Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy filing is not only for individuals or businesses that are no longer making any money and saddled by unsustainable debt. For many individuals, liquidation of their assets is not an option and finding ways to keep their cars, property and home is of paramount importance. This is where Chapter 13 bankruptcy becomes a strong option for Ohio and Kentucky residents.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides an adjustment of debts for an individual with a regular income, making it what some call the "wage earners plan." Many who seek this filing are looking for an opportunity to repay some or all of their outstanding debts. Since Chapter 13 allows debtors to use future income to repay their creditors, it is a great fit for those Cincinnati and Covington who still have money coming in, and would like to keep ownership of their possessions.
With the help of a qualified bankruptcy attorney at your side, you can go through the filing process in Ohio and Kentucky confidently, knowing that your legal representation has your best interests in mind. This will help change what seems to be a dead end legal financial situation into a new start for you or your business.
Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Although these bankruptcy laws are in place, it can be an extremely difficult process to navigate without previous experience. That is why having a capable bankruptcy attorney helping your through each step is vital in successfully completing a filing. A qualified and experienced lawyer will be able to use their extensive legal understanding and previous casework to develop the most effective plan for your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Steiden Law Offices is a bankruptcy law firm with over 17 years of experience, including over 6,000 case hearings. The attorneys are committed to helping individuals and businesses get out from under the burden of unsustainable debt and productively move forward. The firm prides itself on providing a quick response time and open communication so that you can get started solving this financial issue immediately.
Their dedication to excellent customer service and efficient representation will allow Eric and attorneys to approach this legal financial situation in the most efficient manner possible. With two office locations in Cincinnati, and one each in Florence and Covington, Steiden Law Offices is a convenient option for individuals located in and around Hamilton County, Boone County and Kenton County.
Call (888) 877-3328 or send an online message to schedule a risk-free consultation to go over the details of your case with Steiden Law Offices today. The law firm proudly represents individuals and businesses throughout Ohio and Kentucky, including the cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, Forest Park, Covington, Erlanger and Florence, among many others. They are dedicated to providing efficient debt relief solutions during this inevitably stressful point in your life.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information Center
- Definition of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 Eligibility
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Process
- Legal Resources for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In simple terms, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the reorganization of a debtor's financial affairs. The goal is to create a payment plan for the benefit of the creditors, while protecting the debtor from foreclosure, garnishment, levy, or similar consequences.
Specifically, Chapter 13 is a bankruptcy proceeding in which the debtor undertakes a reorganization of his or her finances under the supervision and approval of the courts. As part of the reorganization, the debtor must submit and follow through with a plan to repay outstanding creditors within three to five years. In most circumstances, the repayment plan must provide a substantial payback to creditors - at least equal to what they would receive under other forms of bankruptcy - and, if needed, use 100% of the debtor's income for repayment. The exact legal wording is contained the Title 11 §1321 thru §1330 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 13 allows a debt-laden person or sole proprietorship that still has significant income to submit an orderly plan to the courts to pay back debts over a few years. Doing so can provide advantages to the debtor not found in other forms of bankruptcy, such as preventing the foreclosure of a residence.
Any individual, even those who are self-employed or operate an unincorporated business, is eligible to file for Chapter 13 in Cincinnati or their immediate area as long as their debts are less than a certain amount. Ohio and Kentucky debtors, in particular, may be eligible if their total amount of unsecured debts does not exceed $360,470 and their secured debt is less than $1,081,400. Debtors must complete court-approved credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy. It must be noted that corporations and partnerships are not eligible.
As a rule, the debtor must have a regular means of income in order to file. They will not be eligible if they have filed for Chapter 13 within the last 180 days and the bankruptcy case was dismissed due to the debtor's "unwillingness to cooperate." In addition, debtors must complete court-approved credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process begins by filing a petition with the local bankruptcy court where the debtor has residence. The debtor, through his or her attorney, must file with the court four documents:
- Schedules of assets and liabilities
- A schedule of current income and expenditures
- A schedule of executor contracts and unexpired leases
- A statement of financial affairs
The debtor must also file a certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed through credit counseling; evidence of payment from employers; a statement of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing; and a record of any interest the debtor has in federal or state qualified education or tuition accounts.
In order to complete the official bankruptcy forms that make up the petition, statement of financial affairs, and schedules, the debtor must also compile the following information:
- A list of all creditors and the amounts and nature of their claims;
- The source, amount, and frequency of the debtor's income;
- A list of all of the debtor's property; and
- A detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses ( i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.).
When an individual files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, a trustee (independent arbitrator) is appointed to handle the case. The Chapter 13 trustee both evaluates and distributes. This means he or she will consider the case itself then collect the payments from the person who filed while making payments to creditors.
Filing the petition under Chapter 13 stops (this is otherwise called the 'automatic stay") most collection actions against the person in debt or their property. The automatic stay effectually freezes the foreclosure proceeding immediately following the Ch. 13 filing. The individual may then bring the past-due payments current over period of time that is sustainable for him or her. Even with this protection, there is still the chance of losing the home if the company that owns the mortgage completes the foreclosure sale under state law before the mortgage holder files the petition.
The trustee is required to hold a meeting of the creditors between 21 and 50 days following the petition filing. The debtor is required to attend and take questions regarding their financial affairs and the proposed terms of the bankruptcy plan. After this, the debtor, trustee and the creditors will go to a hearing on the debtor's Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.
Once the repayment schedule is verified, the debtor will start to make direct payments to the trustee within 30 days. As the debtor makes payments to the Ohio or Northern Kentucky Chapter 13 trustee, the trustee will then make payments to the creditors.
Creditors are paid in order of priority, with secured debts, like a mortgage or auto loan payments, being paid first, followed by mortgage arrears and priority debts such as tax debt and domestic support payments. Unsecured creditors are the lowest priority creditors. The trustee will pay a certain percentage of the total amount of unsecured debt as decided upon in the confirmed plan (the plan approved by the court). Once a debtor completes the terms of the Chapter 13 plan, the remaining amount of unsecured debt is discharged.
United States Courts – Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – This is the main website for the U.S. Court System. It includes information on the federal courts and their role in the bankruptcy process. The specific link provides information on the Chapter 13 process, forms, administrators, discharge and eligibility.
National Data Center – Chapter 13 Case Information – This is the primary site of the NDC and is the exclusive source for comprehensive Chapter 13 case and claims data. It is the mission of the NDC to "furnish national Chapter 13 case information to parties-in-interest via a single, secured website while protecting the legitimate privacy interest of debtors." The link provides information on creditors, servicers, lawyers and debt buyers.
Chapter 13 U.S. Bankruptcy Code – This is the direct link to Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. It provides information on every aspect of a Chapter 13 filing, including officers, administration, the estate, amendments, trustees, automatic stays and much more.
United States Bankruptcy Court – Southern Ohio – The primary website for Cincinnati and surrounding area residents. It provides information on judges, locations, phone numbers, FAQs, means testing, filing and seminars.U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio
Cincinnati Divisional Office
221 E. Fourth Street
United States Bankruptcy Court – Eastern Kentucky – This is the local federal bankruptcy website for individuals throughout Covington, Florence and other northeastern Kentucky cities. It offers resources on local rules, forms, general orders, judges and contact information.U.S. District Court House
35 West 5th Street
Covington, KY 41012
Steiden Law Offices | Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Florence, KY
Making the tough decision to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky (including Covington and Florence) or Cincinnati is a major life decision that has the potential to give you a second chance. It can free you from the impossible obligation and set you on a path that allows you to whittle away at your debts while focusing on moving forward.
Having a competent Kentucky or Ohio bankruptcy attorney represent you will afford you the opportunity to relax a bit and let them do what they do best. Eric Steiden and staff are experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers who have proven to be a valuable legal resource for the individuals and businesses they have worked with in the past. A proactive and aggressive approach to filing has enabled the firm to thrive while also helping you achieve your financial goals.
Eric Steiden understands the situation you are in and will do everything in his power to help you gain the most benefit from this process. To schedule a free consultation to go over the specifics of your bankruptcy situation, call (888) 877-3328 or send an online message today.
Steiden Law Offices has four locations spread throughout Northern Kentucky and Ohio (two in Cincinnati and one each in Covington and Florence in Kentucky). The firm proudly serves individuals throughout the two Midwestern states, including the Hamilton County cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, Forest Park, Blue Ash, Montgomery and Reading, the Kenton County cities of Covington, Erlanger, Edgewood and Elsmere and the Boone County cities of Florence, Union and Walton, among many others.