Eliminating Debt in Central Ohio
It can be easy to feel alone when you are drowning in debt, but you should never feel bad or embarrassed for experiencing financial difficulties. Unpredictable emergencies can saddle even the most cautious Americans with overwhelming levels of debt. Fortunately, relief options are available, and a knowledgeable legal professional can help you obtain peace of mind.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant to help you get efficient relief from unsecured debts. It is typically used to get rid of credit card debt, medical debt, and personal loans. Once unsecured debts have been eliminated, your creditors cannot continue to harass you, sue you, or attempt to collect from you.
At the Law Office of Matthew Doyaga, LLC, we believe everyone deserves a second chance. Our Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is ready to take the burdensome weight of debt off your shoulders. We can quickly assess whether you qualify for this form of relief and walk you through the types of debt you can expect to eliminate. We care about your well-being and will provide the compassionate, accessible representation you need to get a fresh start.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for people with very little or no disposable income. To be able to file, you must pass your state’s Means Test.
An easy way to see if you are eligible for Chapter 7 is to compare your current average income to your state’s median average income for your household size. If you make less than this average, you probably qualify for Chapter 7. If you make more than this number, you may still qualify if you have little to nothing left over after essential monthly expenses. Law Office of Matthew Doyaga, LLC can help you determine your disposable income.
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, do not worry: Other debt relief options may be available. Individuals with enough disposable income to afford a repayment plan can potentially use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize their finances.
To eliminate debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to complete several procedural steps. You should not attempt to navigate bankruptcy without legal guidance.
Our Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney will help you through each step of the process, including:
- Discussing Your Options. When you first meet with our attorney, he will evaluate your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, review your unique financial situation, and help decide which relief option best suits your needs.
- Preparing Your Documentation. Our legal professional will ensure all paperwork is completed accurately.
- Completing a Credit Counseling Course. You will be required to obtain a certification from an online credit counseling course before you can file. We can identify a reputable course and confirm you have what you need before proceeding.
- Filing Your Petition. Once we have fully reviewed all your documentation, we will formally file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with the applicable court. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy triggers a court order called the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay prevents creditors from taking collection actions against you, meaning they cannot sue you, garnish your wages, or repossess your property until your case is over.
- 341 Hearing of the Creditors. In this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case (and sometimes your creditors) will ask questions about your petition. This is not as scary as it sounds, and you will not be alone: We will accompany you to this hearing. You will also be required to complete a second credit counseling course, which we will help you find.
- Receiving the Notice of Discharge. Upon completing your bankruptcy case, you will receive this document, which informs your creditors that you are no longer responsible for your unsecured debts. In other words, you will no longer have to worry about credit card debt, medical debt, unpaid utility bills, or personal loans. The Notice of Discharge is an extremely powerful document and is the main reason many people file for bankruptcy.
A troubling number of people believe that you will lose most of your assets or property when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but this is not true. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does involve liquidating your non-exempt assets, but you have the right to use exemptions to keep most – if not all – of your property.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to keep:
- Cash on Hand
- Household Goods
- Your Homestead
- Your Vehicle
- And Much More
Each state offers its own set of Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions. Each exemption has dollar amounts that cap the value of assets you can ultimately protect. We know how to make the most of exemptions and will work to help you keep as much of your property as possible.
Do not panic if you have credit card debt or medical debt you cannot afford to repay. Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is prepared to help you overcome all sorts of debt-related obstacles. We are happy to serve as your trusted advocate and will do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.