What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
You might be facing unending medical bills, credit card debts, and personal loans. The debts keep piling up, and your creditors are beginning to make your life a living hell. You work hard every day of each month, but your earnings barely make a dent in the mountain of existing debt.
Wage garnishment can help offset some of your debts, but is what’s left enough to sustain you till the next paycheck? You might need help securing a fresh financial start if the answer is no.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called wage earner’s bankruptcy or a wage earner’s plan. It applies to those who earn a monthly income even while the bankruptcy process is ongoing. This procedure allows you to repay your debts over time with a court-approved repayment plan.
How Atlanta Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Works
When most people think of bankruptcy, they think of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where you lose most of your possessions, and the remainder of your debts are written off. It is heartbreaking to work hard for years to acquire properties only to fall into terrible financial circumstances and risk their loss in foreclosure proceedings. These are some of the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
Asset protection: It protects the assets you worked so hard to acquire from forfeiture due to unpaid debt. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you get to keep more of your assets, and some of your unsecured debts are discharged. You can even stop wage garnishments.
Repayment plan: Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not wipe away all your debts. Instead, it mandates a repayment plan that allows you to pay off your different debts within 3-5 years.
Co-signer liability is reduced: It reduces the liabilities faced by any co-signers on your debts, offering them more protection than filing Chapter 7 in Atlanta. This is an excellent way to protect your loved ones who might have helped you guarantee a loan.
Note that some debts are considered priority debts and must be paid before others. Ensure you capture this in your repayment plan. Such priority debts include overdue child support and outstanding tax bills. Otherwise, you can pick the order your debts are paid off.
Why You Need Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Atlanta
The bankruptcy process can be long and may drain you emotionally before it is completed. Atlanta Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys can help you throughout the process and ensure you get the debt relief you deserve.
You might be wondering, “Why should I hire an attorney to file bankruptcy petitions on my behalf when I can do it myself for free?” The short answer to this question is that the benefits of hiring a bankruptcy attorney far outweigh the cost.
Bankruptcy attorneys understand the bankruptcy code and have what it takes to help you prepare for your case and get favorable results.
A bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy and determine the most appropriate approach for you.
At such a critical moment, you will likely need professional guidance and someone to hold your hand through the process. Establishing an attorney-client relationship can lessen your burden even as you work towards a debt-free reality.
How a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You
Getting out of debt is easier when you hire a lawyer because of their experience. Their extensive experience helps you in the several ways, including:
Getting legal advice can enable you to decide if bankruptcy is the right course of action. A Chapter 13 lawyer can also guide you on the bankruptcy option that would be a good fit for you.
All eligible debts can be eliminated with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer can save time because you do not have to deal with paperwork or filing procedures.
Bankruptcy lawyers often establish relationships with judges, trustees, and the bankruptcy court, which is usually an advantage for you. Lawyers are also able to negotiate with creditors in certain circumstances.
Creditors and collection agencies cannot harass you because you can refer them to your legal representation.
Overall, lawyers offer you peace of mind and protection from uncertainty. They deal with the nitty-gritty so that you don’t have to.
Cost of Hiring a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Atlanta GA
The filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia is $313. However, this is just the bankruptcy filing fee and does not include related expenses such as attorney fees. Attorneys generally charge clients based on their location, practice areas, size of their firm, the complexity of the case, and additional services the law firm provides you. Similarly, an Atlanta Chapter 13 lawyer will charge you based on these factors.
If you choose to work with bankruptcy lawyers throughout the process, you would need to discuss fees during the initial consultation.
Contact Us at Cherney Law Firm
Do you need legal representation for your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case? Our skilled Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys can give your case the attention it deserves. We can help you weigh all your options and if filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option, we are ready to hold your hand from the first step to the last.
If Chapter 13 is the right fit for you, we can help you devise a repayment plan that will place you back on the road to financial health while meeting all legal obligations. The quality of the repayment plan you submit is the most significant contributing factor to whether you are granted a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Matthew Cherney is an experienced bankruptcy attorney with a thorough understanding of Atlanta bankruptcy law. He can help you if you feel that the bankruptcy process is too overwhelming or complicated for you.
Visit or call our law firm to take advantage of the free consultation we offer. Let us help you get back to financial freedom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
To qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have a monthly income and an amount of debt that falls within the requirements of Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. You might also wish to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:
You feel a moral obligation to avoid filing for Chapter 7.
You have significant home equity and do not want to risk foreclosure.
You have a car or any other asset you do not want to be repossessed.
What Happens After Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Several things happen after a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Atlanta. They include the following:
You will get the much-needed debt relief which would give you a fresh start.
Your credit score would fall. However, there are ways to get it back up with the help of your bankruptcy attorney, who can help you understand bankruptcy and offer the necessary guidance. Understanding bankruptcy can help you stay on course and get your life and finances back on track once your bankruptcy is discharged.
You are no longer legally obligated to pay certain unsecured debts such as medical bills, credit card debt, payday loans, or personal loans.
How Do I Know When My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is Over?
Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is over when you have fulfilled the specific requirements given by the court. You must finish paying off your debts by the stipulated deadline. Once you complete the repayment plan, the bankruptcy trustee will submit the final repayment distribution report to the court.
The court will then make the discharge order, dismiss the trustee and close the case. Remember that the discharge order will also wipe out any remaining unsecured debt. So you must comply strictly with the terms of your repayment plan.