- debt collections and phone calls
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Free Consultation: Bankruptcy Attorney Toledo, Ohio
Call Today (419) 725-9300
Office Hours: Monday thru Thursday 9am to 5pm; Friday 9am to 1pm. (Select monthly evening and Saturday morning new client appointments are available. Specific dates and times vary. Please call for available new client bankruptcy initial consultation dates and times.
Toledo Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney
Time to tackle that mounting debt? We are experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Toledo, Ohio ready to help you get a fresh start. Our personable and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys can help tailor a customized solution that will help you through many difficult financial situations. By filing for bankruptcy relief , most debtors can experience immediate help. Whether it is stopping a home foreclosure or putting an end to a painful wage garnishment, bankruptcy can offer real relief.
Finding the a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney that is the right one for you is an important legal decision. Not only do debtor clients seek to find someone who is personable and understands their unique needs, many debtor clients also search for that important balance of reasonable attorney fees and sufficient bankruptcy law experience. You've made it this far, now it's time to call Toledo bankruptcy attorney Scott France to schedule your free initial consultation. (419) 725-9300
Bankruptcy attorney Scott France is licensed to practice bankruptcy law in both Northern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan. Since 2007, bankruptcy attorney Scott France has helped countless individuals in our local communities to regain control of their financial situation and get a fresh start. Serving clients from Toledo, Lima, Sandusky, Swanton, Temperance, Lambertville, and the rest of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan, your fresh start begins with one simple phone call or email contact. Our initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to continue afterwards. France Law Group does not practice high pressure sales tactics and we work hard to exceed client expectations. Don't take our word for it, see what your neighbors and fellow community members are already saying about bankruptcy attorney Scott France. (49 client reviews and growing).
Location does matter: There is no need to stressfully navigate downtown Toledo, Ohio traffic, not to mention paying for parking spaces and long cold walks from the parking lots to the bankruptcy attorney's office. France Law Group is conveniently located just off US-23 on W. Central Avenue (1/2 mile west of Taylor Kia, between US 23 and McCord Road). Client amenities include free and safe parking, a beautifully landscaped facility, elevator service, easy access via traffic light, complementary beverage, and a warm and inviting office atmosphere.
Additional Legal Practice Areas For Our Clients: Already well respected in the Toledo, Ohio bankruptcy attorney community, our well-rounded law practice can also assist you should the need arise for professional help for legal matters pertaining to speeding tickets, suspended driver's licenses, OVI-DUI, home foreclosure, misdemeanor criminal, or small business services. Your initial legal consultation is always FREE. Your fresh start begins here! (419) 725-9300
GUIDE TO OHIO BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS
Bankruptcy Exemptions In Ohio: Ohio is considered an "opt out state" meaning that all bankruptcy exemptions come from Ohio Revised Code 2329.66, rather than a Federal source of exemptions. Not all states "opt out of the Federal bankruptcy exemptions. For example, our clients from Michigan have the option to between Michigan statutory exemptions (MCL) or Federal bankruptcy exemptions. In other words, Michigan chose not to "opt out" of the Federal exemptions.
Ohio Debtors filing for relief under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will want to become familiar with the applicable Ohio bankruptcy exemptions before filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief. For educational purposes, bankruptcy exemptions help protect some or all of a debtor's assets, including personal residence, motor vehicle, household items, professional tools of trade, and more. Real and/or personal property that is deemed not to be covered by a bankruptcy exemption, can be at risk of liquidation in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Be sure to discuss all of your assets with your bankruptcy attorney prior to filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief. The following is a partial list of chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions in Ohio:
- Personal Residence ($136,925.00)
- One Motor Vehicle ($3,775.00)
- Cash, Liquid Money ($475.00)
- Household Items ($600.00 per item; $12,625.00 aggregate)
- Jewelry ($1,600.00)
- Professional Tools of Trade ($2,400.00)
- Most Personal Injury Awards ($23,700.00)
- Wildcard Exemption ($1,250.00)
The above Ohio bankruptcy exemptions are subject to periodic change and anyone considering filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief should consult with a bankruptcy attorney for the most updated figures.
Making Sense of Bankruptcy Exemptions: For educational purposes, it may help to think of a chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption as a "shield against exposed equity" pertaining to your real and personal property. By exposed equity, we suggest thinking of what your net profit might be if you sold the item. Following are 2 hypothetical examples of chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions at work as they relate to a vehicle. The first example demonstrates a scenario in which the chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption helps to fully protect the vehicle from liquidation risk in chapter 7 bankruptcy. The second example demonstrates a scenario in which the chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption is insufficient to fully protect the vehicle, thus exposing the debtor to liquidation risk.
- Example 1: Vehicle fully protected by chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption. Debtor owns a car with a fair market value of $10,000.00. Debtor is making monthly payments on his or her car loan and remains current on same. The loan pay off is $8,000.00. By using the chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption for vehicles on this item, this car remains protected from liquidation risk. This particular debtor needs to protect the remaining $2,000.00 of exposed equity on his or her car. Ohio's chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption for a motor vehicle is $3,775.00, more than enough to cover the excess equity in this case.
- Example 2: Vehicle still at risk of liquidation after applying Ohio's motor vehicle bankruptcy exemption. Debtor owns a truck with a fair market value of $9,000.00. This vehicle is owned free and clear of any loan. The debtor is the only person on the vehicle title. By applying Ohio's chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption for motor vehicles, this debtor can protect $3,775.00 of the $9,000.00 fair market value, thus leaving $5,225.00 of equity exposed. Creditors may be interested in receiving some of this amount, thus forcing liquidation of the debtor's truck. In most cases, the debtor may receive an opportunity to save the vehicle by paying this amount to the bankruptcy estate, however many debtors are not in a position to make this purchase. Additional help may be available to this debtor if he or she is filing jointly with a spouse who happens to also be on the same title, thus creating a second exemption which can be applied to the same truck. Finally all debtors are permitted one "wildcard bankruptcy exemption" ($1,250.00) which can be applied to their property.
OHIO BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST FAQs:
What is the "Means Test"? In its most basic sense, the bankruptcy means test is the first of two prerequisite tests which together determine a debtor's eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. A debtor must pass both tests to become chapter 7 eligible. The means test was created by the U.S. Department of Justice and focuses primarily on the Census Bureau's median household income by both size and state. The most recent version of the means teat governs bankruptcy case filings on or after November 1, 2018. Under the means test, a debtor's household "average" annual gross income must fall below the stated amount. The following list provides the family median income data for Ohio by household size. This information is typically updated semi-annually and was most recently updated for cases filed after November 1, 2018.
Ohio Median Household Income Data:
- Ohio Household Size of 1: $48,441.00 per year
- Ohio Household Size of 2: $60,822.00 per year
- Ohio Household Size of 3: $73,182.00 per year
- Ohio Household Size of 4: $87,321.00 per year
- Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for larger household sizes.
Can I still become Chapter 7 eligible if I fail the means test? In certain situations, it may still be possible to successfully navigate your way through the means test despite having a median household income in excess of the published standards. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to perform an extended version of the means test which may bridge the gap to chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility. Conceptually, the extended bankruptcy means test is similar to using additional itemized schedules when filing a tax return.
Is Social Security income counted in the bankruptcy means test? No. While the means test does include most pension income, it does not take social security income into its eligibility calculations. This can be a huge benefit for debtor's who receive social security income. However, social security income is used to determine chapter 7 eligibility on the 2nd of 2 analyses which looks at your monthly household income and expenses.
Are my food stamp benefits counted in the bankruptcy means test? Yes, unlike social security benefits, food stamp benefits are counted as income for means test purposes. Be sure to advise your Toledo, Ohio bankruptcy attorney of any food stamp benefits received over the preceding six (6) months, including changes in food stamp benefit amounts received.
Means Test: What if my household is mixed? Over the years, this has become a more and more common question. The antiquated definition of the "traditional family" doesn't always work well in determining a modern family household size. Many modern households may include unmarried partners, non-adopted step-children, elderly parents, long term guests, and others. Be sure to discuss your unique household makeup with your bankruptcy attorney. In situations where expenses and incomes are combined, it may be necessary to include these additional individuals into the means test for chapter 7 eligibility determination. In most cases, the inclusion of a non-filing household member in the means test, has no direct adverse impact on said person. The information is simply included in the determination of the debtor's specific chapter 7 eligibility.
What time period does the means test cover? The means test covers the preceding six calendar months prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition. The current month's household income is excluded from the calculation. Be sure to inform your bankruptcy attorney of seasonal fluctuations in household income as these fluctuations may provide additional chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility opportunities. For example, one who is employed as a teacher and receiving income only during the school year, may have a more favorable means test outcome if calculated near the end of his or her unpaid summer vacation.
Are there any payroll deductions that can help my means test outcome? Yes. Not all household payroll deductions and other household expenses can be used in the means test, however the following list is a short example of some payroll deductions or household expenses which may help you move closer to chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility:
- Mandatory retirement contributions for employment (OPERS, STRS, SERS);
- Charitable contributions, up to a limit, which can be documented;
- Income tax withholding;
- Withholdings for Term life and Accidental Disability-Death Insurance
- Withholdings for medical insurance and Health Savings Accounts
- Babysitting expenses which can be documented
8 Tips: Which Bankruptcy Attorney Is Right For Me?
The following is a short list of factors to consider when choosing the right bankruptcy attorney for you. This list is not all-inclusive and is solely intended to help prospective bankruptcy filers find a bankruptcy attorney whose qualifications and personality work well with the debtor's needs.
- How many years of bankruptcy law experience?
- Attorney's ability to handle both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases?
- Complex business debt may need require specialized representation.
- Discuss how communications will work and what to expect?
- Ask about fees, including filing fees and any incidental costs.
- Personality matters. Does the attorney work well with you?
- Balance experience and price. A happy medium works well.
- Consider online client reviews, such as Avvo.com .
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY: [Top 5 Must Reads]
- “What Should I Look For When Trying To Choose A Lawyer”
- Source: FindLaw; February 2019
- “How To Choose The Right Lawyer”
- Source: Legal Zoom, Belle Wong, JD. October 2017
- “How To Choose The Best Lawyer For Your Needs”
- Source: The Balance Careers, Sally Kane; May 15, 2017
- “Choosing An Attorney: 10 Things To Consider”
- Source: Law Depot Blog, Kristy DeSmit; March 3, 2015
- “How To Find A Good Lawyer When You Really Need One”
- Source: Forbes Magazine, Liz Davidson, Contributor; October 5, 2011
CONSIDER HIRING ATTORNEY SCOTT FRANCE:
- View actual client reviews of Scott France
- Source: Avvo.com; February 2019
- Supreme Court of Ohio Attorney Directory
- Source: OH Supreme Court; Feb 2019
BANKRUPTCY IN THE NEWS: (Top 10 Must Reads)
- "Payless ShoeSource Prepares for Bankruptcy..."
- Source: CNBC, Lauren Hirsch; February 8, 2019
- "Gymboree to file for bankruptcy protection as early as this week"
- Source: CNBC; January 14, 2019
- "Pacific Gas and Electric tied to wildfires to file for bankruptcy"
- Source: CNN Business; January 14, 2019
- "Sears Gets Last-minute offer to possibly avert liquidation"
- Source: USA Today; January 9, 2019
- "Toledo Bankruptcy Filing Statistics"
- Source: Ohio Northern District Bankruptcy Court; Jan. 2019
- Flipdaddy's Cincinnati Chain: Brilliant Burgers...Craft Beer...Files Bankruptcy"
- Source: Cincinnati Enquirer; December 13, 2018
- "Celebrity Chef Mike Isabella Files Bankruptcy"
- Source: WJLA ABC-7 Washington D.C.; December 12, 2018
- "13 Celebrities Who Have Struggled With Money"
- Source: Insider Entertainment; December 6, 2018
- "David's Bridal Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy..."
- Source: USA Today; November 19, 2018
- "Bankruptcy Cases Up Big In Toledo"
- Source: Toledo Blade; November 1, 2018
Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney and Related Links
- 49 Actual client reviews for attorney Scott France
- Follow France Law Group on Facebook
- Census Bureau data for median household income by state
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- Small Business Legal Forms Attorney Toledo, Ohio
- 5 Strategies To Rebuild Your Credit; Post Bankruptcy; Toledo, Ohio
NOTICE: We are a debt relief agency. We help individuals file for relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. All content contained within the pages of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Choosing an experienced local Toledo, Ohio bankruptcy attorney is an important decision.
Toledo Bankruptcy Attorneys
Toledo, Ohio bankruptcy attorney serving Northern Ohio: Toledo, Bowling Green, Maumee, Perrysburg, Oregon, Holland, Rossford, Northwood, Lake Township, Swanton, Delta, Wauseon, Sandusky, Lima, Findlay, Waterville, Woodville, Norwalk, Milan, Port Clinton, Sylvania, Upper Sandusky, Tiffin, Clyde, Monroeville, Montpelier, Bryan, Fremont, Archbold, Fayette, Weston, Ohio.
Local Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney serving Southeastern Michigan: Lambertville, Temperance, Blissfield, Erie. Ida, Petersburg, Bedford Township, Milan, Dundee, Summerfield, Luna Pier, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Saline, Canton, Tecumseh, Monroe, Deerfield, Adrian, Morenci, Michigan