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Bankruptcy Archives

Contemplating small business bankruptcy in Ohio

Owning a small business in Ohio can be an immense source of pride. Unfortunately, even the most responsible, dedicated and optimistic small business owners can find themselves struggling with seemingly insurmountable debt loads. Whether you acquired the debt by investing in your business, protecting business assets by fighting necessary legal battles or some other means, if your debt is growing beyond your control, you need to act in one way or another.

More medical debt often means less medical care

When an individual's debt becomes overwhelming, everyday decision making can be affected by that reality. People struggling with debt may have less active social lives because they are trying to avoid spending money out on the town. College students may consciously try to eat every meal in the cafeteria in order to avoid food costs not associated with pre-paid meal plans. And, as a recent study confirms, people navigating debt challenges including medical bills and credit card debt are more likely to forego or delay necessary medical care.

Courts divided on creditor reach over retirement accounts

When individuals decide to file for bankruptcy, they may face a myriad of emotions as a result. Though bankruptcy can be a frustrating process and the prospect of a temporary credit score dip can be scary, filers also often find relief in knowing that certain assets are almost always protected during the process and will remain intact. Unfortunately, interpretation of bankruptcy law can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This inconsistency can make it difficult for bankruptcy filers to know just what to expect from the process.

A personal injury settlement is not disposable income in Chapter 13

In the case of Connor v. Carroll, Case No. 12-1139 (6th Cir., 1/15/13)(unreported), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Cincinnati, held that proceeds from a personal injury claim which was pending at the time of the filing of the debtors' chapter 13 bankruptcy could not be deemed disposable income under 11 USC ยง1325(b) because the funds were "neither known nor virtually certain at the time of the confirmation of the plan. . ."

Adjusted Ohio exemptions go into effect on April 1

This is no joke - the tri-annual adjustment of exemption amounts set forth in Ohio Revised Code section 2329.66 goes into effect on April 1, 2013. Exemptions are laws which allow people who file for bankruptcy to protect their assets. After this change, more of an individual's assets can be protected from judgments and creditors. The most notable change is the homestead exemption. An Ohio resident can now protect up to $132,900.00 in equity in his or her home, according to the Ohio Judicial Conference. Other exemptions have been increased too, including the exemptions for motor vehicles ($3,675), cash ($450), household items ($12,250 total), personal injury awards ($23,000), etc. Under the new law, people who file for bankruptcy in Ohio can have a greater degree of certainty that their assets will be protected.

Bankruptcy filers can protect more property

Ohio House Bill 479 goes into effect on March 27, 2013. This law amends Ohio Revised Code Section 2329.66 and allows an individual to protect up to $125,000 in equity in a parcel of property used as a residence. Under prior law, an individual residing in Ohio could only protect $21,650.00 in equity in his or her homestead. This is a very positive development for individuals seeking to protect their most important asset, their home, both in bankruptcy and outside of bankruptcy. The new law also expands protections for IRA and 529 College Savings accounts. And it gets better: the tri-annual automatic adjustments go into effect on April 1, 2013 which will increase the amount of equity to be protected. Please follow our blog for updates.

How Young Adults Can Manage and Reduce Debt

Many young adults just starting out in the job market often carry a large debt burden due to low salaries, student loan payments, and the temptation to finance desired goods through excessive credit card purchases. If you are in this position, there are steps you can take to pay down your debt and thereby secure a more profitable and stable future for yourself.

Supreme Court Might Consider Ruling on Student Loan "Undue Hardship" Test

Under the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor cannot discharge student loan debt unless he can demonstrate that excluding that debt would impose an undue hardship. The test laid out by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1987 case of Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corp (Brunner) has become the national standard in making that determination.

Common Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

Many people believe that filing for bankruptcy means that you have to give up your most prized possessions. This is, however, not the case. Bankruptcy law allows debtors to take exemptions, which offer certain property some protections from the bankruptcy process. Many of those filing for bankruptcy in Ohio are especially concerned with the homestead and personal property exemptions available to them.

Medical Bills Can Wreak Havoc on Credit Score

While most Ohio residents usually associate credit scores with credit cards, other financial issues can play a huge role in the credit score process as well.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, one of those issues is the effect of unpaid medical bills.  While medical costs are usually very much out of a person's control, their effects can be just as devastating on a person's financial well being.

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