*Serving Northern Ohio including Akron, Cleveland, Canton, Youngstown, and Toledo*
Looking for help or have questions related to Bankruptcy in Cleveland, OH? Expert Bankruptcy Lawyer Cleveland, Mona Rubinstein, can help. Many people run into financial problems from time to time. Sometimes, the situation is temporary and can be resolved before it gets out of control. But if you are hit with an expense that was never anticipated, such as a large, uninsured medical bill, you may find it impossible to work it into your monthly budget. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will be able to provide you with the guidance you need.
In some cases, what appears to be a small problem may be a symptom of a larger problem. For instance, you may be making your monthly payments on time, but find it necessary to borrow money (for instance, by taking cash advances on credit cards) to meet your living expenses. If this pattern continues over a period of time, at some point, the debt will build up to the point where you cannot borrow enough money fast enough to stay current on your payments.
Like a snowball rolling downhill, when debts are not paid on time, extra interest and penalties can build up to a crushing weight. This can lead to collection letters, harassing telephone calls, and even lawsuits, judgments and wage garnishments. If you feel that your debt problem is heading in this direction, you should review the situation with an attorney experienced in bankruptcy law, to help you decide whether bankruptcy would be appropriate for you.
In some instances, bankruptcy may not solve the problem, or it may involve potential risks and expenses which would make it inappropriate. A good bankruptcy attorney will take the time to understand the facts of your particular situation, and will give you advice tailored to meet your specific needs.
It is almost never too late to file bankruptcy. Assuming that it is a dischargeable debt (meaning one that is not incurred through fraud, or a domestic support obligation, or one of the others Congress has excluded from discharge, you can still get rid of the debt even if a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you and received a judgment. You can even get rid of the debt if they have a lien against your property (although the lien will remain against the property unless you are able to remove it during the bankruptcy proceeding–see below). We routinely remove liens that are placed on our clients’ property.
Does the government go after my car, property & other assets if I file for bankruptcy?
This is the misconception that keeps people who really should file for bankruptcy from doing it here in Ohio. Many people think the government will sell everything they have and they’ll have to start over in a cardboard box, which is not true. While the bankruptcy laws vary from state to state, every state has exemptions that protect certain kinds of assets, such as your house, your car (up to a certain value), money in qualified retirement plans, household goods and clothing. Even better is the fact that Ohio has some of the best exemptions in the country if used correctly.
For most people, they will keep everything they have through the bankruptcy here in Ohio. Moreover, if you have a mortgage or a car loan, you can usually keep those as long as you keep making the payments. From experience, this is one of the areas in which it is essential to have a competent Ohio bankruptcy attorney. Using the wrong exemptions can cause you to lose property that could have been easily kept if your Ohio bankruptcy case was done correctly.
Exemptions are protected allowances for the value in certain assets. For example, a homestead exemption protects the equity you have in your home, up to a certain value. All States have different exemption laws which protect the value in certain assets. In most circumstances, you will be able to keep much of your property since Ohio has recent increased the exemptions permissible. However, you need a qualified Ohio bankruptcy attorney to discover any possible problems prior to filing your bankruptcy case. We cannot tell you how many times we see a person in court loose a house, car or motorcycle because they either did not have an attorney or used a bankruptcy filing service and did not have any attorney representation. Hiring an attorney is a small price to pay in order to insure that you will not have any unexpected surprises.
In most cases, you will use Ohio exemption laws to exempt most, if not all of your property. However, if you lived in more than one State in the past 2 years, you may have to use the other states laws. It is extremely important that we discuss in detail the particulars of your situation so I can research the law and provide you with some pre-bankruptcy planning to ensure you can keep almost everything and discuss any potential problems.
With our bankruptcy experience, there are many misconceptions that we always hear in our Downtown Cleveland office that we would like to share with you. If you have more questions, please read through our FAQ page and that should help you clear up any misconceptions. For further assistance, once you make up your mind, call bankruptcy lawyer, Mona Rubinstein to set up a no obligation initial consultation. I will sit down with you, analyze your individual circumstances and discuss your options with you.