Bankruptcy

Find a Fresh Start through Bankruptcy

When you’re dealing with overwhelming debt, it can be stressful and embarrassing. With the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can make a fresh start.

At Horwitz & Horwitz, LLC, we help people struggling with debt get past their financial difficulties.

Is bankruptcy right for you? We will talk with you about your unique situation to help you understand if bankruptcy is the best option for you. You will work directly with Barbara Horwitz, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, not a paralegal or receptionist.

Centerville Bankruptcy Filers

We understand that bankruptcy can be frightening and difficult. We’ll work to make the bankruptcy process as easy and stress-free as possible. One of the biggest myths of bankruptcy is that it is something to be ashamed of. But you should know that we’re here to support you and advocate for your best interests, not judge you.

Find out if Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be right for you by contacting us today. We’ll let you know whether bankruptcy is right for you, which type you qualify for, and what you can keep in bankruptcy.

Barbara can help you with many of the problems associated with debt:

You don’t have to feel embarrassed that you’re dealing with financial difficulties. You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone.

Bankruptcy Overview

Although the Bankruptcy Code is a uniform law enacted ​by Congress which applies to all bankruptcies throughout the United States, federal law also allows each individual state to decide what real and personal property is exempt, therefore legally protected, during a bankruptcy case. While in some states you are allowed to choose from a list of federal or state exemptions, other states, ​including Ohio, allow you to ​only use state exemptions. This means that a bankruptcy filer in one state could be allowed to keep his or her home and the equity in that home, in another state the bankruptcy filer could lose their home in a bankruptcy proceeding. Further, there can be differences from one jurisdiction to another in how bankruptcy laws are interpreted and applied.

Who Files for Bankruptcy?

People who have never filed for bankruptcy tend to have plenty of preconceived notions about those who do. A study published in ​debt.org found that nearly half of all bankruptcies were related to outstanding medical expenses resulting from serious illnesses or accidents, from losing at least two weeks’ of work due to the illness or accident and/or from medical expenses not covered by insurance. Since that time, the most commonly cited reasons for bankruptcy include job loss, reduced income, medical expenses from illness or injury, unexpected expenses due to an emergency, credit card debt and as preparation for a divorce.

The study further found that the number of annual bankruptcies varies widely from state to state and that states with more lenient wage-garnishment laws typically see more bankruptcy filings. California typically has the most bankruptcies in the nation, with Alaska having the least, although the study did not account for population, so these facts are not all that surprising. That being said, in 2011, five states in the nation accounted for 38 percent of all bankruptcies in the nation (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Ohio).

How Bankruptcy Can Help

Of course, every situation is different, and the decision to file for bankruptcy should never be made lightly, but bankruptcy ​may​ make it possible for a debtor to:

  • Prevent repossession of a vehicle and, in some cases, force the creditor to return repossessed property;
  • Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of his or her debts, obtaining a fresh financial start;
  • Stop foreclosure proceedings on a home or mobile home, offering the opportunity to catch up on missed payments;
  • Prevent termination of a utility service or restore a utility service which has been disconnected;
  • Prevent wage garnishment or harassment from creditors;
  • Provide a method of challenging creditor claims when the creditor may have committed fraud or is attempting to collect more than the debtor owes.

What Bankruptcy Cannot Do

It is important that those considering bankruptcy not see it as a total cure to every financial issue. Bankruptcy can usually ​not eliminate certain rights of secured creditors—the entity which holds your mortgage or the company who holds the loan for your automobile in particular—however those entities ​can sometimes be forced to take payments over time as the bankruptcy process goes forward. Bankruptcy has no effect on non-dischargeable debts. Student loans are not dischargeable debts; neither are child support payments, spousal support payments, certain other debts related to divorce, criminal fines, some tax debts and any orders from a court of law for restitution. Bankruptcy ​cannot protect co-signers on your debts. This means that if a relative or friend co-signed a loan for you, and that loan is discharged in bankruptcy, the co-signer will still be responsible for part or all of the loan. Finally, bankruptcy cannot discharge any debts which are incurred after the bankruptcy has been filed.

Types of Bankruptcy

The most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as “straight” bankruptcy and requires that the debtor relinquish all property, other than property which falls under an exception. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that the debtor follow a plan to pay back debts—or at least part of all debts—from his or her current income. Family farmers can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 12, and Businesses whose debts are quite large can file under Chapter 11.

Ohio Exemptions

In the state of Ohio, the following exemptions ​currently apply to Chapter 7 ​and Chapter 13 bankruptcies​:

  • The equity in any real or personal property used as a residence ​up to ​$145,425 per person
  • Any spousal support or child support necessary for regular support;
  • Any business partnership property;
  • Benefits such as those given to firefighters and police officers;
  • IRAs necessary for support;
  • Keoghs needed for support, and
  • Public employee pensions, public school employee pensions, state highway patrol pensions and pensions which benefit firefighter dependents.
  • The equity in one motor vehicle titled in the debtor’s name up to $4,000;
  • Household individual items up to $625 per item

At Horwitz & Horwitz, LLC, we understand that bad thing can happen to good people. We are dedicated to helping good people just like you who are facing financial difficulties. Our attorneys will put our knowledge and skills to work for you. We understand the pressure that comes with bankruptcy and will work hard on your behalf to minimize that pressure to the extent possible. ​Contact​ Horwitz & Horwitz today for solid advice and answers to your questions.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.