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Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Types of Bankruptcy?

There are two common forms of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows for a clean slate and allows you to reaffirm on your home and/or vehicle. A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to propose a repayment plan to make payments to creditors over three to five years. Deciding which is best depends on your individual situation.

Fogt Law focuses only on Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 discharges (eliminates) most or all consumer and/or business debts. It is over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit quickly.

Chapter 7 is likely your best option if you cannot afford to pay credit card bills, medical bills, utilities, certain loans, or if creditors are or attempting to collect.  

Attorney and Filing Fees?

We understand your financial position and charge accordingly. The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Ohio Southern District Court is $335.00.

How Does My Marriage Impact the Bankruptcy?

You and your spouse can file a joint bankruptcy or you can file as individuals. Whichever option you choose, will likely impact your spouse though. There are pros and cons to both options. Considering whether debt is individual or joint as well as future financial goals can help determine whether to file jointly or as an individual.

Our office will review these issues with you and help you make the best choice for your situation.


Can I Keep My Home and/or Vehicle in a Bankruptcy?

Typically, you can keep your home and vehicle(s). With a chapter 7, you have the opportunity to keep your home, depending on whether your mortgage is current and other factors.The same is true if you have car payments. You are in a better position to keep your car if you own it. We will discuss these issues and others and advise you accordingly.

Does Bankruptcy Affect My Social Security or Retirement Benefits?

Social Security is a protected asset and will not be considered income, but may be considered when determining whether you can pay certain debt.

Typically, retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs and defined-benefit plans are protected assets though the amount protected may be capped. Pensions to a certain amount are typically exempt too.

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Employment?

By law, an employer cannot terminate you because of bankruptcy. However, certain employers might check your credit score before offering you a job in the future.

How Does a Bankruptcy Impact My Credit Score?

A bankruptcy does negatively affect your credit score for awhile, however your credit score will recover quickly. This is because most of your debt has been discharged and your income-to-debt ratio has improved. We can advise clients on how best to rebuild their credit after bankruptcy. 

Is there an Alternative to Bankruptcy?

Yes, sometimes it is best to negotiate with creditors directly. Creditors are likely to agree to a lump sum payment if you can pay 50-70% of the debt. Also, creditors will often accept payments for less than the monthly amount they are seeking. Fogt Law has helped many clients this way for years.

Fogt Law Can Help

Attorney Christopher Fogt will guide you throughout the process. He will stop the annoying phone calls from collections agencies, and prepare and file all legal documents with the court. Attorney Fogt has the knowledge, experience, and skill to make sure you have a fresh financial start. 


Fogt Law Office is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Dayton, OH