Posts

Struggling with Debt? What You Should Know to Avoid Making Things Worse…

Good people find themselves deep in debt for a lot of reasons:  Job loss, health issues, and divorce are common reasons for debt problems.  We see people try all kinds of ways to try to stay ahead.  Here are some things that you should NEVER do:

Do not take out a second home mortgage to pay debts.  This transfers unsecured debts to secured debt attached to your home. If you cannot make payments your creditor will foreclose on your home. It is possible to protect your home in bankruptcy.

Do not pay debts using your retirement savings account.  Retirement accounts are protected through a bankruptcy filing.

Do not max out your credit cards to stay afloat.  Recently incurred charges may not be able to be discharged through a bankruptcy filing.

Do not transfer your home to another person to avoid having a lien placed on your property.  Call us first to discuss any such transfers.

Bankruptcy is not the end of the world.  There are hundreds of thousands of bankruptcy filings in the United States each and every year.

Here are some thoughts of things to do when filing for bankruptcy.

Do consider this decision very carefully.  Under Chapter 7 you will only be able to receive a discharge every 8 years.  There are other options if you have filed within the last 8 years and are struggling.  Contact us for a free consultation.

Do follow the advice of your attorney.  At our office we have over 55 years of combined experience and will be able to guide you to make sure your bankruptcy is as painless as possible.

Do be honest in all of your answers on the petition.  Be sure to list all assets and not leave anything out. We can usually protect your assets with full disclosure and some pre-planning.

Do be sure to list all of your creditors on your petition.

Do close any bank accounts with which you have credit lines or credit cards.  This will prevent the account from being seized by the creditor.

Bankruptcy is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly.  Contact our office for your free consultation to discuss your individual situation to see if bankruptcy is the right decision for you.

 

 

BANKRUPTCY- SHOULD YOU FILE BEFORE OR AFTER DIVORCE?

We are attorneys located in Eastgate and Middletown, Ohio. Since 1992, Bankruptcy has been the main focus of our practice.

If you are considering bankruptcy contact our office for a free consultation.  At this consultation our attorneys will analyze your individual situation.

Your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy.  You can file bankruptcy without your spouse, but whether they should file with you depends on the circumstances. Here are some of the most common situations in determining whether to file with your spouse.

All (or Most) Debts are in One Spouse’s Name

This happens often either in a relatively new marriage, or one in which one of the spouses had operated a failing business. The person with little or no debt doesn’t want to participate in filing bankruptcy if it’s not necessary to do so.

In a newer marriage, the couple may realize that the debts of one spouse is hurting their joint financial lives. Possibly the financial stress is jeopardizing the marriage itself. That is especially true if the spouse with the debts either was not candid about the amount of debts he or she was bringing into the marriage, or has continued to use credit within the marriage without the full knowledge of the other spouse.

Whatever the context, determining whether to file bankruptcy for just one spouse requires a thorough analysis as to who is liable on each of the debts.  If there is joint liability, the creditor can pursue the non-filing spouse for the full amount.

It takes some analyses to determine whether a spouse is or is not liable on a debt.  Being an authorized user sometimes creates liability, and sometimes doesn’t. You can discuss this at your free consultation.

Preserving the Other Spouse’s Credit Record

A common reason given for one spouse not wanting to file is to protect his or her credit record. That’s a sensible enough goal. And not only for the non-filing spouse. The couple could benefit from the non-filing spouse’s access to credit on behalf of their household. That non-filing spouse may help the filing spouse re-establish his or her good credit through co-signing of new debts , for example.  Many times when one spouse has a small amount of debt, we may advise not to join the bankruptcy.

But be careful with assumptions about keeping the fling spouse’s case out of the non-filer’s credit record. This is especially if you have a joint debt or two, including ones that you intend to continue to pay and keep “outside the bankruptcy” case, such as a home mortgage or vehicle loan. Although credit reporting agencies are not supposed to refer to a co-debtor’s bankruptcy filing in the non-filer’s credit reports, don’t simply assume that will happen appropriately.

So it’s all the more important for the non-filing spouse to review his or her credit report before the other spouse’s bankruptcy is filed and then very regularly thereafter to make sure there’s no reference, directly or indirectly, to the bankruptcy case.

THINKING OF DIVORCE

Bankruptcy can be good financial planning when anticipating divorce.  If it’s clear, both that you will be getting divorced, and that you need the financial relief of a bankruptcy, then which should come first?  If the bankruptcy is first, should you file with your spouse or not?  Most of the you should file together.  You save on filing and attorney fees, and you have less to argue about (so you spend less on legal fees) in the divorce.  But, this isn’t always true.

The overly simplified answer is as follows:

  • Do not file a joint Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case with your spouse in anticipation of a divorce without BOTH of you getting independent legal advice from separate attorneys.
  • In some situations, it is not in one or the other’s interests to file jointly.
  • In virtually NO circumstances would it make sense to file a joint Chapter 13 case in contemplation of a divorce—a Chapter 13 take three to five years to complete, and at the time of your divorce we would have to turn that case into two separate Chapter 13 cases, or into two Chapter 7 cases.

MORE INFORMATION

Contact Keegan & Co Attorneys today for your free consultation 513-752-3900 at one of our office closest to you: Eastgate or Middletown. Free parking. Convienent appointment times. Fair fees. Our office has been helping the people of Greater Cincinnati since 1992. Caring and knowledgeable lawyers.

BANKRUPTCY

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate and Middletown, Ohio. For over 30 years, our main focus of practice has been bankruptcy law.

Everyone knows when they are in over their heads financially. You know when things are going wrong and are out of your control. Many factors can cause this situation.  Many people just wait and hope that nothing bad happens.  The creditors keep calling. You hope they will just go away. Creditors will relentlessly try to collect from you and every time they sell your loan the situation becomes more confusing. Debts do not go away on their own.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself.  It’s certainly best not to wait to react to a financial crisis after it has occurred, such as a wage garnishment, bank levy, car repo or home foreclosure.

You should obtain a copy of your credit report. This can be done every year for free.  Even old accounts could lead to lawsuit.  Check the public record section of your credit report to see if there are lawsuits filed against you.  Is your current employer listed on your credit report?  Collection agencies and creditors will do their best to search for this information and your credit report will be the first place they will look.

Keep your bank accounts to a minimum if you have outstanding debts. Today creditors can more easily levy bank accounts and no longer have to levy the branch where you opened your account.  They simply have to provide the corporate office with the judicial order authorizing the bank levy.  Once they levy your bank account you will not be able to get these fund back, even if you file for bankruptcy. If this has happened to you, call us. A bankruptcy filing will stop wage garnishments, and bank levies.

We have free consultations. Once you retain this office you may refer your creditors to us to verify that we have been retained by you for a bankruptcy filing. Just retaining the office will not stop current wage garnishments or bank levies.  You must file your case as soon as possible to stop these actions.

Be prepared, don’t just sit back and let your creditors take control of your financial destiny.  Take control of your own finances. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world. Good people just like you have found financial relief and asset protection through bankruptcy. Many feel it is rock bottom. In reality, bankruptcy offers a new beginning and fresh financial start.

Overwhelming Debt? Bankruptcy may be right for You.

Are you struggling with debt?  The phone calls begin in the morning and continue all day?  The stack of new bills in the mail become confusing as creditors sell your debts to new collectors who do not identify who they are collecting for?  Does it not matter anyway, as you cannot pay them?

Many factors can lead to overwhelming debt: illness, divorce, job loss, cuts in overtime, car problems, etc.  There is HOPE! Bankruptcy may be a way to get a fresh financial start. Several hundred thousand people file in the U.S. every year.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common consumer bankruptcy filings.  We have consultations. Sit down with one of our experienced attorneys and discuss what option is best given your unique situation.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information contact us at 513-752-3900.

Contact your Eastgate and Middletown, Ohio  bankruptcy attorney today to see if bankruptcy is the fresh start you need!