WHAT DOES THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

Filing bankruptcy is an important decision. Bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh start by resolving overwhelming and stressful debt—So you can get on with your life!

All in all, the process usually takes around three months from beginning to end. Your first step is to make a free consultation appointment with one of our attorneys. If you can,  bring along some financial information for our attorney to review. Eventually, in order to file your case, we will need a complete list of your assets and debts.

During your consultation, our attorney will discuss exemptions that can allow you to keep equity in your home, cars, retirement accounts and other items.

Then, once we have all your documentation and your costs and fees are paid, we will file your case. A meeting with the United States Trustee is scheduled about 30 days after filing. These meeting are currently being held in our Eastgate office by telephone. You and your attorney will to meet together with the trustee.  There is no need to go to court or drive downtown!

Not all people qualify for a Chapter 7. The criteria to qualify is based on your income, family size, debts and other financial information.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan which protects wages and assets from attachment while completing the plan.

In a Chapter 13 case, clients pay a percentage of unsecure creditors’ debts. Depending upon the circumstances, sometimes the amount repaid is as low as 1%. We will need your income for the last six months to formally evaluate whether you should do a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

Our office does not charge for the initial consultation. Your attorney will quote you a flat rate after evaluating your case. The more detailed income and debt information you provide at the initial consultation, the better we can properly advise you on your legal rights. Call 513-752-3900 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.

 

Can I Rebuild My Credit after Bankruptcy? Yes You Can!

Can I Rebuild My Credit after Bankruptcy? The Answer is Yes!

Usually within a year of filing bankruptcy, your credit record will improve substantially. You will become a better credit risk than you were prior to the bankruptcy. For many, a bankruptcy filing can be the first step toward gaining better credit and financial freedom.

Once you complete your case and your bankruptcy is discharged all of your old debt will be eliminated. You will have a Fresh Start! Most creditors will see this fresh start and lack of other debt as a positive. One Caveat—creditors now want evidence that you can handle credit going forward. For this reason, after you file bankruptcy it will be extremely important that you take some specific steps to begin to improve your credit.

Without the benefit of bankruptcy, bad credit records such as delinquencies, too much outstanding credit, slow pays, etc are all negative marks that will remain on your credit record for 10 years. In most cases, although the creditor may not be actively pursuing your debt, the debt remains valid and open to collection through wage garnishment or bank account seizure. Bankruptcy solves this problem because it eliminates or discharges your debt. After bankruptcy, your financial situation will be far better since you will no longer be shuffling funds in an attempt to cover all the bills. After bankruptcy, our clients get super excited to create a new budget… and that is a budget that includes putting money into a savings account!

After completing your bankruptcy your credit and your life will be on the road to improvement. Initially, the bankruptcy will be a hit on your credit score but in the long run, the notation “discharged in bankruptcy” is much better than having your accounts reported as delinquent by your creditors. We recommend that soon after your bankruptcy discharge you get a copy of your credit report. Review this report carefully, check to make sure that the debts you included in your bankruptcy are reported to be DISCHARGED with a ZERO balance. Dispute any accounts that have not been updated.

Depending on when you file Chapter 7 or 13, a bankruptcy will stay on your credit for 7-10 years. Despite this, you will soon have the opportunity to rebuild your credit. Some companies cater to those who have a bankruptcy by offering secured credit, low credit lines and high interest. If you use this credit wisely and make all your payments on time you will prove that you have become a good credit risk.

What Factors Will Affect My Ability to get Credit?

Four Factors are considered by a lender:

Income Job History Credit Score Debt-to-Income Ratio

After bankruptcy we encourage our clients to do the following:

Periodically monitor your credit record and dispute errors.

Make “on time”payments.

Mantain a stable job history.

Deliberately and thoughtfully apply for new credit. Many with credit bruises can get secured credit cards, gas or retail cards. If you get turned down STOP, wait 6 months and try again.

Use no more than 10-30% of your available credit.

 

Are You Ready for a New Start? We Want to Help!

The lawyers of Keegan & Co. Attorneys have over 50 years combined experience helping people just like you resolve overwhelming debt issues. Our attorneys have handled several thousand bankruptcy cases from the simple to the most complex. In all likelihood, we’ve seen your situation or problems dozens of times before. We can almost always help, even if it’s just advice on how to avoid bankruptcy.

The Covid19 crises and the need for social distancing will not affect your ability to file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court is accepting and hearing cases, our clients have not experienced any delays getting relief from debt. If you are unable to meet in person, our attorneys are happy to schedule a consultation over the telephone.

People are surprised to learn just how quick and easy the bankruptcy process is! You need to provide us with certain documents and it is required that you take two short online credit counseling classes. Our attorneys handle the rest! You and your attorney generally are required to appear for just one court hearing.

Ready to Learn how Bankruptcy Can Help You?

Our consultations are free and at Keegan & Co Attorneys your consultation will always be with an experienced attorney, it will never be with a paralegal or secretary. Call 513-752-3900 to schedule your personal consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

STRUGGLING WITH DEBT? BANKRUPTCY MAY BE AN OPTION.

STRUGGLING WITH DEBT?

You have tried but the struggle is never ending.  It seems as soon as you start to get ahead something else comes up and gets you behind.  Bankruptcy may be the answer to your financial troubles. In most cases, bankruptcy can help get rid of debts and set you on the path to a fresh financial start.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common consumer chapters.  Each chapter has its own rules.  To find out more,  meet with a knowledgeable attorney who will advise which path is best for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is also referred to as straight bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy.  This chapter is available for most consumers.  Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection you discharge all unsecured debts under the bankruptcy code.  A discharge is a document issued by the federal court which deems your debt non-collectable by creditors.  Once you file for Chapter 7 protection all collection practices by creditors must stop.  This includes but is not limited to phone calls, mail harassment, court proceedings and garnishments.

Chapter 7 is sometimes referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy because the Chapter 7 Trustee may take some of your assets and sell them to pay your debts.  However,  people are happy to learn that they can protect and keep most of assets through exemptions provided by the bankruptcy law.  Call our office today for your free consultation to discuss your individual situation.

In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you will be able to keep your home and vehicle.  You must however, be current on your payments on these assets if you wish to keep them.  The creditor will have a reaffirmation agreement for you to sign and this will deem the debt non-discharged through the bankruptcy.  This document will also guarantee that the creditor will continue to report your payment history to the credit reporting agencies, thus rebuilding your credit after the bankruptcy filing.

As many as 65% of consumer filings in the US are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings.

Chapter 7 is sometimes referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy because the trustee may take some of your assets, but most bankruptcy attorneys refer to Chapter 7 as a simple or straight bankruptcy, because most assets are covered protected under state regulated exemptions.

CHAPTER 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for those who are over the income limit for Chapter 7 or are behind on their home or vehicle and prefer to keep these assets. Chapter 13 can be a solution for people who want to pay their debts but just can’t make the minimum monthly payments.  Chapter 13 is a re-payment plan in which you pay back between 1% to 100% of your debts (depending on your individual circumstances).  An unsecured creditor cannot charge you interest during a Chapter 13.  Once you complete your case you will be receive you discharge and all debts will be discharged.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy also referred to as “a wage earner plan”, allows you to retain ownership and possession of assets that you wish to keep.  You may also choose to surrender assets through Chapter 13.  To qualify for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you must have income to support the case as you will be making monthly payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee who will then disburse these funds to pay your creditors. It is up to the creditor in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to file a claim in order to be paid.

Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure. If you are in foreclosure and want to save your home you can file a Chapter 13 and stop the foreclosure.  Your mortgage holder cannot object to your bankruptcy filing and must file a claim in your case to be paid.  Chapter 13 generally lasts for a three to five year period.  During this time you will be able to make up all your missed payments and the Trustee will disburse your regular house payment.  This is a good thing because at the end of your case the trustee will file a notice with the Court that all payments are current and deems that your mortgage holder cannot come back on you for additional fees incurred while you were under bankruptcy protection.

If you are behind on your vehicle, Chapter 13 can also stop repossession and give you time to make up the missed payments over the three to five year period.

 

AFTER DISCHARGE  AND ON THE PATH TO A FRESH FINANCIAL START

Once you receive your discharge creditors can no longer collect on these old debts. They cannot send you a bill, they cannot call you, they cannot take you to court, they cannot garnish your wages.  You will be free and clear from these debts and on the road to a fresh financial start!  As a result, you can re-build your credit and move forward.  Most importantly, you should make all payments for debts on which you reaffirmed “on time” and seriously consider your budget before taking on future debt.  Certainly, your credit will improve in no time.