Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyers Since 1971
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Individuals often find themselves buried in debt. This debt arises in various ways, including job losses and layoffs, medical issues, and divorce. In many cases the debt leaves these people depressed and the related stress can be horrible. You may find yourself worrying about saving your home and saving your car and other assets as well as how to restore the good credit you once had. A bankruptcy filing can be used to help achieve these goals. Our firm is available for a free consultation to determine if bankruptcy is an appropriate solution for your financial problems.
Below are the most common questions we receive from individuals considering bankruptcy:
HOW DOES A CHAPTER 7 LIQUIDATION WORK?
In a Chapter 7 case, the debtor receives a discharge of most of his unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.). A determination is also made as to what property of the debtor is exempt or non-exempt. Non-exempt property may be turned over to a bankruptcy trustee, who then converts the property into cash by selling it and pays the debtor’s creditors from the sale proceeds.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A CHAPTER 7 DISCHARGE?
A person may not be eligible for a discharge under Chapter 7 if he or she has been granted a discharge in a Chapter 7 case filed within the last eight years or in a Chapter 13 case filed within the last four years; if he or she engages in certain fraudulent conduct related to the bankruptcy or his or her financial situation; or if he or she refuses to answer questions or obey orders of the bankruptcy court; or if he or she fails to qualify under the financial means test.
MAY A HUSBAND AN WIFE FILE JOINTLY UNDER CHAPTER 7?
Yes. A husband and wife may file a joint petition under Chapter 7. If a joint petition is filed, only one set of bankruptcy forms is needed and only one filing fee is charged.
DOES MY SPOUSE HAVE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IF I DO?
No. However the spouse that does not file will not receive the benefits of bankruptcy. In other words, if the non-filing spouse is jointly liable on certain debts, he or she will remain liable for those debts even if the filing spouse filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. On the other hand, the non-filing spouse will not have bankruptcy noted on his or her credit report.
CAN MY EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ME BASED ON MY BANKRUPTCY?
No. It is illegal for both private and governmental employers to discriminate against a person as to employment because that person has filed bankruptcy under Chapter 7. Your employer cannot fire you if you file bankruptcy.
WILL BANKRUPTCY STOP A WAGE GARNISHMENT?
Yes. Some of the money garnished from your paycheck may even be returned to you, depending on how much was garnished and when it was garnished. If your wages are currently subject to garnishment, a Notification of Stay must be mailed to the creditor and your employer in order to stop the garnishment after your bankruptcy petition is filed
WILL BANKRUPTCY STOP A FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING?
Yes. Foreclosure cases are stopped during your bankruptcy, but only temporarily. Unless you enter into alternate arrangements with your mortgage company, the foreclosure process will continue after your bankruptcy case is over, but you will not be obligated to pay the underlying loan payments.
WILL FILING BANKRUPTCY GET RID OF TAX DEBTS?
Most tax debts are not discharged in a bankruptcy. Business tax debts, like sales taxes and employee-withholding obligations, can never be discharged. Income and self-employment taxes, however, may under certain circumstances be discharged or reduced if they are at least three years old and the tax returns have been on file for at least two years.
WILL CREDITORS STOP HARASSING ME IF I FILE A BANKRUPTCY?
Yes. When you file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will issue an “automatic stay,” which will immediately stop all of your creditors from calling you.
IS THERE A FREE CONSULTATION:
Yes. Although you do not legally need an attorney to file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy laws are so complex and differ slightly from state to state that professional help is strongly advised. Competent legal representation can prevent you from experiencing even further financial disaster, such as the loss of your home and other valuable property, as well as set your finances straight for the future. That is why Denman & Lerner Co, LPA provide free consultation to anyone considering bankruptcy.