The COVID-19 virus has caused stress on so many aspects of our daily lives. For many people, theses stresses span from how to stay healthy to how to make ends meet. The financial stress caused by COVID-19 can be seen on small businesses and individuals alike. For many, the newest Stay at Home order by Governor DeWine is yet another sign of hard times to come.
What is Bankruptcy?
During this uncertain time, if you or your business is facing substantial debt or legal obligations, it is important that you know your financial options. Filing for bankruptcy may be a way to obtain a fresh start and stop the creditor phone calls. The right to file bankruptcy is provided by federal law and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. By filing for bankruptcy, you can immediately stop your creditors from seeking to collect debts until the court sorts out your financial situation.
The Types of Bankruptcy
There is no question that filing for bankruptcy can be an intimidating and complex task. Meeting with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your financial situation will help provide you with the necessary knowledge and advice that you need to move forward.
While there are three main types of bankruptcy, only two apply to the individual consumer. Chapter 7 (Straight Bankruptcy) allows you to wipe out, or discharge, your debts in exchange for giving up certain property. This property is sold by the court and the money is distributed to your creditors. While some of your property is sold, other property is protected from creditors’ reach. Many consumers are surprised by how much of their property is exempt from bankruptcy sales. A complete list of exempt property can be found here.
Chapter 13 (Reorganization) can be thought of as a debt adjustment plan. Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a debtor files a plan to pay off their debt based off their current income. The most important thing about a Chapter 13 filing is that it will allow you to keep valuable property-especially your home and car-which might otherwise have been lost. In most cases, these monthly payments will be at least as much as your regular monthly payments on your mortgage or car loan.
What Can Bankruptcy Do for Me?
While filing for bankruptcy cannot cure every financial problem, it does provide a fresh start and the ability to become financially stable. Declaring bankruptcy can help discharge certain debts and even stop foreclosure on your home. Bankruptcy can prevent the repossession of your vehicle or even force a creditor to return property after it has been repossessed. Most of all, bankruptcy allows you the opportunity to get back on your feet and feel comfortable with your plan and financial circumstances. Bankruptcy can seem like a daunting task, but the attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers are here to walk you through it every step of the way. From filling out the proper documents to representing you in federal court, we are here to assist you. Please call us at 513-496-0134 and we would be happy to sit down with you and walk you through which option best fits your unique financial circumstance.