Trent A Binger, Attorney At Law in Akron, Ohio, is the bankruptcy attorney you want on your side. Learn more about filing for bankruptcy on this informational page. Don’t worry. Filing for bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world – it’s the beginning of your fresh start.
Bankruptcy will temporarily stop virtually all actions that a creditor can take against you. Once you file, your creditors must work through the bankruptcy court process. This means that debt collection lawsuits, utility shutoffs, foreclosures and repossessions will be stopped (sometimes only temporarily).
Creditors will also stop calling if you tell them that you filed the bankruptcy petition. Give them the “docket number” for your case. This is the number given to you by the court. It will be at the top of your petition.
In some cases, you or your attorney should contact the creditor immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition, especially if a law suit is pending. If a creditor continues to try to collect, the court can take action against them.
• repossessing your car,
• garnishing your wages,
• taking money from your bank account,
• cutting off your utilities, or
• taking back other property on which you owe money.
The stay will prevent your creditors from taking action until the court lifts (removes) the stay.
Some people use the time given under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy “stay” to try to sell a house in order to avoid foreclosure.
At the First Meeting of Creditors, the trustee will ask you questions (under oath) about your bankruptcy papers, your assets, debts and other matters. Creditors will also be permitted to ask you questions. However, usually creditors do not attend these meetings if you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you normally do not need to return to court. If you filed for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may need to return to court for a confirmation hearing before the bankruptcy judge.
Both spouses are responsible for the debts acquired together while they are married. If you file for a bankruptcy on these joint debts, your creditors can pursue your spouse for payment. If you are living together, it may be wise for you to jointly file for bankruptcy.
If the debt belongs to you alone, the creditor cannot pursue your spouse for the debt after you file for bankruptcy. Before you make a decision on whether the debt is a joint debt or yours alone, you may want to ask an attorney.
If you co-signed for a debt with an unmarried partner or someone else, you cannot file jointly for bankruptcy. However, you can file separately.
You can protect a friend or relative who co-signed with you by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you file under Chapter 13, creditors are not allowed to pursue your co-signers as long as you are keeping up the payments under the plan. As long as you pay the creditor as proposed by the plan, the creditors will not pursue the friend or relative who co-signed with you.