Guiding Clients Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is commonly referred to as "straight bankruptcy" or "liquidation bankruptcy." Essentially, the debtor turns over all of his or her nonexempt assets to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee liquidates the non-exempt assets and distributes the money to the debtor's creditors. By order of the bankruptcy court, the person is then discharged from all of his or her debts.

I am Robert E. Bardwell, Jr., Attorney at Law, and I have helped countless individuals throughout central Ohio free themselves from the burden of overwhelming debt. With more than 25 years of experience as a Columbus Chapter 7 lawyer, I will personally guide you through the process.

The Benefits Of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

As soon as you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay arises that prohibits creditors from calling and harassing you, stops wage garnishments and temporarily halts home foreclosures and utility disconnections. Chapter 7 will also discharge or eliminate all your unsecured debts, freeing you from:

In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you must take a means test to determine if your income falls below a certain level. Even if you do not qualify, however, you can likely file for Chapter 13 instead.

You Will Not Lose All Your Property

Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, exemptions exist that permit debtors to keep certain amounts of property. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio, you will be allowed to keep:

  • $132,900 worth of interest in a house or other principal residence ($265,800 for a couple)
  • $3,675 of equity in one motor vehicle
  • $525 in each of various items of household furnishings, appliances, books, musical instruments, wearing apparel, etc., up to a total value of $12,250
  • $1,550 in jewelry
  • $2,325 in professional implements, books and tools of the trade
  • $1,225 plus the unused portion of the principal residence exception as a wildcard exemption
  • Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation, veteran benefits, certain disability benefits and alimony

With the creditor's consent, you can retain your home and car by reaffirming the debt and paying the creditor's claim.

Free Consultation With An Affordable Hilliard Attorney For Personal Bankruptcy

To schedule a free financial evaluation with me, please call my Hilliard or Columbus office at 614-907-3665, or contact me online. Evening and weekend appointments are available by request.

†The firm is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.