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Dayton Bankruptcy Law Blog

What assets do I stand to lose in a bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy to relieve your insurmountable debt, you have undoubtedly heard the horror stories. Your well-meaning friends and family members may have misinformed you that you will lose everything in a bankruptcy. You and other Ohio residents may find some peace of mind after learning about exempt and non-exempt property in a bankruptcy.

As FindLaw explains, the bankruptcy trustee will use non-exempt assets to repay creditors during a personal bankruptcy. What exactly they liquidate for this purpose depends on what you have. First, you should understand that exempt property – that which you are allowed to keep – includes items deemed necessary for modern life and for remaining employed. This can include your car, clothing, household goods, furniture, tools of your trade and appliances. Funds you receive from public benefits, pensions and personal injury damages may also be exempt.

3 ways to cope with your bankruptcy emotions

As you know, living can be extraordinarily expensive. If you have a mortgage, a car payment, student loans, consumer debt and outstanding medical bills, your financial liabilities may be downright crippling. Fortunately, there may be a way for you to regain your financial freedom. 

Filing for bankruptcy is often an effective way to manage debt. If you have more bills than you can reasonably pay, considering bankruptcy protection may be right for you. Of course, bankruptcy often comes with a variety of emotions. While it is perfectly normal to feel anxiety, sadness or even shame, you do not want your feelings to derail you from making smart decisions. Here are three effective ways to cope with your bankruptcy emotions: 

Has the rate of foreclosure slowed?

If you are like most people in Ohio, you probably hear others reference the recession that happened slightly more than a decade ago as though it is completely gone and almost forgotten. Instead, today many people are more likely to talk about the economy as being strong and growing as evidenced by a healthy housing market. This, however, does not mean that you or others cannot find yourself facing financial difficulties. 

In fact, many people continue to struggle to the point where they are in jeopardy of losing their homes. According to The Title Report, 58,500 filings to foreclose on properties were recorded in March 2019 alone. This represents a decline by 21% over the same month last year but an increase by seven percent from the previous month.

Are there ways to avoid foreclosure?

If you become unable to make the mortgage payments on your Ohio home, you may think that foreclosure is the only option. You may worry about losing your home and earning negative feedback on your credit history. However, you may be able to avoid foreclosure. There are several potential solutions that may help you stay in your home and/or avoid credit problems.

According to FindLaw, it is essential to start looking for a solution to your mortgage issue as soon as possible. If you wait too long or miss too many payments, you may become ineligible for some types of assistance. You may want to start by speaking with a foreclosure prevention counselor. A counselor may encourage you to contact your lender directly or to apply for a government assistance program. Either of these options may allow you to refinance or modify your loan.

How do you file for bankruptcy in Ohio?

Your bankruptcy will probably start with questions and end with a clearer financial future. Do you need to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13? Do you have assets you could sell off before you begin the bankruptcy process? Have you paid debts that the court could reclaim during the procedure? These are some of the things you might want to ask yourself before you begin the bankruptcy process in Ohio.

Essentially, the first step of bankruptcy is developing a strategy. Your plan will probably include non-bankruptcy tactics to ensure the formal process will be as effective as possible in promoting the long-term stabilization of your finances. Here are some of the considerations you might make while taking your first steps.

How can I live on a budget?

If you're approved for chapter 13, you must make payments to creditors according to a schedule established during the bankruptcy process. If you fail to make payments the plan could be revoked, and you may be ordered to pay off your debt in full. To make sure you stick to your new budget, U.S. News & World Report offers the following advice.

Have a goal in mind

Recognizing illegal debt collection practices

Feeling overwhelmed by debt can prove stressful enough, but if you are also the target of persistent calls from creditors, you may feel as if you are at your wit’s end. Some debt collectors may try to use less-than-ethical means in their attempts to get you to pay your debts, but certain laws prevent them from contacting you and communicating with you in certain ways.

So, how and when can creditors legally contact you in their attempts to collect money from you, and under what circumstances could their actions cross the line and become unlawful?

Bankruptcy and your small business

Business owners regularly face a plethora of challenges, especially those who run a small business and are experiencing financial strain. As a small business owner, you may be worried about how the debt you have taken on will impact your business in the months and years to come, and you may be unsure about how you should handle this situation. For some small business owners, bankruptcy is an excellent way to clear debts and move forward. However, there are many different factors to go over before filing for bankruptcy.

For starters, it is essential to determine which type of bankruptcy will suit your small business best. For some, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is ideal, while other small business owners may decide to move forward with a Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each of these options varies in different ways and you should pore over the unique details of your circumstances to develop a clearer understanding of which strategy is most compatible with your needs.

Understanding how Chapter 13 works

Many residents in Ohio may not realize that there are multiple forms of consumer bankruptcy plans. Several people automatically associate Chapter 7 plans with all personal bankruptcies. These plans may be the best option for some debtors but not for all. The lack of knowledge about Chapter 13 plans may even prevent some people from reaching out for bankruptcy help as they may assume they will always lose their assets. This is not necessarily true.

As explained by the United States Court, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan may offer consumers the ability to retain and protect their assets from seizure. This is in stark contrast to a Chapter 7 plan where secured debts may be repaid by the loss of assets to the creditors.

Keeping your home could be simpler than you think

At Kennel and Ziegler LLC, we know that many people in Ohio are worried about losing their homes. That's why we want to share some information about steps available to homeowners throughout the mortgage payment and foreclosure processes.

Please keep in mind while reading this that not every solution works for everybody. Depending on the status of your debt, you may be able to take early action or you might want to resort to stronger measures. No matter what you choose, please thoroughly check the reputation of any company or individual offering assistance.

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