Posts

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.

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.

BANKRUPTCY

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

Are you struggling with debt?  Of course if you are considering bankruptcy it probably means that you are looking at debts with you are unable to pay.  Bankruptcy in most cases may help you get rid of your debts and give you a fresh financial start.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common consumer chapters.  Each chapter has its own rules so you must know which chapter best fits your circumstances.  At our office you will be able to sit down with a knowledgeable attorney and he will be able to advise which chapter is best for you.

CHAPTER 7

Most thinking of bankruptcy would prefer to be able to file Chapter 7.  This is the most common filing for most consumers.  Under Chapter 7 you will be able to discharge all of your unsecured debts under the bankruptcy code.  A discharge is a federal court document releasing you from your debts.  This document automatically releases you from most of your unsecured image7sdebts.  Debts which cannot be discharged include such things as student loans, newly incurred tax debt, spousal or child support and court costs for criminal charges.  As to your secure debts such as your home, vehicle or jewelry you will have to make a decision if you will want to resign on these debts through a reaffirmation agreement or surrender them.  A reaffirmation agreement is a document basically re-entering the terms of the original debt, once you sign the reaffirmation agreement this debt will be excluded from your bankruptcy and will report going forward on your credit.  If you decide to surrender your collateral this debt will be discharged through your case.

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 under state regulated exemptions and are protected.

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 would like to retain these going further, or some who just do not like the idea of not paying their debts, but just cannot make the minimum monthly payments and would like to stop all interest and charged going forward.  Chapter 13 is a re-payment plan, you will 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.

AFTER DISCHARGE

Once you receive your discharge creditors are not allowed to collect on these debts in any way images5or form.  They cannot send you a bill, they cannot call you, they cannot take you to court, they cannot garnish your wages.  You are free and clear from these debts and you have gotten your fresh financial start!  Congrats!  Now how to stay that way and re-build your credit going forward.  The most important thing is to make any payments for debts that you reaffirmed on on time and try not to let debts get into collection.  Your credit will improve in no time.

MORE INFORMATION

Bankruptcy is serious decision, call today for your free consultation to see if it is the right one for you 513-752-3900.

Check out of website at www.keegancolpa.com.

Contact your Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today!