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Akron Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy often affects the sick in the United States

Each year, medical costs and unpaid bills leave millions of Americans, including many from the Akron, Ohio, area, in debt. As we all know, the high costs of medical treatment can add up quickly, especially for people who are uninsured or without healthcare. These rising costs can even force many Americans into bankruptcy.

According to a report by the New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation, many Americans, even those with health insurance coverage, still find themselves facing financial hurdles. As much as 20 percent of Americans who have health insurance still struggle to pay their medical bills, with 63 percent claiming they have used up all or most of their savings, 14 percent having to move or making changes in their home and 11 percent looking for financial relief from charities.

Former Major League Baseball star files for Chapter 13

If you are suffering from financial hardships and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness are swelling up inside, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Millions of Americans are in the same boat as you, from common Joes to even celebrities and sports stars. Baseball fans may remember the name Livan Hernandez. The pitcher played Major League Baseball for 17 seasons, earning over $53 million over his career.

Hernandez recently revealed that he has fallen on hard financial times and filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will allow him to repay his debts over three to five years. Hernandez claims that his assets are less than $50,000 and that he owes as much as $1 million to up to 50 creditors, including $220,000 to a businessman who lent him money in 2013 and child support for a child born in 2003.

The differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

There are thousands of Americans throughout the country who are under financial distress. Regardless of how they got stuck in their financial woes, their challenges are real. Every phone call or envelope in the mail could be yet another bill collector. It can get overwhelming.

For those who are in such a situation, it is important to consider all your options. Although the word bankruptcy often gets a bad reputation, it is important to recognize that the purpose of bankruptcy is to ultimately help a person get out of debt and to eventually start over from a financial perspective. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important to understand the differences in order to best determine which, if either, is right for you.

3 tips for dealing with negative emotions during bankruptcy

Sometimes filing for bankruptcy is your best option for getting out of financial difficulties and starting fresh. While it may eventually lead to better days, going through bankruptcy can have a serious impact on your emotions. You are dealing with burdensome debt and just trying to survive. It is normal to feel anger, grief and stress.

While you may not be able to completely avoid negative emotions, you can learn to manage them. Keep reading for tips on how to make it through the emotional turmoil of bankruptcy

Reaffirmation of debts may be beneficial in bankruptcy

Debt can quickly add up on anyone in Ohio, if certain unexpected hardships hit the person. These types of hardships are not limited to a certain class of people either. Anyone can suffer medical issues that require extensive medical treatment, lose a job, be the victim of a scam or for many other reasons. However, just as anyone can be the victim of these hardships, anyone can also rid himself or herself of this overbearing debt through the bankruptcy process.

One good option for individuals is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the person qualifies for Chapter 7, after the process is over much of their debt can be discharged and creditors can no longer pursue repayment of the debt. The person may also be able to retain many personal items through the process. However, they may not be able to keep all of their possessions. Some will be liquidated in order to pay off some of the debt.

Identity theft is prevalent and causes financial hardship

Life has become much more convenient for many people in Ohio as people are able to do more and more on the internet. It is also much more convenient for people to make most purchases using their debit and credit cards, as opposed to writing checks or using cash. While life may have become more convenient using these modern shopping and banking methods, it has made people's private information more accessible to hackers.

Just as people can shop in their pajamas, hackers can steal money from their couches in a country on the other side of the world. But, what remains the same as traditional theft is that once money has been taken, it can be difficult to replace it.

Discharge of debt in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

People in Ohio may find themselves in difficult financial times. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and in many situations, it occurred due to circumstances out of their control. If the person reaches a place where they do not believe they will ever be able to pay off their debt, they may consider filing for bankruptcy.

There are two main options: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both options may eventually allow the person to discharge their debt, but how the person gets to that point differs. In previous posts, we have discussed the repayment plan that people must follow in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This plan involves making monthly payments towards their debt for three or five years.

Common reasons that people are forced to file bankruptcy

People in Ohio have a wide variety of income sources. They also have different income levels. The amount of one's income generally dictate the lifestyle they are able to live. Over time, one becomes used to that lifestyle, whether it is a lavish lifestyle or a frugal one. However, one thing remains the same: a sudden change in one's life can make it difficult to continue meeting the costs for their lifestyle.

Once someone is unable to pay his or her bills, life can become difficult and frustrating. Creditors will start seeking their money, and it can be difficult just to answer the phone, knowing it could be a creditor on the line. Eventually if they know they will be unable to pay the debt, they may need to file for bankruptcy.

Many people lose money to phone scams each year

People use phones every day in Ohio. It is the primary way people communicate with friends, family, clients and companies that do work for the person and for many other reasons. Usually, when they make a call or receive one, they assume that the person on the other end of the call is the person they say they are, or from the company. But, this is not always the case.

There are many people who look to make quick money by defrauding others. Many of these frauds are done over the phone. People call pretending to be from a company or are making some offer to the person. They then collect private information or get the people to send them money.

What does the trustee do in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many people in Ohio are struggling with debt. It can affect people across all spectrums of society and can happen to anyone. This is because no one knows the future, and as much as one tries to protect themselves, unexpected problems can ruin any plan. Costs can add up much quicker than a person can pay, and before they know it, they are drowning in debt.

In past posts, we have discussed that people may be able to rid themselves of this burden and obtain a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As part of that process, a trustee is appointed to oversee the process. Recently, we discussed how the trustee calls the meeting of the creditors at the beginning of the bankruptcy, but the trustee's role does not end there.