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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Can a creditor object to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge?

When an individual chooses to exercise his or her right to bankruptcy under Chapter 7, it results in immediate financial relief on several fronts in return for restrictions on that person's financial behavior for a set period of time and forfeiture of some forms of personal property. Depending on the nature of that individual's need, he or she may discharge a significant of personal debt against the wishes of creditors.

However, under Chapter 7, the debtor does not enjoy absolute rights to discharge all of his or her eligible debts. Creditors do have the opportunity to object to certain discharges, provided that they abide by the guidelines of the bankruptcy process. If a creditor chooses to object to a bankruptcy, it must file an official objection in court, known as adversary proceeding. In order to stall or halt the discharge, the creditor must object to specific discharges on a very limited set of legal grounds.

Minimum monthly payments can keep you underwater

If your budget is precariously balanced, one unforeseen expense can send it toppling. A car repair, appliance replacement or unexpected medical bill can wipe out your meager savings or force you to recalculate the amounts you can pay to your other creditors.

A credit card can be a lifesaver in such situations. After taking care of the emergency, you can parcel the payments into smaller, manageable amounts. Credit cards are also handy when you run short on cash or want to make a large, unplanned purchase. Unfortunately, those small, manageable payments don't always make life easier in the long run.

Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

As a consumer, you have a number of rights that may help you retain control and confidence in the face of considerable debt. Among these are the protections you enjoy under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which seeks to promote fair and accurate practices within credit bureaus. If you find that some party or another violates your rights, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against them in addition to enforcing your rights.

Under the FCRA, consumers have the right to

  • Limit the number and type of "prescreened" credit offers they receive from potential lenders
  • Limit who can access their credit files
  • Know their individual credit scores
  • Know other information within a credit report
  • Dispute information within a credit report they believe is incomplete or inaccurate
  • Know which information contributed to an application denial

Dealing with overwhelming medical debt in America

For millions of Americans, the skyrocketing costs of medical care make the prospect of recovering from a serious illness or significant injury devastating to a patient's finances, even if the medical care itself is effective. The sad facts of the matter are that many Americans now must weigh whether they can afford treatment that is available, no matter how necessary the treatment may be.

While we may still be some ways off from a solution to our crippling health care costs as a country, the law does provide relief to those who find themselves buried in medical debt they cannot reasonably address. If you or someone you love has medical debt that simply unfeasible to pay, or if you need a life-saving medical procedure that you do not know how to cover financially, bankruptcy may provide an emergency solution.

Taking steps to rebuild credit after filing for bankruptcy

Few things may be as intimidating as dealing with overwhelming financial concerns. Along with the monetary ramifications of similar issues, the burdens of debt could also have an impact on your health, as high levels of stress could prove physically and emotionally harmful.

With the importance you likely place on both your health and financial future, you may have decided to explore the available options for debt relief. However, you could be having trouble deciding on a path, as concerns about how filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit can weigh heavily upon you.

Abiding by a Chapter 13 repayment plan

When a debtor files for debt reorganization under Chapter 13, he or she hopes to create a repayment plan that a court approves in order to pay off debt and get back on track financially.

Once the court approves the plan, however, it is absolutely essential for the debtor to follow the plan if at all possible. If the debtor sets up the repayment plan and then fails to follow it, he or she may face even greater difficulties than those that motivated the bankruptcy in the first place.

Debtors have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

As a consumer, it is always wise to understand the rights you have under the law, especially when it comes to carrying consumer debt. As a consumer accrues debt, he or she may find that creditors and debt collectors are surprisingly willing to violate a consumer's rights in order to collect repayment. Many instances of this type of behavior are illegal, but still remain common practices in debt collection and reporting.

Among your rights as a debtor are your rights to fair and accurate credit reporting. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to

  • Know their credit score
  • Know what is contained in a credit file
  • Know any specific information in a credit report that resulted in a denied credit application
  • Dispute incorrect information within a credit file
  • Limit others access to a credit file

How does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protect debtors?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists to help ensure that consumer debtors do not suffer unfair treatment at the hands of debt collectors. Under the FDCPA, a person contacting a debtor to collect a debt must follow certain guidelines and avoid certain debt collection tactics. It is important to note that the FDCPA applies primarily to third party collectors and not always to original creditors.

Often, debtors forget that the people calling or otherwise contacting them to collect on debt are also people working jobs, and possibly not very satisfied with their choices. This strain can encourage poor judgment on the part of collectors, who may bend the rules to secure a payment. In general, collectors must

  • Identify themselves to the debtor every time they communicate
  • Identify the original debtor, including name and address
  • Acknowledge to the debtor that the communication is a debt collection attempt
  • Inform the debtor of his or her right to dispute the debt
  • Provide verification of the debt to the debtor
  • File a proper lawsuit in the proper venue

Financial pitfalls that may throw your money train off its tracks

Regardless of whether you live in Ohio or some other state, the ebb and flow of the nation's economy likely impacts your personal financial situation. Many other factors also play into your current financial status, which may change as quickly as the weather if unforeseen circumstances arise. For instance, you might change jobs and incur a reduction of income. You might get married, add to your family size or divorce. Each of these issues, as well as many others, may affect your finances either positively or negatively.

Although you can never predict with 100 percent accuracy what your future holds regarding finances, you may be able to take certain precautions or, at least prepare for a financial crisis if you know what types of problems tend to lead to major money trouble, as well as where to turn for support if you're finances take a nosedive.

What is the Chapter 13 hardship discharge?

When a debtor qualifies for a Chapter 13 debt reorganization, he or she may enjoy many protections through the bankruptcy. These include shelter from collections tactics.

Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which requires a debtor to forfeit his or her property to obtain a debt discharge, Chapter 13 allows debtors with sufficient income to repay all or a portion of their debt without forfeiting property. However, in some cases, a debtor undergoing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy falls on unexpected financial difficulties, and the repayment plan approved under bankruptcy is no longer feasible.