SKILLED IN BANKRUPTCY CASES
While money may not buy happiness, there is certainly something to be said for financial solvency. Indeed, financial insolvency can be extremely stressful, limiting, and worrisome as one plans for their future. In some cases, insolvency becomes severe, and a person becomes figuratively buried by their debts, with what seems like no options for relief. At the office of Groth & Associates, our Findlay, OH bankruptcy attorneys understand the hopelessness and anxiety you may be experiencing related to your financial situation and large amounts of debt. If you feel as though you have no other options and have considered other avenues of debt relief, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option moving forward. Reach out to our bankruptcy lawyers in Findlay today to learn more about filing for bankruptcy.
SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO THINK ABOUT BANKRUPTCY
When facing a mountain of debt, filing for bankruptcy is not the first thing that you should consider. In fact, while bankruptcy can provide relief, there are many consequences associated with filing for bankruptcy and, as such, bankruptcy is often viewed as a last-resort option. That being said, there are some signs that filing for bankruptcy may be the best path moving forward. These signs include:
- You are being constantly contacted by creditors;
- You have had a lawsuit to collect on debt filed against you;
- You have exhausted your savings and do not have any cash left;
- You have already explored other debt-relief options, such as consolidating your debt or restructuring your mortgage;
- You have received a foreclosure notice from your mortgage lender;
- You are not making enough money to make even the minimum payments on your monthly credit cards bills, as well as pay your other basic expenses;
- You have maxed out your credit cards and are accumulating interest;
- You have taken out a high-cost loan, such as a payday loan; and
- You’ve experienced a major personal life setback that you can’t recover from financially, such as a divorce or a medical crisis.
If any of the above situations apply to you, we recommend consulting with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.
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TYPES OF BANKRUPTCY
For individuals who are seeking debt relief, there are two primary types of bankruptcy filing options that may apply.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the bankruptcy option for the debtors who satisfy the “means test”–which means that their income is less than the state median–and who are willing to liquidate their assets (sell for cash) in order to pay down some of their debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for those who have no means of repaying debts, as this type of bankruptcy will discharge the majority of unsecured debts, such as credit card debt. However, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many nonexempt assets will be lost.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The other type of bankruptcy option for individuals is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For those who have the means to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, this type of bankruptcy is typically preferred, as the effect on one’s credit score long-term is less severe, and the individual filing will be able to hold on to more of their assets by choosing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you make more than the state median income and do not pass the means test, you will be barred from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and a Chapter 13 will be your only option. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor will be responsible for paying back a portion of their debts through a repayment plan that lasts between three and five years. After this, remaining eligible debts will be discharged.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, consult with our Findlay, OH bankruptcy lawyers to learn which type of bankruptcy filing is most appropriate for you.
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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF BANKRUPTCY
Filing for bankruptcy, as described above, is typically a last-resort option. However, while there are some serious disadvantages to filing for bankruptcy, the benefits of filing for bankruptcy are significant, especially for those who have exhausted other debt-relief options. Some of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy include:
- Initiating the automatic stay, which prevents creditors from collecting on debts while the bankruptcy action is pending;
- Discharging certain debts;
- Providing the debtor with a clean slate and fresh start;
- Allowing a debtor to keep their house and certain assets (when filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy);
- Offering a sense of control – filing for bankruptcy and making a plan for your financial future can be empowering.
While bankruptcy may offer you a way of starting over financially, there are also some drawbacks to bankruptcy, too. These include:
- Only certain debts can be discharged. If you have student loan debt or unpaid child support debt, for example, then these debts will not be forgiven.
- Filing for bankruptcy will very negatively impact your credit score, making it very difficult for you to secure a loan, mortgage, or credit card in the future.
- You may lose certain assets by filing for bankruptcy, especially if you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
SERVICES OFFERED BY A FINDLAY, OH BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
If you are thinking about bankruptcy or have made the decision to file for bankruptcy, our Findlay, OH bankruptcy lawyers can help. Services we offer include:
- Explaining the different types of bankruptcy;
- Analyzing your financial situation and advising you of your options, including alternatives to bankruptcy;
- Filing all bankruptcy documents on your behalf;
- Guiding you through the process and explaining to you your rights and obligations, including the requirement to attend credit counseling;
- Representing you at your bankruptcy hearing; and
Filing for bankruptcy on your own can be an overwhelming process, as well as technical one that is difficult to understand. Call a lawyer for the support you need.
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REACH OUT TO GROTH & ASSOCIATES FOR A CONSULTATION TODAY
Drowning in debt is exhausting, emotional, and extremely stressful. To learn more about your options and what the process of filing for bankruptcy looks like, call our Findlay, OH bankruptcy attorneys at Groth & Associates today, or send us a message telling us more about your situation online. We will get back to you as soon as possible.