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Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyers — Where to Get Affordable Attorneys

by Roilee Mandeville

in Bankruptcy Basics

Are you curious to find out how many bankruptcy lawyers are there in Ohio? According to the Martindale-Hubbell database, there are 513 registered Ohio bankruptcy lawyers. 503 of these lawyers are in private practice. Only 169 are members of NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys). The data below provides a breakdown of how they are distributed locally.

Akron (44) Hamilton (1) Springboro (1)
Amherst (1) Holland (1) Springfield (1)
Avon (1) Kent (1) Stow (2)
Bryan (1) Lebanon (1) Swanton (1)
Canton (8) Lorain (1) Toledo (26)
Chardon (2) Marysville (2) Troy (3)
Cincinnati (115) Mason (6) Wadsworth (1)
Cleveland (134) Mayfield Heights (1) Warren (1)
Columbus (87) Medina (2) West Chester (1)
Cuyahoga Falls (2) Mentor (1) Westerville (5)
Dayton (28) Newark (1) Wilmington (3)
Dublin (2) Painesville (2) Xenia (2)
Fairborn (1) Piqua (1) Youngstown (10)
Findlay (4) Sidney (1) Zanesville (4)


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Be aware that a bankruptcy lawyer does not always represent a debtor. He or she can also be protecting the creditor’s rights such as collection lawyers. You should make sure the attorney you want to hire is a pro-consumer and not a pro-creditor.

Ohio Bankruptcy Statistics & Facts

Currently, Ohio has two bankruptcy districts — the northern and southern district. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of Ohio has courthouses in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Toledo and Youngstown. The Ohio Southern Bankruptcy Court has courthouses in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton.

In 2008, there are 56,722 personal bankruptcy filings in Ohio. This ranks Ohio to #4 when it comes to non-business bankruptcy filings. From January to April of 2009, the Northern District has 12,114 cases filed. This includes both business and personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 & 13). The Southern District has 10,509 cases filed. This includes Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 for both personal and business bankruptcy.

Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

You should always consult with your local attorney when it comes to exemptions. You cannot use federal exemptions in Ohio. You must use the state bankruptcy exemptions instead. Here are some interesting facts about the state exemptions in Ohio.

Under Ohio bankruptcy laws, you can have up to $20,200 on real or personal property used as residence. If you file together with your spouse, this will increase to $40,400. There are also insurance benefits that you can use to increase your exemption. Benevolent society benefits, disability, fraternal and other life insurance benefits are just a few of these exemptions.

For personal property like motor vehicles, the exemption is $3,250. There are also other properties like jewelry, household furnishings, appliances, household items and equipment that your lawyer can discuss with you.

Tools of trade like books used in profession or business has an exemption value of $2,025. Wild card exemption is $1,075 for any property. Make sure you consult your attorney about these exemptions. A good lawyer can help you maximize the benefit you can get from filing personal bankruptcy.

Cost of Filing Bankruptcy in Ohio

“How much does it cost to file bankruptcy in Ohio?” This is one of the frequently asked questions in bankruptcy. The filing fee for Chapter 7 is $299 while Chapter 13 is $274. Your lawyer should explain to you the details if you want to pay in installment. You can also waive the Chapter 7 filing fee if the bankruptcy trustee will allow you.

Your biggest expense is the legal fees. To give you an overview, look at the screen shot below from LegalZoom.

Fixed-fee bankruptcy lawyers from LegalZoom.

Fixed-fee bankruptcy filing in Ohio using LegalZoom to prepare your petition forms.

LegalZoom is popular for their fixed cost bankruptcy solutions. Actually, it’s a hybrid solution. You only pay them to prepare and file your finished documents. After that you will attend the 341 or Meeting of Creditors on your own. This makes the other half a do-it-yourself solution. Do note the above estimate is only good for filing Chapter 7 in Ohio. Filing Chapter 13 usually will cost a lot more and LegalZoom might not be the right solution for you. ( Warning: There is a possibility that using this service might cost more than hiring a lawyer. )

An alternative source to find a good lawyer is to use LegalMatch’s database of pre-screened Ohio bankruptcy attorneys. You’ll find good lawyers for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. It will only take you 15 minutes to present your case and you’ll get a response from interested lawyers within 24 hours. After that you simply compare the legal fees and select the best attorney your budget can afford.

Bankruptcy lawyers in Columbus, Ohio.

Find inexpensive lawyers and attorneys in Columbus, Ohio using LegalMatch.

The screen shot above is for finding bankruptcy lawyers in Columbus, OH. You can type any U.S. City or Zip Code to narrow your search but it’s better if you start with your own zip code.

Bankruptcy lawyer fees in Ohio

Ohio bankruptcy lawyer fees from LegalMatch. Typical fee is from $125-$250 an hour.

Continue with the form and you’ll arrive at the ‘Potential Cost Estimate’ page. This will give you four options to choose from. Selecting ‘1-5 years of experience’ will give you the typical fee of a bankruptcy lawyer in Ohio with early career experience. Selecting ‘6-15 years of experience’ will give you the hourly fee for mid-career experience. The ‘over 16 years of experience’ are for high-priced attorneys. These are veterans in the field of bankruptcy laws. It is up to you to select which one is the best for you. You can choose a cheap bankruptcy lawyer but make sure you hire the one with a few years of experience. It is better to select a lawyer who has successfully handled several cases in the past. Selecting the lowest-price at this stage might give you fewer or no response at all from lawyers.

Resources You Can Use to Find Bankruptcy Lawyers in Ohio

Here’s a recap of some useful resources to find an inexpensive bankruptcy attorney.

All the above resources will give you local pro-consumer bankruptcy lawyers.

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Current Topic: More useful bankruptcy information is available in Ohio Northern Bankruptcy Court and Ohio Southern Bankruptcy Court websites.

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