After several years of record-setting foreclosure rates in Ohio, the rates dropped in 2013 as compared to previous years, according to a news report. Even though that sounds like good news, Ohio does still rank fifth in the country in the rate of foreclosures. In 2013, one of every 65 properties in Ohio was involved in the foreclosure process at one point or another.
According to recently released data, bankruptcy is getting less common in the United States. The data firm Epiq Systems Inc. reported that the total number of bankruptcy filings in the country declined by about 13 percent in 2013 to the lowest level since 2007.
The leading cause of debt in America is currently student loan debt, totaling around $1 trillion. While medical debt may be rising in the ranks, credit card debt remains the second largest debt total. This total lands around $800 billion in credit card debt held by consumers in Cincinnati and across the United States.
We all age in different ways. One 85-year-old man runs marathons while another is wheelchair-bound due primarily to the inevitable aging of his body. But no matter how we age, it tends to be an unavoidable truth that we require more medical care as we advance significantly into our elderly years. It is of little surprise then that both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have both recently published stories about how more elderly Americans than ever are grappling with unmanageable medical bills.
People who are faced with overwhelming debt may be good candidates for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way for a consumer to have most debts discharged, and emerge with a fresh financial start. Many Ohio consumers, however, might not understand exactly what it means to have debts discharged.
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.
When individuals age, their finances do not necessarily mature at the same rates as they do. As a result, it is certainly possible and increasingly common to reach the age of retirement and beyond while still wrestling with seemingly unmanageable debt. Frustratingly, if this debt is not dealt with in a constructive way, not only will those in debt be potentially plagued by creditor harassment but their loved ones could also be burdened with certain debts after the elderly debtors have passed on.
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.
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.
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 §1325(b) because the funds were "neither known nor virtually certain at the time of the confirmation of the plan. . ."