Minnillo & Jenkins, CO. LPA
Cincinnati 513-723-1600 [ Hyde Park, Eastgate, Fairfield, Mason ] email Us for answers Email

Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Ohio consumers: Beware of creditor harassment by fake companies

Ohio consumers with past-due debts may have to endure many associated hardships. Even in cases in which payment agreements have been reached with creditors, debt collectors may become nuisances. In many cases, creditor harassment is committed by non-licensed companies that have no right to call consumers, and the calls often involve nonexistent debts.

A consumer in another state recently reported that she was the victim of such harassment about debts she did not owe. Reportedly, a voice message was left informing her that legal action would be taken should she fail to call back that day to arrange payment of the outstanding debt. When she called back, she was refused any information about the company and the alleged outstanding debt; however, immediate payment was demanded.

Bankruptcy and new habits may provide financial stability

Ohio consumers who are fighting a battle against overwhelming credit card debt may find comfort in learning that remedies are available. Some believe that many people's financial problems are caused by a few bad spending habits. Habits are hard to break, and recognizing the problem may be a good start. It may be necessary to go through personal bankruptcy before starting fresh with healthier money habits.

While automating payments is a good way to ensure that all payments are made on time, many consumers who use automation then stop reviewing their credit card statements. Special settlement offers or incorrect charges that are missed can have an adverse impact on a person's financial health. Paying only the minimum required amounts on credit cards is another bad habit that leaves a consumer stuck with debts for many years because only the interest is paid without reducing the principal amount.

PacSun chooses protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Following the spate of clothing retailers to file for bankruptcy, PacSun -- a retailer of surfwear with about 600 stores nationwide, including in Ohio -- is the latest to follow that route. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, announcing that it was a well-planned move to reorganize and restructure the company. Raised levels of competition and the increased popularity of online shopping were cited as part of the reason for the company's failure to show profits in recent years.

Filing for bankruptcy was in no way a negative move. With the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the retailer was able to negotiate a deal with a private-equity firm to swap debt for equity that will provide the company with additional capital of about $20 million when it emerges from bankruptcy. To help fund the reorganization, Wells Fargo has also agreed to a $100 million loan.

Bankruptcy protection may be the answer for business debt

Small business owners in Ohio who are experiencing overwhelming debt may be surprised to learn the extent of the protection that can be obtained by filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy often provides a business owner with the opportunity to overcome excessive business debt. An attorney can explain the protections afforded under the federal Bankruptcy Code.

With careful planning and professional guidance, a business bankruptcy can provide a solution for nagging debt problems. Personal and business bankruptcy will protect a small business owner from creditor harassment. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, debts may be discharged, reduced or delayed, which may be just what is needed to get the business back on track.

Misinformation about a reverse mortgage can lead to foreclosure

Reverse mortgages were created by Congress in the 1980s to help older homeowners cope with living expenses by drawing income from their home equity. After home values crashed due to the Great Recession, many senior homeowners nationwide, including here in Ohio, faced foreclosure. Although reverse mortgages may be the perfect option for some, consumer advocates warn that this type of loan is a risky choice because it is a complicated product.

A 68-year-old widow in another state explained that she lost her house due to her lack of understanding about the details of a reverse mortgage. When they needed $20,000 for home repairs in 2008, her husband took out a reverse mortgage. Because she was two years away from qualifying for a reverse mortgage at that time, she had her name removed from the title to the property, leaving her 65-year-old husband as the sole owner. According to the woman, the loan servicer assured her on several occasions that she would not lose the house should anything happen to her husband.

Auto lender objects to discharge in bankruptcy -- unsuccessful

Ohio consumers who decide to file for personal bankruptcy do so for multiple different reasons. Some may have overwhelming credit card debt while others may have committed to loans or purchases that they cannot afford to pay back. An insurance salesman in another state started driving for Uber on a part-time basis in Oct. 2014. His intentions were to enhance his income, but he ultimately sought bankruptcy protection.

Although he had a functioning car that was fully paid, he followed Uber's advice to purchase an SUV that could carry more passengers and luggage on trips to the airport. The monthly instalment was $550, and he soon found that this was unaffordable. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy within a month. The holder of the auto loan protested and argued that the debtor must be held accountable for the loan.

Consumer sues company for alleged unfair debt collection

Ohio consumers who are overwhelmed by debts may experience harassment by creditors or debt collection agencies. Although there are laws to protect consumers against unfair debt collection, the practice remains prevalent. Not all victims of such harassment know that they may take legal action against companies that unfairly hound them.

A federal lawsuit was recently filed against a company in another state. The lawsuit alleges the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the state's other consumer protection laws. According to court documents, the defendant contacted the plaintiff in March 2015 with regards to an alleged debt that was due for payment.

Children's museum files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Businesses in Ohio whose debts have become overwhelming may seek the protection offered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Companies with serious debt problems can reorganize their finances while maintaining business operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If the reorganization is not successful, the business owner may explore other options.

A children's museum in another state had the opportunity to restructure its debts and create a repayment plan after its Chapter 11 filing in Nov. 2014. Unfortunately, the non-profit organization's finances didn't allow for the successful maintenance of the repayment plan. The only other option for the business was to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Sports retail chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Sports Authority recently announced that it was planning to sell 140 of its stores across the country, including some in Ohio. This will serve as part of the company's reorganization plan under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company reported that it was left with no other option than to give up the leases and close or sell one-third of its stores.

According to reports, the company's failure to follow consumer trends, such as the significant swing toward online retailers, had resulted in a loss of market share. Furthermore, the decline in golf's popularity is also considered as a contributing factor to the company's accumulation of debts of $1.1 billion. A spokesperson for Sports Authority said the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy offers the company the opportunity to streamline operations and re-establish both operational and financial business strength.

Personal bankruptcy can resolve overwhelming debt issues

This is the time of year when consumers nationwide, also here in Ohio, have to face the consequences of their holiday spending. While credit card debt can be discharged through personal bankruptcy, many people spend stressful months -- or even years -- trying different methods of resolving debt issues. In the meantime, penalties and interest rates accumulate, worsening an already dire situation.

Commitment and perseverance could possibly lead to a debt-free state. However, before tackling the debt problem, a consumer must have a clear understanding of his or her overall indebtedness by making a full summary of the outstanding amount, interest rate, term and minimum payment of each debt. The next step is to set an achievable time line and draw up a budget after tracking every cent spent for at least one month. Sticking to the budget is where self-control and commitment will play an important role.

Contact Us

Office Visit Our Family Law Site