Help With Ohio Bankruptcy

FEMA_-_13355_-_Photograph_by_Kevin_Galvin_taken_on_01-01-2004_in_MassachusettsThere are two main types of Bankruptcy available to Ohio consumer debtors, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. They are named for their location in US Code Title 11.

Chapter 7

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Ohio involves turning over the Bankruptcy estate to a trustee who sells any assets with value debtors possess, then distributes the money to creditors.

Chapter 13

In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Ohio, debtors keep property, but make payments to their creditors, at a reduced amount through the trustee. In both cases Courts protect debtors with the “automatic stay” from the Court, which stops garnishments and collections.

Some Good Sites For More Bankruptcy Information

Can I Use A Petition Preparer in Ohio?

  • Some folks, called petition preparers, will prepare a Bankruptcy petition for you for a fee.
  • Remember, though, non-lawyer petition preparers do nothing more than enter information on forms.
  • Federal and state laws prohibit, but unfortunately do not prevent, them from answering any queries about the petition, or about Bankruptcy laws.
  • The law also requires petition preparers to print their name, address, and social security number on the documents they prepare.
  • They must also furnish copies of the forms they prepare to the debtor.
  • Applicable statutes also prevent them from taking court fees on behalf of the debtor, or filing any paper on his or her behalf.

It’s My Business That’s Bankrupt, Not Me

You’re A Pro, You Say?

  • Bankruptcy is a highly technical process; pro se filers are subject to the same rules and requirements as the attorneys who practice in the the Bankruptcy courts.
  • They face the same consequences when they screw up–dismissal of cases, time barring of claims, actions and remedies, loss of the automatic stay protections.
  • It’s worth noting that you are technically able to stick a meat cleaver into your own forehead with the aim of removing a tumor, but most people would say brain surgery is best left to brain surgeons.
  • It’s usually best to keep meat cleavers away from your head, and that means hiring a good lawyer.

Your Family Attorney Doesn’t “Do” Bankruptcy?

  • Congress has recently acted as though it serves without question America’s banking and financing interests.
  • This is shown clearly by the disastrous 2005 Bankruptcy “reform,” written in large part by credit-card lobbyists.
  • The reformers threatened to make Bankruptcy attorneys personally liable for the lies their clients tell, unless the attorney investigated the clients’ financial situation very thoroughly.
  • As a result, many general practitioners stopped practicing Bankruptcy, and many Bankruptcy lawyers decided to specialize.
  • The result, probably unintended, is good for you.
  • While the complexity of Bankruptcy has increased, the level of practice at the Bankruptcy bar is higher.

Bottom Line For Buckeyes:

  • You can use a petition preparer, but you shouldn’t.
  • You can file Bankruptcy for yourself, but you shouldn’t.
  • Get a good Ohio lawyer: we’ll be happy to help!
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