Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debt or living paycheck to paycheck, bankruptcy could be the best choice for dealing with your financial issues and getting a fresh start. Whether for yourself or for your business, Jay Wagner can help ensure your bankruptcy filing is done right, the first time. Under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, you might be able to eliminate your personal debts or your business’ unsecured debts entirely, while retaining most of your property. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help eliminate credit card debt, revolving debt, unpaid bills and medical bills.

You must include all the debts you owe in your bankruptcy petition and schedules. You may opt to keep some debts by “reaffirming” the specific debts. Upon filing for bankruptcy, a stay order is issued by the court and served on all your creditors. This automatic stay prohibits creditors from contacting the debtor to collect a debt.

The filing of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home. The factors that impact your ability to keep your home are:  the state in which you live and the exemptions allowed, the status of your loan whether it is in foreclosure or is current and the type of bankruptcy you are filing.

After filing for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, exemptions allow an individual to keep or “exempt” certain kinds of property. State laws define which assets are considered “exempt” and in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, it typically includes:

  • Equity in a home up to a certain amount
  • Household items up to a certain amount
  • Vehicles up to a certain amount
  • A limited amount of cash on hand
  • Jewelry up to a certain amount
  • Tools of the trade to allow the individual to continue working
  • Pension plans including 401(k) Plans, IRA’s, OPERS, etc.

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, most debts are discharged. The debts which are reaffirmed must be paid, along with student loans and certain tax obligations. Property which is not exempt under Ohio law can be sold by the trustee assigned to your case. Money received from the sale of property is then distributed to your creditors.