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Bankruptcy filings rose in northwest Ohio in 2017

There are many financial challenges in life, and it is often difficult to keep up with the requirements of modern life. Sometimes homes are too expensive, jobs do not supply enough success and people need to readjust their expectations.

The state of Ohio was one of the hardest-hit parts of the United States during the Great Recession, and although recovery came swiftly, some people and families are still struggling with their financial commitments and needs. The last year saw a rise in bankruptcies declared in the 21 counties served by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo.

A change in federal bankruptcy law raised the filing fees by nearly 300 percent. This fee may be waived, however, if a person's income is below 1.5 times the federal poverty line.

An Ohio bankruptcy lawyer noted that 2017 saw an increase in the number Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings instead of a Chapter 7 discharge of debt. This was often because Chapter 7 may only be filed for every eight years, so the progression suggests previous filings did nothing to improve people's fortunes.

Student loans may be overtaking mortgages as a main cause of debt great enough to create a case for bankruptcy. Loan deferment often increases debtors' liability, which can expand to unmanageable levels.

An attorney can help a debtor decide whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice to discharge or restructure debts. Filing for bankruptcy does not have to be a difficult or dreaded process, and it may not be necessary to file more than once in life.

Source: Toledo Blade, "Toledo bankruptcies increased in 2017," Jon Chavez, Jan. 02, 2018

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