Consumer Rights : Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that may allow people who cannot pay their bills to get a fresh financial start.

The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are filed in federal court.

Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from trying to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out under the law.

Is bankruptcy right for me?

Bankruptcy can be the right choice if you have no better way to deal with your debts.

How can bankruptcy help me?

Bankruptcy may stop:

  • a foreclosure on your house or mobile home,

  • eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts ( this is called a “discharge”),

  • prevent repossession of your car,

  • stop wage garnishment and other collection activities, and

  • restore service or prevent utility shut off

However, bankruptcy does not fix every financial problem.

What debts can not be discharged by bankruptcy?

Some debts, such as child support or spousal support, student loans, criminal fines or restitution orders, and some tax obligations cannot be discharged. In addition, while bankruptcy may stop foreclosure or repossession, you will have to pay these debts over time if you want to keep your home or car.

Do I need legal assistance with my bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding with complicated rules and paper work, and cannot be easily explained in this short summary. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BANKRUPTCY, YOU SHOULD GET LEGAL HELP. Many attorneys who practice bankruptcy have free initial consultations.

Are there other resources on bankruptcy?

Yes, for more information about bankruptcy, see the Forms & Education tab at the top of this page.

If you are a low-income household, you can get connected to the legal aid society that serves your area by calling 1-866-529-6446 or by using the Find Ohio Legal Help directory . Not all legal aid societies in the State of Ohio assist clients with bankruptcy, but they may advise you or give you a referral to a private attorney who will take your case for a reduced fee.



Additional information:

Pro Seniors Bankruptcy

What You Should Know About Bankruptcy

See also the Forms & Education tab in this section for more information.

The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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To find a civil legal aid provider, call

1.866.LAW.OHIO (1.866.529.6446)

For the hearing impaired:
Use this site to find the local
Ohio legal aid provider in your
area. Then, call the Ohio Relay
Service at 1-800-750-0750 and
ask the service operator to
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The information in this site is
not intended as legal advice.


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