5 Reasons to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Ohio

5 Reasons to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Ohio

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio is a major step that requires careful consideration. Although there are a wide range of reasons that people file for bankruptcy protection, here are the top five reasons to consider filing when filing for Chapter 13.

Immediate Relief from Creditors

Bankruptcy has several benefits, but one of the most advantageous for filers is the automatic stay. Once the necessary documents are filed with the court, an automatic stay is put into place. The stay prevents creditors from taking any actions until a court has had an opportunity to review the filer’s debts.  The stay will often stay in place during the course of a Chapter 13 case, but there are instances where it can be lifted.

The stay could stop a repossession, eviction, and foreclosure. Creditors even have to stop calling and any other threatening communications with the filer. There are some exceptions to the stay that should be discussed with an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., before filing.

To Avoid Liquidation of Possessions

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee assesses the value of a filer’s assets and sometimes sells them to pay off some of his or her debts. In a Chapter 13 filing, the filer can retain possession of his or her assets, if said assets are not protected by exemptions. The filer is required to submit a repayment plan that details how he or she plans to repay creditors.  The monetary value of said assets that are free and clear but not protected by an exemption, must be paid into the plan.

Filers who were on the verge of losing their homes, cars, and other assets to creditors have a better chance of keeping them. Most creditors are willing to accept the repayment plan and even renegotiate the terms of the original credit agreement to allow for retention.

Some Debts Are Discharged

Not all debts have to be repaid in a Chapter 13 filing in Ohio. Some debts can be discharged, which means the filer will no longer be responsible for repaying them. Discharged debts are usually unsecured debts that are not tied to collateral, such as credit card debts.  Unsecured creditors who do not file a timely claim in the Chapter 13 case are discharged upon successful completion of the plan.

Co-Debtors Are Not Left with the Debt

If a person chooses to file for a Chapter 7 and his or her obligation to a debt is discharged, the creditor could still pursue payment from a co-debtor. With a Chapter 13 filing, the co-debtor is not stuck with the obligation. As long as payments are being made on time, the co-debtor is financially and legally safe from the creditor.

Economic Fresh Start for the Filer

Filing for Chapter 13 in Ohio gives the debtor a chance to repair his or her credit. The economic fresh start would be otherwise difficult to obtain without the help of bankruptcy. Instead of facing financial ruin, a person could start over with a clean slate.

The time spent on the repayment plan also gives a filer a chance to learn how to better manage money and to plan for his or her financial future. He or she can also learn ways to avoid financial problems in the future.

Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., to further explore the reasons to file for a Chapter 13. You can also learn about how to get the process started.  Call today to schedule your free consultation.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2018; All Rights Reserved.

What are the top 10 reasons someone would file bankruptcy in 2018?

What are the top 10 reasons someone would file bankruptcy in 2018?

In a day where Americans have only begun to recover from the recent recession, bankruptcy declarations have grown exponentially. According to estimates from US bankruptcy courts, well over a million people declare bankruptcy every single year.

Here are the top ten reasons why Americans file for bankruptcy:

Reduced Income

When a person’s employer decides to cut down on expenses, this can turn into a lighter paycheck to take home. If things go haywire, a reduced income can cause a person to declare bankruptcy.

Health Expenses

A study out of Harvard University said that over 60 percent of people who declared bankruptcy did so because of medical expenses. The same study also showed that the majority of people who filed bankruptcy on their medical bills had health insurance. The study served to debunk a dominant myth that people with significant health expenses don’t have health insurance.  Unfortunately, health insurance often does not cover expensive procedures, and most people cannot afford to pay their family deductible, which is often well over $6,000.00 to $12,000.00 annually.

Credit Cards and Credit Lines

Most people don’t get incur credit debt because of irresponsible behavior. They can get into this sort of trouble due to job loss, reduced income, medical emergency, or last-minute expenses.

Job Loss

Even if you get a big severance check, those funds can quickly run out. With no guarantee that you will immediately get a new job, things can get frantic quickly. Some people who have lost a job have had to declare bankruptcy to stay on their feet.

Last-Minute Expenses

An emergency can happen at any time. Whether you need to deal with a broken pipe, a busted car engine, or a sudden medical expense, these can cause a significant drain on your savings. If you have several unexpected emergencies, this can result in a financial picture that may need to end in a bankruptcy declaration.

Getting Divorced

These days, asking for an inexpensive divorce is like asking to see a pig fly. Getting separated and then divorced can result in a substantial loss of income and property for one or both parties. If you co-signed or opened an account with your soon-to-be former partner, you might need to take on extra debt.  With a divorce, an income is lost, which can make it difficult to manage daily household bills with one paycheck.

Utility Bills

Paying for air conditioning, electricity, and heating can take a significant chunk out of many people’s budgets. If the chunk becomes large enough, you might need to declare bankruptcy to get out from under the financial rubble.

Student Loans

So many Americans have gotten into trouble with their student loans that talk of a student loan “bubble” has yet to subside. According to statistics, at least 15,000 people declare bankruptcy each year because of student debt.  Unfortunately, student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, however, there are other options, such as a hardship discharge that can be explored with an experienced attorney, such as those at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc.


Managing money is a difficult task for many people. If you don’t reign in your spending, faulty financial habits can lead you down the road to bankruptcy.

Home Foreclosure

Often times, with a job loss or reduced income, the household bills can become unmanageable.  For some, making the house payment, while juggling credit card and medical bills can be daunting.  If a foreclosure is looming, filing for bankruptcy can help if surrendering the home is the best option, or if retention of the home is what is desired.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision to make.  The best course of action is to ask for help and guidance from an attorney you can trust.  The attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., are here to help provide you the information you need to be able to make a wise decision regarding bankruptcy and whether it is right for you and your family.  Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2018; All Rights Reserved.

What are the top 10 reasons someone in Central Ohio would file for bankruptcy in 2018?

What are the top 10 reasons someone in Central Ohio would file for bankruptcy in 2018?

According to USA Today, consumer debt has reached all-time highs in 2018, leaving many people feeling the heat and finding the need to file bankruptcy to overcome their financial burdens. Bankruptcy is often the solution for individuals who’ve accumulated mounds of debt they’re unable to repay.  Bankruptcy dissolves the monies due or offers a repayment solution suitable for the budget, depending upon which type of bankruptcy is filed. It may seem like a drastic solution to a debt problem, leaving many to wonder what type of issues cause a Central Ohio resident to turn to bankruptcy as their preferred financial resolution. Below are the ten (10) biggest reasons people throughout the state file bankruptcy when they’re in debt over their heads.

1- Foreclosure

One out of every ten home purchases end in foreclosure in Ohio. Losing your home is devastating, but bankruptcy can help. Most people turn toward this solution when faced with a potential foreclosure of their home.  Specifically, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case can also help someone retain their home by allowing the back payments to be paid over the course of three to five years, to get current on their mortgages.

2- Credit Cards

An average credit card debt of $5,792 is held by the average Ohio resident. As one of the biggest causes of consumer debt, it’s best to avoid usage of a credit card except in emergency situations.

3- Medical Bills

Medical care is not optional when your life or livelihood is on the line. Fortunately, medical care is provided regardless of an individual’s ability to pay for the services in many cases, leaving behind thousands of dollars in debt as result. Bankruptcy can help alleviate some of the burdens of medical bill debt.

4- Divorce

A divorce is a life-altering event that oftentimes leads to financial turmoil and debt. Once the debt accumulates, bankruptcy follows as a person learns firsthand that it may be difficult to live on one single income.

5- Vehicle

Many people make the irresponsible choice of purchasing a new vehicle they cannot afford. It is very attractive to the eye and hard to turn down, but even more painful when the car that was yours at one time is no longer. Bankruptcy may save your vehicle if you can afford it, or it can lead to filing to save yourself from further hardship.

6- Unemployment

Losing a job can be devastating to anyone’s life. Without income coming in, paying bills isn’t easy and can lead to mounting credit card debt, used to purchase gas and groceries.  Bankruptcy is often the solution when there is a long period of unemployment.

7- Personal Loans

A loan can provide a solution to a financial need, but it can lead to further problems if the money isn’t repaid. Failure to repay a loan can cause wage garnishment if bankruptcy is not filed.  These loans can come in the form of a personal unsecured loan, a personal secured loan, or a cash advance loans.  These loans often come with extraordinarily high interest rates causing the monthly payments to skyrocket.

8- Stress

With creditors calling your home and work at all hours of the day and night, letters and threats coming in the mail and inside your email box, and the worry of how you’ll overcome the debt is stressful. Many people who file bankruptcy do so to relinquish this health concern.  Court actions and threats of garnishment can also cause stress to grow out of control.

9- Satisfy Debts

Many people find that, if they were not properly insurance and get into a vehicle accident, the other driver’s insurance company can allow the BMV to suspend one’s license.  Filing bankruptcy can often mean that those license reinstatement fees, as well as any amount owed in property damage from the vehicle accident, are dischargeable.

10- Faster Recovery

When there are mounds of debt piling up, it is hard to sleep at night. It might be impossible to get a loan, a vehicle, or even rent a home with this tremendous debt standing in the way. Bankruptcy help allow for a fresh start and allows the ability to rebuild credit over time.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2018; All Rights Reserved.

Why might bankruptcy be the right choice for you in 2018?

Why might bankruptcy be the right choice for you in 2018?

The new year brings new changes. Many people use the new year to work on improving their finances. They may try to pay down debt, increase their income or save for an education. One of the things that many people consider during the new year is filing for bankruptcy.

A person that may consider filing for bankruptcy must determine if doing so is right for them. Bankruptcy is a helpful tool for eliminating debts that stand in a person’s way when they’re trying to get ahead. However, filing for bankruptcy is a serious process and it is important to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney, such as the attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., to determine whether bankruptcy is the right option. There are drawbacks and limitations when a person files for bankruptcy. It’s important that the person considering filing for bankruptcy determines if bankruptcy is right for them. Here are five things to consider when determining if bankruptcy is the right choice in 2018:

1. The filer has more debts than income

Bankruptcy is a viable option when a person is unable to pay back their debts. When debts spiral out of control, bankruptcy allows a person to eliminate or restructure their debts. There are really two types of bankruptcy that a person might qualify for depending on their income and debts, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In some cases, the person can fully eliminate debt. In other cases, they make monthly payments in exchange for a discharge of some of the debts.

2. The circumstances aren’t going to change any time soon

When a person is in a situation where they are deep in debt with no sign of things turning around, getting rid of the debts can be well worth the cost of filing for bankruptcy.  Depending on the chapter, certain non-exempt assets may be liquidated in order to pay back a portion of the debt owed.  It is best to discuss whether a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy is the right choice for the given situation.

3. Debts involved are the type that are dischargeable

Not all debts can be eliminated in bankruptcy. Debts like child support, alimony, recent income taxes and student loans are generally not subject to discharge. Filing for bankruptcy may still be worthwhile if the debtor has a lot of unsecured debt like credit card debt that gets eliminated or reduced in a bankruptcy proceeding.  Bankruptcy can also be helpful if the debtor is behind on mortgage payments and wishes to surrender the home.

4. It’s been six years since the last bankruptcy filing date

A debtor can only file for bankruptcy after a certain period of years has passed since the date the prior case was filed.  A debtor can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years.  A debtor must wait four years from the filing of a Chapter 7 to file for Chapter 13 to be eligible for a discharge.  A debtor must wait six years after filing a Chapter 13 case in order to be eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge.

5. The debtor is an honest debtor

The bankruptcy system helps honest people who get behind in their debts. When a person charges large amounts of debt for things like a vacation or other luxury items, the court won’t approve a bankruptcy petition soon after. Bankruptcy is a good way to get back on track when a person honestly falls on hard times.

Bankruptcy isn’t right for everyone. If someone has a large amount of debts, bankruptcy may be right for them. It’s important to look at the types of debts involved in the case to make sure that they’re dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings. There are benefits to filing for bankruptcy, and in the right circumstances, bankruptcy allows good people to get a fresh start.  It is important to discuss all available options with one of the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., before any final decision to file is made.  Call to schedule a free consultation with Zellar & Zellar today.


© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2018; All Rights Reserved.


What are my bankruptcy options if I have payday loans and student loans?

What are my bankruptcy options if I have payday loans and student loans?

A person has few options available when faced with a large amount of debt. While repaying the debt is the most obvious solution, it is not always a viable one. Bankruptcy is one option for those who cannot afford to repay their debts. Bankruptcy is a legal process where the Federal Bankruptcy Court decides whether to reduce or eliminate the debts, depending on the chapter of bankruptcy filed. Those who are considering bankruptcy are often confused about what debts can and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  An experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., can discuss the various bankruptcy options and determine the most advisable solution based on a specific person’s circumstances.

Student Loans

Student loans are one of the biggest sources of debt in the United States. Unfortunately, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  However, there are some exceptions, some of which do not require the filing of a bankruptcy case. A person who is permanently disabled can request a Hardship Discharge of their student loans by filing out a packet of information and submitting it to the Student Loan Servicer. Federal student loans obtained from schools that did not meet federal requirements may also be forgiven, by submitting a special packet of information to the Student Loan Servicer. Private student loans may also be discharged in some circumstances. For example, if the student loan was from a school that used fraudulent tactics to lure students, if the money was not used for a proper educational expense or if the school did not offer federal loans, then the private loans may be dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding.

In a bankruptcy proceeding, a person who can show that the repayment of their student loans would create an unnecessary hardship, can file an Adversary Proceeding with the Bankruptcy Court, and request that, based on their circumstances, the student loans should be discharged.  The Bankruptcy Court often looks to specific criteria to determine if someone meets the requisite hardship.  If someone is looking to determine if they meet the test for a hardship discharge of their student loan debt, it is recommended that they discuss their circumstances with an experienced attorney, such as those at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc.

Payday Loans

Payday loans are another common type of debt. While the amount of a payday loan may be small compared to the amount of most student loans, the high interest rates and unfavorable terms of payday loans make them very difficult to pay off. The good news is that payday loans are dischargeable debts that can be included in a bankruptcy case. Payday loans are treated by bankruptcy courts in the same way as other unsecured loans, such as credit cards. The court is free to rule on payday loan debt as it sees fit without having to follow the strict guidelines that are set for student loans.

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that should be discussed with an attorney.   As with any legal matter, there are always a number of factors that are used to determine which type of bankruptcy is best for a specific person. A person who is interested in learning more about having debt discharged in bankruptcy court should seek legal counsel to assist in making the right decision.  Please contact the attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your specific situation.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017; All Rights Reserved.

How do the different chapters of Bankruptcy Work?

How do the different chapters of Bankruptcy Work?

Being indebted is a challenge that most people or companies will face in a lifetime. When a debt problem becomes overwhelming, filing for bankruptcy might be a viable option. An experienced bankruptcy attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., will assist in determining which bankruptcy option is appropriate for your specific situation.  There are several bankruptcy options, such as Chapter 7 (Liquidation), Chapter 11 (Business Reorganization), Chapter 12 (Farmers) and Chapter 13 (Repayment Plan).

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often more geared towards individuals and married couples.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., deals with what is considered a “liquidation” form of Bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 will relieve you of many of your debts upon issuance of the discharge. Upon the filing of the Chapter 7 case, an “Automatic Stay” is invoked, which prevents creditors from contacting you concerning the collection of the outstanding debt. Chapter 7 will not clear all debts, as some debts are considered “non-dischargeable” such as certain taxes, student loans, child/spousal support obligations, which will still need to be paid after the bankruptcy case is completed.

Chapter 11: Chapter 11 bankruptcy is traditionally filed for businesses and corporations struggling with debts, and not individuals. When your company faces huge financial debts, Chapter 11 helps debtors as they find a fresh start. Chapter 11 does not make your commercial enterprise “go under.” However, you will get more time to restructure debts.

Chapter 12:  Chapter 12 is available to farmers and family farmers who generate most of not alll of their income from operating a farm.  It is a reorganization over time that allows the farmer who is Debtor to remain in possession of their farm and their assets and pay their debts back in a restructured manner over time.  The farmer can continue uninterrupted farming operations and can reduce secured debt and eliminate unsecured debts over time while keeping the farm operational.  It is like a chapter 13 on steroids for Farmers and it is a wonderful remedy to the family farmer in financial distress. It may offer the hope of saving the farm instead of losing it to the creditors.

Chapter 13: When Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers file for bankruptcy on your behalf, you will have a new financial beginning, but you will still pay some of the remaining debts.  Often times, this is an individual’s only other option for bankruptcy if they cannot qualify for a Chapter 7 Liquidation bankruptcy case.  If a debtor’s gross income is more than median IRS income for their family size, there is likely some amount of disposable income that can be used to pay at least a portion of their unsecured debts.  Another reason certain debtors choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to save their home from foreclosure, as a Chapter 13 can allow repayment of missed mortgage payments over five years as opposed to coming up with a lump sum reinstatement amount.  It is advisable to discuss this option with an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., if you find yourself on the brink of a foreclosure action.

When do Debtors file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

As a liquidation bankruptcy strategy, Chapter 7 can wipe out all unsecured debts including medical bills and credit cards.  Chapter 7 can also discharge a mortgage debt if the debtor decides not to retain their home.  You are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have no disposable income or have few assets. Chapter 7 requires the appointment of a trustee to administer the debtors case, which means if you have too much “stuff” or too much equity in the items that you own, the Trustee could liquidate that property and use the proceeds to pay your debts.  To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be at or below median income for your family size, based on IRS income standards.

For Whom is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Suitable?

People who earn regular income can use Chapter 13 to reorganize debts. Chapter 13 has many benefits because debtors can repay unfulfilled mortgage payments over time, and not all at once. Chapter 13 allows you to retain your property, unlike in Chapter 7, where property may be lost in liquidation. In Chapter 13, you will pay all or part of the debts in an agreed repayment plan based on your income, type of debt, and expenses. Chapter 13 is appropriate for debtors who desire to catch up on child support, alimony, car purchase installments, or real estate mortgage arrearages. Your unsecured debts must not surpass $394,7255 and $1,184,200 worth of secured debts if you intend to use Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 case can last between three and five years, depending on your gross annual income.

If you are unsure which bankruptcy chapter works best for you and your family, contact the experienced attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., for a free consultation.  We have four conveniently located office in Zanesville, Newark, Lancaster and Columbus.  Call and schedule your appointment today.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017; All Rights Reserved

How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit score?

The Credit Implications of Filing for Bankruptcy

It is never an easy decision to file bankruptcy.  Often times, medical expenses, job loss, or a family death can push someone towards filing for bankruptcy.  They know it’s the best thing for their situation and for their family but may wonder how long this will follow them around, and what filing for bankruptcy will do for their future. Here, an experienced bankruptcy attorney, such as the attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., will discuss the credit implications of filing for bankruptcy.

How does bankruptcy affect credit?

When determining how bankruptcy affects someone’s credit, they need to look at the type of bankruptcy they’re filing.  Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies can stay on a credit report for between seven and ten years after filing, but creditors look more favorable upon Chapter 13 as opposed to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is in part because Chapter 13 allows someone to continue paying on their debt over three to five years.

By contrast, they are not required to repay debts when they file Chapter 7 beyond liquidating non-exempt assets and paying creditors from those proceeds. Either way, both types of bankruptcy eventually put them in a better position to rebuild their credit because they’ve taken the steps to free up their obligations to pay their old debts, essentially starting over.

No doubt at first, someone’s credit report is not going to fare well with a new bankruptcy attached to it. But, over time, their credit report will, in fact, improve.  Additionally, if a Debtor has secured debt that they intend to keep (such as a car payment or mortgage payment), current payments on those obligations will also help rebuild credit.  As long as any new debt that the individual is able to obtain is paid on time, and that there are no other blemishes on their credit report, the bankrupt individual will see that with time, the credit score will improve.

There is no way to get through the bankruptcy process without having implications on someone’s credit. And, it’s possible that someone will not qualify for Chapter 13, leaving them with no choice but to file for Chapter 7. The best thing they can do for themselves is to contact an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., for more information on the entire bankruptcy process. One of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will review your entire situation in order to help make an informed decision.  Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017; All Rights Reserved

Top 5 Reasons People Filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2017

Top 5 Reasons People Filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2017

Many people today are suffering from financial problems. Bills are piling up quickly, and individuals do not have the money to make the payments on their credit cards, medical bills and/or personal loans. Consumers get constant calls from creditors demanding payment, and they just need some relief. In some cases, the best option is to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  It is best to seek out the professional opinion from an experienced attorney, such as those at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows debtors to come up with a repayment play to pay off a portion of their debt. If a person has regular income, the proposal will allow them to make installment payments to creditors have a period. Debtors cannot be contacted by debt collection agencies while in bankruptcy, so it will help relieve some stress from the constant collection calls. In 2017, there are numerous reasons why people filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here are the top 5 reasons why people filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2017.

1. To halt ongoing collection efforts: When a person files for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, all collection efforts must cease. This includes lawsuits, foreclosures, and wage garnishments. By filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debtors could be able to save their home from foreclosure, so long as the case is filed before the Sheriff’s Sale.

2. Obtain a fresh start: For whatever reasons, many people make huge financial mistakes that can put a major strain on an already tight budget.  It is so easy to get into debt; however, it can be almost impossible for individuals to get out of debt. By filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debtors can have the opportunity to start over. After the Chapter 13 plan is completed, individuals can start over and hopefully make better decisions.

3. To eliminate debts that cannot be discharged with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Individuals can find a way to pay tax debts, legal debts, or student loans.  This is known as the Chapter 13 “Super Discharge.”

4. More lenient qualifications: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy has certain requirements that people must meet, such as specific income requirements, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy has less stringent requirements. Meeting the requirements for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are much stricter. With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there are no maximum income requirements, so debtors can qualify easier.

5. No liquidation requirements: With Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, people might be required to see their car, home, or stocks before the debt is discharged. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows debtors to keep their property and slowly pay off a portion of the debts they owe.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can be a tedious and stressful process. People who think bankruptcy is the best option for them need to find an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, such as those at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc. They can then get the fresh start they deserve and look to a much brighter financial future.  Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017; All Rights Reserved.

How often can I file for Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy?

How often can I file for Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy?

Generally, a person can file for bankruptcy as many times as they want in their lifetime. However, there are time restrictions for how often a person can file for bankruptcy relief. The different time limits between filings depend on whether the debtor files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the chronological order in which the person chooses to file. The disposition of a previous bankruptcy filing may make a difference as well, because a problem with a prior bankruptcy may prevent a debtor from filing again.

Filing for relief after a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge:

Ohio Bankruptcy LawyersIf a debtor previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief and a court discharged debts on their behalf, they have an eight (8) year waiting period before they can successfully file for Chapter 7 again. If a debtor filed a Chapter 7 case previously and needs additional relief after filing but before 8 years, chapter 13 is an option.  A person can file chapter 13 just 4 years after their bankruptcy discharge under chapter 7, and still receive a discharge of a portion of their unsecured debts in a chapter 13, just like in a 7.  Chapter 13 can be an excellent remedy to consolidate secured debt payments into one easy monthly payment at reduced rates of interest, often only 4% in the plan for vehicles and other secured debts.

A person is ineligible for any relief under any chapter for a period of at least 4 years from filing, when they have filed under chapter 7 and received a prior discharge.  A chapter 13 discharge is available after 4 years from the prior chapter 7.  It is a great way to get a fresh start and discharge of usually 90 percent or more of one’s unsecured debts just like in a 7, and buy your vehicles or other items like furniture at a reduced rate of interest in the plan, usually only 4 percent. .

Filing Again after a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Discharge:

A person must wait two years after a Chapter 13 filing in order to receive another discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13 filing. It’s important to keep in mind that a Chapter 13 plan usually includes three to five  years of payments under the terms of the plan. If a person needs relief prior to the expiration of two years from the date of filing of the prior chapter 13 case, a subsequent Chapter 13 case can be filed, so long as the debtor understands that no discharge will be issued upon completion of the case, if filed within the two year waiting period.

The waiting period for filing a Chapter 7 after a Chapter 13 is six years. The date that matters is the date that the debtor filed their Chapter 13 case. There are, however, important exceptions to this waiting period. That is, if the debtor pays 100% of their unsecured debts or seventy percent or more of unsecured debts as part of a good-faith repayment plan, the six year waiting period doesn’t apply.

Court restrictions:

If a person doesn’t fulfill the requirements of a bankruptcy filing, the court may dismiss their case with prejudice. This can happen when a person takes steps to delay creditors, fails to comply with court orders or otherwise unfairly tries to take advantage of the bankruptcy laws. Usually, this results in a dismissal of the bankruptcy and a six-month waiting period before refiling of any kind. In cases of fraud, the court can bar a future bankruptcy for a longer period, or they can prevent the debtor from ever discharging certain debts.


© Zellar & Zellar Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017.  All rights reserved.

How Filing For Bankruptcy Will Improve My Credit And Quality Of Life?

How Filing For Bankruptcy Will Improve My Credit And Quality Of Life?

Most people choose bankruptcy as a last resort. They often have been harassed by creditors, are low on funds, and have experienced some other major obstacle in their life. However, filing bankruptcy can improve the credit score and the overall quality of life. Sure, there will be a mark on the credit file that will remain for 7-10 years, but as soon as a person receives a discharge, they can immediately start rebuilding.

The Court’s Protection Is Invaluable

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most popular petition to file. Many people have more money going out in monthly bills than they have coming in with income. A Chapter 7 case wipes the slate clean allowing the debtor a fresh financial start. On the credit report, each creditor will have a note beside their account that states “Included in Bankruptcy.” These accounts still hold some precedence to the scoring, but they are no longer held against the debtor. In as little as six months from the date of filing, a debtor can begin rebuilding and obtaining new credit.  There are certain requirements in order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so it is best to consult with an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., to review your specific set of circumstances.

New Credit Is Available Almost Immediately

Before the discharge is issued, most people will begin getting flyers and pre-approved offers from car dealers and credit card companies.  While it may seem like all is lost during the bankruptcy process, it is just the beginning. Those who ask the court for help get a chance to start over. These new creditors will help to establish good accounts. Those who could not get financed before bankruptcy can certainly find plenty of loans afterward.  It is important to remember not to get in the same credit trouble as before. It is also easy to overspend or get loans that have a high – interest rates and unsavory terms.  A debtor is only able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case every eight (8) years, so it is important to make sure that any new debt obtained after the bankruptcy is affordable based on the debtor’s current budget.

The FICO Score Will Improve Gradually

Some say that their credit scores start improving almost immediately. When the new credit is established, it is ranked higher than old, outdated accounts. It is possible to have a credit score that reaches the 650-700 range within a couple years after the discharge. Of course, it is imperative to have good credit management skills and to be selective about obtaining new loans. The FICO range is from 300-900. Most people find that filing bankruptcy brings their average score out of the 400-580 range. It is the first step in rebuilding.

Bankruptcy Provides Peace of Mind

There is nothing worse than being harassed by creditors. Even though it is against the law, many creditors use scare tactics to try to get debtors to pay. Not only can an experienced bankruptcy attorney, such as the attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., help to stop creditor harassment, but they can also file the paperwork and be a support system through the whole ordeal. There is nothing better than wiping the slate clean and starting over. However, many find that the Meeting of Creditors and the voluntary petition is all a bit overwhelming. It is imperative to have bankruptcy attorneys working in a person’s best interest.  Having an attorney assist a debtor through the bankruptcy process will often insure critical mistakes are not made, which could cause the case to be dismissed.  Please contact Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2017; All Rights Reserved.