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BANKRUPTCY- AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER GETS THE BEST RESULT

 

ARE YOU THINKING OF FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY

Thinking of filing for bankruptcy?  Are you 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. 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 of 2005 things are much more difficult and more precise.  It is not recommended that you attack this task on your own.

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’s practice has a focus on bankruptcy.

OUR LAW OFFICE IS EXPERIENCED

At the Keegan & Co. Attorneys, LLC our main focus of practice is bankruptcy. Our office has assisted people of Greater Cincinnati get relief from debt through bankruptcy since 1992.  We provide the expertise necessary to make your bankruptcy seem simple. Before you know it,  you will be on with your debt free life.

FREE CONSULTATION

Our office offers a free consultation. Here you will to sit down and discuss your individual situation with an experienced attorney who can advise you of the available options to resolve your debt.  Sometimes bankruptcy is the answer and 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. We will accept monthly payments until your case is filed.

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.

 

CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY BASICS

 

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 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 13on your own. At your court hearing the trustee will evaluate the reasonableness of your expenses and will try to cut them down to use the 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 one 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.

BANKRUPTCY & GARNISHMENTS

OUR OFFICE CAN STOP WAGE GARNISHMENTS. CALL 513-752-3900 TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Once a creditor obtains a judgement against you they will be able to garnish your wages. In the state of Ohio a garnishment can take 25% of your pay BEFORE TAXES and that’s a pretty good chunk!

You can stop garnishment by filing for bankruptcy protection.  Once you file for bankruptcy the automatic stay goes into effect which prohibits and stops all collection efforts by creditors.  Wage garnishments are stopped as long as the stay is in effect.  If the garnishment continues after the case is filed all funds must be returned to you.  If for some reason the creditor wants to continue the garnishment they must request relief from stay from the court and this will only be granted if the creditor has a valid reason for doing so.  An unsecured creditor such as a credit card or hospital simply wishing to resume a wage garnishment is not a valid reason for the court to lift the stay.

The automatic stay does not apply to domestic support obligations, such as child support or alimony.  These are considered priority debts that are unaffected by the automatic stay and cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.

When you file bankruptcy you are required to list all your creditors so they can be notified of the bankruptcy.  However, there is a chance that creditors may not be alerted in time to put a stop on the garnishment after they case is filed. In this case, any funds that are garnished after the bankruptcy filing until the garnishment is released will be returned to you.

If you are struggling with debt or a wage garnishment you should immediately contact our office for a free consultation.  At Keegan & Company, you sit down with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your individual situation.  We offer the free consultation, fair fees and monthly payment plans.

Contact Keegan & Company Attorneys for help today!