BANKRUPTCY

We are attorneys located in Middletown, Ohio.  Bankruptcy has been the main focus of our practice for over 28 years.

If you are considering bankruptcy you should contact our office for your free consultation.  At this consultation you will be able to sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss your individual situation.

Your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy.  You can always file bankruptcy without your spouse, but whether they should file depends on the circumstances. Here are some of the most common situations that may make you question whether or not 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. And often the person with the debt, out of guilt or sometimes more noble motives, wants to avoid harming the other person any further by dragging him or her into a bankruptcy case.

In a newer marriage, the couple may come to realize that the debts of one of them are now hurting their joint financial lives. Possibly the financial stress is jeopardizing the marriage itself. That is especially true if the person 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 to find out who is liable on each of the debts.  If there is joint liability, the creditor can go after the non-filing spouse for the full amount.  And even if the non-filing spouse does not think he or she is legally liable on some debts, you have to double check before they opt out of being included in the bankruptcy filing.

It is often more difficult than you’d think to know for sure whether one 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. creditThat’s a sensible enough goal. And not only for the non-filing spouse. If it works the couple itself could benefit through the non-filing spouse’s subsequent access to credit on behalf of their household. That non-filing spouse may even be able to help the filing spouse re-establish his or her good credit through co-signing of new debts and such.  Many times when one spouse has a small amount of debt, we suggest leaving them out of the bankruptcy.

But be careful with assumptions about being able to keep the other’s bankruptcy filing completely 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 oldwill be getting divorced, and that you need the financial relief of a bankruptcy, which should come first—and if the bankruptcy is first, should you file with your spouse or by yourself?  Most of the time it is a good idea to file together if you can stomach it.  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 for the purpose of this already long blog post 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 about whether doing so would truly be in each of your self-interests.
  • Be prepared for the possibility that it would not be in one or the other of your self-interests to file jointly, or to file ahead of the divorce, with the result that you would not be filing a joint Chapter 7 case.
  • In virtually NO circumstances would it make sense to file a joint Chapter 13 case in contemplation of a divorce—they take three to five years to complete, and at the time of your divorce would have to turn that case into two separate Chapter 13 cases, or into two Chapter 7 ones, or one of each, usually causing enough of an administrative headache and cost to make filing a joint Chapter 13 case a bad idea.*But even there the other spouse may become liable in various ways. As for debts incurred during the marriage, under many state’s laws the spouse who did not sign the debt papers or did not otherwise participate in the purchase or transaction can still be liable for the debt. And beyond that, in community property states joint liability is even more easily created.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.middletown-bankruptcy.com.

Contact your Middletown, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today for your free consultation 513-422-2994.

BANKRUPTCY AND THE AUTOMATIC STAY

We are bankruptcy attorneys in Middletown, Ohio.  We have been in practice for over 28 years and can help you get a fresh financial start.

Are you struggling with debt, garnishments or medical debt?  Under bankruptcy you can discharge all of these debts and get a fresh financial start.

At our office we offer you a free consultation.  At this consultation you will be able to sit down untitled15with one of our experienced attorneys and discuss your personal situation.  The attorney will be able to guide you as to your best interest as far as the next step.  Bankruptcy could be an option, or another avenue may be best for you.  If you do decide to move forward with filing bankruptcy a small retainer fee will get things started and we will then accept monthly payments until your fees are paid in full.  Once you put down this retainer you can discontinue paying on debts which you do not wish to retain and refer your creditors to our office.  During this time we will communicate with your creditors.

Once your case is filed the automatic stay will automatically go into effect.  What is an automatic stay?  The meaning of stay is to stop.  Which means once your case is filed it prohibits creditors from continuing to collect a debt from you.  If there is a garnishment it will have to stop.  Any court proceeding will have to stop.  All collection efforts have to stop.

If it is your intention to surrender a home through a Chapter 7 the creditor will have to seek relief from stay before they will be able to move forward in the foreclosure proceeding.  In essence filing Chapter 7 will slow down the foreclosure procedure and give you more time in your home.

Once you complete the bankruptcy and receive your discharge the debts are discharged which means they are gone, you are not responsible for them, they cannot collect on them from you.  If they were to contact you all you will have to do is give them your case number and filing date and this will resolve any problems.  Of course debts that are incurred after a bankruptcy filing are not included in this category.

For more information check out our website at www.middletown-bankruptcy.com.

Contact your Middletown, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today for your free consultation.  Bankruptcy may give you a fresh financial start!

BANKRUPTCY

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Middletown, Ohio.  Bankruptcy has been our main focus of practice for over 30 years.

We all go through tough times.  There are many factors that can cause us to struggle financially.  You could have lost a good paying job and had to take a new job making less money.  You could have had a medical emergency in which you incurred medical debt.  Maybe you have recently divorced.  There are so many factors which can cause hardship in our lives and throw us off balance as far as paying our debts go.  Robbing from Peter to pay Paul at the end of the month, sometimes it just does not work because Peter is broke too.  If this describes you in any way then bankruptcy may help you get a fresh financial start and break out of the prison of debt.

WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is a federal code which will allow you to discharge your unsecured debts and get a handsfresh financial start.  Under the bankruptcy code once you file all collection efforts against you must stop.  This includes phone calls, court proceedings and garnishments.  Yes, you can stop a garnishment even if it has already begun once your file under the bankruptcy code.  Bankruptcy is designed to help people get out of debt, it is not a bad thing and if you file it does not mean that you are a bad person, just a person in a bad financial situation.

WHAT IS THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS?

At our office we will offer you a free consultation.  At this free consultation you will be able to sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss your individual situation.  The attorney would then determine which chapter you would qualify for and guide as to the next step.  If you decide to questionmove forward a small retainer fee will get the process started and we will then accept payments until you have paid in full and then your case will be filed.  Once you decide to file and retain our office you should stop paying on bills that you do not want to keep and start referring your creditors to our office.  You would then submit all of your documentation so that your case can be prepared and once paid in full you would sign your documents and your case will be filed.  Your court date will be approximately four weeks after you file.  There are two credit counseling sessions which you will need to complete, one before filing and one after.  You would then receive your bankruptcy discharge and get your fresh financial start.  Creditors will no longer be able to collect on any debts which you included in your bankruptcy filing.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.middletown-bankruptcy.com.

Call your Middletown bankruptcy attorney today to see if bankruptcy is the right step for your fresh financial start!

BANKRUPTCY

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Middletown, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice is bankruptcy for over 30 years.

Are you struggling with debt?  Many Americans struggle with debt every year. Looking for the untitledbest way out of debt can be exhausting and time consuming.  The most common ways out of debt are debt consolidation, debt management, debt settlement, do it yourself and bankruptcy.  It is best to determine the best way out of debt for yourself.  But be careful, believe it or not there are many unreliable and even predatory companies out there that will take advantage of you if you’re not careful.

In this blog we will cover these basic ways out of debt and I will show you why bankruptcy is the best way out of debt.

DEBT CONSOLIDATION

Debt consolidation is when you get a new loan to pay off your existing debts. The term “consolidate” means to group several things together into one, which makes sense since debt consolidation groups all of your existing debts into a new loan.  Doing this may lower your monthly payment and possibly your interest rate.

The problem with debt consolidation is you have not reduced your amount of debt, you have simply lumped all of your debt into one loan with one payment.  You are still accruing interest on this high balance and it will take years to pay off this single loan.

Entering into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will also lump all of your debts into one low monthly payment.  However, in chapter 13 no interest will incur and you will only pay back a percentage of the debt you owe.

DEBT MANAGEMENT

A debt management plan is a program offered by companies or non-profit groups that say they will help you negotiate a new payment plan with your current creditors.  The debt management company will negotiate your debts with your creditors and you will make a monthly payment to the debt management company directly, while they will pay your creditors for you.

There are several problems with the debt management plan.  First and foremost an honest debt management company is hard to find.  Unfortunately not all of these companies are honest in what they are selling you and how they distribute your funds.  We have had more than one client say they paid to one of these companies without ever seeing their balances go down.

Bankruptcy is held in a federal court.  All bankruptcy attorneys are governed by their state bar association, which means we are legit and will not take your money and run per say.

DEBT SETTLEMENT

Debt settlement is when you work directly with your creditors and they will accept a lower amount of money than what you owe them.  You must have the full amount to immediately pay.  This is not too bad of a way out of debt, if you have the funds to do so.

Even if you do have the funds to do debt settlement, not all of your creditors may be willing to work with you and give you a reduction in the amount you owe, so you would not get anywhere in the process with these creditors.  Also, creditors who do settle with you will send you a 1099 at the end of the year and you will need to claim the amount that the creditor wrote off as income on your next tax return.  You will most likely end up owing the IRS and that is just not pretty and there is not quick way out of owing debt to the IRS.

If you file for bankruptcy even in Chapter 7 where you will wipe out all of your debt and not have to pay back a dime, you will not receive any type of tax documentation.  You do not have to list a bankruptcy on your tax return.

DO IT ON YOUR OWN

Aren’t you already trying to do this?  Paying each month what you can afford to pay, but not really getting ahead.  It really depends on the amount of debt that you have if you will ever be able to get out of debt on your own.  If you don’t have much debt, then this will be a great option for you.  Unfortunately, the average american household has $15,000.00 in credit card debt, not to mention medical debt.  This is really no small amount to pull yourself out of.

BANKRUPTCY REALLY IS THE BEST OPTION

Bankruptcy gets a bad rap in the minds of many.  Many think you have to be a deadbeat or scum of the earth to end up filing for bankruptcy protection.  This is not true, there are images6thousands of bankruptcies filed in the US each day.  Most are filed by families trying to get by, just like you.  Just because you file for bankruptcy does not mean that you are a bad person, just a regular person in a bad financial situation.

This is the fastest and easiest way to get out debt.  True, the bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, but all of the options above will affect you for about the same amount of time.  The key to bankruptcy is afterwards paying all of your bills on time and not having debts go into collections.  You will be able to get new credit rather quickly if that is what you desire.  Under federal bankruptcy protection you can wipe out all of your debts and get a fresh financial start, without much penalty.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.middletown-bankruptcy.com

Call 513-422-2994 today for your free consultation to see if bankruptcy is your best way out of debt.

BANKRUPTCY AND YOUR HOME

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Middletown, Ohio.  We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

If you have found yourself in financial difficulty, you may be considering bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy allows you to to discharge all of your unsecured debt through a bankruptcy discharge.  In a bankruptcy you may be able to reorganize your debts to make your payments more manageable – or even eliminate your debts totally.

While a bankruptcy can help you get rid of your debt in general, you may want to recommit to the terms of your mortgage if you can afford to pay it and you want to keep the home.  The promise to repay a mortgage after bankruptcy is known as reaffirming your mortgage debt, and whether you have want to take this step depends on your circumstances and the type of bankruptcy you file.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO REAFFIRM YOUR MORTGAGE AFTER BANKRUPTCY?

reaffirmation agreement is a legal contract that states your promise to repay all or a portion of your debt which you might have otherwise been released in a bankruptcy case.  Reaffirming your mortgage debt means recommitting to the terms of the loan and promising to pay it.  However, if homeyou default or fail to pay the mortgage, you could still face foreclosure.  If you decide to resign on your home you must commit to repaying this loan as if you reaffirm and then cannot make your payments you will have a foreclosure after your bankruptcy, this could lead to long term credit problems.  People usually file for bankruptcy because they cannot afford to meet their financial obligations, if that’s the case for you, reaffirming a mortgage debt might undue the positive aspects of bankruptcy.

WHY REAFFIRM YOUR MORTGAGE DEBT

If you are current on your loan payment and able to make future payments, reaffirming informs the lender that you intend to pay the mortgage.  This allows you keep your home during bankruptcy as long as you abide by the terms of the reaffirmation agreement and make payments.  When you reaffirm your debt this debt will report on your credit report and start rebuilding your credit right away.

If you do not reaffirm your mortgage debt, but continue to make payments, these payments may not be reported on your credit report.  These payments that you are making would not then be reported and will not help rebuild your credit.  Reaffirmation may also give you the chance to renegotiate the terms of your loan.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD REAFFIRM

Each situation is unique and differs based on your payment history and your ability to pay in the future.  If you are able to keep your mortgage debt, reaffirming may help ensure that the mortgage company will report your payments to the credit reporting agencies.

However, if financial difficulties prevent you from making this commitment and you want to be released from your mortgage in bankruptcy, you should not sign a reaffirmation agreement. Reaffirmation leaves you personally liable for the debt, and you cant’ walk away from it after bankruptcy.

You should work with a bankruptcy attorney to decide if reaffirming on your mortgage debt is in your best interest.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information check out our website at www.middletown-bankruptcy.com.

If you are struggling financially bankruptcy may be your best option.  Call today for your free consultation to discuss your individual situation.