Thinking About Filing Bankruptcy?
Below are some “frequently asked questions”
to get you up to speed.
Bankruptcy Lawyers, Napoleon, Ohio
5 TIPS FOR BANKRUPTCY SUCCESS
- Start with a free consultation
- Choose an experienced attorney
- Get a recent copy of your credit report
- Avoid impersonal & large bankruptcy mills
- Do your homework, learn about bankruptcy
What is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding afforded to individuals (or businesses) who are unable to handle a financial crisis. Bankruptcy is made available by federal law so that you can have a fresh chance.
Will I lose my car or home? Many clients are able to save a car or home. Legal strategies are available to assist clients in saving their family home or vehicle. Typical warning signs that your home or car may be at risk include loan arrears and excessive equity. Arm yourself with knowledge at the beginning. Call your lender for a recent pay off value and click on our Bankruptcy Ohio Client Resources link to determine the current value of your home or car. Call today to discuss all available legal options. We can help!
Can I re-establish credit after filing bankruptcy? YES!!!! Bankruptcy is intended to give you a fresh start. After the completion of your bankruptcy case, it is not uncommon to receive new credit offers. However, we advise our clients to be prudent in choosing any credit after a bankruptcy. Creditors may seem anxious to lend you money, however many times high interest rates or other negative terms exist. These terms and rates will likely improve with time.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13? Many individuals file for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Code. Which one you qualify for is a function of your household income, debts, prior bankruptcy filings, liquidation risks, and various other factors. It is estimated that over 80% of debtors in the metro Toledo area file under chapter 7.
What is Chapter 7? This type of bankruptcy allows individuals who are hopelessly burdened by debt to obtain a fresh chance by eliminating unsecured debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, collections, and vehicle repossessions. Chapter 7 is appropriate for debtors who are unable to pay a portion of their debts back to the creditors. Chapter 7 is referred to as “liquidation” because debtors may have to surrender some of their assets in exchange for the elimination of their debts. However, many exemptions are available to help protect your assets. Your France Law Group attorney will work closely with you to determine if any of your assets appear to be at risk.
What types of debts will NOT be discharged? In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case some of the following debts may be non-dischargeable: taxes, child support, alimony, recent cash advances, recent installment loans, student loans, criminal fines, traffic tickets, and more. Most governmental and court ordered obligations will not be dischargeable.
What is Chapter 13? This type of bankruptcy is essentially a debt repayment plan that allows you to combine your debts and repay them over a 3-5 year period. Chapter 13 debtors are able to retain their home and vehicle while they make regular monthly payments. Chapter 13 is also a great tool for those who want to keep their home, but have fallen substantially behind on their mortgage payments. Filing under chapter 13 can stop foreclosure lawsuits. Your France Law Group attorney will be happy to sit down with you and explain Chapter 13 in its entirety.
What is the credit counseling requirement? Congress has mandated that all bankruptcy debtors successfully complete two credit counseling courses prior to the discharge of their bankruptcy case. This requirement is intended to assist the debtor in maintaining financial success after a bankruptcy. These courses are offered both online and via telephone. Most debtors will be required to pay a nominal fee (estimated $5 to $40 per course). In some cases, debtors may receive a fee waiver. Click on our Bankruptcy Ohio Client Resources link to locate a credit counseling agency which meets your needs. Your France Law Group attorney will refer you to affordable credit counselors.
How much will bankruptcy cost? Fees vary according to the complexity of each case. The typical fees in most cases include attorney fees, court filing fees, and nominal credit counseling fees. When comparing large overall debts to bankruptcy fees, most debtors find a significant value in exchange for the eventual elimination of their debt and immediate peace of mind. Clients begin with a free consultation, and our attorneys will work closely with you to devise a fee payment schedule. All attorney fees and filing fees are due before filing of your bankruptcy case. If you are ready to file your chapter 7 bankruptcy case now, then click on our Express File Bankruptcy link and save up to $250 in attorney fees (conditions apply).
Can I hire France Law Group to represent me in creditor negotiations and avoid bankruptcy? Yes, sometimes creditor negotiations can be an appropriate option. Typically, this is advised for debtors with smaller debt levels needing assistance in getting financially organized. Many clients enjoy having their own legal advocate in negotiating with the aggressive credit card companies and bill collectors. This can also be very helpful for those dealing with the IRS and other departments of taxation.
I’m married – does my spouse have to file for bankruptcy too? No, you and your spouse are not required to file for bankruptcy together. However, you may both want to file for bankruptcy jointly if you and your spouse share responsibility for the debt. (i.e. co-signed debts) In situations where only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the creditors may still be able to collect from the non-filing co-debtor. Also, it may be cost effective to file jointly. France Law Group attorney fees are based on a per case basis, meaning it is the same amount whether one person files alone or if a married couple files bankruptcy jointly.
Do I have to go to court if I file for bankruptcy? Unless there are issues that cannot be resolved among you and your creditors, you will probably not need to go to an actual courthouse in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In most Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases, you will be required to attend one “Meeting Of Creditors.” The “meeting” is typically not held in a courtroom and a judge will not preside. The Meeting Of Creditors typically occurs between 30-50 days after your bankruptcy filing date. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, you will be required to attend an additional hearing to confirm your payment plan. Your France Law Group bankruptcy attorney will be with you every step of the way and will help make the entire process as painless as possible.
Where and when will my bankruptcy creditors meeting be held? There are a few factors which determine when and where the Meeting of Creditors will be held in your bankruptcy case. Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the rules state that the Meeting of Creditors are to be held within 60 days, unless otherwise permitted by the Court. Location also depends on which bankruptcy chapter you are filing and in which county you reside.
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases filed in the metro Toledo, Ohio area hold the Meeting of Creditors about 45-50 days after filing. Local meetings are held at the Ohio Building located at 420 Madison Avenue, in downtown Toledo, Ohio. This building is located on the corner of Madison and Superior, directly across the street from the Huntington Center. Nearby street (meter) parking is typically the most economical parking choice. The meeting is held on the 6th floor and debtor’s should plan on arriving 15 minutes early with 2 pieces of identification (drivers license and social security card). Chapter 7 cases filed closer to Lima, Ohio will have their meeting in downtown Lima, Ohio. Your Court notice will provide specific information.
Most Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases filed in the metro Toledo, Ohio area hold the Meeting of Creditors about 45-50 days after filing. These meetings are held in the Toledo Building located at 316 N. Michigan Street in downtown Toledo, Ohio. Nearby meter parking is the most economical choice, however there is a pay parking lot adjacent to the Toledo Building. The meeting is held on the 5th floor and debtors need to arrive 15 minutes early with 2 pieces of identification (drivers license and social security cared).
Help! My wages are being garnished? By filing for bankruptcy relief (chapter 7 or chapter 13), you can stop your current wage garnishment. Upon the actual filing of a bankruptcy case, an automatic stay (protection) is created and the judgment creditor must cease the current garnishment. Subsequently, the underlying debt will need to be dealt with inside your bankruptcy case.
FRANCE LAW GROUP (419) 725-9300
BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS Napoleon, OHIO AND SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN
*We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
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