Skip to navigation
Knowledge & Experience on Your Side For All of Your Business & Estate Planning Needs

Bankruptcy Attorney in Shaker Heights, Ohio

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), in 2019, there were 37,411 filings in Ohio. Of those, 36,791 cases were personal, and 620 cases were business-related. When experiencing financial hardship, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option to get immediate debt relief or the financial fresh start you deserve. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Ohio, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for proper guidance.

Attorney Sam Thomas is committed to providing experienced legal guidance to clients in bankruptcy-related matters. At Sam Thomas III, ESQ. LLC we are available to discuss your unique circumstances and help you understand your possible options. We offer you the comprehensive guidance you need and will assist you through every step of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Attorney Sam Thomas proudly serves clients throughout Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the surrounding communities of Beachwood, Euclid, Bedford Heights, and Cleveland Heights.

Understanding Bankruptcy

The financial curveballs of life can strike unexpectedly and sideline you from paying bills, debt, and meeting your other financial needs. Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of or to put off. Rather, it’s a tool designed to help individuals and business owners get relief when facing financial adversity. Declaring bankruptcy may be a feasible option to remedy your financial condition and get debt relief or a needed fresh start.

Need a Fresh Financial Start?

Your Bankruptcy Options

Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 are the most common bankruptcy options for individuals and business owners in Ohio.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as "liquidation" bankruptcy, helps individuals and business owners wipe out most of their general unsecured debt so that they can secure the financial "fresh start" they deserve.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the Ohio court will appoint an independent contractor (trustee) to oversee your bankruptcy case. The trustee will collect and sell your non-exempt assets, then pay your creditors using the net proceeds from the sale.

Non-exempt assets are properties that can be sold or used by the trustee in a Chapter 7 case. They include your second homes, second cars, bonds, bank accounts, vacation homes, stocks, family heirlooms, cash, and other investments.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy or "reorganization" bankruptcy offers business owners the needed time to reorganize their business operations, affairs, debts, and assets. In Chapter 11, the debtor will propose a payment plan to repay creditors while keeping the business afloat. Both the creditor and the court will need to approve the repayment plan before it can be confirmed.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for individuals who earn a decent income but are overwhelmed with debt, to get immediate financial relief. It involves setting up a structured repayment plan to pay back your secured and unsecured debt while holding on to your home, car, and other assets.

The individual seeking debt relief under Chapter 13 proposes a repayment plan of between 3 and 5 years to the creditors. With this, they will have the opportunity to repay part or all of their debts during the stated period, using their potential income. Chapter 13 is only available to people who earn a "regular income."

Deciding Which Bankruptcy
Chapter Is Right for You

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy in Ohio, it is crucial that you understand your options so that you can choose which one is right for you. Your income, assets, or type of business (for business owners) will determine the ideal bankruptcy option that best fits your unique circumstance. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Chapter 7 wipes out most of your unsecured debt, Chapter 13 requires you to repay part or all of your debts, whereas Chapter 11 is a business organization plan.

  • Chapter 7 allows you to keep all your exempt assets while the non-exempt ones will be sold. In contrast, no property is liquidated or sold under Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.

  • Chapter 7 doesn't require a repayment plan, but you will need to sell non-exempt assets to repay creditors. Both Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 requires you to propose a payment plan to pay back your creditors.

  • Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 involve the appointment of a trustee. Whereas, this is optional in Chapter 11.

  • Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11 bankruptcies all affect your credit but can help rebuild your credit score gradually, over time.

  • Chapter 13 is reserved for individuals who earn a regular or stable income.

It is essential to understand that every case is unique. Therefore, it's crucial to review your case with an experienced attorney to help make informed decisions for your particular goals and situation.

Work With an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Filing for bankruptcy involves a lot of complex procedures, which makes navigating the bankruptcy process alone inadvisable. If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you need a knowledgeable Ohio attorney to protect your rights and offer comprehensive guidance.

Attorney Sam Thomas and his legal staff are committed to providing experienced legal services and guiding clients through the complicated bankruptcy proceedings. As your legal counsel, we will review your unique situation, help you understand your possible options, and determine the ideal bankruptcy chapter that suits your needs.

Also, we can offer you the detailed guidance you need, help with your filings and documentation, and walk you through the entire process. Using our extensive experience, we can simplify the bankruptcy process for you and help you achieve the immediate debt relief you deserve.

Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Serving Shaker Heights, Ohio

If you're facing financial difficulties and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact the Attorney Sam Thomas today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. We offer the comprehensive legal counsel and advocacy you need to navigate key decisions. We proudly serve clients throughout Shaker Heights, Beachwood, Euclid, Bedford Heights, and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.