Frequently Asked Questions
- I need to file for bankruptcy. What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- What debt will bankruptcy not erase?
- I was injured at work. What should I do?
- I've been arrested. What are some of the things I should do?
- What are the things I should not do if I'm arrested?
- Am I eligible to receive Social Security Disability?
- How do I apply for Social Security Disability?
Q. I need to file for bankruptcy. What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A. Under the federal bankruptcy statute, a discharge is a release of the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer required by law to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge operates as a permanent order directed to the creditors of the debtor that they refrain from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts. Although a debtor is relieved of personal liability for all debts that are discharged, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.
Q. What debt will bankruptcy not erase?
A. * money owed for child support or alimony, fines, and some taxes;
* debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition;
* loans you got by knowingly giving false information to a creditor, who reasonably relied on it in making you the loan;
* debts resulting from "willful and malicious" harm;
* student loans owed to a school or government body, except if:-- the court decides that payment would be an undue hardship;
* mortgages and other liens which are not paid in the bankruptcy case (but bankruptcy will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).
Q. I was injured at work. What should I do?
A. If you are injured at work, you should immediately complete and file a written accident report with your employer. You should also file a First Report of Injury with the Ohio Bureau of Workersâ€™ Compensation (â€śBWCâ€ť) as soon as possible. The First Report of Injury form may be completed and filed by an injured worker, a treating physician, or the injured workerâ€™s employer of record.
Many claims, however, are contested by either the employer or the BWC. If a workersâ€™ compensation claim is contested, the BWC will refer the matter to the Industrial Commission of Ohio for a hearing. A hearing notice will be provided to the injured worker, the employer, and their authorized representatives. In some cases, a BWC attorney will also appear on behalf of the BWC at Industrial Commission hearings. If an injured worker receives a hearing notice, their claim (or an issue arising under the claim) has been contested. In such cases, the injured worker may wish to retain legal counsel.
Q. I've been arrested. What are some of the things I should do?
A. * Remain silent - you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you and anything you say can be used against you in court
* Be polite and respectful towards the police officer(s)
* Remain calm
* Contact your attorney or ask for one and don't say anything until they are present
* Try to remember the badge numbers of any officers you are involved with, as well as their patrol car number(s)
* Make sure that your attorney is present for any questioning
* Make sure that your attorney is present for any lineups or testing (such as drawing a blood sample)
* Let your attorney deal with the police and any prosecutors, especially if they offer you some kind of deal
* If you are injured, be sure to take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible and get medical attention
* Try to find witnesses and get their contact information (name, phone number)
Q. What are the things I should not do if I'm arrested?
A. * Do not say anything about the incident to the police.
* Do not mouth off to the police or do anything to upset them.
* Do not attempt to run from the police-you will likely be caught and it will not look good in court.
* Do not say anything about the incident to anyone besides your lawyer (this includes cellmates if you are in jail).
* Do not give the police permission to search anything.
* Do not resist arrest , even if you are innocent, resisting arrest can lead to increased charges. In particular, do not touch the officers in any way.
* Do not believe the things the police tell you in order to get you to talk -the police are allowed to lie to you and often times will tell you it will be easier on you if you just tell the truth. It will only make it easier for the police to prove their case.
* If the police come to your home, do not let them in unless they have a warrant and do not go outside. It may be that they need an arrest warrant to arrest you in your home and if you go outside, you may be arrested without a warrant.
* If the police arrest you outside your home, do not allow any officer to go into your home to get clothes, talk to your wife, etc. If you accept, the police will escort you into your home and begin to search it without a warrant. The same applies to your car.
Q. Am I eligible to receive Social Security Disability?
A. In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must have worked for five of the last 10 years and are currently unable to work because of a verifiable mental or physical impairment. Secondly, you must not be gainfully employed and can no longer do your job because of an illness or injury. The last criteria for applying for Social Security disability is that you must possess a disability which has lasted or is expected to last 12 months or more and prevents you from return to your job.
Q. How do I apply for Social Security Disability?
A. You must contact your local Social Security office and inform them that you wish to apply for disability benefits. They will take information from you and process your application. It is best to seek the advice of a social security disability attorney before filing.