Area of Law:
Bankruptcy is an available option to individuals that are unable to afford their monthly payments on their debt. Depending on your financial situation and the characteristics of your debt, bankruptcy may eliminate your debt, and provide you with a fresh financial start. There are two types of bankruptcy available to debtors in Ohio: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, before filing for bankruptcy in Ohio, you may want to discuss your options with an experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney. For example, an Ohio bankruptcy attorney will review your financial information and may recommend that you file one type of bankruptcy over another.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee will seize and sell your non-exempt assets. The money from the sale of your non-exempt assets becomes part of your bankruptcy estate. During the bankruptcy, the funds will be used to repay your creditors in their order of priority, as designated by the Bankruptcy Code. For example, taxes and administrative fees have priority in terms of repayment over unsecured credit card debt. However, after recent changes to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, you must now determine whether you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio. For example, to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must earn less than the median income of the state of Ohio, which is $40,471 for a single individual as of 2011. However, if you earn more than the median income, you may be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio if you have little disposable income remaining after you pay your necessary expenses each month.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If your income or disposable income make you ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio, or you would like to file for bankruptcy but keep your assets, consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment that allows you to have the opportunity to repay your debts over a 3 to 5 year period. Throughout the life of the repayment plan you will make a lump sum monthly payment to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. Your bankruptcy trustee will then disburse the funds to your creditors. However, to be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio, you must have regular income for at least 6 months prior to filing for bankruptcy. Regular income is necessary to show the court that you will be able to afford your Chapter 13 monthly payments.
If you have additional questions regarding how to file for bankruptcy in Ohio, you can contact the bankruptcy court in your area. For example, if you live in Ohio, visit the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southerm District of Ohio's website, http://www.ohsb.uscourts.gov/ to obtain additional information about how to file for bankruptcy. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, visit http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/FilingBankruptcyWithoutAttorney.aspx for additional information about how to file for bankruptcy on your own.