Georgia Bankruptcy Facts
Have you recently experienced a pay cut, lost your job, or are struggling to pay bills? Have you or a loved one suffered a serious injury which has cost you thousands in medical expenses? Do you owe money to lenders following a lawsuit or have incurred a significant amount of debt over business expenditures? If any of these instances apply to you, don’t worry, you are not alone.
Hundreds of Georgians are struggling to cut costs and pay their bills, but sometimes, expenses just pile up, and before we know it, we’ve amassed thousands of dollars in debt. If you have been unsuccessful at paying down your debt and are being contacted by creditors, we have good news for you. You may be eligible to file for bankruptcy protection and we are here to help you through the process.
What Is Bankruptcy and What Can it Do for You?
Bankruptcy is a federal process that allows debtors to reduce or possibly even eliminate their debt under the protection of bankruptcy court. When filing for bankruptcy, Georgians should know that only certain kinds of debt are allowed to be reduced or wiped out. Generally, bankruptcy takes care of unsecured debts, which are debts that are not backed by assets. Other kinds of debts, including child support, alimony and some debts related to taxes cannot be discharged.
Although there are several kinds of bankruptcy petitions available for debtors to file in Georgia, two stand out as the most popular among residents and businesses. The first is Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, which eliminates debt in exchange for the liquidation of the petitioner’s assets. This is the most commonly filed petition because both individuals and businesses may qualify and emerging from bankruptcy protection only takes a few months. The second most popular petition in Georgia is Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy, which allows debtors to keep their assets, but requires them to pay off their debts (or at least the majority of it) to creditors over a period of 3 to 5 years.
What are the Prerequisites to Filing for Bankruptcy Protection in Georgia?
Before a debtor in Georgia can even file for bankruptcy protection, they are required to undergo six months of credit counseling, as per The 2005 Bankruptcy Act. Debtors must also complete a course on managing finances. Once these prerequisites have been completed, debtors must get their finances in order and itemize their income sources. A list of major financial expenses such as medical expenses, mortgage payments, car loans, and other costs should be created.
At this point, debtors can move on to actually filing for bankruptcy, but should consider consulting with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney to ensure no mistakes are made. Just one small error in declaring a financial burden or choosing the wrong chapter to file can have disastrous consequences. Attorneys specializing the U.S. Bankruptcy Code know everything there is to know about the process and will ensure their clients’ cases are processed quickly and smoothly.
Working with a Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyer
Once all the prerequisite are completed, debtors can now move forward with the actual filing process. The next step is to determine which chapter(s) the debtor qualifies for by taking what is known as a “Means Test.” If the debtor’s income is under the average for a family of their equivalent size in Georgia, Chapter 7 can be filed. However, even if the debtor does not pass the Means Test, there are other ways to qualify for liquidation bankruptcy, which is one of the reasons why having an attorney is critical to ensuring all of the debtor’s options are fully and rightfully explored.
There are also times when a debtor may actually qualify for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and may not have any idea which petition would be better for their individual needs. When this occurs, having an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney on the case comes in especially handy. Because of their extensive knowledge, attorneys will review their client’s finances completely and help them decide while petition they should choose for maximum debt relief.
If you are sick and tired of dealing with large amounts of debt, turn to a bankruptcy lawyer in Georgia for the best results for your case. Our site can conveniently connect you to some of the most acclaimed attorneys in your area who will represent you with passion and integrity. We know that dealing with debt is not easy, and coupling the stress of having creditors on your back with the hassle of finding a reliable lawyer can be extremely overwhelming. That’s why we have taken the time to narrow down the most elite legal professionals across the state provide free, 24-hour access to their profiles to save you valuable time.
Only the best bankruptcy attorneys in Georgia can be found on our site, all of whom are accredited, experienced and trustworthy, and who are ready to take your call. Contact one of our featured lawyers today and be on your way to getting rid of your debt.