Filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia: All You Need to Know About the Bankruptcy Process
Considering filing for bankruptcy in Georgia? This complete guide covers everything you need to know to get started.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia
Although it’s something you may not have imagined happening when you first took on your loans, you may be overcome by debts and mortgages and with no sustainable income to pay them. When that happens, one action you can take is to admit that you need help and file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding under federal laws that allows people overwhelmed by debts to get financial relief. So can you file for bankruptcy in Georgia? Do you need legal advice to win your case and obtain debt relief? What qualifies you for bankruptcies, and what advantages and disadvantages will this have in your life? Read on to find out all you need to know as you prepare to file for bankruptcy in GA.
Initiating a Bankruptcy Filing in Georgia
Filing for bankruptcy is not a decision you wake up and take. Ensure that you have exhausted all the other options before filing for bankruptcy in Georgia.
Additionally, ensure that you consult attorneys in Dalton, GA, concerning your options and the course of action to take before filing for bankruptcy. You must also ensure you understand how bankruptcy law works as you prepare to file your case.
Filing for Bankruptcy in GA
Once you have acquired legal representation for a bankruptcy case, the next step is to file the case. Once your case becomes an active bankruptcy case, there is no going back. Therefore, collecting all the information you need before the bankruptcy filing is vital to get bankruptcy protection.
How to File for Bankruptcy in Georgia
The current bankruptcy code requires you to obtain credit counseling, and you must complete the credit counseling, which goes for six months before filing for bankruptcy. You will get counseling from an agency approved by your U.S. regional trustee.
After filling the case, you must also complete a debtor education course before receiving a discharge of debts.
How to File Bankruptcy in Georgia
Once the counseling is done, you can approach professional attorneys in Cartersville, GA, or a nearby city to file a bankruptcy case for you in any court within Georgia’s jurisdiction. You must then attend a hearing that is usually scheduled within 30 days of filing for bankruptcy.
If you filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you attend a confirmation hearing; this is where a judge files the repayment plan you have filed.
You can also attend additional hearings depending on the issues and circumstances surrounding your case.
What Qualifies You for Bankruptcies in GA?
Here is what qualifies you for Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
- You must have sufficient income to make the monthly payments outlined in your bankruptcy plan.
- You must prove that you filed both state and federal income tax returns for the past four years.
- If you had attempted to file for either Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy and failed, you must wait 180 days making another bankruptcy petition.
Here are some of the factors that determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- You can’t have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 8 years and Chapter 13 in the past 6 years.
- You must pass the means test.
- You must have finished a credit counseling course.
What Are the Guidelines for Filing Bankruptcy in the State of Georgia?
Although you can choose to file either for Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy, your case can be confirmed or rejected. That is why you should work with a good bankruptcy attorney in Georgia, as they will help pick the ideal option for your unique case to be confirmed.
Additionally, ensure that you are honest because if your case is thrown out, you must wait before filing another bankruptcy case.
Moreover, in Georgia, if it is discovered that you are filing for bankruptcy to defraud your creditors, your case will be thrown out.
Overview of the Georgia Bankruptcy Process and Timeline
It takes a lot of time between filing a bankruptcy case and confirmation, depending on various circumstances regarding your case. However, working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help your case proceed more quickly and efficiently. Here is the overview of the Georgia bankruptcy process:
- File for bankruptcy and obtain a case number.
- Obtain a bankruptcy stay or protection from all creditors.
- The creditors are notified of your bankruptcy file.
- Attend the first hearing, after which the government trustee determines if there are assets that can be liquidated to pay the creditors.
- The creditors are given a chance to object before the court discharges your debts.
How Long Does Filing Bankruptcy Take?
It can take anywhere between four months to one year from the time filing date to the final discharge. This time depends on how many assets you own and if all your documents are in order.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, can take anywhere between 3 to 5 years, and this does not include the 3 or 6 months pre-confirmation time.
How Much Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy in Georgia?
People who file for bankruptcy do so because they are buried deep in debt, and thus they need financial relief. That is why it is vital to know the filing fee as you prepare to file your bankruptcy case in Georgia and ensure you can afford it.
Cost to File Bankruptcy in GA
The file of filing for bankruptcy is set and regulated by federal laws and the court system. Thus, you will be charged $313 to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy; on the other hand, you will pay $338 in filing fees to file for Chapter 7. If you cannot afford to pay the whole sum at once, you can ask the courts to allow you to pay in up to four installments.
This filing fee is the same whether you hire a lawyer or not, but you will also pay their attorney fees if you are working with an attorney. However, many law firms, such as Bournakis & Mitchell, P.C., offer free, no-obligation consultations to keep costs as low as possible as you file bankruptcy.
How Do I See Who Is Filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia?
When you file for bankruptcy in Georgia, your name becomes public in court records. Therefore if you access the court records, you will see the names of those filing for bankruptcy.
However, their personal information is not on public records, so you cannot get specific details about their bankruptcy case. This fact can be reassuring for many who are considering filing for bankruptcy.
Filing for Personal Bankruptcy in Georgia
There are two forms of bankruptcy you can file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy file means liquidating your assets to pay off your creditors. However, some assets are exempted, so you get to keep them if they fall under the category of exemption. It is essential to understand what assets fall under the Georgia bankruptcy exemptions. They include the equity for your home and car, your pensions, Social Security payments, personal belongings, and the tools you need for employment, among others.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you keep your assets, but you must agree to repay your debts over a period of three to five years. Therefore, this type of bankruptcy suits people who want to retain their assets and buy time to pay loans to avoid repossession and foreclosure.
Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy in Atlanta Georgia
Although filing a bankruptcy case is a good call when you are in a bad financial position and buried in debts, it also has some disadvantages. We’ve outlined the pros and cons of bankruptcy below.
- When you file for bankruptcy, liabilities older than three years go away.
- Bankruptcy allows you to start afresh on a debt-free slate.
- Bankruptcy prevents lenders from aggressive collective actions.
- A bankruptcy case can protect some of your belongings from repossession.
- You can file for Chapter 13 if another disaster strikes before you are eligible for Chapter 7.
- Bankruptcy hurts your credit less than missed debt payments, repossessions, and lawsuits.
- Bankruptcy lowers your credit, and you must work to rebuild it.
- It cannot remove student loan debt.
- You lose your current credit cards once you file for bankruptcy.
- Once you file, your name becomes public in court records.
Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help You Determine if Bankruptcy Is Right for You
Filing for bankruptcy is not easy, but sometimes it is the only option to avoid losing your home and other assets. However, it’s wise to ensure that you have explored other methods before filing for bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is the only choice you have, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional bankruptcy lawyer.
They will hold your hand, guide you on how to file the bankruptcy forms, and help you navigate the court systems. Once you file your case in a Georgia Bankruptcy Court, your lawyer will fight for you until you reach a favorable resolution. From there, you will get the financial relief you need to start rebuilding your life without mounting debts and aggressive creditors breathing down your neck.
Ready to get started? Reach out to our law firm and begin your road to debt relief today.