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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Your fresh start begins here

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that nearly 4,000 Northwest Ohioans will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief in 2020. That number is expected to soar much higher as the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course in Ohio.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings in the metro Toledo, Ohio area account for about 85% of all bankruptcy filings. Chances are that you know someone who received a Chapter 7 discharge and now has their “fresh start”.  Over the  years, we have helped Ohio debtors from all walks of life, including doctors, factory workers, retailers, skilled laborers, attorneys, accountants, hair stylists, teachers, retirees, unemployed, disabled, military veterans, and many more.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides relief from mounting debts that cannot be repaid. There is no real link between one’s age and bankruptcy filings.  Our clients come to us for help eliminating debts from credit cards, medical bills, utility arrears, vehicle repossessions, payday loans, and more.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy also stops most collection lawsuits that can lead to a wage garnishment if not resolved soon.     Many people ask us about life post Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  While most debtors are starting over, there are many trusted resources that you can turn to for tips on how to rebuild your credit over time.  While rebuilding your credit score will help you post bankruptcy, most people need to simply restart their financial health, with an eye on the future. During your free initial bankruptcy consultation, your France Law Group attorney will get to know your situation and advise you as to whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
 
Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out many unsecured debts including most medical bills, credit card balances,, and vehicle repossession deficiencies. Congress enacted Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help individuals burdened by debt to obtain a “fresh start” and begin rebuilding their lives. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as “liquidation” because some debtors may have to surrender some of their assets in exchange for the elimination of most debts. Surrendering assets is becoming less common in recent years as the exemptions under bankruptcy law have continued to grow. Most people are able to keep their homes, cars, and various other personal assets. Be sure to discuss any such concerns with your France Law Group bankruptcy attorney. Having an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney on your side can make all the difference in the world.
 
While most unsecured debts are eliminated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to know whether any of your debts are nondischargeable.  If a debt is not discharged, it simply means that you will continue to owe that particular debt post bankruptcy.  Some common examples of nondischargeable debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include child support arrears, income taxes, student loans, court fines, criminal restitution, government benefit overpayments, and post petition debts. Your credit report will help you determine many of your debts. If you have concerns as to the dischargeability of certain debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, be sure to ask our bankruptcy attorney.
 
Under current bankruptcy laws, a debtor who has received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge must wait until the eight (8) year anniversary of the prior filing date.  To avoid having your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case dismissed, debtors who filed approximately 8 years ago should confirm the exact date of their prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.  Debtors who need more immediate help and cannot wait for their 8 year anniversary should meet with their France Law Group bankruptcy attorney to discuss whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (repayment plan; up to 60 months; protection from creditors) is appropriate.
 
The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stops most creditor lawsuits and provides protection from your creditors.  The key here is to file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy before the creditor obtains a Default Judgment which may lead to a wage garnishment.  If your wages are already being garnished, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stops the wage garnishment and allows you to keep your normal wages. The earlier you can eliminate garnishment threats, the sooner you can return to financial health.
 
Young man with old Dad