Bankruptcy Terms You Need To Know

We know filing for bankruptcy is complicated. Words will be used that you simply never heard of, or just are not sure what they mean. While we know you are aware of the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there may be terms you aren’t so well-versed in. The Columbus, Ohio bankruptcy firm Jones Law Firm knows how important it is that you know every element of your bankruptcy case from the small nuances to the final debt amount being discharged. We’re here to break down the bankruptcy terms* you need to know.

Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is the provision of the U.S. bankruptcy code which stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and all collection against the debtor once the bankruptcy petition has been filed.

Credit Counseling

There are two forms of credit counseling in bankruptcy. The first is a group or individual briefing that must occur before filing under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.

The second is an instructional course in personal finance management that you must complete when filing Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Discharge

Discharge refers to the release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor once the discharge has been issued.

Equity

Equity is the remaining value of the debtor’s interest in property once liens and other creditors’ interests are considered.

Garnishment

In a bankruptcy filing, the court may order your employer to withhold portions of your pay to send it to the person or entity which you owe money to. This is known as wage garnishment. A garnishment only remains in effect until the debt is paid. The only debts applicable to a wage garnishment include:

  • Child support
  • Student loans
  • Taxes
  • Any debts that have been the subject of a collections lawsuit

Judgment

A judgment is a legal determination that you owe debts.

Lien

In bankruptcy, a lien is the right to take, hold, or sell the debtor’s property as security or payment for a debt.

Means Test

In Ohio, the means test applies to Chapter 7 bankruptcy and determines if the individual filing for bankruptcy has a higher income than the median income of those similar size households.

Motion to Lift the Automatic Stay

The motion to lift the automatic stay is a request by a creditor to allow the creditor to take action against the debtor that would otherwise be banned during the automatic stay.

Objection to Dischargeability

When a trustee or creditor objects to the debtor being released of liability for certain debts, this is known as an objection to dischargeability.  

Common reasons for objection include:

  • The debt to be discharged was incurred by false pretenses
  • The debt arose because of the debtor’s fraud while acting as a fiduciary

341 Meeting

The 341 Meeting is a gathering of creditors required by the Bankruptcy Code where the debtor is questioned under oath by creditors, a trustee, examiner, or the U.S. trustee about his or her financial affairs.

* Some bankruptcy terms have been simplified based upon the Federal Judiciary glossary.

The terms of bankruptcy can be complicated. Let the Columbus, Ohio bankruptcy attorney Michael Ryan Jones assist you.

Bankruptcy in Columbus, Ohio: The Jones Law Firm

Columbus, Ohio attorney Michael Ryan Jones is committed to assisting individuals facing financial distress. If you live in the central and Columbus, Ohio region, The Jones Law Firm is here to help you navigate the bankruptcy process. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Michael Ryan Jones

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Michael Ryan Jones is committed to assisting individuals facing financial distress. He has helped hundreds of clients achieve a financial fresh start by filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you hire The Jones Law Firm, you can be assured that Michael will personally assist you every step of the way.
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