*What is Bankruptcy?
There are two main types of bankruptcies that an individual person or couple can file.
1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relieves you from virtually all debts. You can normally keep certain debts, such as home mortgages, vehicle payments, and property loans as long as you continue to make your payments on time. When filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you can keep your house, vehicles and other property. Most people do not have more equity in these items then what is allowed by law. If you do happen to fall into this rare category, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and still keep your property.
2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a payment plan where you pay the Court and the Court pays the creditors. Plan payments are based specifically on that particular person’s situation. The Chapter 13 Plan lasts 36 to 60 months. In Chapter 13, you can pay as low as 1% of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, and not be liable for the remaining balance. Chapter 13 can stop foreclosures on your home and real estate, and repossessions of your vehicles, and other assets. You may re-obtain a repossessed vehicle, if you act promptly.
*Do I need to be behind on my bills or owe a certain amount of debt to file?
You do not have to be behind on your bills to file. You can file on any amount of debt.
* Can I file on cash advance places and credit cards or do I have to pay something on them?
You can file on cash advance places and credit cards. Under Chapter 7, you normally do not have to pay on the cash advance or credit cards with the exception of the rule listed below. Under Chapter 13, you only pay a percentage of the debt, which can be as low as 1% and is based on your financial status.
Any amount of debt incurred or charged on a credit card within the ninety days before your bankruptcy is filed with the Court may well have to be paid by you. There are other situations in which you may have to pay certain unsecured debts. The most common are listed in the item below, "Are there any debts that you cannot eliminate by filing bankruptcy?"
*May I keep my residence and vehicle(s), etc?
You normally may keep your property. If you have a mortgage or loan on the property that you want to keep, you must continue to pay on that mortgage/loan to keep the property. You are allowed a certain amount of equity in your property. As of March 23, 2016, the equity you are allowed to have in your residence real estate is $136,925 ($273,850 for a married couple who own the real estate together) and the amount of equity for a vehicle is $3,775 per debtor.
(Equity = Property Value Minus All Mortgages/Loans/Liens On The Property) If you do not have more equity than what is allowed, than you should have no problems filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you have more than the allowed amount of equity in any property, you can still keep the property by filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Receive our FREE information package for more details.
*Are there any debts that you cannot eliminate by filing bankruptcy?
Yes. Some debts that you may be obligated to pay include: IRS Taxes less than 3 years old; Ohio State Taxes; Spousal Support; Child Support; Student Loans; Court Fines; Intentional Tort Costs; Certain obligations relating to an ex‑spouse; Any damages or possible liabilities relating to a vehicle accident or other event where alcohol or drugs were a factor; etc. In a Chapter 13, these are normally paid within your payment to the Court.
*What do I need to better evaluate whether to file bankruptcy or not?
If you are unsure as to whether bankruptcy is right for you, you can call or click here for our FREE information package which includes the forms to fill out to start your possible bankruptcy and you can make an appointment with my office to discuss your situation.
*When will the lawsuits and/or garnishments be stopped?
Once your bankruptcy lawyer files your bankruptcy with the Bankruptcy Court, normally all Court actions against you will be stopped soon after your case is filed with the Court, unless it is a criminal case. Normally criminal cases can proceed.
*Are bankruptcies published in the newspaper?
This office does not know of any newspaper that publishes bankruptcy filings. My office will not discuss your case with residents down the street in your hometown. Your information is kept private. The Bankruptcy Court in Columbus will have the court pleadings.
JEFFERSON H. MASSEY
ATTORNEY AT LAW
30 SOUTH FOURTH ST., ZANESVILLE, OH 43701
Phone: (740) 453-5544 (800) 726-5243 Fax: (740) 453-6956
30 South Fourth St., Zanesville, Ohio 43701
(740) 453-5544, (800) 726-5243, Fax: (740) 453-6956