SKILLED IN CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY CASES
Are creditors constantly contacting you, trying to collect on debt? Is your phone ringing off the hook, or have you received notices in the mail warning you of foreclosure or having property seized? Worse, have you had a lawsuit filed against you for debt collection purposes? If any of these things are true, you need financial help and relief. There are many options for dealing with debt – filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of them. At the law offices of Groth & Associates, our experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys can help you to understand the basics of Chapter 13 and represent you during the process. Call us today if you are drowning in debt and need legal help.
For a free legal consultation, call (419) 930-3030
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY: THE BASICS
There are multiple types of bankruptcy. For individuals, the two bankruptcy types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While the benefits–and drawbacks–of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be discussed in more detail below, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers the bankruptcy-equivalent of a “soft landing.” While it may not be a perfect solution, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will provide you with a path forward for paying off some of your debts and getting control of your financial future.
Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy–also called a wage earner’s plan–a debtor will propose a repayment plan to creditors that will be approved by the bankruptcy court. Typically, the plan will include a proposal to repay an agreed upon portion of debts over a three-to-five-year timeline. Usually, the plan will be for five years if the debtor’s income is over the state median income; if the debtor’s income is less than the state median income, then the plan will be for three years.
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BENEFITS OF FILING FOR A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy and you have the income and means to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, doing so offers many benefits over a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation bankruptcy). Indeed, one of the most significant advantages of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that because debtors are repaying a portion of their debts, they are often permitted to keep more assets than are those in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including their homes. If you are at risk of foreclosure, filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you to keep your home.
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY: ELIGIBILITY
In order to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must be eligible. Eligibility for a Chapter 13 is based on the amount of secured and unsecured debts that the person has. The individual’s unsecured debts must be less than $394,725, and the individual’s secured debts must be less than $1,184,200.
In addition to considerations about the amount of debt that a debtor has, a debtor will also be barred from filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if a prior bankruptcy petition has been dismissed during the prior 180 days. Finally, a debtor must also have received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy.
Note that if your income is less than the state median income, you may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Be sure to discuss your options with a skilled bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible if you are thinking about filing.
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THE PROCESS OF FILING FOR A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
Filing for bankruptcy can be confusing, as the process is very much a legal one that involves the bankruptcy court. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a financial professional and a lawyer before making the decision to file for bankruptcy. If you hire an attorney, your attorney can manage the various elements of filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your behalf. Important steps that you’ll need to take throughout the process include:
- Preparing all relevant financial documents, including paychecks, bank statements, tax documents, names of all creditors and details of their claims against you, a list of all of your property, etc. Again, your attorney can assist you in preparing all necessary and relevant documents.
- Filing a bankruptcy petition with the court.
- Filing additional relevant documents, including schedules of your assets and liabilities, schedule of your current income and costs, and a schedule any leases of financial contracts you have. You will also need to include a statement of financial affairs.
- Filing your repayment plan within 14 days of filing your petition.
- Pay your filing fees. According to the United States Court’s website, there is a $235 case filing fee and an additional $75 miscellaneous administrative fee that will be charged.
- Meeting of creditors – between three and seven weeks after filing for bankruptcy, your bankruptcy trustee–who is assigned by the court to administer your bankruptcy case–will hold a meeting of creditors. During this process, you will need to answer questions about your financial affairs and your proposed plan for paying off debts under oath.
- Starting to make payments – if your plan hasn’t yet been approved, you will need to start making payments to your creditors within 30 days after filing your bankruptcy case.
WHY YOU SHOULD PARTNER WITH AN EXPERIENCED BANKRUPTCY LAWYER
Working with an experienced attorney is always a smart idea when navigating any legal issue. At the law office of Groth & Associates, we believe that filing for bankruptcy is a time when it is especially important to have a legal representative on your side. Without a lawyer, you may fail to understand the range of options available to you, may make mistakes in filing your petition or may make errors that are costly and time-consuming. Your attorney can manage all of the most technical aspects of filing for bankruptcy on your behalf and is obligated to act within your best interests throughout the process.
CALL OUR CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS TODAY
If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy or want to learn more about the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, our lawyers can help. Please reach out to our legal team at Groth & Associates today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist. We are available online or by phone at your convenience.
Under Ohio law, grandparents can adopt their grandchildren. This is not a given, however, and grandparents would be well advised to hire an attorney. Many grandparents are currently acting as guardians for their grandchildren, either because a biological parent is in jail, struggling with drug addiction, or simply unable to care for their child.
Society’s view of what makes an acceptable “family” has changed dramatically over the years. Nevertheless, LGBT individuals and couples can face unique challenges when it comes to adoption. In some same-sex couples, one person is the biological parent of children and the other hopes to adopt. If the other biological parent is on the scene, then this is in effect a stepparent adoption.
Increasingly, same sex couples are using surrogates and/or sperm donors to have children, and we can help with legal issues surrounding those procedures as well. If you are interested in international adoption, realize that some countries will not place a child with an LGBT individual or couple.
ADOPTIONS BY SINGLE PARENTS
Ohio does not prohibit single parents from adoption, though there might be challenges since many social workers consider a two-parent family the ideal. These challenges are not insurmountable, but you should talk with a lawyer. We have seen growth in the adoption of special needs children by single people, so this is an option to consider as well.
Interested in Adoption? Contact Us Today
Groth & Associates can simplify the adoption process and bring loving families and children together. To meet with an attorney, call us today for a free consultation.
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