Job loss is not something wished upon anybody, and the financial stumbling blocks may be overwhelming. Even if expenses are cut to the absolute minimum, with no income, there may be no money to cover debt obligations. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code may offer an Ohio consumer the opportunity to have some debts discharged, allowing him or her to regain financial stability. Filing for bankruptcy, however, is not an option to choose without being fully informed of the pros and cons.
All options must be explored, and if bankruptcy is the choice, a means test must be completed that will compare the individual's income and debts to determine whether Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 would be the appropriate solution. All financial information must be gathered, including assets, income records over the past six months, all outstanding debts and more. A credit counseling program must be attended in the six months prior to filing for bankruptcy.
The next step is the filling out and filing of the bankruptcy forms, and then the filer will have the protection of an automatic stay. This will put a stop to all debt collection actions against him or her. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, it may be necessary to attend a meeting to answer questions by the creditors and a court-appointed trustee. Post-bankruptcy counseling may also be required to help the filer manage his or her debts in the future.
For any Ohio consumer to navigate the filing for bankruptcy on his or her own can be confusing. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney may ease the process considerably. A lawyer can also explain the pros and cons of the different bankruptcy chapters, allowing the filer to make informed decisions that will impact his or her future financial stability.
Source: wisebread.com, "11 Steps to Take When Bankruptcy Is Your Only Option", Andrea Cannon, Accessed on May 17, 2016