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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy may offer fresh start after catastrophic injuries

In Ohio and elsewhere, catastrophic injuries can lead to catastrophic financial health. A recent study shows that hundreds of thousands of people who suffered unexpected major injuries had medical expenses amounting to more than their annual income. This may indicate why so many bankruptcy filings are brought about by overwhelming medical debt.

When people arrive at a hospital's emergency department with traumatic injuries from car accidents or even stab wounds or gunshots, their lives might be threatened if care is withheld until affordability is checked. The study showed that those who experience unforeseen trauma in crashes, muggings or another calamities risk financial ruin. This means that their health expenses exceeded 40 percent of their income -- after food costs.

Do these things to avoid foreclosure

Can you think of anything worse than losing your home to foreclosure? With this, the bank repossesses your property because you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments.

As scary as this sounds, there is something you need to know: There are steps you can take to avoid the foreclosure process. This isn't always easy, but it's good to know that you can make some key decisions that will work in your favor. Consider the following:

Pre-retirement bankruptcy may be the best option

Many people in Ohio and other states are unable to get their credit card debts paid off and find themselves approaching retirement with mountains of debt. Unfortunately, this is often the result of many years of paying only the minimum payments and rolling over credit card debts to the next month. It is often said that people should only choose bankruptcy when there are no other remedies, but for those near retirement, bankruptcy may be the only suitable solution.

A typical scenario is a person over sixty who has a mortgage or rent to pay, a vehicle to maintain along with other costs of living. He or she may have accumulated credit card debt that has become overwhelming, and the individual is now considering his or her options. It is true that credit counseling and debt management plans may lead to lower interest rates and an extended payment period, but that could take up to five years and leave no money for retirement.

Bankruptcy filing without legal guidance may lead to problems

Ohio consumers may not realize that holding information back when the law requires full disclosure of finances is never a good idea. This was underscored by a criminal case in another state in which a man was recently indicted on several charges related to perjury that could lead to a prison sentence and a substantial fine. The situation followed the discovery that a man failed to disclose all his assets at a bankruptcy 341 hearing. A 341 hearing is held when an examiner, a trustee, the creditors and more question a debtor under oath.

Reportedly, a 65-year-old man and his wife filed several bankruptcy petitions that were consolidated into one Chapter 11 filing in Nov. 2012. During the 341 meeting in Jan. 2013, charges allege the man declared under oath that all his assets were listed. He also promised under oath to advise his attorney immediately if any changes or adjustments had to be made to the listed assets. It was subsequently revealed that more than $1 million in revenue in bank and credit unions were discovered along with a firearm collection worth over $1 million.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can follow a Chapter 7 filing

Many Ohio residents suffer unanticipated financial hardships. This could result from the loss of employment, unforeseen medical emergencies or other circumstances that leave no other option but to seek the protection offered through the federal Bankruptcy Code. In many cases, bankruptcy filings can provide a fresh financial start, but it does not always resolve all the issues. This may leave you wondering whether you may file for bankruptcy a second time.

Existing myths have it that second filings are not allowed or that new bankruptcy laws made it tough to file for another bankruptcy. However, a consultation with the attorneys at the bankruptcy law firm of Minnillo & Jenkins can answer all your questions. Indeed, it is possible to follow up a Chapter 7 filing with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

Bankruptcy: 5 reasons millennials shouldn't fear it

Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn't as bad as it's made out to be. It has many benefits that help you get a fresh financial start. It won't likely wipe out school loans, but any unsecured debts you have dissolve through this process. Here are five reasons you don't have to be scared of bankruptcy, even as a young adult.

Business debt: eCommerce is threatening retailers nationwide

Retail businesses large and small seem to be struggling to stay afloat -- in Ohio and other states. Whenever anything goes wrong in retail, the owner's inability to settle business debt typically jeopardizes the company's chances of survival. At that time, the business owner's personal assets may the threatened, and the challenge will be whether to liquidate the business or try to save it through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Many well-known retailers have recently filed for bankruptcy or announced their intention to file. While it is often said that competition is healthy, the impact of the competition posed by eCommerce on brick-and-mortar retailers has proved to be devastating. The latest victim may be the high-end women's clothing store Bebe, which recently announced that it is seeking professional advice from financial advisors to work out a plan that will be the best option.

Debt collector charged after demanding payment on discharged debt

There are strict laws in Ohio and other states that govern actions taken by creditors to collect unpaid debts. Every debt collector must comply with the regulations of the law. One of them prohibits attempts to collect debts that bankruptcy proceedings have discharged. Last month, a consumer in another state filed a lawsuit alleging a debt collector had done just that.

Court documents indicate the plaintiff's debts owed to several creditors were discharged in personal bankruptcy proceedings in Aug. 2013. When debts are discharged, no further debt collection action may follow through in relation to the debts listed in the discharge. The complaint states that the defendant -- a debt collection agency -- initiated further action by sending letters of demand. The plaintiff claims to have received these letters -- addressed to her residential address -- from Oct. 16, 2015 through May 5, 2016.

When is best to file for bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure?

When Ohio consumers experience financial difficulties, they will likely explore their options to find remedies. While a bankruptcy filing may prevent foreclosure, a homeowner may be unsure of precisely when would be the most appropriate time to file. Should they file for bankruptcy in advance when they realize foreclosure is imminent, or should they wait until they receive advice that foreclosure actions have started?

Some are under the impression that a legal requirement under the Bankruptcy Code is to wait until a home is in foreclosure before filing, but that is a misconception. It is possible to reach agreements with creditors -- even the mortgage holder deserves consideration, and once compromises are reached, the ability to settle remaining debts can be considered. Negotiations may include the elimination of accrued interest and outstanding penalties, and this may influence the consumer's decision to file for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy might follow psychological phenomenon

Credit card debt that rolls over from month to month accumulates rapidly. Filing for bankruptcy might eventually be the only way to get back on track. Ohio consumers may be interested in the findings of an economist at a university in another state. He found that credit card companies use psychology to get people to pay the minimum amounts.

Researchers also estimate that between 9 and 20 percent of U.S. credit card holders choose to pay the minimum amount due rather than the full outstanding amount -- even if they could afford to pay the higher amount. The economist reckons the manner in which the credit card companies print their statements with the minimum required payment prominently placed is a psychological phenomenon that is called anchoring. This is a method of putting information that could influence a consumer's decision in a position that will anchor his or her focus.

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