Reasons to Consider Filing Bankruptcy

We understand that the idea of filing for bankruptcy can be terrifying. However, maintaining a troubled financial status quo will not resolve matters. You are probably well aware that neglecting financial obligations like your mortgage payments, car loans, credit cards, and medical costs is not sustainable, but you could be powerless to pay. With late fees and interest rates skyrocketing, it can make you wonder if you’ll ever be free from your financial burden.

You may be familiar with the downside of filing bankruptcy, like a diminished credit rating, turning over assets, and being unable to get loans in the future. While there may be some truth to the consequences of bankruptcy, it’s critical to understand the advantages of the process. The details will vary according to your specific situation, but some reasons to consider bankruptcy include:

Automatic Stay: When you file bankruptcy proceedings, the court places an automatic stay on your case. Creditors cannot take collection action, foreclose on property, turn off your utilities, sue, or harass you through calls and letters. The automatic stay also ceases eviction actions and wage garnishment.

Keep Your Property:  Going through bankruptcy does not automatically require you to sell all of your personal property. Through the application of bankruptcy exemptions, you may emerge from the process without liquidating or losing your assets.

Higher Credit Rating (Eventually): It’s true that a bankruptcy will affect your credit rating and remain part of your record for up to 10 years. However, once the matter is no longer on your credit report, you may be debt-free with an increased rating.

Enhanced Financial Responsibility: You won’t qualify for credit cards or lines of credit, which means you’re forced to live on your income and within your means. This will place you in a better position down the line and prevent future financial problems. Plus, bankruptcy laws require you to complete a credit counseling curriculum. Through these educational sessions, you’ll learn strategies and tools to embrace new, sensible habits.

Overview of US Bankruptcy Laws

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is a massive, complicated collection of laws covering a wide array of entities, debts, and proceedings. This federal statute is the only one that covers bankruptcy, as there are no state laws regarding the process. Together with local bankruptcy court rules in Ohio, the Bankruptcy Code is the entire set of legal procedures for handling debt for both individuals and business entities.

The purpose of bankruptcy laws is to essentially give debtors a “fresh start” from their unmanageable financial obligations. The U.S. Supreme Court used this exact terminology in stating the goal of bankruptcy in a 1934 case. Bankruptcy is intended to provide a person or business with new opportunities, unencumbered by the heavy load of debt.

If you’re an individual seeking to reduce or eliminate your debt, your options for bankruptcy are within Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Because the eligibility rules, process, and consequences are very different under these two chapters, it’s always wise to consult with experienced lawyers who focus on personal bankruptcy services. We may also be able to help file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for your business, if it qualifies and it is the right path for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you may qualify to discharge certain debts. By going through the discharge process, you eliminate eligible debts entirely, which is why it’s called “liquidation” bankruptcy.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on factors related to a means test, which include:

Your eligibility to file under Chapter 7 is also contingent on whether you previously filed for liquidation bankruptcy or under a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

It’s important to note that some of your assets will be subject to liquidation, which is intended to compensate your creditors for the amount you owe. In Ohio, some property is exempt, and you will be able to keep it. Our Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy lawyers can tell you more about how the laws apply. Exempt property may include:

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code involves repayment of your debts, though at a lower amount than you actually owe. Your debts are not discharged like they are with a Chapter 7. Instead, you take advantage of debt relief, while protecting your income and designated assets.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy eligibility is based upon:

The key to Chapter 13 is whether your creditors are willing to accept your repayment plan. You will be required to formulate a strategy for paying back a certain portion of your debts, and creditors will have the opportunity to object to your proposal. However, you don’t wait until your creditors accept or object – you must start paying back your debts under your own proposed plan a month after you file. Preparing the repayment plan is central to obtaining a favorable outcome in these proceedings, and our Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy lawyers can guide you through the process.

Meet the team with a different approach

Previous Attorney

Next Attorney

G. Gregory Arenstein

Shareholder

Greg started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with Nicholas I. Andersen in March 2010. Greg has many years of legal and tax experience working with clients on a wide array of business, estate planning, and tax issues. Greg is an experienced problem solver with the ability to assist clients with their most complex needs and the ability to communicate with his clients in plain English. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Business Law, Taxation, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Administration, Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals

Read Gregory Bio

Nicholas I. Andersen

Shareholder

Nick started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with G. Gregory Arenstein in March 2010. Nick has extensive experience in civil litigation, business, estate planning, real estate, oil & gas, including pipelines, and representing taxpayers in collection actions. Nick’s practice also includes an expansive and diverse clientele of healthcare professionals, including physicians, dentists, and veterinarians. He believes in being available to his clients whenever they are in need. Practice areas include: Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals, Civil Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Oil and Gas Law, Taxation

Read Nick's Bio

Eric R. McLoughlin

Shareholder

Eric has many years of experience representing clients in probate and trust administration, business, and estate planning matters. He has a strong passion for helping people with their legal matters, and strives to provide all his clients with the personalized service they deserve. Practice areas include: Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Estate Planning

Read Eric's Bio

Jessica L. Sohner (née Samuel)

Shareholder

Jessica has years of experience representing clients in family and domestic matters, including divorce, dissolution, and post-decree matters. She believes in providing quality representation for clients while maintaining sensitivity to their individualized needs during stressful litigation. Practice areas include: Family Law, Civil Litigation, Oil and Gas Law

Read Jessica's Bio

Erin L. Sanford

Shareholder

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a Shareholder in February 2022. Erin has over 12 years of experience working in all areas of family law. Erin understands that when you are navigating through the court system, whether it is a divorce, child custody matter, the need for a guardian of a loved one, or the loss of a loved one it is a stressful time and she is there to be by her clients’ side.

Read Erin Bio

Ryan L. DeYoung

Senior Associate

Ryan is a Senior Associate at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA. Ryan joined the firm in August 2020. Ryan’s practice is devoted to assisting clients in civil litigation matters. Prior to joining Arenstein & Andersen, his practice focused on the representation of individuals and small business debtors as an attorney with a small bankruptcy law firm for almost 7 years. In addition to his practice of bankruptcy law, Ryan also has prior experience in the litigation of housing and employment related claims, including claims brought under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Civil Rights Act, as well as been an adjunct lecturer in The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. 

Read Ryan Bio

James W. Park

Associate

Jim and Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA formed an “of counsel” relationship in 2015 to assist the firm’s clients in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor protection. Jim has been working in personal bankruptcy since 2005. He began practicing as an attorney solely in the area of personal bankruptcy in 2007, with a focus mainly in Chapters 7 and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Jim understands that financial distress is common today and strives to provide clients with the respect and understanding they deserve while helping them through their difficult times. In December of 2021, Jim became a full-time associate attorney at the firm.

Read James's Bio

Robert E. Putman

Associate

Robert joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021. He is eager to provide clients with legal assistance in the areas of estate planning, business law, and general civil matters. He believes every client matter is unique and deserves careful professional attention to ensure the client’s interests are protected. 

Read Robert Bio

Erin M. Haughey

Associate

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021 and earned her J.D. from Capital University Law School. Erin focuses her practice on estate and trust administration and understands the difficulty of losing a loved one. Erin works diligently to ensure that her clients are given the care and attention they deserve so she can best help them understand and achieve their desired goals.

Read Erin Bio

Joseph A. Downing

Of Counsel

Joe has extensive experience representing clients in estate planning, probate, business, real estate, elder law, and Medicaid planning. Joe prides himself on his ability to build long-term, trusting relationships with clients, and enjoys assisting them with their short and long-term legal needs. Joe and his law firm, Joseph A. Downing Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Real Estate

Read Joseph's Bio

Christen M. Shore

Of Counsel

As a former adjunct professor at Capital University Law School, Christen has been practicing intellectual property law for over 20 years. She has represented multi-national corporations, universities, small business, and individuals in the protection of their intellectual property – including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Christen and her law firm, Christen M. Shore Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice area include: Intellectual Property

Read Christen's Bio

Ian A. Heyman

Of Counsel

Ian Heyman has over 23 years of legal experience counseling clients on all aspects of business matters, including acquisitions and transfers, corporate governance and structures, taxation including state and federal tax audits, commercial and residential real estate, wealth management, professional and business licensing, internal and government investigations, government relations, risk management, strategic structuring and commercial finance. Mr. Heyman represents businesses and individuals across many industries by creating innovative solutions, while always planning two steps ahead.

Read Ian Bio

Kathleen A. Hanley

Retired

Kathi is retired and living in Tucson, Arizona. She serves as a valuable advisor to the firm, and assists with continuity of service to her longtime clients that continue to entrust their legal needs to us.

Read Kathleen's Bio

Call Now to Schedule a Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Our lawyers in Dublin, OH and Tipp City, OH meet with people in difficult financial situations every day, and provide personal bankruptcy services based on what works best for you. Mistakes made during a bankruptcy filing in Ohio can set you back significantly. With decades of legal experience, and a well-earned reputation for accessibility and results, Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA will focus on finding an option that protects you now and in the future.

While this overview of bankruptcy laws may be helpful, it’s important to discuss your situation and options with a skilled bankruptcy lawyer. You need to understand the implications of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so you can make an informed decision. Please contact Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA to set up a free bankruptcy consultation.

Call (614) 602-6550 or contact us online to learn more about our personal bankruptcy services.