Associates Today

Our criminal defense attorneys can swing into action and represent you if you have been arrested or received a summons. Contact us to schedule your confidential consultation.

How to Drive Safely in Snowy or Icy Conditions in Ohio

By | Car Accident, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

As a driver in Ohio, you need to be ready for anything. While winter days can be sunny and bright, snow and ice are also in the forecast this season, too. Whether you’ll be traveling for the holidays, commuting to work, or just running errands, knowing how to safely navigate roads can go a long way in keeping you safe and well. Here are some tips for driving safely in snowy or icy conditions in Ohio. 

Always Take it Slow

The number one tip for driving in snowy and icy conditions is just to slow down. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the greater the risk that it loses traction with the road and you’ll lose control. By slowing down, you reduce your risk of an accident. While you may not arrive at your destination as quickly, knowing that you’ve avoided serious injuries and property damage costs is well worth it.

Prep Your Vehicle Before Heading Out

Another tip for driving in winter weather is to prep your vehicle before heading out. Be sure to top off your fluids, and make sure you have a full tank of gas (in the event that you do slide off the road, having the ability to run your engine to stay warm while you wait for help is important). Of course, make sure that your vehicle has an ice scraper in it, and, depending on your car type and where you’re going, consider upgrading to snow/all-weather tires or at least putting chains on your car. As an extra precaution, pack a first aid kit, some non-perishable food items, water, and a blanket, too.

Don’t Stop; Be Consistent in Acceleration and Braking

Some mistakes that drivers make when trying to navigate snowy and icy roads are stopping too frequently, slamming on the brakes if they start to slip, and being unsure about how much to accelerate, especially when traveling up hills. Here are some tips:

  • Be consistent in the amount of force you apply to your brakes and your gas pedal. Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • When roads are really bad, try not to stop if you can help it. When you are approaching a light, try to slow down well in advance and wait out the light so that you can keep rolling through, rather than having to stop and start again.
  • Don’t power up hills, but don’t fail to apply enough power, either. If you try to accelerate too quickly, your wheels will spin. The best way to approach a hill is to travel a little bit more quickly as you approach the hill, and then allow inertia to carry you up over the top as you consistently apply power to the gas. 

Increase Your Following Distance

Anytime that road conditions are iffy–whether that means snow and ice or just a lot of traffic–you should increase your following distance. Giving yourself extra space between the vehicle in front of you means that you have time to react if the other car spins out, gets stuck, stops suddenly, etc. 

Call Our Ohio Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you’re in a car accident this winter, our Ohio car accident lawyers at the office of Groth & Associates can help you to file your claim and recover a settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.

bankruptcy in ohio

Common Myths About Bankruptcy

By | Bankruptcy, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

If you are considering personal bankruptcy, you have probably started the process of researching Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy online, and you might have spoken with friends or family members about the process. While some preliminary research into the consumer bankruptcy process can be helpful for debtors who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it is important to remember that there is also a lot of misinformation available. Indeed, according to articles in NerdWallet and U.S. News & World Report, consumers encounter many different bankruptcy myths. We want to dispel some of those myths for you and help you to understand more clearly what you should expect when it comes to the consumer bankruptcy process in Ohio.

Common Myth #1: Your Credit Will Never Recover

Many people hear drastic warnings about the effects of personal bankruptcy, and they commonly hear that their credit will never recover and that they will never again be eligible to finance a motor vehicle or to obtain a credit card. To be clear, this is a myth. While your credit will not immediately bounce back after you receive a bankruptcy discharge, you can begin taking steps quickly to rebuild your credit and to remain on track with your finances. Often, applying for a retail credit card or a secured card is a good option because it is a bit easier to obtain these credit cards than others. Once you have a credit card again, you can begin rebuilding your credit by making charges and paying them off each month. After several months pass of timely payments, you can often be approved for a traditional credit card.

Common Myth #2: You Will Never Be Able to Get a Mortgage

Similar to the myth we just discussed your credit being ruined forever, it is a mistake to think that bankruptcy means you will not be able to apply for and be approved for a mortgage. Indeed, this is another common bankruptcy myth. While you will need to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy in order to be eligible for a mortgage again, there are certainly mortgage options available to those who have filed for consumer bankruptcy. In fact, many people file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to stop a foreclosure and to get caught up with mortgage payments.

Common Myth #3: Student Loans Will Not Be Discharged in Bankruptcy

Many people hear that they cannot discharge student loans in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We want to be clear in saying that this is a myth. Although it is more difficult to discharge student loans in bankruptcy than certain other types of debt like credit card or medical debt, you should know that student loans are indeed dischargeable in many bankruptcy cases.

Contact an Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney for Assistance

Are you considering personal bankruptcy in Ohio? We can dispel many common myths about consumer bankruptcy for you today, and we can answer any questions you have about the bankruptcy process. When you are ready to file, one of our experienced Toledo bankruptcy attorneys can represent you every step of the way. Contact Groth & Associates for more information about how we can assist you.

Filing for Bankruptcy in Ohio During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By | Bankruptcy, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Filing for consumer bankruptcy under any circumstances is a complicated task. To be sure, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is extremely complicated, and both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases require significant documentation and specific filing requirements. Accordingly, even in the best circumstances, it is critical to have an experienced Ohio consumer bankruptcy lawyer on your side. Yet during the COVID-19 pandemic, bankruptcy cases have involved more complications than usual. Given that so many Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus emergency and have not been able to return to work, increased bankruptcy filings are likely.

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to make sure you understand some of the ways in which public health restrictions could affect your bankruptcy case.

You Can Still Seek Assistance from a Bankruptcy Lawyer

You might be concerned that you will not be able to work with a bankruptcy attorney since many lawyers and law firms are working from home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is extremely important to know that lawyers are still taking new bankruptcy cases and representing consumers in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. While it may be necessary to meet virtually and to handle the details of a bankruptcy case within a physical in-person meeting, all of the important and necessary aspects of a lawyer-client relationship have remained the same. Our Toledo bankruptcy lawyers remain here to assist debtors with consumer bankruptcy cases.

Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses Will Remain Online

When you file for consumer bankruptcy, you are required to attend pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and a post-bankruptcy debtor education course. Even prior to the pandemic, debtors who were seeking bankruptcy protection could complete these requirements online. Given that the pandemic has resulted in many in-person requirements shifting to a virtual model, you likely will not be surprised to learn that credit counseling and debtor education courses will remain online. To be clear, when it comes to completing these requirements, the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed anything.

341 Meeting of Creditors Will Be Conducted Virtually

In a typical bankruptcy case, the 341 Meeting of Creditors is always conducted in person and is a requirement for the bankruptcy case to move forward and for the debtor to receive a discharge. While the pandemic has indeed resulted in the 341 Meeting of Creditors moving to an online or virtual environment, you should know that this requirement will still be able to take place and your bankruptcy case can continue to move forward.

In short, although the pandemic has shifted some elements of a bankruptcy case, the COVID-19 emergency is not stopping debtors from filing for bankruptcy or receiving discharges.

Contact a Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney

For the most part, bankruptcy filings will not change in form due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you should anticipate that you may need to have your case heard virtually, and you may need to attend required meetings or hearings virtually instead of going into a courtroom and standing before a judge. Yet when it comes to having an experienced Toledo bankruptcy attorney on your side, our firm will be here for you every step of the way—whether we do so virtually or in person. Contact Groth & Associates today for more information about how we can assist you.


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