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Archive for July, 2012

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia

Chapter 13 bankruptcy Attorney Matthew Cherney

Matthew Cherney explains Georgia Chapter 13 Law. Cherney Law Firm specializes in helping people with chapter 13 bankruptcy.

 

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia is a court supervised payment plan to repay debt. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay some or all of their debts. To do this, debtors propose a plan to make installment payments over 3 to 5 years. The amount of time for payments on the chapter 13 plan depend on the debtors monthly income. If the debtors monthly income is less than the median income level, the payment plan will be 3 years. There are exceptions that will allow for a longer payment plan, for this the court must approve “cause”. If the debtor’s monthly income is greater than the median income, the payment plan will generally be for 5 years. Regardless of the debtor’s income level, no payment plan shall exceed 5 years.

 

Restructure Debt with Chapter 13

If a person meets the proper criteria, Chapter 13 is a fantastic way to restructure debt, while holding on to the things that most hold dear. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and are considering filing for Chapter 13, call our office to schedule your free consultation. We can help you navigate this stressful and tough legal process.

 

How much debt is paid back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

There are several factors that determine how much debt a person is required to pay back in a Chapter 13 plan. One of these factors is the amount of secured versus unsecured debt. In a Chapter 13 plan, secured and priority debts are paid back at 100% (this consists of, but is not limited to: financed vehicles, home mortgage arrears, certain income tax debt and domestic support obligations). Unsecured debt, on the other hand, need not always be paid back in full.

If a person meets the proper criteria, Chapter 13 is a fantastic way to restructure debt, while holding on to the things that most hold dear. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and are considering filing for Chapter 13, call our office to schedule your free consultation. We can help you navigate this stressful and tough legal process.

 

Bankruptcy in Georgia: How Chapter 13 Works

The Chapter 13 case is a repayment plan, where the debtor will pay back a portion of his or her debt over a period of 36 to 60 months. During the Chapter 13 plan, a debtor makes monthly payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee, who is appointed to oversee and administer the debtor’s Chapter 13 case. Chapter 13 is appropriate for those who would like to restructure their debt, while at the same time protecting certain assets like a vehicle or home.

Other factors that determine how much debt a person is required to pay back in a Chapter 13 plan are specific to your state. In Georgia, if you are single with no dependents, no assets and your annual gross income is less than $49,404.00, you need only pay a small amount of your unsecured debt, if anything at all. The annual gross income level increases based on a debtor’s household size.

 

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia

To be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia, the individual must have a regular source of monthly income. Said income can include wages, self employment income, social security, pension or other sources of income which are regular in nature (including assistance from family members).

Do I Need an Attorney to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia?

You do not need an Attorney to file for chapter 13 in Georgia, however, it is a very meticulous task and having an attorney offers many great advantages.  An attorney knows the Georgia bankruptcy laws because that is what they do everyday. If you decide to file bankruptcy by yourself and you fill out any forms incorrectly or miss a step in the filing process, you run the risk of the trustee requesting that your chapter 13 being denied. An attorney will make sure that all paperwork and forms are filed correctly and they will be able to answer any questions and provide coaching for you throughout your case.

Automatic Stay

An Automatic stay is put into effect the moment you file for bankruptcy. It is a temporary  legal injunction from the federal courts prohibiting your creditors from  pursuing debt collection from you.  Creditors will no longer be able to attempt to collect debt from you. This includes wage garnishments, home foreclosure, vehicle repossession, child support, credit card collections and vehicle repossessions. It immediately gives financial relief to the debtor and gives a peace of mind.

Chapter 13 Means Test in Georgia

The Chapter 13 means test has you list all of your income and all of your debts to see what your monthly disposable income is. Disposable income is determined after allowable expenses like food, clothing, gas , and other essentials. The Georgia bankruptcy courts also use the means test to determine if you are above or below the state median income. Most of the time, if you are below the median income a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a better option, unless you want to keep things like your home and car,  in which a chapter 13 can help you do that.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Before you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in Georgia, you must first take a credit counseling course. This is an online course and it covers many topics about debt and spending. If you have an attorney, they will provide you with a reputable online credit counseling company that they use and they will answer any questions or concerns that you may have before hand. You will also be required to take another credit counseling course at the conclusion of your chapter 13, This is usually done with the same credit counseling agency that you used before you filed.

 

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee Georgia

After filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will assign you a trustee. It is the trustee’s job to administer your case. They will examine your proposed repayment plan to make sure that it complies with all legal requirements. They will collect payments from the plan and distribute them accordingly to your creditors.

The trustee does not work for or against the debtor or creditor. They have many rights that can be exercised for or against either one. They ensure that the debtor fulfills all of their obligations throughout the process and makes timely payments. The trustee is not paid by the state or any taxing bodies. The trustee is paid through your payment plan, a percentage of every payment goes to the trustee.

 

 Georgia 341 Creditors Meeting

All debtors who have filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy case in Georgia will have to attend a 341 meeting.  It is also sometimes referred to a creditors meeting because both the trustee and the creditors can attend. They can ask you questions about your finances, assets and the paperwork that you have submitted. The meeting is mandatory and you must attend. Your attorney can be present but cannot answer questions on your behalf. Creditors rarely show up for these meetings but do have the right to be there.

 

Georgia Bankruptcy Courts

If you are filing for any kind of bankruptcy in Georgia, you must file in the jurisdiction that you live in. There are 3 bankruptcy jurisdictions in Georgia, the Northern District Court, Middle District Court and the Southern District Court. Each one has its own boundaries and serves various counties in their district. The information on the website for each district is important If you are filing chapter 13 without an attorney. It will explain the Chapter 13 process, as well as paperwork that needs to be submitted and instructions on how to do so.

If you are filing chapter 13 with an attorney, they will have all of that information and will assist you through the whole process. All of the complicated preparation and paperwork will be done on your behalf.

 

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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Discharge

A Chapter 13 discharge is when a debtor completes their 3 to 5 year chapter 13 repayment plan. At this point, all of the debts in the plan are “discharged” and the debtor no longer has to pay.

Since I am licensed to practice bankruptcy in Georgia and Illinois, I have had the unique opportunity of examining consumer bankruptcy law in both jurisdictions. While each jurisdiction differs greatly in many respects, one constant remains: bankruptcy provides people a financial fresh start. A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws is to provide everyone a financial fresh start. This goal is accomplished through a bankruptcy discharge. A debtor that files for bankruptcy can obtain a discharge in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

Georgia Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQs

Can a Chapter 13 stop foreclosure in Georgia

When you file for a chapter 13 in Georgia, an automatic stay is immediately put in place that will stop your creditors from collecting debt and save you from foreclosure. Once your bankruptcy plan is accepted, You can repay any late payments or arrears over a 3 to 5 year repayment plan but you still have to make regular mortgage payments. Saving your home from foreclosure is one of the main reasons people choose to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

Will a chapter 13 stop wage garnishment in Georgia?

Once you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia it will stop wage garnishments immediately from creditors through what is called an automatic stay.

Can I keep my car if I file for Chapter 13 in Georgia

You may keep your car in a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. You will make your payments to the chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee and any late payments or arrears that you owe are included in the repayment plan.

 

Contact our Attorneys at Cherney Law Firm For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia

If you have any questions about filing for chapter 13 in Georgia or you would like to know more about how chapter 13 can help you, fell free to call us at 770.485.4290 anytime or you can fill out our contact form below.

How much will a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cost in Georgia?

There is a filing fee of $310.00. This must be paid whether you use an attorney or not. If you use Cherney Law Firm, you will only need this $310.00 up front and your credit report. Any other fees that are agreed upon are included in your chapter 13 repayment plan.

FREE Consultation

We offer free consultations for everyone. This means that it will cost you nothing to find out if bankruptcy is right for you or not. Many of our clients only regret is that they did not contact us sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to My Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy Law Information

If you are seeking information and insight into bankruptcy law in the state of Georgia, you have come to the right place. In the near future, Cherney Law Firm, LLC will be posting informative blogs and helpful reviews on news articles, current events, and other areas relative to bankruptcy. It is vitally important for you to educate yourself on your financial situation and how bankruptcy may or may not be the best option for you, so be sure to check back soon for my first post. Until then, feel free to browse my firm’s website and review all of the informative pages for helpful facts, or call my firm today for a free initial consultation.