Ohio Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Stow Law Firm Serving Clients in Northeast Ohio
At Perduk & Associates Co., L.P.A., we help individuals and married couples with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. From our office in Stow, we assist clients in Cuyahoga County, Medina County, Portage County, Stark County, Summit County, Wayne County, and surrounding areas.
Financial hardship results from many different circumstances, including divorce, medical issues, and layoffs from work. When your circumstances keep getting worse no matter what you do, consumer bankruptcy may offer a solution to get you out of overwhelming debt. Attorney David Perduk has more than 20 years of experience working with clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Approximately 70% of all consumer bankruptcy cases are filed under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Often referred to as the "fresh start" process for individuals and married couples, Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most debts, which means you no longer are required to pay them. The process also sometimes is called "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy.
The law establishes specific requirements to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are eligible, benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include:
- Imposing an automatic stay on collection efforts of creditors
- Preventing eviction or foreclosure
- Avoiding utility shutoffs
- Stopping wage garnishments
- Wiping out all or most of your unsecured debt
- Allowing you to keep certain assets, like your home or car
- Giving you the chance to rebuild your credit rating
To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your or your and your spouse's income must be either:
- Be lower than Ohio's census median income, or
- Satisfy a 60-month disposable income-based test called a "means test."
If your income does not meet one of these requirements, you will be permitted to file only if you can demonstrate special circumstances. In addition to income eligibility requirements, you must complete a credit counseling session within the six months preceding your bankruptcy filing.
If you have a lot of unsecured debt like credit card bills or medical expenses and relatively few assets, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a good option to consider. In most cases, the Chapter 7 process does not require sale of your secured assets to pay off your debts, although those debts sometimes are included in a Chapter 7 discharge. To keep your house or car and exclude them from the bankruptcy, you may be required to sign a reaffirmation with your lender as part of the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy laws and rules are very complex. To have your best chance of achieving a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should talk with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. At Perduk & Associates, there is no charge for your initial consultation. You have nothing to lose by talking with us about your financial situation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Cases under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code account for about 30% of consumer (non-business) bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy often is referred to as a "wage earner's plan."
Individuals or married couples with regular income can develop a plan to pay off debts under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. You keep your property in a Chapter 13 case. Your debts are paid off under a repayment plan supervised by the bankruptcy court. The repayment term is usually three to five years.
To be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have a steady source of income. In addition, your debts must be under certain limits, which are adjusted every three years. As of April 1, 2016, your unsecured debts (which include debts like credit cards and medical bills) must be less than $394,725, and your secured debts (which include debts with collateral, like your home and car) must be less than $1,184,200. (Those amounts will change on April 1, 2019.)
Spouses may file for Chapter 13 either individually or together. Each spouse's debts must be within the specified limits. As with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling program within the six months preceding the filing of your bankruptcy petition.
If you are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, benefits may include:
- Getting an automatic stay on collection efforts by creditors
- Stopping foreclosure proceedings
- Resolving delinquent mortgage payments
- Keeping your property and assets, including your home and car
- Rescheduling secured debts (other than the mortgage on your residence) to extend them over the life of your repayment plan
Complex laws and rules apply to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. Being represented in the process by an experienced bankruptcy attorney is strongly recommended. If you are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we encourage you to talk with us at Perduk & Associates. We do not charge a fee for your initial consultation.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Northeast Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney
Ohio bankruptcy lawyer David Perduk has more than 20 years of experience helping clients find solutions to their financial problems. If you are considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we welcome you to contact us.
From our office in Stow, we serve clients throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga County, Medina County, Portage County, Stark County, Summit County, Wayne County, and surrounding areas. We provide legal services to clients in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent, Medina, Stow, Tallmadge, Wadsworth, Wooster, and other nearby cities and towns.
Call us at 330.688.1072 or use our online contact form to set up your free initial consultation.