A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can let you wipe your debts clean and start fresh. While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is able to wipe out the majority of your debts, you should know that there are certain types that it cannot discharge. There are several non-dischargeable debt types in Ohio, including student loans, some taxes, child support, alimony and fraudulent debt. For the majority of people, however, Chapter 7 will give them the ability to eliminate nearly all of their unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical bills.
In Ohio you can keep your assets as long as there is not too much equity in them. Ohio allows for certain exemptions to be taken so you can keep your property. Exemptions are available for most of your assets including your car, house and bank accounts. It is important to hire an attorney who can explain to you if you would be at risk for losing anything to the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Even if you declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio, you may still keep some secured debts if you choose to. This includes your home and your car. This is done through a debt reaffirmation process. There are a couple of things to consider if you choose this option. You will still owe the full amount of the debt and will need to keep making your payments just like you did before the bankruptcy. Only debts that are current may be reaffirmed by the creditor. Therefore, if you are several months behind on a debt, you will need to immediately make all of the back payments so that it becomes current.
Before you reaffirm a debt, you should make sure that you will be able to make the necessary payments to keep it current in the future. You don’t have to reaffirm all of your secured debts together. For example, if your secured debts include a car, and a house, you may decide that you want to keep your car but let the creditors take back your house.