Let’s face it – it’s been a tough year or two for most of us. But for some there seems to be no end in sight. If you find yourself struggling to pay your bills, bankruptcy can get you back in control.
Craig Black helps Atlanta residents like you find the best path out of crippling debt. And both you and your assets will get the careful attention you deserve. We know how to determine what type of bankruptcy option will best work for you, while helping you maintain control over the decisions you need to make.
Problems You Can’t Afford to Avoid
- The occasional late notice has become a flood of threatening phone calls
- You’ve exhausted all your quick cash sources
- Your minimum payments have gotten so large you can’t cover them, even on a good month.
The sad truth is that once the debt spiral starts the likelihood of recovering from it is very low.
We’ve seen the mental and physical stress can have on our clients, and we know how difficult it can be.
You shouldn’t have to go on like this.
Solid Counsel and Personal Attention
With nearly 20 years of experience working with clients from all walks of life, we are in the perfect place to determine your best path forward. We take the time to get to know you and your unique circumstances, because we want to serve you well.
Because when it comes to debt relief the details really do matter.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for those who can’t make regular payments to pay off their debt. It allows you to wipe out most of the debt that isn’t secured – like credit cards, for instance. It is sometimes called a “liquidation” bankruptcy, because you will sell some of your assets for cash to pay off debt. The goal is a fresh financial start. (Source: irs.gov)
Here are a few details:
- Chapter 7 will end most, or even all, of your debt
- It can stop the debt collection phone calls, garnishments, liens, repossessions, and foreclosures
- You might have to give up some of the things that you owe money on
- Your car and home will remain in your possession
- Chapter 7 isn’t as harmful to your long-term credit score as many people think
Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
What’s the difference? Under Chapter 13, an individual with a regular paycheck can create a plan to repay all or part of their debts. This is seen as a reorganization of your debt to make it easier to pay off, while Chapter 7 is seen as a liquidation or cancellation of debt that cannot be repaid.
Should I File for Bankruptcy?
If you have mounting debt that could lead to repossession or foreclosure, bankruptcy may be your best option. But it takes a skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine what you qualify for.
In your initial consultation with The Craig Black Law Firm LLC, we will take a look at your financial situation and give you options. You’ll also discuss the up and downsides of filing bankruptcy, so you will have all the information you need to be comfortable with your decision.
Once you choose your path out of financial distress, we will explain the information needed from you, and how everything will work. We’ll then walk with you through the entire process.
Will Chapter 7 Wipe Out All My Debts?
Possibly! When your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is done, you will receive a “discharge of debt” – a document that says you are no longer required to pay certain debts back, like credit cards, medical bills, overdue utility bills, personal loans, old tax debt, and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles.
However there are some debts you may still have to pay, such as child support and alimony payments, student loans, criminal restitution, debts for personal injury/death resulting from a DUI/DWI, and certain taxes. Some of these debts can be handled with a Chapter 13 reorganization.
We will help you understand whether you qualify for Chapter 7, and if so, which debts you may still be responsible for.
How Long Does The Bankruptcy Process Take?
Most debtors who decide to file Chapter 7 are able to complete the process in 90 days after filing. Here’s how the process works:
- We start by collecting all the information we need
- We prepare all the documents needed
- You review the documents with us and sign them
- We file the documents with the court
- 30 days later, you will attend a meeting with us and the bankruptcy trustee
- In most cases, after 60 days your debts will be discharged
How Can I Find a Reputable Chapter 7 Lawyer Near Me?
You don’t need to look any further than The Craig Black Law Firm LLC. We have been helping individuals and families get out from under the pressure and stress of debt since 2002. Personal attention and expert legal service make us the perfect choice! Let us help you regain your financial freedom. See our reviews!
But if you really want to comparison-shop, check out Thumbtack for highly rated lawyers near you.
Will Chapter 7 Allow Me to Keep Anything?
Often when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you may be required to give up certain property in order to pay back some of your debt. Your court-ordered Trustee will take care of the sale of those assets. But don’t worry, the bankruptcy code in Georgia allows you to keep the things you need to get a good fresh start on your future. These are called “exemptions.”
The homestead exemption allows you to keep your home, unless you have a lot of equity in that home. How much equity? The exemption amount itself is $21,500 but there are several factors that could allow for more, such as your spouse being a co-owner, having dependents living in the house, and other factors we can help you determine.
The personal property exemption allows you to keep things like your car, furniture, clothing, appliances, animals and many other things. However there are limits to the value of each item, and the total value of the items you keep under the personal property exemption.
Unpaid wages are exempt up to 75% of the total amount. For some low wage earners, a judge may even order that a greater percentage be left in your hands.
Retirement accounts up to their full amount may be exempt. You can keep the full amount of most retirement accounts. (O.C.G.A. § 44-13-100(a)(2.1)(D))
Public assistance, life insurance proceeds, alimony and child support may all be exempt for the full amount, too. So if you’re receiving workers’ compensation, veterans’ benefits, disability benefits or many other sources of income intended to support those in need, you may be able to keep that money.
Sound confusing? It can be! But we know just what to do to help you keep as much of your property and money as allowed by the law.
What if I want to keep property that isn’t exempt?
If you have property you still owe money for and we’ve determined that it isn’t covered by an exemption, you have a few options:
- Allow the creditor to repossess the property
- Continue to make payments to the creditor
- Pay the creditor the replacement value of the property
While this can be a tough decision to make, it’s helpful to know you still have a certain amount of control over your property, even while gaining the benefit of freedom from your unsecured debt.
What Does Bankruptcy Not Cover?
In Georgia, bankruptcy can provide a significant relief from financial hardship. But there are a few things bankruptcy does not stop the State of Georgia from doing:
- An audit to see if you owe taxes
- A notice that you owe more taxes than you’ve paid
- A demand that you provide tax returns
- Being assessed any tax or being required to pay it
- Being issued a tax refund, or using those refunds to pay other taxes (under certain conditions)
Do You Handle Complex Bankruptcy Filings?
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Maybe your financial situation is more complicated than most because you have a high income, own a business, have garnished wages, etc.
Not to worry. We can cut through the confusion, help you clearly understand your options, and take care of everything related to your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. You’ll get the personal attention you deserve, and a plan geared toward your needs.