Why hire Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc. as your Columbus, Ohio Bankruptcy Attorneys?
The decision to file for bankruptcy is often very difficult. You may feel discouraged, embarrassed and confused about your options. Often times the financial difficulties you face are out of your control, whether it is a drastic decrease in income, increased medical bills, or the death of a loved one. Despite your fears and challenges, help is available. Zellar & Zellar Attorneys at Law, Inc. offer legal representation for clients who want to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are not sure which chapter best suits your specific circumstances, here is a brief overview of the key differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13:
Chapter 7 – Liquidation
Chapter 7 is often referred to as the “liquidation bankruptcy”. In a Chapter 7 case, debtors are allowed to discharge certain secured and unsecured debt in exchange for repayment of any non-exempt equity in property owned by the Debtor. Debtors are given special monetary “exemptions” in order to retain property that they own. For example, there are monetary exemptions for a primary residence, vehicles, household goods, etc. Any equity in an asset over and above the exempt amount is collectable by the creditors for repayment of the outstanding debt. Not everyone is eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as there are income and budget requirements that must be satisfied. This option may be more feasible if a payment plan is not possible due to the amount of the outstanding debt and compared to monthly income. Eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined through a method called mean testing. If it is determined that you are not eligible, a bankruptcy attorney can determine your ability to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 – Repayment
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will involve the approval of a repayment plan that is developed by the debtor and managed by a Chapter 13 trustee who will pay creditors on your behalf after you submit your monthly payment to the trustee. The repayment terms are based on what disposable income is available after a budget of day-to-day expenses is calculated. A Chapter 13 plan allows a person to often keep their property in exchange for repayment of a portion of debt owed to unsecured creditors. Creditors must be paid at a minimum of what they would have received in a liquidation Chapter 7 case. Chapter 13 cases are often beneficiary for someone who has fallen behind on a mortgage or vehicle obligation and needs time to get caught up on the back payments. Chapter 13 plans can last anywhere from three (3) to five (5) years in length depending on yearly gross income. After completion of the terms of repayment plan, a discharge will be issued for any remaining debt not paid to the creditors.
Reasons to Choose a Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy is a complex legal process that is often very difficult to navigate without the advice of counsel. The experienced attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc. can assist in reviewing your specific set of circumstances to determine the right course of action for you and your family. All bankruptcy cases are filed in federal court and require disclosure of all assets and creditors. Failure to disclose specific information regarding your circumstances could result in criminal fines, penalties, and ultimately the dismissal of your case. The attorneys at Zellar & Zellar Attorneys at Law, Inc. located in Columbus, Ohio have over 25 years of experience in handling both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. You can request an appointment for a free consultation to speak with an attorney who can evaluate your situation and provide a recommended solution. Free case evaluation requests are accepted online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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