Seven Steps In The Bankruptcy Process
1. Meet with an attorney. Before filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio, we urge you to meet with an attorney at Guerrieri, Cox & Associates, LLC. to review your finances and discuss your financial options. We will also discuss your financial goals and your desires for retaining certain possessions that may not be exempted under Ohio law.
2. Complete a financial accounting. Our lawyers will help you to complete an accounting of all of your income, debts, and assets to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy, and if so, which option is right for you. If you decide to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to pass a means test that evaluates your income, assets, and ability to repay debts.
3. File for bankruptcy. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must file paperwork listing your assets and debts, including exempt properties. Before can file, you may also be required to take a credit counseling class. The process for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is similar, but your filing will include a debt repayment plan to be submitted to the bankruptcy court.
4. Use the automatic stay. Once you’ve filed, this injunction will stop creditors from harassing you for payment during the remainder your bankruptcy process. This means you can’t be evicted from your home, lose your car to repossession or be forced to endure embarrassing collection calls at home or at your workplace unless extraordinary measures are taken. The automatic stay will buy you time to get your financial affairs in order before your bankruptcy concludes.
5. Attend the creditors’ meeting. Within weeks of filing for bankruptcy, you will be summoned to a required “meeting of creditors.” At this meeting, your bankruptcy trustee and creditors will be permitted to ask you questions about the information in your bankruptcy filing. Some creditors may object to the elimination of certain debts in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or object to elements of your Chapter 13 repayment plan. They may also petition to pursue payment despite the automatic stay. In many cases, creditors decline to attend this meeting, however. Either way, our experienced attorneys can represent you at this meeting and protect your interests.
6. Receive a discharge. Chapter 7 bankruptcies usually conclude within a few months of the creditors meeting. Chapter 13 bankruptcies usually take three to five years, as a bankruptcy judge must approve your reorganization plan, and then you must continue making timely payments toward your debt repayment plan.
7. Relax and move on. Whichever bankruptcy option you complete, you will be free of your original debts by the time it is complete. If you manage to avoid incurring new debts, you should be in a much better position to face your financial obligations and to enjoy your life!
Bankruptcy Sounds Easy. Why Should I Hire An Attorney?
Although bankruptcy follows a clear process, there are numerous points at which a tactical or strategic error could cost you money and time. Errors in your financial accounting could lead to failing the means test or other requirements for your desired bankruptcy option. Reporting errors could result in your owing money after your bankruptcy is complete.
Creditors always hire attorneys to represent them, and those attorneys will know more about the process than you do. This means they can take advantage of you in the creditor’s meeting, or when in discussions with the bankruptcy trustee. You could end up losing precious assets and pay much more to your creditors than you ought to.
Filing For Bankruptcy In Ohio? A Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney Can Guide You Through The Steps In Bankruptcy.
For these reasons, it is important that you protect yourself by retaining a skilled bankruptcy attorney from Guerrieri, Cox & Associates, LLC. Contact us in Columbus, Ohio, for a free consultation concerning your circumstances and options.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
2500 N. High Street, Suite 100, Columbus Ohio 43202
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