Quick Contact Form

Proud to be rated as one of
Cleveland's Top Rated Lawyers of 2014
for Bankruptcy Law
Irving S. Bergrin LPA Co
AV Preeminent Lawyer Cleveland

Bankruptcy Lawyers Accredited Business

Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney in Northeast Ohio


If financial hardship has you feeling overwhelmed, filing for consumer bankruptcy may be able to give you the relief you need to get your life back on track. If you need help filing for bankruptcy in Cleveland or elsewhere in northeastern Ohio, attorney Irving S. Bergin is here for you. With over 42 years of experience, attorney Bergin will be able to inform you of all of your legal options and get you the most from your bankruptcy case.

Consumer Bankruptcy 101

Individuals with primarily consumer debt (debt from purchasing personal and household goods) can file for consumer bankruptcy to discharge their overwhelming financial obligations. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are two chapters under consumer bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy. In these cases, all non-exempt property is sold, and the proceeds get distributed amongst creditors that filed the appropriate claims. The process allows debtors to be relieved from their legal obligation to all past debts within 4-6 months.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is attractive because it offers quick relief from all or most of your debts. However, eligibility for this chapter is dependent on Ohio's "Means Test," which determines if debtors have enough money to repay some of their debts. If your disposable income is low enough, you can wipe out your debts altogether under Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

On the other hand, Chapter 13 is a debt-reorganization bankruptcy. The debt gets restructured according to the debtor's income, and a repayment plan in negotiated to have the reduced debt paid over a 3-5 year period. If debtors fulfill their bankruptcy requirements, a discharge is available at the end of the repayment plan.

Chapter 13 provides benefits not offered under Chapter 7 liquidation. Chapter 13 is better suited for individuals who want to keep their property and negotiate a new repayment plan to repay their reduced debt over time. For instance, Chapter 13 can be used to stop foreclosure proceedings and allows homeowners to negotiate an affordable mortgage payment plan with their creditors.

Consulting your case with an attorney can give you a better understanding of which chapter of consumer bankruptcy is best for your specific financial situation.

What Consumer Bankruptcy Cannot Do

Bankruptcy is a powerful remedy for severe financial hardship, but it is not the solution to every debt problem. For instance, bankruptcy eliminates debt, not liens. Bankruptcy cannot stop creditors from repossessing your property if it is for a secured debt that you cannot repay. There are also nondischargeable debts that cannot be wiped out by bankruptcy. These debts include obligations for domestic duties, student loans, fraudulent liabilities, and payments for a criminal sentence.

Attorney Irving S. Bergrin Helps Clients in Akron, Cleveland, and the Surrounding Areas

Bankruptcy may be the perfect tool to repair your financial situation. However, filing alone can be a tremendous challenge. If you're submitting a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy in northeastern Ohio, attorney Irving S. Bergin can help. With over two decades of experience, attorney Bergin knows how to get clients the most from their bankruptcy cases. He was rated the highest level of professional excellence by his peers because he gets results. Get started on your path to financial recovery, and call today to schedule a free consultation.

Other Practice Areas