Bankruptcy Attorney in Toledo Ohio

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419-469-5002

Bankruptcy Lawyer in Toledo, OH

Sometimes financial circumstances can make us feel hopeless. You might feel like you’ve tried everything possible and you don’t even see a way out anymore. Maybe you’ve negotiated, tried to pay off debts, budgeted all your earnings and you still can’t seem to get anywhere. If this sounds like you, you are not alone. In fact, people often experience these types of financial challenges at some point in their lives. If the problems get bad enough and it starts to impact your well-being, you should strongly consider filing for bankruptcy. You shouldn’t feel guilty and continue down a destructive path especially when you’ve put in a good faith effort to repay your debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you a fresh start. Bankruptcy itself is a legal process allowing for a “winding up” of your affairs with your creditors so that you can move on. After a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all existing debts should be eliminated. 

As bankruptcy attorneys, we understand that it is quite common for our clients to go through financial difficulties at some point in their lives. People’s financial positions are particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in job markets, changing workplace requirements, and difficult unforeseen economic conditions or emergencies. Despite this, we all have bills that still come due. Sometimes, it simply becomes too difficult to balance of these competing factors and you just need to reset your financial life. Bankruptcy offers that reset. If you’re looking for a bankruptcy attorney, call Sawan PLLC today at 419-469-5002 for a free bankruptcy consultation. 

Types of Bankruptcy

For individual consumers, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies are the available types. In some rare cases, an individual might file bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Most business cases that are not liquidations under Chapter 7 are filed under Chapter 11 as well. For cities and towns, Chapter 9 bankruptcy applies. For family farmers, Chapter 12 bankruptcy applies.

Laws Governing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy laws are federal laws with State law specific overlays that allow for people and entities to liquidate their assets, declare bankruptcy and discharge certain debts or re-organize their debts. If you’re considering bankruptcy, it is important to contact a bankruptcy lawyer in order to review your financial circumstances, discuss your legal options and provide legal advice to you based on your individual situation. Bankruptcy might just be the reset you’re looking for to get back on your feet and get a second chance at your financial life. Everyone deserves a second chance. If you’re just looking for more information, check out some of our articles and content at the bottom of the page. Bankruptcy is actually a constitutional right in the United States. The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Claude 4) authorizes Congress to pass bankruptcy laws. Congress has done so on two occasions. In 1978, Congress passed the original Bankruptcy Code and added amendments in 2005. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the filer surrendering non-exempt assets and using them to satisfy as much of their debt as possible. A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed in your case to complete this process and distribute assets or proceeds to creditors. Bear in mind that exempt assets will not be subject to liquidation in Chapter 7 but that depends on specific federal or state law. Chapter 7 bankruptcy has eligibility requirements, income limitations and other specifics. To learn more about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio, click here

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve a repayment plan that aims to repay debts fully or partially over the course of the filer’s future earnings. Usually, these plans are installment plans that span several years. The goals is to come up with a plan that allows debts to be repaid if the terms are altered to meet the filers income level and budgeting.

Filing Bankruptcy in Ohio

Causes of Bankruptcy

Most bankruptcies are caused by unemployment, medical bills, or divorce. Another common and growing cause is credit card debt carrying high interest rates. When an unexpected shift in financial circumstances happens coupled with these types of debts, bankruptcy is often the only option.

The Bankruptcy Petition

A bankruptcy case starts when a person or business files a petition with a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This petition requests protection and relief under the Federal Bankruptcy laws. Filing out this petition involves extensive information about the filer (much of which becomes public record). You’ll disclose information about assets, cash, income, expenses, liabilities, debts, real estate, and more. Pretty much all financial information about you is part of this petition. You should strongly consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to complete the petition for you. Complete honesty and candor is required in order to successful reach discharge and having a lawyer to ensure the maximize the likelihood of success is a great idea.

Secured v. Unsecured Debt

As far as your debts are concerned, it is important to categorize secured debts from unsecured debts. A secured creditor will usually also have a lien they hold in some part of your property. Unsecured creditors, on the other hand, are only able to be repaid from whatever funds are available in the bankruptcy estate. Secured debts (such as home mortgages, judgment liens, tax liens or car loans), are debts where creditors have a right to be repaid the debt as well as a right to repossess and sell certain property if the debt is not repaid. The property is referred to as collateral and the secured creditor has rights to use this property to satisfy the debt if the debt is not repaid. Unsecured debts simply carry a right to repayment. These include credit cards and medical bills. The creditors holding unsecured debts do not have a lien in property and cannot utilize that collateral to satisfy the debts.

Bankruptcy and Evictions

Before you file for bankruptcy, you should strongly consider what will happen to your living arrangements. If your landlord has already filed for eviction in court and obtained a judgment to evict you, there’s only a few ways that filing bankruptcy will stop the eviction. In these cases, you’d need to file a specific form with your bankruptcy petition, pay any owed amounts and thirty days rent to the court. There will also be an opportunity for the landlord to object and the court will then need to make a decision on what will happen next. In other words, you can pay any back rent that you owe and request that the court stop the eviction. If your eviction is not based on non-payment of rent, however, the landlord may have an easier time evicted you with a simple filing in the bankruptcy court.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bankruptcy

The primary advantage of bankruptcy is that upon a successful filing under Chapter 7, for example, debts are discharged at the end. This means the majority of bankruptcy filers do obtain a fresh financial start. In certain cases, these debts will still maintain some exempt assets and property. These exemptions are based on State law. Another advantage is the automatic stay. If you are receiving constant collection calls, this can actually be the best part of bankruptcy. There are penalties if a creditor attempts to collect a debt after the automatic stay is imposed. Bear in mind that certain cases might provide the opportunity for a creditor to challenge the automatic stay with a filing in the bankruptcy case. One of the most relieving aspects of bankruptcy for our clients is that it puts an end to the incessant collection calls. Once you file your bankruptcy case and while the case is pending, creditors cannot try to collect on their debts. To the extent your debts are discharged, creditors may never attempt to collect on them again. As many clients know, stopping the harassing collection calls is one of the most important parts of why bankruptcy is so important to your fresh start. The automatic stay also puts an end to lawsuits that have been filed. It is important to know that certain legal actions can survive bankruptcy so speak with your bankruptcy lawyer about the specific aspects of your case. Also consider the effect of the automatic stay on any pending divorce actions. The automatic stay usually prevents the completion of the divorce until the stay is lifted (the bankruptcy case ends). As with most other creditors, a spouse can file a request with the court asking for relief from the bankruptcy stay to continue a division of marital assets in the divorce.

While there are some advantages, bankruptcy also has disadvantages. Once you file bankruptcy, it can be difficult to obtain credit. If you are able to obtain credit, the terms are usually not as favorable as they would have been without a bankruptcy on your record. You may have to start with secured credit cards to rebuild your credit. Another disadvantage to bankruptcy is that it remains on your credit report for as long as ten years. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any non-exempt property you own will be liquidated to satisfy debts.

What to Expect When You Speak to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

The first step in the bankruptcy filing process is to speak with your bankruptcy attorney. Understanding what debts you owe, what your financial circumstances are and what you would like to accomplish are all important things for us to consider to begin to understand the unique facts underlying your case. It is really important that you hire an attorney if you are going to file for bankruptcy. Even if you’re just considering it, give us a call because we offer free consultations. Our free consultations are confidential and we are happy to field general questions.

What Do Bankruptcy Lawyers Do?

Bankruptcy lawyers can help with every step of the bankruptcy process. This includes helping to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you and your eligibility to file certain types of bankruptcies. If it turns out bankruptcy is right for you, a bankruptcy lawyer helps you gather the required information and complete the required bankruptcy forms in order to file. Once the case is started, your bankruptcy lawyer will attend the meeting of creditors and address any other issues that might arise between your creditors, the trustee and the bankruptcy court. As your case comes to a close, a bankruptcy lawyer is a key ally to make sure you have met all the requirements to obtain a discharge.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File Bankruptcy?

You are not required by law to have a bankruptcy attorney but we strongly advise you to hire one. While it can be expensive and difficult to come up with the funds since you are already having financial troubles, filing bankruptcy without an attorney can result in a full dismissal and jeopardize your ability to discharge your debts. The consequences of making a mistake can be drastic and when weighed against what’s at stake, you should also have a lawyer by your side to help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. The process is too complicated and even small mistakes can result in the dismissal of your case. For more, read our article on whether you need a lawyer to file bankruptcy. 

How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?

Most bankruptcy lawyers will charge you depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing. For a standard Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should expect anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 in attorney’s fees. If your case is more complicated (for example, if you have a lot of assets or creditors) it can be more. If you are looking to setup a reorganization plan where you negotiate new terms but still will be paying your creditors, the attorneys fees can be between $3,000-$5,000. It’s important you speak with a bankruptcy lawyer before you file to get an idea of the costs involved for your specific case. Also bear in mind there are other costs of bankruptcy that you will need to pay so you should factor this in to your decision as to whether to file or not. Here’s a breakdown on how much it costs to file bankruptcy

More Bankruptcy Content

Our Team

Chris Sawan

Christopher Sawan

Managing Partner

Chris Sawan is both a licensed attorney and a CPA which allows him to provide exceptional service to bankruptcy clients in Toledo, Ohio.

Dennis E. Sawan

Dennis Sawan

Partner

Dennis Sawan is a licensed attorney with a robust background interfacing with Courts making him a valuable asset for bankruptcy clients in Toledo, Ohio.

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This is an ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. Sawan PLLC is a law firm with attorneys licensed in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. We assist clients filing bankruptcy in Toledo Ohio. If you are considering bankruptcy, please call our offices. No attorney-client relationship is created by your use of this website. The information contained on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not apply to your specific factual circumstances in all cases. For us to better understand the particular facts uniquer to your case, call 419-469-5002 for a free consultation.

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