No one wants to have to think about bankruptcy, and fortunately, it is rare. However, the practice is becoming more common as medical debt, student debt and other types of credit make it harder to avoid or recover from being in the red.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may result in property and assets being sold to cover all or a portion of an individual's or organization's outstanding debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which makes arrangements for future earnings to go towards debt repayment, can only be applied for by an individual.
Common reasons for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or other consumer bankruptcy include the loss of a job or paid hours, long illnesses that rack up medical bills, overextended credit or large unexpected expenses.
A person may file a new Chapter 13 bankruptcy case even if he or she has filed prior bankruptcy cases. However, filing a new case is forbidden if your previous case was dismissed in the last 180 days for willful disobedience of a court order. Other restrictions may apply as well.
After filing, the bankruptcy court will set a date for a hearing, during which a repayment plan may be created or confirmed. This usually occurs in Ohio within four to six weeks. A trustee or other official may ask questions about the nature of the debt in question.
The trustee does not represent bankruptcy seekers and cannot give you legal advice. An attorney is often recommended as a legal representative that may save money and time and improve the chances of a successful bankruptcy case.
Source: Chapter 13 Trustee Faye D. English, "FAQ," accessed Nov. 24, 2017