Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney
Your fresh start begins here! Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney
Welcome! When choosing a Toledo bankruptcy attorney, we hope that you will consider France Law Group. Offering the right balance of experience, price, and personal service, our goal is to exceed the expectations of each bankruptcy client by effectively guiding them through the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy attorney Scott France is experienced and licensed to serve the bankruptcy needs of clients from not only Toledo, Ohio, but also all of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan. Conveniently located just off US-23 on W. Central Avenue (1/2 mile west of Taylor Kia, between US 23 and McCord Road), our clients enjoy many benefits such as knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys, free and safe parking, a beautifully landscaped facility, elevator service, easy access via traffic light, complementary beverage, and a warm and inviting office atmosphere. While we offer the same experience as the expensive downtown bankruptcy attorneys, our clients appreciate avoiding hassles such as long walks to a downtown Toledo office, paying for downtown Toledo parking, and unpredictable downtown Toledo traffic.
While we are well respected in the Toledo bankruptcy attorney community, be sure to remember France Law Group if you are searching for an experienced attorney regarding foreclosure, traffic, OVI, misdemeanor criminal, or small business services, you're in the right place. Your fresh start begins here! Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney
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Bankruptcy Attorney Toledo, Ohio
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Office Hours: Monday thru Thursday 9am to 5pm; Friday 9am to 1pm. (Select monthly evening and Saturday morning appointments are available, specific dates vary, please call for available bankruptcy consult dates.)
Bankruptcy Attorney Scott France, on WTOL
GET YOUR FRESH START! Toledo Bankruptcy Attorney
NOTICE: We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Nothing included within the pages of this website is intended to be legal advice. As each person may have unique legal needs, he or she is encouraged to consult directly with an experienced Toledo bankruptcy attorney. All content contained within the pages of this website are strictly intended for educational purposes only.
Bankruptcy attorney serving Toledo, Maumee, Swanton, Defiance OH
QUICK GUIDE 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.
QUICK GUIDE TO THE BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST
What is the "Means Test"? In its most basic sense, the bankruptcy means test is the first of two s 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 Cesnus Bureau's median household income by both size and state. 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.
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);
- Charitable contributions, up to a limit, which can be documented;
- Income tax withholding;
- Withholding for medical insurance and Health Savings Accounts
- Babysitting expenses which can be documented
GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
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 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 .
BANKRUPTCY IN THE NEWS: Top 10 Reads
- "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 website; Updated January 1, 2019
- Flipdaddy's Cincinnati Chain: Brilliant Burgers and Craft Beer Bar' 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
- Longaberger To Liquidate Under New Bankruptcy Filing" Source: Springfield News-Sun; October 31, 2018
Bankruptcy and Community Links
- 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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