FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BANKRUPTCY
At the Chris Wesner Law Office, LLC in Piqua, Ohio, we are always prepared to answer questions about your case. However, we know that there are times when you may want general legal information. To that end, we hope you find our list of frequently asked questions about bankruptcy helpful.
- What do I need to do to begin the bankruptcy process?
- How will I know that declaring bankruptcy is right for me?
- If I file for Chapter 13, what are my creditors’ rights and responsibilities?
- What debts does bankruptcy not cover?
- What happens to my home mortgage during bankruptcy proceedings? I do not want to lose my home.
- How long does a bankruptcy stay on my record?
- Will filing for bankruptcy end those calls from creditors and collection agencies?
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At the Chris Wesner Law Office, LLC we stand ready to assist you in matters involving bankruptcy, criminal defense, personal injury, and estate planning and probate. Call us at 937.773.8001 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We look forward to discussing your case.
What do I need to do to begin the bankruptcy process?
Your first step is to inventory your past and present debts. You will also need a list of your assets to include in your petition in the bankruptcy filing. Schedules of assets and liabilities, along with a statement of your financial affairs, comprise the petition you will file with the bankruptcy court, accompanied by your filing fee.
How will I know that declaring bankruptcy is right for me?
An attorney experienced in bankruptcy law can help you determine the options that best suit your particular situation. For consumers, filing for Chapter 7 relieves most of your debt, but not all. Filing for Chapter 13 pays off your debts with a structured repayment plan. For businesses, corporations and partnerships can file for Chapter 7. Sole proprietorships can file for Chapter 13. Other commercial enterprises can file for Chapter 11 that repays creditors through a court-approved plan of reorganization.
If I file for Chapter 13, what are my creditors’ rights and responsibilities?
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must include your proposed plan to pay all priority claims against you, including taxes, in full. Once the bankruptcy court appoints a trustee, who approves your plan, your creditors receive and have the right to accept or reject it. If approved, you make monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who then distributes the funds to your creditors according to your plan.
What debts does bankruptcy not cover?
Bankruptcy cannot relieve you of all debts. The following will probably still be your responsibility:
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Drunk driving judgments
- Criminal fines
- Criminal restitution
- Debts incurred by fraud or intentional wrongdoing
- Back taxes under three years old
- Student loans
- Recent large purchases of more than $550 for luxury goods made within 90 days of filing
A bankruptcy lawyer familiar with Ohio law can review the list with you to give you a full understanding of the debts covered and not covered.
What happens to my home mortgage during bankruptcy proceedings? I do not want to lose my home.
Your state dictates the threshold amount of equity you can have in your home when you file for personal bankruptcy and the exemptions. Trustees may not elect to sell your house if the equity surpasses the exemption. A bankruptcy attorney can review your bankruptcy options with you to meet your personal and financial recovery goals.
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my record?
Bankruptcies remain on credit reports between seven and ten years. Deciding to declare bankruptcy is a serious decision. That is why it is important to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney so you fully understand the bankruptcy options and their consequences.
Will filing for bankruptcy end those calls from creditors and collection agencies?
During the time you are working out a plan or your trustee is gathering and preparing your assets to sell to satisfy your debt, the Bankruptcy Code dictates that your creditors must stop all collection against you. Once the bankruptcy petition receives the “Relief Ordered” stamp on the filing, you are protected. If a creditor still tries to collect directly from you after that point, you should immediately notify the creditor in writing that you have filed bankruptcy and provide it with the case name, number and filing date or a copy of the filed petition. If the creditor continues to collect, you may be entitled to take legal action.