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Cuyahoga Falls Bankruptcy Law Blog

Ohio’s updated 2019 bankruptcy exemption amounts

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy choice to make, but those who do are able to keep much of their property when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Ohio does not follow federal bankruptcy code for exempt property, but state exemptions match federal amounts.

Exemption amounts are adjusted for inflation

A look at how bankruptcy impacts your child support obligations

Getting back on your feet after you have filed for bankruptcy in Ohio may take some time, but it is doable when you identify improvements that you can make in the way you had previously managed your finances. At Debra Booher & Associates Co., LPA, we are experienced in helping people manage their bankruptcy filing with confidence, optimism and efficiency. 

While bankruptcy may appear as a solution for all of your financial frustrations, it is important to remember that there are still obligations that you must fulfill. Staying as independent as possible in paying off debts that are not covered by bankruptcy is imperative to your ability to get back on track for financial success. One area that is relatively untouched by your bankruptcy filing is your responsibility to pay child support. 

Keeping the past in the past with a fresh financial start

When people find themselves in a precarious financial situation in Ohio, they may be grasping for answers of things they can do to get out of debt and start anew. The challenge for many people is learning and developing new habits that will support a lifestyle where they can live debt-free and within their means. Often, the first step in this process of renewal is for people to acknowledge that the way they have managed their money in the past is clearly not effective and needs to be modified.

According to Oprah.com, one critical step that people must take is to put more effort into saving their money. They should assess how much income they have coming in each month and subtract their expenses from this number. This may require them to decide what is truly a necessity and what else can be put on hold. After basic necessities are accounted for, people should make a goal to save a consistent amount of money from each of their income checks. This money should be safely put away in a place where access is not as convenient as they are used to. 

How much of your income can you lose to wage garnishment?

When you struggle to keep up with your bills in Ohio, you run the risk of your creditors coming after you in an attempt to collect what you owe. If those creditors are able to ultimately secure a court order against you, your employer may end up withholding some of your paycheck until your creditor receives everything owed to him or her.

Just how much of your paycheck do you potentially stand to lose in a wage garnishment? According to NerdWallet, the portion of your paycheck you stand to lose to wage garnishment will depend on the type of debt you accrued in the first place.

Are you drowning in credit card debt?

Like many Ohio residents, you may find that sometimes your expenses surpass your income. If this happens once in a while it may not be a big deal, but when it happens often, it can become destructive. Unfortunately, some people in this situation use their credit cards as a way to buy the things they need without fully considering the long-term consequences of this spending habit. 

The New York Times recently reported that there has been an increase in the late payment of credit card bills, or bills that are being paid past their due dates. Two age groups significantly factor into this statistic: those people under the age of 30, and those in their 60s. The major credit bureau Experian said the average credit card balance as of May 2019 was $6,553, a slight increase from a year ago. 

The basics of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

The legal system can feel daunting even when there is little at stake. When your finances become involved due to bankruptcy, everything can feel downright scary. It doesn’t need to. Bankruptcy is a way to ease the pressure and emotional burden of debts that have piled up, often for things out of your control.

If you’ve thought about bankruptcy you’ve likely come across the terms Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Here’s a brief explanation of what those are, and what they do for the person filing bankruptcy.

What can bankruptcy’s automatic stay protect you against?

When medical bills, credit card debts and other consumer debts you accumulated in Ohio become too much to manage, you may devote some consideration to filing for bankruptcy as a means of giving yourself a fresh financial start. While doing so can potentially help you work through a number of different areas, it may, too, help put a stop to the steady stream of communications you are receiving from creditors wanting you to make good on your debts.

How? According to LendingTree, once you initiate the bankruptcy process, something called automatic stay takes effect, and it can prevent your creditors from coming after you, at least for a certain amount of time. Typically, the automatic stay period starts as soon as you file for bankruptcy, and, in most cases, it continues either until your bankruptcy case comes to a close or your debts undergo discharge.

What happens to my retirement in bankruptcy?

You have spent years preparing for your retirement. Your retirement accounts have slowly gained value through the years with each paycheck. Then the unthinkable happens. You have a medical emergency. You lose your job. Paying bills becomes harder and harder. You reach the point where bankruptcy is a welcome relief to your financial situation. But what happens to your retirement benefits?

Financial hardship can hit anyone at any time. The federal government recognizes this and has put rules in place to protect your retirement. When you declare bankruptcy, many retirement accounts qualify for exemption based on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Seniors are facing increasing financial challenges

If you are a senior living in Ohio, like many of your contemporaries you may be worried about the amount of debt you are living with at the present time. This may overwhelm you and cause you to fear for your financial future during retirement. We here at Debra Booher & Associates Co LPA understand the many concerns you have as a result of your financial challenges. 

According to The New York Times, bankruptcy has become increasingly common amongst older Americans. The paper points out the fact that recently, three times as many seniors were filing for bankruptcy as this age group did in back in 1991. There are many reasons for the accumulation of debt that have created this surge and it is also often attributed to multiple factors. 

What are some ways that you can build equity in your home?

Having home equity is an invaluable investment when you understand how to effectively build this reservoir over time. If you have purchased a home in Ohio, you have the chance to witness your equity grow as the market changes and your home's value increases. Being able to get the most out of your home equity is largely related to how you choose to go about paying your mortgage. 

In the case you choose to file for bankruptcy, the equity you have in your home is considered an asset and unless you take certain precautions, your home could be sold to extract the equity to help pay for other debts that you owe. As such, it is imperative that you take adequate precautions to protect your home, its value and the security of your equity, especially if you are in a difficult financial situation. 

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