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Dayton Bankruptcy Law Blog

What you need to know about discharging recent credit card debt

At Kennel Zeigler, LLC, in Ohio, we understand that overwhelming credit card debt can get you in a lot of trouble. The card balances increase faster than you can pay them down, and the monthly interest charges eat you alive. You may have heard that you can get your credit card debt discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and this is true enough. However, if you have begun thinking about bankruptcy as your only way out, you would do well to stop using your credit cards now. Why? Because the Bankruptcy Court may not discharge your recent credit card debt.

As reported by Bloomberg News, the Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(2)(C)(I) includes a presumption against the discharge of the debts you incur from a creditor within 90 days of the date on which you file bankruptcy if those debts represent your purchase of consumer goods amounting to $675 or more.

How to respond when foreclosure is looming

No one in Ohio set out to buy a house with hopes of falling behind on mortgage payments and eventually going into foreclosure. That just does not happen.

Instead, young couples and other homeowners sign up for a mortgage dreaming of the day they will pay it all off and officially own the home they love. Sometimes, though, the dream falls apart. A major medical diagnosis coupled with a crippling layoff can even catch financially stable families off guard. 

Dispelling common bankruptcy myths

If you are an Ohio resident who is finding it hard to stay on top of your finances, know that you are not alone. Many people across the state and nation are struggling under the pressure of mounting medical and other debt, and if you count yourself among them, you may be wondering whether filing for bankruptcy can help you find the relief you seek. At Kennel Zeigler LLC, we have a comprehensive understanding of the bankruptcy process, and we have helped many clients better understand it and make educated decisions about whether they may want to proceed.

Bankruptcy is complicated and commonly misunderstood, and Nerdwallet reports that there is also a lot of misinformation circulating out there about the process and what it all means. Recognizing common misconceptions about bankruptcy may help you cut through the noise and make an informed decision about whether filing might be the right step for you. So, what are some of today’s commonly heard bankruptcy myths?

What to know about debt settlement programs and scams

Not being able to keep up with your bills can prove overwhelming, and especially if things have gotten to the point where you fear you are going to lose your car or your home. Many Americans are currently struggling in the face of mounting debt, but unfortunately, some for-profit companies prey on their fears and pressure them into debt settlement arrangements that often do more harm than good.

When you enter into an arrangement with a debt settlement company, you typically must transfer that company an agreed-upon amount of money on a monthly basis. In turn, that company is supposed to negotiate with your creditors and work out an arrangement that allows you to pay back only a portion of your debts. While this may sound good on the surface, there is considerable risk involved when working with a debt settlement agency, and here is why.

Payday loan reform may be in Ohio’s future

Financial difficulties can lead many Ohio residents to take desperate measures to make ends meet. Payday loans can be enticing, because they promise fast, easy money when people in trouble need it most. However, consumer advocate groups have been warning people for years that payday loans can also become a costly, perpetual debt trap. Ohio is one of the states that allows payday lenders to do business, but consumer groups are attempting to get laws changed to protect borrowers from what they say are predatory lending practices.

According to the Dayton Daily News, the Ohio Ballot Board has given consumer advocate groups permission to collect signatures for a payday lending reform proposal to go to state vote. The proposal would call for limiting the interest and fees on short-term loans to no higher than 28 percent, as well as not allowing lenders to take more than 5 percent of their customers’ gross monthly income as part of their repayment schedule.

How do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies differ?

If you count yourself among the many people across Ohio who are struggling with overwhelming debt, you may be giving some consideration to filing for bankruptcy. While many people consider filing for bankruptcy as a method of regaining control over their finances and lives, many people also understand very little about the process. For example, as someone filing for bankruptcy for the first time, you may have heard the terms “Chapter 7” and Chapter 13” thrown about, but you may not understand the difference between the two filings or understand which option might be more appropriate for you.

According to the American Bar Association, the primary difference between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves more of a straight-up liquidation, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves some type of repayment plan. Additionally, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you typically have to surrender all assets that do not qualify as exempt, while, in a Chapter 13 filing, you may be able to keep certain assets, provided you work out – and stick to – a repayment plan.

What can I do if I am about to lose my home?

If you were to be in danger of losing your home due to debt in Ohio, there might be a number of options available to either reduce your debt or to hold onto your property. The alternatives include:

  • Foreclosure on your mortgage
  • Short sale of your home
  • Legal defense against foreclosure

As you have probably surmised, some of these options are typically more desirable than others. Please continue reading for a brief explanation of all three.

What you should know before buying a foreclosed home

You have discovered a property in a promising neighborhood that has several desirable amenities. The location allows a future buyer to have easy access to several local hotspots and the overall condition appears to be alright. However, the only problem is that the home is a foreclosure. At Kennel Zeigler LLC, we understand the risks that buyers face when looking to purchase foreclosed properties in Ohio.

A home that has been foreclosed may potentially provide you with several rewarding benefits including the fact that it may be priced-to-sell instead of what you would normally pay elsewhere. Depending on the home's condition, you may be able to get away without doing a whole lot of work which means saved resources and saved money. According to bankrate.com, foreclosures are different from your typical home purchase for any of the following reasons: 

  • You rarely will be able to negotiate below asking price. 
  • You will most likely need to sign a preapproval letter before the lender will accept your offer.
  • You will be responsible for all necessary repairs.

Is filing for bankruptcy bad or wrong?

When challenges occur in your life, some people rally to support you while others wag a judgmental finger. The way others react and think about you can deter you from making decisions that will help you during hard times. 

This reality is true for many people when it comes to bankruptcy. The stigma attached to this course of action may be causing you to hesitate to proceed. You may worry that it is a morally wrong thing to do or will hurt your reputation. The truth is that bankruptcy is an effective way to get out of debt, and getting out of debt is a positive, smart and courageous thing to do.

How to protect yourself against home foreclosure

For Ohio homeowners, one of the scariest experiences is struggling to make the house payment. Sometimes life happens, though, doesn't it? Husbands lose their jobs or have to take medical leave from an unexpected health crisis. Wives who typically provide income become incapacitated due to an accident or illness.

These things happen, and when they do, they are usually out of anyone's control. Medical bills can pile up fast, and so can other smaller expenses that have never before caused a homeowner to worry. Add the thought of losing the place that has been central for a family, and sleepless nights become a regular part of life. 

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