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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Can I file for bankruptcy on my own?

The main driver behind people's consideration of personal bankruptcy as an option for debt relief is that their financial situation has reached a point where there is not enough money to cover all of their obligations. So it may seem logical from a cost perspective to try to save money by going through the petition process on your own, without the help of an attorney.

It is certainly possible to serve as your own advocate in bankruptcy court; there is no legal requirement for a lawyer to represent you, just as you are not required to go to an auto mechanic to fix your car, or a carpenter to fix your roof, or an electrician to fix the wiring in your home. But the learning curve to figure out how a bankruptcy works is steep, and the consequences for making a mistake can be severe.

Sometimes your business needs an advocate and an ally

Starting a small business is an undertaking like few others. You often hear small business owners refer to their business as, "their baby." The reason for this affectionate characterization is because the business owner spends so much time, money and energy into working towards making the venture a success.

No one creates a business or product with the hope that it will one day fail. People create businesses with grand plans of changing their lives, gaining financial independence, maybe even starting a franchise and changing an entire industry. So when market realities hit, economies slow down and people's small businesses are struggling, the owners can be devastated at the thought of what will become of their cherished creations.

Bankruptcy may be your first step toward financial stability

We've all heard comments that bankruptcy is bad and that it can ruin your life. This is merely a false negative stigma that has come about through the years. The truth is everyone deals with financial issues at some point in their lives and not everyone is fortunate enough to get out of it quickly and without some help.

Many people may not realize that bankruptcy is a specific procedure codified in the law that affords individuals a new start financially. There are legitimate reasons why lawmakers put this mechanism into place. Simply put, people can make mistakes or find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties, and sometimes people need to start over. Bankruptcy allows you to deal with your financial stress all at one time instead of trying to deal with it piecemeal.

More details about the foreclosure process

This post will provide details about what actually happens in a foreclosure and steps you can take as the homeowner, following up on a previous post. In the previous post, we discussed the basics of foreclosure, including legal definitions and possible scenarios.

If you are a homeowner and you happen to miss a payment, this is considered a breach of the mortgage contract. At this point, the lender is entitled to certain rights under the contract. Your lender has the option to begin the foreclosure process. Thankfully, there are multiple scenarios other than initiating foreclosure proceedings that may take place and several options for homeowners facing foreclosure. 

You are not controlled by your creditors

It is often said that a modern economy is based on credit. One reason for this belief is the need for individuals and businesses to secure credit to raise enough capital to grow. This growth is done at a much faster pace through borrowing and investment than if the consumer or entrepreneur was required to save up the necessary funds in advance.

Like all good things, however, credit does have its downside -- and that is seen in the debt that is accumulated.

Important for Ohioans to address possibility of foreclosure

Ongoing financial challenges can often lead to outcomes such as filing for bankruptcy, repossession and having to acquire a home equity loan. In the face of unemployment money trouble can continue to grow and may seem overwhelming for any family or individual homeowner.  Losing income will naturally add to the possibility of facing foreclosure.               

Other worries about mortgage payments and whether you can afford your property can cause added stress to an already stressful life situation. Insufficient equity or significant problems with the house can translate into further problems and expenses. 

What kinds of debts are not dischargeable under Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is colloquially known as "fresh start" bankruptcy. Unlike its Chapter 13 counterpart -- under which the debtor obligates himself or herself to repay at least part of his or her debts under a payment plan -- Chapter 7 generally completely eliminates or "discharges" eligible debts. In this way, the debtor is able to start over again with a mostly clean financial slate.

Chapter 7 should not, however, be mistaken for a "magic bullet" that will destroy all debts. Some types of debts are either not dischargeable at all, or require some showing of proof that they will constitute a hardship on the debtor before the bankruptcy court will discharge them.

Homeowners in foreclosure may soon abandon their homes too soon

Perhaps you have hit some hard times recently, and have fallen behind on your mortgage payments. You might even have had to file a petition for bankruptcy. It has come to the point where your mortgage lender has given you notice that it is beginning foreclosure proceedings.

So it is time to move out of your home, right? Not so fast.

How the FDCPA protects you from creditor harassment

We have posted on our blog about some of the ways that creditors, and even individuals seeking to pose as creditors, have attempted to intimidate or otherwise unfairly communicate with individuals in connection with debt collections.

However, there are strict laws in place that dictate what practices are allowed and prohibited in the practice of seeking to collect debt. Ohio residents should know that these laws protect them against unfair debt collection practices.

We know bankruptcy laws so you can focus on what is important

For most people, contemplating bankruptcy is something that they never thought they would ever end up doing. But an axiom of life is that it is not always fair, and sometimes bad things can happen to good people. A sudden job loss, or a catastrophic illness or injury and consequent hospital bills, do not always telegraph their approach.

Once your bills start outpacing your income and savings, coping with them can quickly become overwhelming. You might think of it as facing off against a wolf pack: they don’t line up and come at you one at a time, but they surround and swarm you instead. And although creditors seldom coordinate their efforts, the basic effect remains much the same. Which do you take on first; the late penalties, the collection calls, the threats to shut off your utilities, the repossession threats, or the foreclosure proceedings?

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