Over 1.2 million bankruptcy filings occurred in United States Courts in 2012, a two-year decrease from the high in 2010 of nearly 1.6 million. While the number of bankruptcies may be declining, many individuals and families are still struggling financially in our rebuilding economy.
Filing bankruptcy can help an individual or family avoid losing their homes, transportation and other possessions when ends just won’t meet. Almost anyone can file if settling debts has become unmanageable.
If you are overwhelmed by your debts and are considering this option, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you. The process of consolidating your debts can be overwhelming, confusing and frustrating, but the legal professionals at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have the dedication, professionalism and comprehensive knowledge of bankruptcy law to navigate the process for you.
Find out how we can help – Fill out our Free Bankruptcy Evaluation form now and we will contact you to discuss the details of your case.
Causes of Bankruptcy
Life isn’t easy or fair, as we’ve all learned since childhood. Everyone faces hardship from time to time, whether physically, emotionally or financially. Unfortunately, a small period of financial instability can affect your credit score – which can have far-reaching consequences if you are unable to recover. There are many situations that can lead to a mounting pile of debt.
Some reasons individuals are unable to pay debts include:
- Medical expenses
- Uncontrolled spending
- Legal fees
- Costs of divorce
- Natural disasters
- Threat of foreclosure
- Poor financial planning
- Mounting utility bills
- Student loans
- Wish to have repossessed items returned
Indeed, filing for bankruptcy can prevent repossession, foreclosure and loss of utilities. If you are in danger of losing your home, power or possessions, filing for bankruptcy may be a viable option for you. Consult a bankruptcy lawyer to learn about your legal rights and weigh your options for debt-settlement.
Types of Bankruptcy
The Bankruptcy Code under U.S. law includes six types of bankruptcy (commonly referred to as “chapters”) that can be filed by an individual or a business entity.
The 6 types of bankruptcy are:
- Chapter 7
The most straightforward type of bankruptcy, this is the simplest, quickest and most basic liquidation. Chapter 7 is available to both individuals and businesses, and is sometimes known as straight bankruptcy.
- Chapter 9
Chapter 9 is a federal mechanism used to resolve municipal debts and is sometimes known as municipal bankruptcy.
- Chapter 11
Chapter 11 is often referred to as corporate bankruptcy, and is usually only used by business debtors, but may also be used in cases of individuals with substantial assets and debts. This form of bankruptcy often allows a corporation to rehabilitate and reorganize debt while continuing to operate while following repayment plans.
- Chapter 12
Chapter 12 is a form of bankruptcy used specifically for family farmers and fisherman.
- Chapter 13
Chapter 13 is sometimes called “Wage Earner Bankruptcy” and typically involves financial rehabilitation through a payment plan for individuals with a steady income, allowing them to repay all or part of their debts.
- Chapter 15
Chapter 15 is used for other cases, such as those involving foreign debtors.
Personal bankruptcy usually is filed under Chapter 7 or 13. Business entities have the option of filing under Chapter 7 or 11. As many as 65% of US cases are Chapter 7; if you are considering straight bankruptcy, our attorneys can help you to explore your legal options.
Recovering after Going Bankrupt
Unfortunately, Ohio is one of the states with the highest number of bankruptcies, more than 50,000 in 2012, according to United States Courts; Kentucky’s numbers were on the high side as well, with nearly 20,000 filings.
If you or someone you know has gone bankrupt, follow these tips to help rebuild credit and cover bankruptcy payments:
- Open new checking and savings accounts
- Save at least 10% of each paycheck
- Pay all bills on time
- Opt for DIY over “credit repair” services
- Apply for credit with caution
- Apply for a secured, gas or retail credit card
- After a year or two, apply for an affordable loan
- Don’t max out your credit cards
- Keep lines of credit open
- Keep abreast of your credit report and score
- Dispute any incorrect items on your credit report, including debts that have been discharged
- Budget your household income properly
The belief that paying off your balance in full each month has a negative impact on credit is a myth. It is recommended, especially for those rebuilding credit, to pay bills fully and on time.
There are many tools available to help an individual budget and track spending, and the advice of a professional financial planner could be very helpful to those in the process of rebuilding credit.
Our Experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys
Managing credit when you have debt is not only frustrating; it can often affect an individual’s self-esteem. You are not alone – there are many families across the U.S. struggling with debt. If you are considering consolidating your debt, the law firm of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can help.
When you retain us to represent you through your bankruptcy proceedings, you have chosen caring and considerate attorneys who will treat your case with professionalism, courtesy and passion for justice.
We represent clients throughout Northern Kentucky and the great state of Ohio through 7 conveniently located offices. We are proud to accept clients in the following areas:
- Covington, KY
- Columbus, OH
- Cincinnati, OH
- Hamilton, OH
- Mason, OH
- Anderson, OH
- …and the surrounding communities
Contact a bankruptcy attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today. Call 877-288-3241 or 859-371-0338 for a confidential discussion of your legal options. It’s 100% FREE.
Get started now by filling out our Free Bankruptcy Evaluation form. We will contact you and after a brief interview, connect you to an attorney with expertise suited to your case.