Frequently Asked Financial Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding our practice and bankruptcy law. If you have questions not listed here, please email me or use the form on the right.
Is there a charge for the initial consultation?
The first initial consultation with our attorney is free of charge.
What are your fees for representing me in a bankruptcy?
Our fees are reasonable and competitive with fees of other attorneys in the central Ohio area. Mina Nami Khorrami will discuss fees which are based on the type and complexity of the case and will thoroughly explain the terms of our legal services at your initial consultation.
Do I need to bring any documents to the initial consultation?
It is not absolutely necessary to bring documents to the initial consultation. However, the more relevant financial documents you bring to the first meeting with the attorney, the more meaningful the first meeting will be, since the attorney can evaluate your case with accurate financial records. Relevant financial records include: any papers you have received from the Court, such as foreclosure proceedings and lawsuits; paycheck stubs or other records of income for the last 6 months; deeds and mortgages to your house or any other real estate you own; titles and memoranda of titles to all vehicles you own or are purchasing; 6 months of recent bank statements; pension, retirement, IRA or 401k statements; tax returns for the last 3 years; and other relevant financial records. You can also obtain a list of required documents by contacting our office.
Are there some debts that cannot be included in a bankruptcy?
Certain debts are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy such as taxes and student loans as well as certain specified other debts. However, you should list all your debts, including debts that are non-dischargeable and also debts to family members and friends.
Can I keep my house and car if I file for bankruptcy?
Generally, you will be able to keep your house and your car, depending on several factors: the value of the house or car, the amount you owe, whether you are current on your payments, and whether you can afford to continue to make payments on your house and car going forward.
Do I have to give up my tax refund if I file for bankruptcy?
You should consult with us to discuss your unique circumstances, but here is an article on how to keep your tax refund and file for Ch. 7 Bankruptcy. Read more about the treatment of taxes in bankruptcy.
Can I give away my property to family members before I file for bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing a bankruptcy petition, you should not give away or transfer any property without discussing the matter with the attorney beforehand.
Do I have to go to court if I file a bankruptcy?
In a Chapter 7 case, you will need to attend a meeting of creditors approximately 30-45 days after your case is filed. The bankruptcy trustee will conduct the meeting and will ask you a series of questions about your property and your debts. Your creditors can also appear and ask you questions; however, usually creditors do not appear. In a Chapter 13 case, you will also have to attend a meeting of creditors. In addition, you will have to attend an orientation at the Chapter 13 Trustee's office, as well as a confirmation hearing before the Bankruptcy Court on the acceptance of your Chapter 13 case, where the court determines if the payback to your creditors is fair to you and your creditors under the Bankruptcy Code.
Will a bankruptcy stop creditors from bothering me?
Once your bankruptcy is filed with the Court, the bankruptcy law protects you from most forms of collections, including phone calls, collection letters, lawsuits, garnishments, and creditor harassment.
Why Do I Need a Will in Ohio?
Unless you have the name of your family members on your assets as co-owners, you will need a will in order to ensure that your loved ones will receive your assets after you die. Read more.
What is Phantom Income and should I be worried about it?
Q: Let's say I have a mortgage and credit cards, and you successfully discharge all of this debt in a Chapter 7. I lost the house, I gave up everything except for $12,250 worth of my personal possessions. After the bankruptcy, all of the sudden I am $20,000 richer because you got me out of my mortgage. What are the tax implications of that? Is that phantom income? Read more.
Is there a way to spend down my assets in anticipation of a bankruptcy? Would this have a negative impact on my bankruptcy proceeding?
Pre-bankruptcy planning is allowed, and bankruptcy attorneys do and should go through a client's assets and provide pre-bankruptcy planning to protect the client's interests. Read more.
What are some of the alternatives to foreclosure?
The options outside of bankruptcy include a loan modification, a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale. Read more.
What is the Chapter 7 Personal Funds Allotment and is it enough?
The Chapter 7 Personal Funds Allotment at this time is $12,250 per debtor, so for a couple it is twice as much. Read more.
What if I'm behind on my child support and the county has sent me paperwork saying they're going to garnish my wages?
Similar to student loans, child support obligations are non-dischargeable and will survive the discharge in bankruptcy. Read more.
Are there defenses to wage garnishment short of bankruptcy?
There are certain federal and state exemptions that can be applied to prevent the creditor who has a judgment from garnishing your income. Read more.
Can you delay a foreclosure proceeding so that I have time to pay off my non-mortgage-related debts?
In Ohio, a foreclosure is a State proceeding that is separate from the bankruptcy process, and the foreclosure action has to be filed in the county where the real estate is located. In Ohio, a mortgage lender has to initiate the foreclosure proceeding in order to take back the real estate. Read more.
Is there Federal or government help out there when I owe more on my house than it's worth?
There are programs here in Ohio where the clients might be able to qualify for a Government benefit that pays up to $25,000 of the mortgage, essentially bringing the account current. However, the latest information we have is that this program is no longer taking applications. There are other options available if the lender or mortgage servicer will agree. Read more.
Can I discharge tax debt?
In those instances, we would recommend either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the filing is based on tax liability, depending on the kind and amount of the tax liability, the date the tax returns were filed and whether the tax liability is dischargeable. Read more.
What are the chances of a successful negotiation with the bank for a Short Sale?
It all depends on who the lender is and what kind of loan modification is being offered. Read more.
What if I have possessions that are of great sentimental value? Will I lose them to my creditors in a bankruptcy?
In Ohio, debtors in bankruptcy are entitled to certain exemptions, which permit them to keep certain assets and possessions without losing them in the bankruptcy process. Read more.
Can I save a large asset, like my home, in a Bankruptcy, even though it is not paid off?
If you are behind on your mortgage at the time the bankruptcy is filed, and you want to keep your house, we would usually recommend that you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a pay-back program. Read more.
Can I discharge student loans?
Student loans are generally non-dischargeable. This means that after the bankruptcy is completed, the student loan will survive the bankruptcy discharge. Read more.
Call Mina Nami Khorrami today for personalized debt relief and bankruptcy legal help in Columbus, Ohio.