Tag Archives: Batavia Bankruptcy Lawyer

BANKRUPTCY AND DIVORCE

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, OH. We specialize in chapter 7 bankruptcy and chapter 13 bankruptcy.

It’s not uncommon for someone to file for bankruptcy after a divorce. You or your ex-spouse may not be able to keep up with payments on credit cards and other debts on a single salary. It happens, and it’s a legitimate reason to look for relief through bankruptcy.

Money is a big stress factor in many relationships. Sometimes a couple that has money problems will think that the answer to their problems is divorce. Each spouse is likely to believe that the other is mostly responsible for the couple’s money problems. This belief may or may not be true. One thing is true, you can divorce your spouse, but you can’t divorce the debts incurred during your marriage.

When either party contemplates bankruptcy, one consideration is the timing of the filing and whether the parties should file a joint bankruptcy before or during the divorce, or an individual bankruptcy before, during, or after the divorce. Your creditors are not part of the divorce, and the family court cannot alter, modify or revise the contract between debtors and their creditors.  Any joint debt discharged by one party will leave the other party solely liable, exposed to collection efforts and law suits, and will often force the other spouse to repay or file bankruptcy.

Both spouses are responsible for the debts incurred during the time of the marriage. Your divorce settlement will divide up the debts, assigning responsibility for some to one spouse and some to the other. But that divorce settlement is between you and your ex-spouse. It doesn’t bind the creditor, who can collect the debt from either one of you. This means if your ex-spouse doesn’t pay his or her share of the debts, the creditor can come after you for payment.

HOW CAN I GET STARTED?

Call our office today and set up your free consultation with our Attorney’s. Here you will discuss which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you.

Bankruptcy can mean different things to different debtors. There are several types of bankruptcy chapters provided under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, each with its own rules and procedures.

The most common filings for bankruptcy are chapter 7 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 will wipe out all your unsecured debt (credit cards, medical fees, utilities, etc.). You can also keep your house and vehicle in chapter 7, as long as your current on payments. Chapter 7 is a straight bankruptcy, referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. This will stop all collection proceedings including phone calls, mailings, garnishments and court proceedings. As many as 65% of consumer bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are chapter 7. Under a Chapter 7, any debt incurred to a spouse or former spouse that is incurred during a divorce by agreement, decree or court order is not dischargable.  If any assets are recovered, these debts are paid before most of the other debts.

Chapter 13 is a repayment plan. It is referred to as a wage earner. You must have a reliable source of income so that you can repay all or a portion of your debt. Chapter 13 will stop a foreclosure or repossession as well. It is designed to help you retain your home or vehicle if your behind. You will repay 1% to 100% of your unsecured debt, depending on the individuals situation. This will last a minimum of three years and maximum of five years. During this time it will be up to the creditors to file claim in order to be paid during the case.  Under a Chapter 13, the debtor may receive a discharge from obligations incurred as part of the divorce if certain conditions are met.

HOW CAN I GET BACK ON TRACK?

Once you have fully discharged, rebuilding can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. But it’s important to realize that there is life after bankruptcy. Repaying your existing bills as agreed will be one of the single, most powerful things you can do to restore your finances and your credit. You will be surprised at the credit offers you will receive once you have finished the bankruptcy process

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.keegancolpa.com

FREE CONSULTATION

Contact our office today in Eastgate, Ohio your free consultation to see if bankruptcy will give you the financial relief you are looking for.

CHAPTER 13 BASICS

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice has been Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings for over 28 years.

In this blog, however, we will be focusing on Chapter 13.

WHAT IS CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY

Chapter 13 is designed for people who are behind on their mortgage payments who would like to save their home or their income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7.  Chapter 13 involves paying your disposable income to creditors over a three to five year period.  During this time you will be able to make up any missed mortgage or vehicle payments.  Your unsecured creditors will be paid a percentage of what you owe them, once you complete your case and receive your discharge the remaining balance will be deemed discharged through the case.  This means that creditors will not be able to collect on these debts in any way or form.  They will not be allowed to contact you by phone, mail or any other means.

WHAT IS DISPOSABLE INCOME?

To determine your disposable income we will need to know your income for the last six months.  If you have had a pay cut or loss of overtime hours we can reduce your current income for images (2)these situations, same if you are making more money at the time we would have to increase your current income.  We would then need to subtract your expenses from your income.  This includes all of your expenses required to take care of your family such as food, rent or mortgage,vehicle payments, utilities and other such needs.  Then we consider things that you know you will be spending such as car repairs, home maintenance or medical expenses.  Then we need to look at things you may not be spending money on but it would be in your best interest to do so such as health insurance, life insurance or maybe a retirement savings account.  If you have expenses not mentioned that doesn’t mean we can’t count it as long as it is reasonable and necessary.  Once all of these expenses are counted they get deducted from your income and the remainder is an idea of your disposable income.

WE WILL BE THERE FOR YOU

It is not a good idea to try to file a Chapter 13 on your own at your court hearing the trustee will evaluate the reasonableness of your expenses and will try to cut them down so that there is extra money to pay your creditors.  Our job as your attorney is to protect the money that is necessary for you to take care of yourself and your family.  This is why we sit down with you and go over your unique situation and expenses with you thoroughly before the case is filed.

HOW MUCH WILL MY CHAPTER 13 PAYMENT BE?

Your Chapter 13 payments must be enough to cover certain required payments.  Your plan payment must be enough to pay for your mortgage arrears over the next five years, your current mortgage payment (as the 13 office would make your regular mortgage payment through the case), if you have a vehicle payment this will be included and a small amount for your unsecured creditors.

FREE CONSULATION

Every situation is unique.  We offer a free consultation where you will be able to sit down with 25604196-a-person-drawing-and-pointing-at-a-bankruptcy-consulting-chalk-illustrationone of our attorney and discuss your situation.  The attorney will be able to give you an approximate amount of what your Chapter 13 payment would be at this free consultation.  They would also quote you a fee.  If you decided to move forward a small retainer would get things started and then we would take payments, once paid your case will be filed.

For more information see our website at www.keegancolpa.com.

Contact your Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today for your free consultation.

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice for over 26 years has been in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

For most once they decide to file bankruptcy the decision comes down to which Chapter they will be filing.  Both chapters are beneficial in their own way.  Many factors play into which chapter you will file.  Your income and assets are the main considerations.  Many prefer to qualify for Chapter 7 but may not qualify.

BANKRUPTCY TIMELINE

In Ohio a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts about six months from the day you file until you receive your discharge.  Your actual court date which is call a 341 Meeting of Creditors will be four to six weeks out from your filing date.  For Chapter 13 you will also have a 341 Meeting of Creditors about four to six weeks after your filing date.  Once you file for Chapter 13 expect to be in the case for a period of three to five years as this time period is mandated by federal law.  Once your complete your Chapter 13 you will receive your discharge.

PAY BACK OF DEBTS

In bankruptcy different debts are classified in basically two groups.  Your unsecured debts (credit cards, medical debts, loans) and your secured debts (houses, cars, anything secured by collateral). There is also a sub-category of unsecured loans which are called priority debts, debt-troublesstudent loans and tax debts fall into this category.  If you file for Chapter 7 you will be able to discharge all of your unsecured debts and not have to pay anything back.  Most unsecured debts can be discharged, student loans and most taxes will survive the case.  Any secure debts that you would want to keep (such as your home or vehicle) you would continue to make your payments on and sign a reaffirmation agreement within the case. Chapter 13 is a re-payment plan.  Under this re-payment plan you will pay all of your debts with a single payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee once a month.  Out of this payment the trustee may make your regular house payment.  If you have any back payments on your home they would also make this payment for you.  If there is a vehicle payment involved this will also be made by the trustee. You will pay back a percentage of your unsecured debts.  This percentage is based on several factors and can range from 1 percent to 100 percent.  The debts will be paid in order of priority.  So basically in a Chapter 13 you have one payment a month to the Chapter 13 office and your utilities to pay during the duration of the case.

ASSETS

One big benefit of Chapter 13 is you will not have to worry about losing any of your assets in the case.  You keep all of your assets that you wish to keep.  In a Chapter 7 which is also referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy as the trustee may take some of your assets and liquidate them to gain funds to pay your creditors.  Most people do not have to worry about this though because in Ohio the exemptions are very high and most assets can be protected.

As to your home if you want to qualify for a Chapter 7 you must be current on your mortgage payment to keep your home.  If you file Chapter 7 and are not current on your home the lien holder will require that you get current or they may file for Relief from Stay which once granted they can begin the process of foreclosure.  However, if you are current on your home Chapter 7 is no problem, just continue to make your payments and you may reaffirm the debt in the case is you wish.

Chapter 13 is designed to help you save your home if you are behind on your payments.  Under Chapter 13 you will have the three to five year period to make up your missed payments through the case.  The trustee will also make your regular house payment and at the end of the case the trustee will certify that all payments are current.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.keegancolpa.com.

Call today for your free consultation to find out which bankruptcy chapter is best for you.

 

BANKRUPTCY

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice has been bankruptcy for over 27 years.

ARE YOU THINKING OF FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY

Are you thinking of filing for bankruptcy.  Looking for an attorney to represent you through the process?  Calling around to get a fee?  Looking for the lowest fee around?  Just remember that you get what you pay for.  Bankruptcy is a very specific process and must be done correctly so that your case will go through and you will receive your discharge through your case.  You do not want any snags and want everything to go through smoothly.  It is stressful enough when everything goes just right let alone when things are messed up.  Some believe that bankruptcy is simple, so simple that they can even take care of it themselves.  This may have been the case in the past but since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 things are much more difficult and more precise.  It is not recommended that you attack this task on your own.

Trying to file for yourself will most likely cause you more headaches than you would like to endure.  So the decision to seek an attorney to help you through the process is the best one.  You will want to find an experienced attorney who specialized in bankruptcy.

OUR LAW OFFICE

At the Keegan & Co. Attorneys, LLC our main focus of practice is bankruptcy, this is our main focus of practice.  Our office has specialized in bankruptcy for over 27 years.  We can provide you with the expertise that will make your bankruptcy seem simple and before you know you will be on with your debt free life.

FREE CONSULTATION

At our office we will offer you a free consultation where you will be able to sit down and discuss your individual situation.  They will be able to advise you as to the best road for you to take on your financial journey.  Sometimes bankruptcy is the answer, sometimes it may not be the best decision.  The attorney will advise what is best for you.

At this free consultation the attorney will quote you a fee.  If you decide you want to move forward a small retainer will retain this office.  Once you have retained our office you will quit paying on bills you do not want to keep and refer your creditors to our office until your case is filed.  We will accept monthly payments until your case is filed.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out or website at www.keegancolpa.com call 513-752-3900 for your free consultation today!

At our Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy office we will be able to help you get out of debt and get a fresh financial start!

BANKRUPTCY & INCOME

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Many people assume that if their income is relatively high, they cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Usually this assumption is incorrect.  It is not by any means unusual for a high-income debtor to file under Chapter 7.  In reality, high-income Chapter 7 bankruptcies are filed everyday.

What constitutes as high income is a matter of perspective and depends on many factors, such as where you live, your living expenses, the size of your family, etc.  (A salary of $80,000.00 for a family in rural Ohio goes a lot further than the same earnings in the city center of Columbus or Cincinnati).  With that being said, in the language of bankruptcy attorneys a “high-income debtor” is a debtor with earnings above the state median income for the debtor’s family size.

The Ohio state median income per family size (determined by census figures) as of the date of this post is as follows

Individual Family of 2 Family of 3 Family of 4
43,688 53,850 61,568 77,500

*For each additional family member over four, add $8,100.

WHY IS THE STATE MEDIAN IMPORTANT?

Whether your income is above or below the Ohio state median income determines if you will be able to discharge all or most of your debts in Chapter 7, or will you be required to pay back at least a portion of your debt under Chapter 13.  If your average gross earning for the six months before filing for bankruptcy is at or below the state median for your family size, you may file under Chapter 7 (assuming that you meet the other requirements).  Simple!

On the other hand, if your average gross earnings for the six months before filing is over the median, you will have to takes a “means test” to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7.  This means test considers your income minus certain allowable expenses.  Frequently the results allow a debtor with substantial earnings but high expenses to file under Chapter 7.

ARE YOU REALLY A HIGH-INCOME DEBTOR?

Before jumping to meet the means test, debtors need to determine if they are actually high-income debtors for the purposes of the test.  We often have clients with seemingly high earnings who are surprised that they fall below the state median.  Many of these clients have not considered the size of their families.  However, one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you are a high-income debtor is family size.  For example, a family of four making $85,000 would have earnings well above the state median of $77,500 for their family size.  But what if that family making $85,000 includes six members?  Because the median state income medical for a family of six is $93,700, the debtors do not need to take the means test.

Even if the debtor is above the state median, it is often by much less than the debtor presumed.  The closer your overall earnings are to the state median, the easier it is to pass the means test.

WHAT TYPE OF INCOME?

If you appear to be over the median, you may still be able to avoid the means test.  Depending on what type of earnings you have.  Not all sources of money count as income for calculating gross earnings.  For example, under the Bankruptcy Code certain income, primarily social security, is excluded from your gross income for the purposes of the means test.  This exclusion will often bring a debtor’s gross earnings below the state median, thus avoiding the means test.  In addition, because the bankruptcy code focuses on “regular income”, some irregular earnings may not count as “gross income”.

CAN I PASS THE TEST?

Finally, even if you must take the means test, it is still quite possible that you will qualify for Chapter 7.  Very often, high-income debtors have high allowable expenses, including mortgage payments, vehicle payments, etc., that will offset their earnings.  Although the means test is complex and must be handled carefully, it is not at all unusual for high-income debtors to pass the test.  However, failing to list income of any kind can lead to unpleasant consequences.  Attention to detail is the name of the game?

WHAT NOW?

We have spent most of this blog discussing the initial qualification for Chapter 7.  However, it is important to note that even if you pass or avoid the means test, you do not automatically get to file under Chapter 7.  You must meet all other requirements, including a showing that after expenses, you have no significant disposable income to pay your creditors.  In addition, there may be a reason for choosing Chapter 13, such as saving a house from foreclosure or a car from repossession.  In some cases, a non-bankruptcy solution such as debt negotiation may be available.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.keegancolpa.com

FREE CONSULTATION

Contact our Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today for your free consultation to see if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.