Most of us know what it’s like to feel financial pressure. Sometimes, the pressure becomes all-consuming. You may find yourself struggling to make ends meet. You might reach the point where you are unable to make minimum payments on your outstanding debts. If this is your situation, bankruptcy may provide a fresh start to a better, stronger financial future. Doing research on bankruptcy before proceeding is an important first step. Most consumers file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Before delving into the world of bankruptcy, it is important to determine which type of bankruptcy you are eligible to file for and which type works best for you. If you find that you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and that it is your best option, then you are ready to proceed with filing.
How Do I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Ohio?
The first step in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio is gathering the necessary documents. This means rounding up an extensive number of financial paperwork. Unless you fall into an exemption, you will need to pass the means test to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will need to review bank statements, tax returns from the previous two years, pay stubs from the past two months (at least), and property deeds and titles. You automatically pass the means test if your income falls below Ohio’s median income. If your income falls above the state median, you may still pass after you have subtracted allowed expenses.
Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy. This means that qualifying debt will be cleared. Before discharging any qualifying debt, the bankruptcy court will need to review the totality of your financial circumstance. You will need to disclose detailed financial information on official bankruptcy forms. Financial information will include your income and expenses. It will also include your outstanding debts and liabilities as well as property ownership and financial accounts. You will also need to determine what property falls into Ohio’s listed exemptions. Exempted property will remain yours even after bankruptcy.
Once all required paperwork is properly completed, you may file your paperwork with an Ohio bankruptcy court. There is a fee associated with filing. You may request a fee waiver. You will also need to file proof that you have completed credit counseling. While your case is pending in bankruptcy, you will need to take a financial management course. Discharge of debt is contingent upon you completing this course. Approved debt management and credit counseling providers are listed on the U.S. Trustee’s website.
Finally, you will need to attend your bankruptcy hearing. At the hearing, creditors may question you about the information you provided on your bankruptcy forms. The bankruptcy trustee may also ask you this kind of question. You may also face challenges to exemptions you are claiming.
Miami Valley Bankruptcy Attorneys
Bankruptcy is a legal tool to help pave the road to a better financial future. You do not have to live a life of being harassed by creditors and living of fear that your property will be repossessed. If you are looking to take control of your finances in the midst of financial struggles, talk to the trusted attorneys at Miami Valley Bankruptcy. We are here to answer your questions and provide you with dedicated legal counsel. Contact us today.