Ohio and Kentucky Bankruptcy FAQ

Why should I file for bankruptcy?

A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a 1934 decision:

"It gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt."

In simpler terms, it allows you to either liquidate your debt, relieving you of a great deal of obligation, or set up a realistic repayment plan so that you are not overburdened by debt and the harassment of creditors.

What types of bankruptcy are there?

There are six types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 (liquidation), Chapter 8 (municipality bankruptcy), Chapter 11 (reorganization), Chapter 12 (family farmer or family fisherman bankruptcy) Chapter 13 (individual debt adjustment) and Chapter 15 (ancillary and cross-border cases).

Steiden Law Offices focus primarily on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Am I eligible for bankruptcy?

It depends on your personal circumstances.In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are multiple criteria that must be met. The first relates to income and how much you actually make. In order to file, you must either be below a certain amount or, if you are, you are required to take a means test. A means test measures your current income against the state average which categorizes households according to size.

In addition, to be eligible, you must not have received a bankruptcy discharge within the last eight years. You also cannot have previous bankruptcy dismissal within the last 180 days.

With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must meet certain strict debt limits. Anyone with debts over the amounts listed will not be eligible for Chapter 13 and must file for Chapter 7 instead. To file Chapter 13 an individual must have no more than $336,900 in unsecured debts and no more than $1,010,650 in secured debt.

When will creditors stop calling me?

You attorney will be able to almost immediately halt all creditor harassment following the initial filing of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy protection can be looked at as a type of restraining order of sorts that allows you to focus on developing a plan to fix your debt issues rather than continually being forced to speak with aggressive creditors.

Will I be able to keep my property?

In some cases. A Chapter 13 filing allows you to restructure your debts in order to keep your property. A Chapter 7 filing is a liquidation, so it is likely that property will be lost (if you have property and decide to take this route), except for what is allowably exempted in Ohio and Kentucky.

How quickly can I get help?

We can see you right now and start the process. Our attorneys and staff are ready to move to protect you immediately and our firm is designed to resolve your debt issues so that you can move on with your life and put your financial problems behind you. We can stop creditor harassment, collections, wage garnishment, foreclosure, repossession, lawsuits, and tax collections very soon after meeting with us.

How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?

We have always committed ourselves to providing highly effective service at the most competitive cost. We understand that if you are seeking assistance with complex financial issues, you likely do not have substantial resources available. Our rates are competitive and generous for the level of service our clients expect and we gladly provide.

How long does bankruptcy take?

Once a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, it takes a day or two to receive notice of the date and time for the meeting of creditors, which is generally scheduled two to three weeks away from the filing date. Following the meeting of creditors and assuming there are no complicating factors in your Chapter 7, it may take about 60 days before you receive your bankruptcy discharge of all your dischargeable debts.

As for Chapter 13, this process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete, since a Chapter 13 involves making monthly payments over time to your creditors.

How does filing bankruptcy affect my credit?

Filing bankruptcy may negatively impact your credit, but if you are considering bankruptcy, your credit may already be damaged to such a point that the bankruptcy filing has little practical effect on your credit. In this case, bankruptcy would relieve the debt burden that you are otherwise unable to manage.

After filing, you may experience some of the same issues you now face, such as higher interest rates or credit limits, but now you can recover. As time passes, it will be easier to secure credit. Most filers will be able to secure auto loans shortly after filing, but at a higher interest rate than someone with perfect credit. Purchasing real estate at a good interest rate may take two years of recovery.

Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, but there are many actions you can take to show a fresh history of credit worthiness.

Will I eliminate all my debts?

Some debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, such as student loans and certain tax debts. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers a way to manage these sorts of debt by allowing you to structure a repayment plan backed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, so your creditors must participate if they wish to be paid.

Can I continue to run my business?

It depends on the type of business and the type of bankruptcy. A sole proprietorship becomes an asset of the bankruptcy estate. Due to this, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it can be sold or distributed to pay creditors. In certain cases, the assets of the business can be exempted and you can continue to run the business even after you file for bankruptcy protection.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can continue to run the business, and use the proceeds to fund a Chapter 13 plan to make your payments. Chapter 13 business bankruptcies are more complicated than a normal chapter 13 filing because it is harder to estimate the income on a monthly basis. Although it may not always be advisable, both plans allow you to continue your business.

What is a trustee?

A trustee in bankruptcy is an entity, often an individual, in charge of administering a bankruptcy estate. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee gathers the debtor's non-exempt property, managing the funds from the sale of those assets, and then paysexpenses and distributes the balance to the owed creditors.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee is responsible for receiving the debtor's monthly payments and distributing those funds proportionally to the debtor's creditors. The bankruptcy trustee will act on behalf of the debtor to guarantee that both the creditor's and the debtor's interests are maintained in accordance with the bankruptcy laws, and will often be required to act as a negotiator between the two parties.

How many times can I file for bankruptcy?

While there are no actual limits on how many times you can file bankruptcy, there are limits to how often you are able to file. The general rule is that it is usually six years from the date of a prior bankruptcy discharge before you can be granted another discharge. For some Chapter 13 bankruptcies, there is no waiting period at all to obtain a discharge. For multiple filers, the judge may order a waiting period and may scrutinize your filing.

Where are your office locations?

260 Northland Blvd #129
Cincinnati, OH 45246
(513) 771-3328
830 Main St #401
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 684-9900
411 Madison Avenue
Covington, KY 41011
(859) 581-3328
6900 Houston Rd #21
Florence, KY 41042
(859) 371-3328
4030 Mt Carmel Tobasco Rd #129
Cincinnati, Ohio 45255
(888) 877-3328
2263 W US 22 and 3
Maineville, OH 45039
(888) 877-3328
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Convienient Office Locations
Cincinnati, OH
830 Main St #401 Cincinnati, OH 45202
260 Northland Blvd #129 Cincinnati, OH 45246
Covington, KY
411 Madison Avenue Covington, KY 41011
Florence, KY
6900 Houston Rd #21 Florence, KY 41042
Maineville, OH
2263 W US 22 and 3 Maineville, OH 45039
4030 Mt Carmel Tobasco Rd #327E Cincinnati, OH 45255
West Chester, OH
8050 Becket Center Dr #131 West Chester, OH 45069