Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Benefits

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of your assets and discharge of all your general unsecured debt. However, that liquidation is subject to your exemption rights under Ohio law. This straightforward type of bankruptcy lets you erase various unsecured debts, including credit cards, medical bills, personal or payday loans, overdue utility bills, back rent, certain unpaid taxes and tax penalties and business debt. You also get to make decisions on how to treat certain secured (houses and cars) and priority (certain taxes and child/spousal support) debts.

Ohio “exemptions” protect a lot of personal assets and property like your house, personal belongings, professional tools, wages, social security, pensions, support and public benefits.  There is even a “wildcard” value that you can use on any asset.

We at CLE Bankruptcy can assist you with navigating complicated federal bankruptcy law and Ohio’s exemption law.  We will explain everything and walk you through the process.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process starts when you file initial paperwork called a Voluntary Petition, halting all collection actions against you. After filing, you meet a Trustee, who is a lawyer with the part time job of working for the Bankruptcy Court. The Trustee asks you questions about the information in your petition; who you are, what you own, to whom you owe money, how much you make and your living expenses. This happens at a “Meeting of Creditors.” The court assigns this unbiased Trustee to aid your case. After the Trustee meeting, a financial management course must be completed within 60 days. If there are “non-exempt” assets, the trustee then liquidates them, and divides the money – whatever the amount – from the sale of those assets to your creditors. If there are no “non-exempt” assets, then you have a “no asset” case.

From filing to completion, Chapter 7 lasts approximately four months, with potential delays due to the Trustee needing more information or if a dispute arises with one of your creditors.  An attorney can help prevent any delays, ensuring a smooth process to discharging your debts

To file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must have completed a credit counseling course in the last six months, pass the “means test,” and show the Court that you don’t have enough money coming in to pay all your living expenses and any other bills.  The Attorney’s of CLE Bankruptcy can guide you through these qualifications.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

For debtors who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or do not need it, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option.  Again, you need to have completed a credit counseling course and provide the information and documentation necessary to prepare a petition and a Chapter 13 Plan.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps protect large assets, like houses and cars, from being foreclosed or repossessed, and structures a repayment plan for your debts. This “plan” for payback is supervised by the court and a Chapter 13 Trustee. A Chapter 13 plan runs between 3 to 5 years and requires you make payments to the Trustee, who will disburse the funds to your creditors based on the terms of your Chapter 13 Plan.

Consulting an attorney before filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is crucial – reach out to CLE Bankruptcy for expert advice.

Adversary Proceedings in Bankruptcy

In certain bankruptcy situations, you may need to file or defend an Adversary Proceeding. In certain circumstances, your bankruptcy may be partly the result of another party’s wrongdoing. In other situations, a creditor may dispute the discharge of a particular debt. While there are few ways that creditors can object to the dischargeability of your debt to them, it is important to address it while preparing to file a bankruptcy.

Many bankruptcy-related issues can be addressed – and avoided – before a bankruptcy is even filed. Sometimes, they are not avoidable. In either situation, navigating Adversary Proceedings requires a comprehensive knowledge of several complex litigation rules.

CLE Bankruptcy provides knowledgeable and cost-effective guidance through these types of bankruptcy conflicts. We start with a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

Need an effective solution to your financial troubles?
We're here to help!


When you retain CLE Bankruptcy, you will work directly with our experienced attorneys, benefitting from their extensive knowledge, experience and reputation in the legal community. With over 55 years of combined experience, our leading team has helped thousands of families, individuals, and business owners through their bankruptcy proceedings. Our clients always have direct access to us and your case will never be “passed off” to a less experienced associate or paralegal.