Common Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Questions and Answers for Columbus Ohio

We offer free Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Consultations at our Columbus, Ohio Bankruptcy Office. If you do not find the answer below, please call our Columbus Ohio Bankruptcy Office to set up a free consultation.

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(614) 252-2300

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE HEARING AND WHAT DO I NEED TO TAKE TO THE HEARING?

A Court-appointed Trustee who administers your bankruptcy case will ask you questions. These questions will be similar to the ones you answered in our office. Your hearing will take place in a conference room setting with no judge or jury present. Creditors may also be there and ask questions about the debts. You will receive a list of items to bring to the hearing approximately two (2) to three (3) weeks after filing. Each debtor must attend the hearing and bring their drivers license and social security card.

WHERE IS THE HEARING HELD AND HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

The hearing is held in the Schaaf Building at 170 N. High Street on the 2nd floor (see map) and lasts approximately 20 minutes. You are present with the other debtors and are taken in turn, so allow up to two hours total time. Be sure to allow plenty of time to find parking and bring at least $10 for parking. If your hearing is conducted somewhere other than Columbus, you will be provided with directions to your hearing. Cell phones are not permitted in the building.

IF A CREDITOR CONTACTS ME AFTER FILING BANKRUPTCY WHAT DO I DO?

Refer all creditor calls to our office. Be sure to give them your attorney’s name, phone number, case number and date of filing, if available.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SECURED AND UNSECURED DEBTS?

Secured debts are guaranteed by certain items, including a car, home, or furniture. If you fail to pay these debts the creditors have the right to reclaim these items. Unsecured debts do not allow a creditor to take back possessions for non-payment (i.e. signature loans, medical bills, utility bills, bank credit cards).

WHAT IS A REAFFIRMATION (RE-SIGNING)?

A reaffirmation is an agreement to repay a debt, usually for purposes of retaining property pledged (collateral) to a secured creditor.

IF I AM NOT REAFFIRMING ON A SECURED DEBT, WHEN SHOULD I SURRENDER MY COLLATERAL?

It is your responsibility to contact the creditor with in two (2) weeks after the hearing is held to make arrangements for the surrender of the collateral.

CAN WE ADD ADDITIONAL DEBTS AFTER FILING BANKRUPTCY?

Yes. For an additional charge, creditors can be added up until the time your case is closed and perhaps even longer. Please refer to your fee agreement and/or contact your attorney.

WHEN CAN I USE MY BANK ACCOUNT OR OBTAIN NEW CREDIT?

To be safe, wait until after your hearing to begin using bank accounts. (Unless you are in need of replacement transportation, you should wait until your bankruptcy is over to obtain new credit.)

WHEN AM I FULLY PROTECTED FROM MY CREDITORS?

You are not fully protected from any creditor or collection attempt whatsoever until your case is actually filed with the Court and you receive a case number.

WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MAILING ADDRESS?

If you move at any time within the next year you must give us written notification of your new address and phone number.

WILL I LOSE MY RETIREMENT, PENSION, 401(K) OR DEFERRED COMPENSATION FUNDS?

We can review your retirement or pension plan and, in most cases, if your plan qualifies under ERISA (government insurance agency for retirement plans) it may not be lost in the bankruptcy. Deferred compensation plans must be reviewed by an attorney before a conclusion is reached. We can never guarantee that all assets can be retained regarding any form of retirement plans.

WHAT DEBTS DO I CONTINUE TO PAY?

You pay only those debts you intend to keep. If you are going to retain your home or automobile, continue to make those payments. Also continue to pay rent and current utility bills. If you have included past due utility bills in your bankruptcy, you will be required to pay a deposit. Contact your attorney if you are not sure what debts to pay.

ARE MY COSIGNERS PROTECTED?

No. The creditors may still continue collection activity against the cosigner.

WILL I LOSE EVERYTHING IF I FILE A BANKRUPTCY?

Under Bankruptcy Law certain property you have is protected from being taken by the Trustee. This area is very complex and changes from time to time. You need to discuss with a Ohio bankruptcy attorney what possessions you may keep in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

HOW DO I CLEAR MY CREDIT REPORT ONCE MY CASE IS COMPLETED?

Our office does not handle credit report issues. You must contact the credit bureau with questions pertaining to your credit report.

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614-252-2300
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