Archives for 2014

Do I Have Enough Debt to File Bankruptcy

How much debt do you need to file bankruptcy?  I am asked this question quite often.  The answer: “It depends on your situation.”  Everyone’s income and expense situation is different and so is the amount of debt they have.  A single elderly woman with a low fixed income from social security is in a completely different situation than a married couple with 2 or 3 kids and both spouses working.

Bankruptcy is a personal matter.  First of all you need to be comfortable filing for bankruptcy protection so you can receive a fresh start.  Secondly, it needs to make sense financially.

If you are an elderly woman (or man) receiving $1300.00 per month from social security, how much money do you have left over at the end of the month after you pay for the items you need to survive, such as food, shelter, transportation, and medical?  Do you have $50.00 left over at the end of the month?  How about $100.00?  Can you afford to continue making monthly payments on your credit card debt?  The answer is probably no.  You may only have $5000.00 in unsecured debt but you can’t live and make the minimum monthly payments.  Bankruptcy can help you.

Please note, in Ohio your social security benefits are generally protected from your creditors.  Your creditors will continue to call and harass you and they may even file a lawsuit against you in court.  Your social security benefits are still protected, but you have to take steps to ensure they don’t get snatch up in a bank garnishment.  I explain this issue to many clients and most of the time they decide to file for bankruptcy protection for peace of mind.

What if you’re a single parent with a couple kids.  You have a job and your making $60,0000 a year.  Your gross monthly income is $5000 per month.  Your monthly income is significantly more than the elderly woman.  But so aren’t your monthly living expenses.  Children are expensive.  In terms of the amount of unsecured debt that pushes you over the edge, well it may only be five to ten thousand dollars.  After you take care of living expenses can you make the minimum monthly payments on your credit card debt?  If the answer is no, then bankruptcy can help you.

Let’s not forget the married couple.  You and your spouse have two kids, maybe three.  Your gross income is $80,000 per year or $6700 per month, maybe more.  Your living expenses may not seem like they are that much more than the single parent, but you probably have a larger mortgage or rent payment and an additional car.  You possibly have less than $1500 in the bank.  It seems like you never have any extra money.  Here, like the examples above, it really does not take much unsecured debt to make your financial life miserable.  Can you dig out of the debt without filing bankruptcy?  Maybe, but you have to stop using credit cards, go to a cash system, and have enough money left over at the end of the month to pay more than the minimum monthly payments to your credit card debt.

Sometimes it only takes one creditor to file a lawsuit and ruin your finances.  When a creditor wins the lawsuit it can then take legal action to collect on the debt.  That creditor can now garnish your wages and/or garnish your bank account.  Both of these situations will make your life miserable.  In that instance, filing for bankruptcy protection generally makes a whole lot of sense.

So how much debt do you need to file for bankruptcy protection depends on your personal circumstances.  If you live in Central Ohio and are struggling to make end meet, feel free to give me a call.  We will discuss your situation and find out if you have enough debt to file bankruptcy.

Free Meals in Delaware County Ohio

Many people in Delaware County Ohio struggle to make ends meet.  This includes keeping a roof over your heads and food on the table.  Fortunately there are many programs in Delaware County to help in the food department.  Not only will you get a good meal but you will also have the opportunity to meet and share with others.  The following information was obtained from the Andrews House Website.  Dates and times are subject to change.  Please call before you go.

Free Meal Mondays:

First and Third Mondays, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Vineyard Church, 1001 W. Cherry Street, Sunbury, OH – Phone 740-965-8888.

Fourth Monday, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm FEED Delaware at Delaware City Vineyard Church, 425 S. Sandusky Street, Delaware OH – Phone 740-362-6383.

Free Meal Tuesdays:

Every Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Common Ground Free Store, 193 E. Central Avenue, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-3733.

Free Meal Wednesdays:

Every Wednesday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Common Ground Free Store, 193 E. Central Avenue, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-3733.

First Wednesday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-363-4741.

Third Wednesday 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm at Highpoint Community Outreach, 795 Pollock Road, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-273-0368.

Free Meal Thursdays:

Every Thursday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Common Ground Free Store, 193 E. Central Avenue, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-3733.

Third Thursday 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Andrews House, 39 W. Winter Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-4520.

Third Thursday 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm at Ashley United Methodist Church, 214 E. High Street, Ashley, OH – Phone 740-747-2295.

Fourth Thursday 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Winter Street Diner, First Presbyterian Church, 73 W. Winter Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-363-1205.

Free Meal Fridays:

First Friday 5:30 pm at Sunbury United Methodist Church, 100 West Cherry Street, Sunbury, OH – Phone 740-965-3813.

Second Friday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Andrews House, 39 W. Winter Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-4520.

Last Friday 6:30  pm – 7:00 pm at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 45 W. Winter Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-3175.

Free Meal Saturdays:

Every Saturday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Common Ground Free Store, 193 E. Central Avenue, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-3733.

Second Saturday 8:00 am – 10:00 am at Grace United Methodist Church, 385 E. William Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-369-2092.

Fourth Saturday 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Zion AME Church, 140 S. Washington Street, Delaware, OH – Phone 740-363-1810.

Scam Arrest Warrants – United States District Court

Scam arrest warrants are being sent by fax and email purportedly from the United States District Court, which could include the Bankruptcy Court.  Please see the notice and information below that was distributed by the United States Courts.  The notice details the scam practices and who to contact if you have received any of these bogus arrest warrants.

Warning! Arrest Warrant Scam

You’ve received a warrant by fax or email saying a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government wants to arrest you. Charges may be for money laundering or bank fraud, or missed jury duty. To avoid arrest, the warrant says, send money.

It’s a scam.

The warrants may display a bogus logo of an unspecified “United States District Court,” a case number, and various charges. Typically, recipients are instructed to call a number to get a “settlement” or to wire money to avoid arrest.

The warrant is phony. A valid warrant would not be served by fax or e-mail. It would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer.

Anyone receiving a fake arrest warrant should contact the FBI or the district U.S. Marshals Office. If there is any question regarding the authenticity of a warrant, contact your district clerk of court.

The fake arrest warrants have been reported across the country, including in the District Courts for the Southern District of Ohio, Southern District of Illinois, New Mexico, Western District of Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia, and throughout Florida. Anyone demanding or obtaining money or anything of value while impersonating an officer or employee of the United States may be fined and/or imprisoned up to three years.

New Year Thank You After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Mr. Jackson.

I wanted to start my New Year with a Thank You!!

I was a client in 2013 and so much appreciated and relied on your help.

When I first called your office for information you were so professional, I never felt judged or disrespected.  I guess we beat ourselves up for our situations.

Thanks again for your professional help.