At Debra Booher & Associates Co., LPA., in Ohio, we understand that some people want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio to find relief from debts, but losing certain assets would be devastating. For example, you may have an emotional attachment to a necklace left to you by your grandmother, a wedding ring from your deceased husband or a special set of earrings given to you by your children. However, your creditors are calling you every day, your wages are being garnished and you are in danger of losing your home. What can you do?
When a person files bankruptcy in Ohio, the court may take his or her assets to pay off debts. However, the idea behind bankruptcy is to give a person a fresh start, so there are some assets the court may not take so the person still has items to rebuild with after the bankruptcy. The court refers to these as exemptions.
Many in Cuyahoga Falls may hold misconceptions about personal bankruptcy, the chief among these being that it is somehow perceived to be a way for one to take "the easy way out" from their financial struggles. The fact that (according to information compiled by the U.S. Judiciary Branch) there were 12.8 million consumer bankruptcy petitions filed in the U.S. between 2005 and 2017 might seem to reinforce this assumption. Yet in reality, there is nothing easy about the decision to seek bankruptcy protection. Those faced with it also have to worry about that impact that it may have on their property and assets.
Even when in the direst of financial straits, you may be reluctant to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio. You may be afraid that you will need to forfeit everything you own in order to pay off your debt, leaving you with nothing.
The bankruptcy courts in Ohio understand that by declaring bankruptcy, you are seeking a fresh start. However, without certain assets, such as a home and a vehicle, some people's fresh start could become as challenging as their struggle with overwhelming debt. At Debra Booher & Associates Co., LPA, we help our clients understand how exemptions are designed to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the benefits of bankruptcy without losing all of their resources.
At Debra Booher & Associates Co., LPA, in Ohio, we understand that worries over housing may be a major concern for anyone considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. After all, if you lose your house, you must find a new place to live and move during a time when you are already struggling. You may be able to forego this stressful experience and keep your home, though, thanks to the Ohio bankruptcy homestead exemption.
If the income from your Ohio employer is not sufficient to cover your mortgage payments, credit card bills, medical bills and living expenses, you may be looking for other ways to increase your available funds. You have been contributing to various retirement accounts for years, and although you would lose some to penalties and taxes, it may seem tempting to withdraw the money to keep you afloat. But is this a good idea?
At Debra Booher & Associates Co., LPA, in Ohio, we understand that sometimes people want to file for an Ohio bankruptcy, but they worry that the trustee will use certain sources of income beyond their earnings to pay creditors, leaving them without adequate support. Fortunately, Ohio has set up many exemptions that protect certain benefits you may be receiving.
You have considered bankruptcy to get out from under crushing debt in Ohio, but the thought of losing the few assets you have may be what has kept you from calling an attorney to start the process. We at Debra Booher & Associates have often assisted people in discovering which of their assets do not have to be liquidated during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.