How Much Does it Cost to File Bankruptcy in Atlanta?

Filing for Bankruptcy


Filing for BankruptcyMany people deal with significant hardships in life. They may consider filing for bankruptcy when faced with challenging situations and overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps relieve individuals and businesses of their debt to provide peace of mind and a fresh start. Besides which Atlanta bankruptcy attorney to hire, most people will want to know the total cost of filing for bankruptcy in Atlanta.


How Much Is it to File for Bankruptcy in Georgia?


When considering filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia, the filing fee is not the only cost you will incur. Overall, bankruptcy costs include:

  • Filing fees
  • Fees for obtaining credit reports for credit reporting agencies
  • Costs of getting the correct bankruptcy forms
  • Charges to attend mandatory credit counseling and debtor education courses
  • Attorneys fees


Who Pays the Cost of Bankruptcy?


Who Pays the Cost of BankruptcyThe bankruptcy petitioner pays the attorney fees, all bankruptcy fees, and court costs. Bankruptcy attorneys charge clients a flat fee or an hourly rate. Fees and rates vary depending on location, case complexity, and the law firm’s additional services. Attorneys in larger firms in a city will have higher rates than a smaller firm in a suburban location.

If you are self-employed or a partner in a business, your case may be more complicated. As the complexity and amount of work required for cases filed increase, so do rates and fees. An Atlanta bankruptcy lawyer will charge you based on these factors.

Most bankruptcy lawyers will provide you with a free bankruptcy evaluation. A way to determine how much it costs to file bankruptcy in Atlanta is to schedule an initial consultation and ask for an estimate.


Does the Type of Bankruptcy Affect the Cost?


Yes. Bankruptcy in Georgia involves two types of bankruptcy for a consumer, with different factors affecting the cost.


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process can be filed in a short time (90 to 180 days). People with overwhelming personal loans, credit card bills, medical bills, lawsuit judgments, wage garnishments, or foreclosure balances can permanently discharge debts in Chapter 7. Debts not covered under Chapter 7 include child support obligations, alimony, college debts, and some taxes.


How Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 in Georgia?

To be eligible for Chapter 7, you must:

  • Not have had a bankruptcy filing for more than eight years, and
  • Pass the Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test. The means test is for courts to see if a debtor has the means to settle their debts in full. The means test examines your expenses and disposable household income relative to what you owe.

Costs for a Chapter 7 filing include:

  • Filing Fee of $338
  • Reports for All Credit Report Agencies
  • A mandatory Credit Counseling fee ranges between $10 and $50
  • Mandatory Debtor Education course fees range between $10 and $50
  • Fees for a bankruptcy law firm to represent you


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is a longer-term (three to five-year) repayment plan for debts. Chapter 13 will stop foreclosure on your home, repossession of your car, and wage garnishment. It is designed for people who have a steady income but need more time to bring their mortgage payments, car loan payments, and child support payments current. The plan allows the debtor to pay their credit card bills, medical bills, personal or finance company loans, and even IRS tax debt based on what they can afford.


How Do you qualify for Chapter 13 in Georgia?

To be eligible for Chapter 13, you must:

  • Be an individual consumer.
  • Have unsecured debts of less than $394,725.
  • Have secured debts not more than $1,184,200.
  • Have completed credit counseling within the previous 180 days.

Chapter 13 repayment plans are income-driven, requiring the borrower to repay the debts under supervision from the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy cost for a Chapter 13 filing includes:

  • Filing Fee of $313
  • Reports for All Credit Report Agencies
  • A mandatory Credit Counseling fee ranges between $10 and $50
  • A bankruptcy lawyer‘s fees


In a Georgia Bankruptcy, Will I Lose All My Assets?


In a Georgia BankruptcyUnder Georgia law, you may qualify for bankruptcy exemptions for Chapter 7, which means many people can file for bankruptcy and keep certain assets. The assets you may keep are determined by state law and usually include your home, a motor vehicle, and your retirement plans. A Chapter 13 filing does not require the sale of any assets.


What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy in Georgia?


Before filing the bankruptcy petition with the court, you must complete a mandatory credit counseling course. A credit counselor will assess your finances and goals, provide you with an overview of the different forms of debt relief, and help you determine which solution is right for you.

To file for bankruptcy in Georgia, a debtor or their attorney must complete all relevant national bankruptcy forms required under federal law. In Atlanta, you will also need to submit certain local forms depending on your district. Atlanta is in the Northern district.

Once the bankruptcy forms are filed, an Automatic Stay of any creditor actions is in force. No more harassing collection calls! Wage garnishment, foreclosure, repossession, and other credit actions will cease.

The mandatory 341 meeting of creditors is between the bankruptcy filer, the bankruptcy trustee, and sometimes the creditors. It’s an informal hearing. The purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to verify the bankruptcy filer’s identity and for the trustee and any interest creditors to ask questions about the information in your bankruptcy petition. Your bankruptcy attorney may attend, but you must answer the questions.

You must complete a debtor education course within 60 days of the 341 meeting to receive your Georgia bankruptcy discharge. This is a financial management course.


Can You File Bankruptcy for Free if You File Yourself?


Can You File Bankruptcy for Free if You File YourselfYes. However, those who file for bankruptcy by themselves usually end up paying more money than they save. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a complicated process. If it is a convenience you are after, consider working with a local bankruptcy lawyer that will help you file for bankruptcy from your home.


How Can an Attorney Help a Person Considering Filing for Bankruptcy?


A bankruptcy attorney can review your case, present debt relief options, and advise whether filing for bankruptcy is in your best interest. Reasons to hire a bankruptcy lawyer:

  • Bankruptcy filings involve complex document preparation and focused knowledge of current bankruptcy laws.
  • One mistake on a bankruptcy filing form can result in a denial of your bankruptcy petition.
  • The nationwide database of bankruptcy forms includes over 45 forms for different situations. An attorney will know the appropriate forms to use for your case.
  • To protect your financial interests, you must work effectively with court officials, trustees, and creditors. A bankruptcy attorney works with these professionals daily and knows the ins and outs of the process.
  • You are only allowed one Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing every eight years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy also has limits on how soon you can file again. Without the proper legal representation and advice, you may waste the opportunity a bankruptcy filing offers.


Cherney Law for Bankruptcy Help!


Cherney Law for Bankruptcy HelpYou’ll receive personal attention when you work with a Cherokee County bankruptcy lawyer at Cherney Law Firm, LLC. We investigate every option for debt relief for a client before advising them to file for bankruptcy.

We will guide and support you with quality legal advice, proper documentation, and experienced court representation through the entire bankruptcy process. Don’t stress about overwhelming debt! Get a fresh start.

Establish an attorney-client relationship with a competent bankruptcy attorney with a thorough understanding of Atlanta Bankruptcy law. Call us at 770-874-1208 or complete the contact form to receive a free consultation or online case evaluation.

Contact US

You may call us directly at 770-485-4141, or you can fill out the form and we will contact you. Feel free to ask us any questions that you might have. Make sure to indicate whether you would like an e-mail or a call back

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