Bankruptcy in Ohio is a legal process through which some of the debts of an individual or a business are absolved (excused). You should not view bankruptcy as an opportunity to eliminate your debts just because you don't feel like paying them - it can be a long and difficult procedure. Bankruptcy is designed to be a last resort to prevent complete financial ruin, while allowing creditors to collect at least some of their debts in an orderly fashion. Filing for bankruptcy can have major negative effects on one's credit score, which will make it more difficult to get loans in the future.
Accordingly, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, you need to thoroughly examine the costs and benefits. A good Ohio bankruptcy lawyer can advise you as to the pros and cons of bankruptcy, and give his or her expert opinion about whether or not bankruptcy is a good option, based on the facts of your particular case.
Types of Bankruptcy in Ohio
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in Ohio will be the same as everywhere else in the United States. There are 2 basic forms of bankruptcy that consumers typically use: Chapter 7, and Chapter 13, owing their names to where they are found in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, there is a form of bankruptcy usually used by businesses called Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is available to individuals, but it is rarely the best option for them.
In Ohio, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as "liquidation." The court will conduct an accounting of all of the debtor's assets, and determine which ones should be sold to help pay off the debts. Many classes of property, such as homes and cars, are exempt from this requirement, and therefore don't have to be sold. Once all of the eligible property is sold off, and the proceeds given to the creditors, the rest of the debt is excused. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt is usually not excused; instead, it is reorganized. The court will craft a long-term payment plan that allows the debtor to pay off his or her debts in single payments, over time. This usually gives the debtor some breathing room that would not exist if all of his or her debts became due and payable at once.
Usually, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is used by businesses as opposed to individuals. Much like Chapter 13, Chapter 11 involves the reorganization, as opposed to discharge, of a debtor's obligations. However, it is up the to the debtor to come up with a repayment plan, and once this happens, the plan is submitted to the participating creditors, who must approve it by majority vote.
How Can a Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be extremely difficult, given the potential consequences. A Ohio lawyer specializing in bankruptcy can advise you of the likely consequences you will face if you file, and help you determine if they are outweighed by the potential benefits.
Interesting Facts About Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state containing a large concentration of highly populated U.S. cities. Ohio's location and demographics make it somewhat of a "microcosm" of the U.S., as it features elements of eastern, western, northern, and southern cultures.
The state capitol building of Ohio is called The Ohio Statehouse and is located in the city of Columbus. Unlike most other state capitols, Ohio Statehouse's architecture does not resemble the U.S. capitol building. The Statehouse is home to the state legislature, the governor's office, and also contains a museum. Ohio's court system consists of the Courts of Common Pleas, the intermediate-level District Court system, and the "court of last resort", the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Ohio Supreme Court has produced several key decisions involving First Amendment issues and other Constitutional rights. Some of these include: Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), establishing the "clear and present danger" doctrine; Minarcini v. Strongsville (Ohio) School District, addressing student library rights; and McIntyre v. Ohio Election Commission (1995), a case involving political speech.
Ohio lawyers can provide legal advice, represent clients in court, and assist persons with various legal needs. Lawyers in Ohio can typically be found practicing at the Courts of Common Pleas, where most claims originate. Attorneys in Ohio are on hand to help serve the needs of Ohio communities.