Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the State Of Georgia

Chapter 7 bankruptcy information for Georgia - Attorney Matthew Cherney

Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney

In Georgia, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is legal proceeding asking the courts to discharge your debts. If successful, most unsecured debts will be forgiven, and the debtor gets a “fresh start”.  Once a chapter 7 is completed, the debtor is free of major debt. There are assets that you may be able to keep during and after your bankruptcy. How you structure your bankruptcy can have a major impact on the results that you get.

The State of Georgia has three United States Bankruptcy Court districts

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Ga.

Once you figure out which district you are living in, it is time to file.  There are two ways that you can do this in Georgia, you can file by yourself or you can hire an attorney to file for chapter 7 for you.

How to File for Chapter 7 by Yourself in Georgia

If you are confident in yourself and would like to file for chapter 7 on your own, there are many resources that will help you in the state of Georgia. There are online guides from companies like Upsolve, or you can go to the State of Georgia Bankruptcy  website to find out information on the forms that you need.

Hiring an Attorney to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia

If you are uncomfortable with all of the paperwork and ramifications of improperly filing for chapter 7 by yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you. Hiring an attorney has a distinct advantage because that is what they do. An attorney will know all of the Georgia bankruptcy laws and can prepare and file all the needed paperwork on your behalf. They are also available to answer any questions throughout and even after your bankruptcy is discharged.

Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions

The purpose of filing for bankruptcy is to achieve debt relief in order to rebuild a sense of financial security.  In Georgia, exemptions in chapter 7 are very important. It is nearly impossible to do so if everything you own is taken from you during bankruptcy. Many people assume that you must lose everything including things such as your finances, your home, and your car when you file, but this is not true. According to United States Code §522, a person who files for bankruptcy may request certain exemptions, including interest on home loans and vehicles, any life insurance policies that have no yet matured, and other such assets.

It is important to note that some states will allow the person filing to choose between using Federal exemptions or state exemptions. The State of Georgia does not allow you to do this. You must use Georgia state exemptions. There are a few instances that you may be able to use federal non bankruptcy exemptions.

Some of the most common Georgia bankruptcy exemptions are :

  • Homestead
  • Vehicle
  • Wages
  • Personal

What happens to your property?

When you file for a chapter 7, you will most likely have to give up anything that isn’t exempt under Georgia law. The bankruptcy trustee will liquidate any non-exempt assets to pay your creditors.

Georgia Chapter 7 Means Test

 what is the Georgia Chapter 7 Means Test

The first step in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to take a means test. Unless there is proof that you cannot afford to repay your debt based on your income and other factors, you cannot file under this chapter. Your income will be measured against the median income of a family living in your state that is comparable in size to your own family.

Median Income for Chapter 7 in Georgia

If your average income from the last 6 months is less than or equal to the median income, you will be considered eligible for Chapter 7.

In cases where your income is too high for Chapter 7, the court will determine how much disposable income you have in order to pay off some or all of your debt in a Chapter 13 plan should you choose to go that route. The court looks at your income and subtracts debt payments, living expenses and any other required payments to see what amount you can feasibly pay off each month.

Once a means test proves that you are eligible and you come up clean in all of the other areas determining eligibility, you must fill out all necessary forms and petition for property exemptions so that you can keep any necessary items, such as furniture or your car. This process is not simple, and a mistake could cause further harm, so make sure that you retain an educated Georgia bankruptcy attorney with years of experience in Chapter 7 laws and procedures. With such legal assistance, discharging your debt could result in the financial freedom that you’ve been dreaming of achieving.

Chapter 7 Credit Counseling

If you have taken the means test and it has determined that you are eligible for Chapter 7, the next step before you file is to take a pre filing credit counseling course. These courses are online and your attorney can usually provide you with the information on where it can be taken. After your bankruptcy has been discharged, you will also be required to take another credit counseling course. This is usually done with the same credit counseling agency that you used before you filed for your bankruptcy.

Georgia Bankruptcy Laws:

The state of Georgia has laws that will protect debtors from debt collectors, one of the most important is the Automatic stay.

Automatic Stay With Chapter 7

As soon as you file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia, an automatic stay is imposed. The Automatic stay prevents creditors from pursuing any collection efforts from that moment forward. This includes taking legal action against you. Although the automatic stay is considered temporary, it will protect the debtor from creditors the whole time until the chapter 7 is discharged. At that point it will be no longer needed because once the Chapter 7 is discharged in Georgia, the debt is gone forever, Creditors can no longer attempt to collect the debts that have been discharged.

Chapter 7 Trustee in Georgia

You will be assigned a Georgia Chapter 7 Trustee

Once you have successfully filed for chapter 7, one of the next steps in the process is a court appointed trustee will be assigned to your case.  It is the Trustee’s job to overlook your case and go through all off the paperwork and details to make sure that there is no fraud. The Trustee will also assist in the liquidation of your assets.

It is important that all of your paperwork is  filled out correctly and that you list all of your assets. The trustee just wants to make sure that all assets will be distributed correctly. If the trustee somehow finds out that you are hiding assets, he can ask the court to deny or revoke your discharge.

Georgia Bankruptcy – The 341 Meeting

Once a trustee is assigned to your case, a 341 meeting will be scheduled. The purpose of the 341 meeting is to let the Trustee go through the paperwork you have filed. He will ask you questions about your debt and assets. Your attorney will be present with you during this meeting but cannot answer questions on your behalf. Creditors can also attend the meeting but they usually do not. It is mandatory that you appear to answer questions from the trustee about your case.   The questions asked by the trustee are all about the paperwork that you have filed. It is very important that you are honest with all of your answers. If you chose to hire an attorney, they will prepare you with everything that you need to know about what to expect at you 341 creditors meeting.

Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge

 Last step is a Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge

A chapter 7 discharge is a permanent order from the court prohibiting creditors from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts. This includes legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts. While the debtor already had any temporary collection attempts halted with an automatic stay, the discharge is permanent.

The Courts will give the debtors creditors ample time (about 60 days from the 341 meeting) to file any objections. After that period has elapsed, they will send you a letter stating that your chapter 7 bankruptcy has been discharged.

Convert from chapter 13 to a chapter 7 in Georgia

Many times when a person is in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, they will be unable to keep up with their payment plan. When this happens, it is possible to convert from a chapter 13 to a chapter 7.

Tricks for Filing Chapter 7 in Georgia

There really are no tricks to filing for bankruptcy in the state of Georgia. Ir really has to do with whether you qualify or not. If you are in a situation that you think you may not qualify for chapter 7, you can always speak to your attorney about a chapter 13. By taking the means test, you will be able to see if you qualify for a chapter 7 or a chapter 13.

We are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney’s in Georgia

Cherney Law Firm Can help you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  We have 3 locations in the Atlanta, Georgia area and serve all of the cities in the Atlanta Metro area.

If you are considering whether a chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you and you live in the state of Georgia, fell free to contact Cherney Law Firm. We are only a phone call or e-mail away and we can answer any questions that you have.  Cherney Law has handled thousands of bankruptcies in Georgia. We have seen every situation, there is no need to feel shame, we are here to help.

How Much will Chapter 7 cost?

We have Offices in Cobb, Cherokee and Fulton Counties and we offer 100% free consultations. Let us help you relieve the stress that your debt is causing you. Wage garnishment, repossession, foreclosure, credit card debt and judgments are our areas of specialty. We accept payment plans.

Debt Consolidation in Georgia

Debt Consolidation in Georgia

Debt Consolidation Help in Georgia

There are many reasons why people are struggling with debt and seek options that will help them get out of it. Your Marietta Debt Consolidation attorney Matthew Cherney can help lower and pay off any current unsecured debts that you have. If you are looking for a way to get out of debt, debt consolidation may be the best option.

Reasons Behind Debt

You will need to figure out when you started accumulating debts so that a solution can be found. There are several reasons why people experience debt such as:

  • Unemployment
  • Emergencies
  • Medical bills
  • Student loans
  • Auto loans/Repossession
  • Overdue mortgages/Foreclosure
  •  Bankruptcy
  • Among many other reasons

The best thing to do while going through the process of debt consolidation loan is to make a budget plan so that your bills and creditors will be paid on time. It is also important to remember that you should not spend more than what is within your means.

What is Debt Consolidation?

One of the first things to understand is knowing what debt consolidation is and learning how it will help to clear your debts. Debt consolidation is a legal opportunity that allows debts to be lowered, grouped together, and paid with a consolidation loan. You will be able to pay off debts by paying a fixed amount every month until your credit is cleared. Debt consolidation is an option that is open to everyone, and this even includes those with secured debt with collateral or unsecured debt.

Applying for Debt Consolidation in Georgia

Having the option to pay off accumulated debt by applying for a loan can seem easy at first, but not everyone is eligible. Lenders require a certain credit score before they will approve an application. A low credit score is considered a risk to lenders, so there is a chance you may not be approved. The higher your credit score is, the more likely a consolidation lender will approve your application.

Another factor that is considered by lenders is the total amount of debt you have. If your debt is too low and does not reach the minimum threshold for a consolidation loan, a lender is less likely to approve the loan. A debt consolidation lender will also consider the amount of the loan to be paid back, monthly fees, and how long it will take for you to pay back the loan.

How does Debt Consolidation in Georgia work? 

It is important to keep in mind that a debt consolidation loan can help relieve debt, but it is not an overall solution. You will still have to pay back the loan through a debt consolidation lender in addition to paying any recurring monthly bills such as a mortgage, rent, electricity, water, or cable bills. It is necessary to know if you can afford to pay off the loan and still live fairly comfortably; you should not have to struggle unbearably while paying off your debts.

Debt consolidation can be a perfect option if you are well organized and can follow a budget plan that will help avoid overspending. This alternative solution to clear your debt should be considered as a temporary aid. It is designed to provide a better start for managing your financial difficulties.

What if my Credit is not Good Enough for a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Not all people can qualify for a debt consolidation loan. On top of that, there are companies out there that offer bad credit loans in Georgia and even if your can get a bad credit consolidation loan, it may not be the best idea. Many times it will be a temporary fix and the interest rates on these loans are so high that it eventually puts you back in debt, but there are alternatives.

  • Debt Negotiation – We can speak to your creditors on your behalf and try to settle your debt or lower your payments.
  • Credit Counseling – There are companies in Georgia that will offer credit counseling consolidation. This is not a loan and you do not need good credit. Many credit counseling customers end up failing because their debt is just too big and they cannot keep up the payments.
  • Chapter 7  –  A chapter 7 bankruptcy plan sounds horrible but it literally gets rid of all of your debt and gives you a fresh start. It is the best option if you are struggling to make payments on your debt.  Many of our clients only regret is that they didn’t contact us sooner about this option.
  • Chapter 13 – A chapter 13 bankruptcy is more favorable if you would like to save your home from foreclosure or your car from being repossessed. We would create a chapter 13 repayment plan that would catch you up on late payments or arrears.  It has many of the benefits of a chapter 7. If you have regular income and just want to reorganize your debts, this is a great option. It is like debt consolidation loan without applying for a loan.

Debt Relief in Georgia

There is much more detail that goes into all of the above and the best way to figure out how we can help you  is to contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION.  We have dealt with thousands of clients and have seen every scenario, the stress that your debt is causing you can be stopped with one phone call.

Making A Budget Plan

Having a budget plan will help keep financial transactions well organized so that creditors will be paid on time. It is also a good idea to consult a professional financial lawyer or advisor for help. An attorney can help you devise an effective plan to remove debts as quickly as possible.

By assessing all of your spending habits, it will be much easier to determine the crucial spending necessities. Once a spending pattern has been observed, a financial plan can be made so that you can pay off the consolidation loan as soon as possible.

Learn More About Debt Consolidation

By understanding what debt consolidation is and how it works, the better the chances to get out of debt. It is not a good idea to wait until you are almost bankrupt to apply for a consolidation loan, but instead, identify the problem at an earlier stage where debts are more manageable. Take the time to decide if this type of loan is right for you and consult a professional Atlanta debt consolidation attorney to find out what steps you need to take to start your path towards financial recovery.

 

Filing Bankruptcy is Another option

Another option that you have to to consider filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Cherney Law Firm specializes in bankruptcy in the state of georgia and is a very experienced Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. By filing bankruptcy, you can eliminate your debt or, if you file a chapter 13 repay your debt in a 3-5 year period. FIling for chapter 13 is kind of like a debt consolidation plan except with a chapter 13 your creditors are forced to accept the plan as long as the bankruptcy courts approve it.

Contact Cherney Law Firm today if you would like to discuss the many ways we can help you with debt relief.

”Debt

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a way to take all of the debt that you owe and consolidate it into one payment. Many times you can save thousands of dollars per year using debt consolidation, depending on your financial situation.

Is chapter 13 a consolidation loan?

No. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is not a loan. It allows people who are struggling with debt to restructure their debt with a 3-5 year payment plan. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is very helpful for people who have fallen behind on payments like their home mortgage. A chapter 13 lets you catch up on your late payments while being able to keep your home.

Is Debt Consolidation a way out of debt?

If you are unable to make your monthly payments and are falling behind on your bills, debt consolidation is an option to consider. There are several options to debt consolidation and it is best to speak to a financial advisor or an attorney that can help you see if debt consolidation is right for you.

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