SKILLED IN BANKRUPTCY CASES
Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyers Representing Clients in Oregon, Ohio
Dealing with large amounts of debt may have advantages in some cases. For example, if you have a large mortgage but you are able to make your mortgage payments on time and in full, this is usually considered a positive debt type. On the other hand, if you have built up unsecured debt, like large amounts of credit card debt, and have no way to pay it back and are struggling to make even your monthly minimum payments, you may be looking at serious financial consequences.
At the law office of Groth & Associates, our Oregon, OH bankruptcy lawyers believe that bankruptcy should be a last-resort option to solving your financial woes but, when necessary, it can provide a large amount of relief. If you have questions about bankruptcy or are ready to file for bankruptcy, you can count on our lawyers for support and guidance.
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WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY?
Exactly what bankruptcy is–and what it isn’t–is often confusing for debtors. To clear up any misconceptions, bankruptcy is not a process during which all of your debts are forgiven and you are given a clean slate; while the discharge of debts is part of the bankruptcy process, it’s much more complicated than that alone.
Bankruptcy can be described as the court-facilitated process during which a debtor seeks relief from all or a portion of their debts to creditors. There are specific types of bankruptcy that can be filed, with specific rules for each. At the conclusion of a bankruptcy case, bankruptcy will be imposed by court order.
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TYPES OF BANKRUPTCY
Before you file for bankruptcy, it’s important that you know about the different types of bankruptcy filings available and which one is most relevant to your case. For individual debtors, there are two types of bankruptcy that are most common: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often called liquidation bankruptcy, is designed for those who have large amounts of debt and who have no income or resources to repay those debts. As such, through Chapter 7, non-exempt assets will be liquidated (sold for cash) and proceeds will be used to pay back creditors to the extent possible. Afterward, most remaining debts will be discharged. Note that not all debts are eligible for discharge.
In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor must pass the means test. This is a test that is used to determine whether you have the resources and income to pay back a portion of your debt, in which case a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be more appropriate. If you earn less than your state’s median income for a household of your size, then you automatically pass the means test. If your income exceeds the state median, then the process is more complicated and involves determining whether or not you have enough disposable income to pay back a portion of your debts.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
For those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is the way to go. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is unlike Chapter 7 in that instead of liquidating assets and then having debts discharged, a debtor will enter into a repayment plan with their creditors to pay back a portion or all of their debts over a three-to-five-year time period. While this may not sound as attractive on its face, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has some clear advantages, including that a Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep more of their assets and has a less severe impact on a person’s credit score.
ADVANTAGES TO FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
Filing for bankruptcy when you have exhausted other debt-relief and financial-management options has some major advantages. These include:
- Initiating the automatic stay. Have you been receiving phone calls and letters in the mail from creditors day after day, sometimes multiple times per day? By filing for bankruptcy, you’ll trigger the automatic stay – an immediate, mandatory halt on any efforts from debt collectors to continue collecting a debt. This means that creditors can no longer contact you while your bankruptcy case is proceeding, which can give you much-needed relief.
- Providing a clear path forward. Another reason that filing for bankruptcy can be advantageous is that doing so provides a clear path forward. When you are drowning in debt, you may be lost as to how you’ll ever get out of it. When you file for bankruptcy, though, you work with an attorney, the court, and your creditors to develop a plan that is manageable and gives hope for the future.
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DISADVANTAGES OF BANKRUPTCY
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to filing for bankruptcy, too, although for many debtors, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. Some of the downsides to filing for bankruptcy include:
- If you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your non-exempt assets may be liquidated. This means that you could lose your home, a second vehicle, and other valuable assets.
- Some debts in bankruptcy, such as student loan debt and child support/alimony, typically cannot be discharged.
- Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for many years to come – 10 years for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and seven years for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Filing for bankruptcy will make it very difficult for you to obtain other forms of credit or loans, including a mortgage.
Words from our clients
Stevin is by far the best Lawyer that I have encountered. He is professional, knowledgeable, and very patient. I have lived out of the country for the past 5 years and anytime I needed legal assistance he has always been there for me as if I was next door. I would strongly recommend Stevin Groth no matter what the circumstances are. His dedication and attention to detail is what’s appreciated the most. Thanks for all that you have done and you will continue to do for me.
Stevin was very professional and got me the best possible outcome for my case. I would recommend him to anybody that is looking for a great quality lawyer.
I had the pleasure of working with Stevin Groth on a case. He went above and beyond what I expected. I expected the worst and he fought for me way better than anyone would have. Will use again if needed. Cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you.
HOW OUR OREGON, OH BANKRUPTCY LAWYER CAN HELP
Filing for bankruptcy is both a big decision and a legally intensive process. If you are thinking about bankruptcy, our Oregon, OH bankruptcy lawyers can help you by explaining the different types of bankruptcy, helping you prepare for your bankruptcy filing, representing you during your bankruptcy hearing, and more. We know how stressful it is to be facing large amounts of debt, and we want to help.
To learn more about our services for clients like you, please contact our Oregon, OH bankruptcy law firm directly by phone or by sending us a message. We can start working on your case immediately.