One of the most commonly asked questions we receive in our office is “will I have to go to court and appear before a judge”?  There will be a telephone conference at your attorney’s office before a trustee at a meeting called the “meeting of creditors”.  The primary purpose of this phone call is to give the bankruptcy trustee an opportunity to review you petition and have you confirm under oath the information provided in your schedules.

Knowing what to expect at the hearing can make the process go smoother and help to ease any anxiety.


Usually, the only people on the phone call meeting are the trustee, your attorney and you.  Many people are worried that their creditors will come to this hearing and harass them.  Although your creditors will get notice of your meeting of creditors they rarely attend.  If they happen to appear your attorney will be with you to make sure they do not do anything inappropriate.


Since  COVID, the meeting place has changed to our EASTGATE office in the form of a phone conference. You will answer questions from the trustee over the phone while in your attorney’s office.  As of 2022, these meetings are still taking place by phone conference and it appears this will continue.


If your case is a Chapter 7,  after your meeting you will need to complete a second credit counseling session.  Once that is complete and submitted to the court you will just be waiting for your discharge which will be issued approximately 120 days after your case is filed.  If you are in a Chapter 13 you will need to make your payments as ordered by the trustee. At the end of your payment agreement you will complete a second credit counseling session to complete your case and get your discharge. We will help you know what you must do to complete your case and get your discharge. Your discharge is your first step toward better credit.


Call Keegan & Co. Attorneys, LLC at  513-752-3900 to schedule your free consultation at one of our convenient offices: Eastgate or Middletown. You will have plenty of time to discuss your unique circumstances with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. We offer flexible meeting times and flat fees. Both our attorneys and staff work to make the bankruptcy process as seamless and easy for you as possible.

Is Personal Bankruptcy Filing Made Public?

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy protection, but concerned neighbors may read about it in the paper or on the internet? Bankruptcy filings are public record but the fact that you filed is not something that is easily obtained by the general public.  There is a public access system known as PACER which contains information regarding all federal court filings in the United States.  To gain access to that system you must register and pay per page for each document you obtain. Pacer is more or less used for bankruptcy professionals, lenders, and others who have direct need to look up prior bankruptcy cases in detail.

The fact that you filed bankruptcy will appear on a credit report for up to 10 years.  Therefore, if you apply for a job, rent an apartment, or apply for credit, those obtaining your credit report with your consent will become aware of your bankruptcy filing. Additionally, in certain applications there may be questions concerning whether or not you have ever filed a bankruptcy before.

For the most part, the fact that you filed for personal bankruptcy will be known by just you and the others you inform.  When you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to list all of the people to whom you owe money.  If you owe a family member or a friend or anyone else, that person’s name and address must be listed on your petition.


What kind of relief are you obtaining?  Are you saving your home from foreclosure?  Are you stopping a wage garnishment that’s taking 25% of your pay?  Are you getting a drivers license that is currently suspended due to reinstatement fees?  Are you unable to make ends meet because of your debt commitments?  The psychological relief our clients receive from riding themselves of debt is usually great.


Since 1992, Keegan & Company Attorneys has helped thousands of people protect their assets and gain freedom from overwhelming debt. Call 513-752-3900 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. We have 2 convenient locations: Eastgate, Ohio and Middletown, Ohio. We offer fair fees, expert advise, and flexible appointment times.

Bankruptcy and Vehicles

A major concern when thinking of  bankruptcy is the potential loss of your vehicle.  The best solution depends on many factors such as the value of your car and the status of your loan.

You own your car free and clear

There are certain exemptions that can allow you to keep your car.

You are current on your vehicle

If your intention is to keep your vehicle, continue making your payments during the bankruptcy. You will need to sign a reaffirmation agreement where you re-sign on your vehicle loan. This reaffirmation agreement makes the debt you owe on your vehicle non-discharged in bankruptcy.

You are upside down on your vehicle

Do you owe more than you vehicle is worth.? You could be in this situation for several reasons, usually because you traded in a previous vehicle that had a loan balance. This also happens as vehicles depreciate. One benefit of bankruptcy is access to a special program that allows you to re-finance your vehicle for what it is currently worth. This “redemption” program may not be suitable for everyone.

You are behind on your vehicle payments

If you are behind on your payments and want to file Chapter 7 and keep your vehicle you will need to get current. Creditors will allow a reaffirmation agreement if you are current. If you are behind on your vehicle and want to keep it but do not have the funds to get current on your payments, then Chapter 13 may help you. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can catch up and pay off your vehicle over 3-5 years.


If the vehicle is repossessed and sold at auction you may have a “deficiency balance”. This is the amount owed after the amount received for your car at auction. This unsecured debt can be discharged through bankruptcy.


Every situation is unique. Call us at Keegan & Company Attorneys, 513-752-3900, and schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient offices. Our free consultation with an experienced attorney will allow plenty of time to discuss your individual circumstance.


Can I Afford to File Bankruptcy? Can You Afford Not To?

The main concern for many when considering ways to fix their financial problems, is how much will it cost? Many debt consolidation services come with high interest rates and fees that make your situation worse.

It is important to look at the big picture and decide if debt consolidation will allow you to get out of debt and get a fresh financial start. With the help of a qualified, experienced bankruptcy lawyer, you will be able to approach this difficult and stressful process in the most effective manner while keeping costs at a minimum.

Like any other service professional s, such as doctors or mechanics, bankruptcy attorneys base their fee on their experience and ability to perform the task, along with the specifics of your individual case. Going with the attorney that offers the lowest fee is not always the best. Remember, you get what you pay for and the lowest fee may not get you the best result.

We offer a free consultation. At this consultation the attorney will quote you a fee based on your individual situation. There are two fees involved in a bankruptcy filing. One is the court filing fee and the other is the attorney’s fee. When it comes to attorney fees, Keegan & Co Attorneys works on a flat fee basis in nearly all cases.