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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Retailers in Ohio face business debt

In Ohio and elsewhere, the retail sector is struggling. This is particularly true for so-called brick and mortar establishments, both big and small. They have taken on additional business debt as they struggle to compete with online retailers with little to no overhead costs.

Large stores and chains like JCrew, Sears, Charming Charlies, Eddie Bauer and others have been affected. Other, smaller retailers may find themselves in the same predicament as the large national chains. Currently, many of those struggling have a Caa rating (or worse) from Moody's, its lowest credit rating.

Doctors frustrated with cancer medication costs

The moment a physician gives a cancer diagnosis is a life changing moment. Those who are battling this disease may seek recommended treatments and medications. Unfortunately, the costs associated with these treatments are often very high. Even those who have insurance may find they are left with a large medical bill.

Just how expensive is cancer treatment? The costs of some prescriptions used for cancer treatment are so outrageous that even medical professionals are voicing frustrations.

When Divorce and Bankruptcy Go Hand in Hand

Dealing with a divorce is an emotional time for a family. Everyone involved deals with tough issues related to the end of a marriage. When a bankruptcy further complicates the situation, it can be overwhelming. Even if there were no financial troubles during the marriage, both parties can find themselves in debt after the divorce. All debts and assets need to be addressed and a plan should be made to manage them through the process of the divorce.

The rise and fall and rise and fall of shopping centers

It only makes sense that the first indoor shopping mall was built in a state known for extreme cold weather. As residents braced for yet another winter, the warm confines of Southdale Center opened its doors on October 8, 1956.

Large retail outlets soon dotted the landscape nationwide as shoppers flocked to make all of their purchases under one roof. Written off as dead in the late nineties, shopping centers made somewhat of a comeback. However, recent data reveals that shopping malls may not survive the latest dire predictions.

Medical bills remain a leading reason for bankruptcy

News stories, commentary in opinion columns and open debate throughout the county have frequently addressed the rising costs of healthcare. While the politics of health insurance and health coverage remain brisk – and often divisive – costs are not always manageable for people in the Cincinnati area. Staying healthy is not always something any of us can truly control. Even with health insurance coverage, through work or through a individual policy, costs may suddenly become overwhelming.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that more than 25 percent of the adult population across the country not only face medical debt, but have difficulty managing their medical bills, according to USA Today. Researchers say that 40 percent of the U.S. population saw an increase in medical debt in 2014 alone. 

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.

Personal debt problems are not necessarily tied to the economy

It has been eight years since the economy started to show signs of recovery after the financial crash. In recent months, financial analysts and media pundits have spoken of the rise in the stock market as a sign is increased financial security. The inflation rate has remained low at roughly 2 percent, according to USA Today. As the economy continues to recover, analysts say that more Americans are seeing a rise in income. But, even with the low inflation rate and rising incomes, many consumers continue to struggle to make ends meet in the real world.

It is important to note that in a good economy, as well as in rocky times, individuals can face a variety of circumstances that make it difficult to manage debt. Many honest, hard-working people can face debt problems. Overall economic indicators may suggest that the economy is good. But that does not necessarily mean that the national statistics are felt in neighborhoods throughout the Cincinnati area.

Explore the basics of bankruptcy before filing

Unanticipated events such as the loss of a job or a medical emergency have caused financial difficulties for many Ohio consumers. When debt problems become overwhelming, researching possible remedies may be the first step to take. One of the options that usually provides a fresh start is bankruptcy, and learning about the different filing alternatives can help in deciding the most appropriate course of action. 

Chapter 7 -- also called liquidation bankruptcy -- is typically the option suitable for individuals who are simply unable to repay their debts. A court-appointed trustee will supervise the sale of assets through a liquidation sale to raise money to pay creditors. However, each state has a list of exemptions to ensure that the liquidation excludes some necessities. Credit card and medical debts along with other unsecured debts may be discharged through the bankruptcy proceedings, relieving the consumer from the responsibility to pay those financial obligations. However, bankruptcy will not eliminate certain debts such as child support, most taxes and more.

Business debt lead to sports distributor's Chapter 11 filing

A sporting goods distributor that has several stores in Ohio -- some in Cincinnati -- has announced its recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It announced that liquidation sales would immediately commence at all 68 its stores nationwide. This came after the company was unable to reach agreements related to business debt in out-of-court negotiations.

According to a spokesperson for MC Sports, it suffered similar hardships to those reported by others in the same industry, namely increased competition from the e-commerce industry, direct sales and more. The company is moving its focus away from only sports apparel, footwear and other sports gear. Fewer, larger stores will include outdoor sports categories such as fishing, hunting and more.

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