SKILLED IN BANKRUPTCY CASES
Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyers Representing Clients in Perrysburg, Ohio
There are few things that can cause as much stress as financial woes. If you are drowning in debt and feel as though you have no way out, you may feel hopeless and anxious about the future and what you’ll do both short- and long-term to provide for yourself and your loved ones. Depending on your circumstances, there may be more options for financial relief available than you think, and one of those options might be filing for bankruptcy. At the law office of Groth & Associates, our Perrysburg bankruptcy lawyer is available to support you throughout the process. If you are thinking about bankruptcy, please call us today.
ALTERNATIVES TO BANKRUPTCY
While bankruptcy can provide a large amount of financial relief and may give you the clean slate that you’re looking for, it’s not without consequences, including a big negative mark on your credit report that will make it difficult for you to get a loan or secure a line of credit for years to come. As such, before you turn to bankruptcy, it’s important to consider your other options for dealing with your debt. Our lawyer will help you to explore these alternatives to bankruptcy, including:
- Refinancing. One option for managing your debt may be refinancing the terms of your loan, such as your mortgage loan. This process may be as simple as working with your lender, explaining your situation, and then reaching an agreement that works for both of you, such as lower monthly payments.
- Debt consolidation. Another debt-relief option that you might explore is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation refers to debt refinancing that involves consolidating all of your debts into one payment and then taking out a single loan to pay off the others. Through debt consolidation and a new loan, you may be able to secure a low-interest rate, low monthly payment, or both.
- Debt repayment plan. Sometimes, getting out of debt is as straightforward as working with a financial professional who can assist you in developing a budget that prioritizes paying off your debts. This, combined with negotiating with your creditors to reach repayment terms that work for both parties, can be very effective.
If you have exhausted the above options, bankruptcy might be the next best thing.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Perrysburg, call (419) 930-3030
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHAPTER 7 AND CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
There are two types of bankruptcy filing options that are most common for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, a debtor must pass the means test. The means test is a way to determine whether or not the debtor has enough disposable income to repay all or a portion of their debts; if they do not, then they can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. During this bankruptcy filing type, non-exempt assets will be liquidated, creditors will be paid to the extent possible, and remaining debts will be discharged. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on a person’s credit score for 10 years.
In contrast to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a creditor entering into a repayment plan with their creditors, which will last for between three and five years. At the conclusion of the repayment plan, any remaining debts will be discharged. This type of bankruptcy is advantageous both because it allows a creditor to keep more of their assets, including a home, in many cases, and because it stays on one’s credit report for seven years as opposed to 10.
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TYPES OF DEBTS THAT CAN BE DISCHARGED IN A BANKRUPTCY FILING
Some people mistakenly assume that once they file for bankruptcy, all of their debts will be wiped out and they won’t have to worry about paying back any creditors at all. But the process doesn’t work like this. Instead, not only is bankruptcy an intensive process whereby most debts will pay back some of their debts, but it is also a process in which only certain types of debt are dischargeable, or forgiven.
Debts that typically cannot be discharged by filing for bankruptcy include:
- Child support and alimony;
- Tax liens;
- Debts accruing out of a willful and malicious injury to a person;
- Debts from civil suit for personal injury or wrongful death arising from drunk driving;
- Debts that you forget to list when filing for bankruptcy (you cannot go back later and change this once your bankruptcy is complete).
In addition to the above, it is often very difficult to discharge student loan debt and income tax debt.
STEPS TO TAKE TO PREPARE FOR A BANKRUPTCY FILING
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, there are a few steps that you should take before filing. These include:
- Work with a financial professional or a bankruptcy attorney to understand whether there are alternatives to bankruptcy that you should pursue first;
- Review your finances to determine whether or not you should file for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy;
- Gather all financial documents, including tax returns, proof of income/paycheck stubs, information about bank accounts, an inventory of your assets, and a list of all of your debts;
- Complete the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency; and
- Hire a bankruptcy attorney if you have not already done so.
There is no legal requirement to hire an attorney when you are filing for bankruptcy, but doing so may be advantageous. Your attorney can handle all of your paperwork on your behalf, help you to gather required documents, explain to you your options, and represent you every step of the way. As such, working with an attorney may take some of the stress out of the process.
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CALL OUR PERRYSBURG BANKRUPTCY LAW FIRM TODAY
If you are facing large amounts of debt and thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. At the law office of Groth & Associates, our experienced Perrysburg bankruptcy attorneys can help. To schedule a consultation, please call our firm directly or send us a message at your convenience. We are here to help you.