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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Hiding assets in a bankruptcy can land you in prison

You and your spouse worked hard to open your small business. Maybe it was even a garage start-up that you grew into a viable company over the years. It's more than just another asset. It's almost like another child, something you created and nurtured.

But you have a debt mountain that accrued in the lean years when you lived off your plastic and lines of credit. You invested everything into the business, and it paid off. But now, you're afraid that your personal financial state could jeopardize your business.

Debt collection: When credit card accounts fall past due

Credit card debts continue to be a growing concern for many families in Ohio and elsewhere. Even accounts that fall one or two months behind could be sent to debt collection agencies, and the impact this could have on a person's finances can be substantial. However, many individuals may still be unaware of exactly what takes place when a credit card account falls past due.

There are a variety of situations in which a person's credit card account may become past due. While in some cases, the strain of other debts may leave a person incapable of meeting the minimum amount due each month, studies indicate the most common reason for past due accounts lies in simply forgetting to make the payment. Regardless of how it happens, just one past due payment on a credit card can bring about dire consequences.

Bankruptcy: Rising costs of medical care affects many seniors

As individuals advance in age, the likelihood they may experience a medical emergency may increase substantially. While many may be prepared to accept this inevitability, they might not be ready to face the accompanying financial responsibilities it can bring. With health care costs that are constantly on the rise, studies indicate that many elderly individuals in Ohio and elsewhere have found themselves in search of relief through bankruptcy.

Over the past 27 years, the rate of senior citizens who have chosen to pursue relief through bankruptcy has reportedly tripled. Although these individuals may experience financial strain under a variety of circumstances, the leading cause of debt late in life pertains to medical bills. At this age, it might not be uncommon for a person to also see a substantial decline in income, which makes the rising costs of medical care all the more imposing.

Bankruptcy: Credit card debts can put a strain on finances

When facing periods of financial strain, many individuals in Ohio and elsewhere may turn to credit cards in their time of need. While similar lines of credit may provide immediate financial assistance, the relief may only be temporary. With average interests rates on similar accounts coming in at nearly 17 percent, issues with high amounts of credit card debt may leave many in search of relief through bankruptcy.

Credit card debts remain one of the leading causes of financial strain across the nation, and recent studies indicate that Americans paid just over $100 billion in interest alone over a recent 12 month period. Those who struggle to make payments on credit accounts may initially choose to pursue relief through a variety of methods, such as a personal loan. Since the interest rates on a loan may be significantly lower, those who qualify could use this as a financial tool to pay off high-risk debts.

Bankruptcy: Knowing the difference between good and bad debts

With studies indicating that the average household carries $38,000 in personal debt, many families in Ohio and elsewhere may be experiencing periods of financial hardship. While taking on certain amounts of debt may seem like a part of life, the subsequent monetary obligations can place a person under a significant amount of financial pressure. Those who find themselves struggling to make a living due to high amounts of debt could benefit from seeking advice on how to pursue relief from a bankruptcy attorney.

With average amounts of household debt coming in at around $1,000 more than the previous year, studies suggest more individuals have felt comfortable taking on new debts. However, studies also indicate that the average person may have some level of difficulty understanding the difference between good and bad debts. Of those surveyed in the study, nearly 20 percent of individuals admitted to believing that mortgages were bad debts.

Bankruptcy: Changes proposed re student loans and undue hardships

The pursuit of a college education is a goal for many individuals in Ohio and across the nation. However, with the staggering costs of tuition, a similar endeavor has left many struggling to pay back student loans for extended periods. For those who experience substantial financial hardships due to student loans, seeking relief has previously proved challenging, but that could change if the proposed modifications to how student loans are handled in bankruptcy are passed into law.

According to recent studies, more than 40 million Americans carry student loan debts. Those who experience prolonged periods of financial difficulty due to similar debts may also find it nearly impossible to find relief, as discharging student loans in bankruptcy may seem nearly impossible. Under current law, a person must prove that continuing to carry similar financial obligations will lead to undue hardships that lower his or her standard of living substantially.

Avoiding foreclosure through a lease-option or assumption

Ohio residents who are in danger of having their homes foreclosed will have various foreclosure prevention strategies available to them. In some cases, bankruptcy or simply renegotiating the terms of one's mortgage can help homeowners in this kind of situation.

Two other foreclosure prevention strategies for homeowners include the "assumption of the mortgage" and taking advantage of a lease-option.

Seeking advice on how to keep business debt at a healthy level

For business owners in Ohio and across the nation, few scenarios may be as intimidating as dealing with significant amounts of debt. Unfortunately, when it comes to operating a business, taking on debts may seem like a necessary part of achieving success. As an owner, knowing how to tell the difference between a healthy level of business debt and a growing concern could be essential to protecting the future of a company.

The amount of debt that is healthy to carry as a business entity can be difficult to define and may vary for each business. When addressing financial obligations, owners may be able to identify any potential concerns by looking into the source of their debts. If an owner is spending revenue on something that doesn't have a positive impact on his or her company, adjustments might be necessary.

Bankruptcy: Waiting to pursue relief could prove detrimental

Many consumers in Ohio and elsewhere have experienced financial challenges that prompted a need to pursue relief. However, the stigma associated with certain avenues of relief, such as bankruptcy, could be leaving some uncertain about how best to deal with their debts. While giving a fair amount of thought into a similar decision may be advisable, time could also be of the essence, and waiting to pursue relief may only cause a person's situation to worsen with time.

Dealing with the burdens of debt can be financially and emotionally draining. As financial obligations continue to fall behind, constant collection attempts may do little to ease one's stress. Problems with debt have the unfortunate chance of reducing a person's quality of life substantially. Similar issues could cause some to consider dipping into savings or retirement accounts just to get by, and such a decision could have a detrimental impact on a person's future.

Ohio foreclosure process allows time to resolve problems

Many in Ohio believe that homeownership is the American dream. In fact, some may postpone other important life events, such as getting married or having children, until they have purchased a home. However, owning a home comes with heavy responsibilities, not the least of which is paying mortgage payments on time. Failing to do so can lead to the devastation of foreclosure.

The mortgage payments is typically the largest bill one has to pay each month, sometimes taking as much as a third of one's income. Once a homeowner falls behind, it can be difficult if not impossible to catch up. After 90 days delinquency, the lender may send the homeowner letters to warn of its intention to begin the foreclosure process, meaning the lender will repossess the home. Foreclosure will not come all at once and can take many months, giving the homeowner time to take steps to save the home.

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