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Ohio Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Laws

    Eligibility

    • Ohio debtors may be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if their total amount of unsecured debt does not exceed $360,475 and their secured debt totals less than $1,081,400. Debtors that file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must have a regular means of income. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt re-payment plan and requires the debtor to make regular payments to the bankruptcy trustee to cure the debt. Debtors may not be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they have previously filed for bankruptcy within 180 days and the bankruptcy case was dismissed due to the debtor's unwillingness to cooperate. Ohio debtors must complete court-approved credit counseling prior to filing for Chapter 13.

    Filing

    • Debtors filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must petition the bankruptcy court in the county in which they live. According to U.S.Courts.gov, husbands and wives may file for bankruptcy individually or separately. Other information must be provided to the bankruptcy trustee, such as a listing of assets and liabilities, income information, certificate of credit counseling and tax returns. Debtors must also include a list of creditors they wish to seek protection from, as well as a complete list of debtor-owned property. A filing fee must be included with the petition for bankruptcy at the time it is filed with the court. The filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $235 and must be paid along with a $39 administrative fee. Debtors that cannot afford to pay these fees at the time of filing may petition the court for permission to pay the fees in installments. Debtors that receive permission from the court to pay in installments must do so in no more than four installments.

    Automatic Stay

    • One benefit of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it provides the debtor with an automatic stay from creditors. This means that creditors must stop collection activities once bankruptcy is filed. Many debtors use this type of bankruptcy to stop foreclosure action on their home since Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives the debtor a structured plan to repay the mortgage loan and bring it current. Debtors that file Chapter 13 bankruptcy must remain current with all payments to creditors while under bankruptcy protection. Failure to pay the amounts listed in the bankruptcy plan may result in dismissal of the plan, which will then allow creditors to pursue the debtor for any amounts owing as well as car repossession or foreclosure.

    Discharge

    • Debtors in Ohio that file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are entitled to a discharge of the bankruptcy once all of the structured payments in the bankruptcy plan have been made. The court must schedule a hearing before the discharge of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to determine if all of the payments have been made and there is no other reason the plan should not be discharged. Once the debtor receives a discharge of bankruptcy, creditors cannot take any legal action against the debtor for the discharged obligations.

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