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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys In Atlanta

There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to figure out how to pay bills that are accumulating without a clear solution in sight. Debts can surpass income each month, and even modest payments become a burden at times. It’s sometimes better to stop fighting and try something different, and that’s where an Atlanta chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can assist you.

Even diligent, honest people can get into debt through no fault of their own. Unemployment, a horrible medical prognosis, and a variety of other life events may all produce unexpected financial hardship. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you reduce or eliminate many debts while providing you with a fresh start. At Robl Law Group, we have years of legal experience in the bankruptcy sector and have helped countless individuals, families, and businesses set aside enormous debt, wipe the slate clean, and begin again. To speak with an experienced chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Atlanta and find out more about how we can help, give us a call today at (404) 373-5153.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 provides immediate relief for those who are having trouble paying off unsecured debts such as medical expenses, credit card bills, guaranteed company debt, and certain tax obligations. When you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the automatic stay comes into effect, prohibiting collection actions by creditors against you. You will receive a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge approximately four months after you file your case, which will relieve you of any personal responsibility on most debts and prevent creditors from contacting you in the future regarding those debtors.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test

The 2005 revisions to the Bankruptcy Code created new issues in obtaining a Chapter 7 discharge. The “Means Test” is used to see whether or not the debtor has the financial means to pay his or her obligations. You are presumed to pass the means test and be eligible to file bankruptcy if your income falls below the median income for your state. If you make more than the median income, an Atlanta chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can assist you by combatting the notion that you are ineligible to file. This can be done by deducting certain expenses and payments to demonstrate that you should be able to take advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy rather than being compelled into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. If your debts are mostly commercial, the means test does not apply, and you may submit a Chapter 7 bankruptcy regardless of your earnings.

How Does The Means Test Work?

The Means Test is applied the same way regardless of where you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, whether it’s in Atlanta, Georgia, or anywhere else in the country. It’s a complicated equation that takes into account your income against the median income for comparable-sized households in your county.

  • A Presumption of Abuse Arises or,
  • A Presumption of Abuse Does NOT Arise

The first step in the means test is to figure out your household size. Your household size is determined by how many people live in your home (excluding roommates and non-dependents). College-age children may still be considered dependents if they continue to live at home, even though any income they bring into the house will be taken into consideration. For example, if your monthly income is $2,000 and you have four persons in your home: two adults and two children who live under the age of 18, you would use the gross income for each debtor, as well as any other members of the household for the previous six months. This is intended to capture a decent yearly income average, especially if you get bonuses at certain times of the year.

If your household’s average income for the previous six months is less than the median income of the county where you live in Georgia, you pass the means test and there is no presumption that you are using the bankruptcy code to abuse it. However, if your earnings are higher than the median income, you are presumed to be abusing the bankruptcy code and must consult with an experienced chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer to see if any deductions can be taken to refute that assumption.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may work better for people who have a regular income. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing immediately “halts” or prevents any creditor action, such as foreclosure, wage garnishment, repossession, seizure, and attempts at collection. The debtor makes a plan with the bankruptcy court and agrees to make affordable monthly payments over three to five years to pay off all obligations, including car loans, mortgage payments, and other hidden debts. In return, the debtor keeps their property. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you avoid losing your house in foreclosure by paying off tax bills while also lowering your auto loan interest rates.

Robl Law Group will assist you in developing an affordable financial strategy and finishing all of the tedious paperwork. One of our bankruptcy attorneys in Atlanta will fight for your rights in court and at trustee hearings on your behalf. During the procedure, which can last up to five years, Robl Law Group will be by your side every step of the way. You may choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you:

  • You have income and assets you want to keep
  • You’re behind on your mortgage and want to keep the home
  • You have a wage garnishment
  • You’re behind on your car payment
  • You’re behind on federal or state taxes

What To Expect When Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Atlanta

As soon as your Atlanta chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney files your case with the court, an “automatic stay” will come into force. Debt collectors are compelled to cease all collection efforts under the automatic stay. This includes halting any wage garnishment operations as well as obnoxious phone calls or letters.

Your bankruptcy lawyer will receive a case number and date after filing the petition with the court, which is expected to last around 40 days. You will be required to attend a “341 meeting” at that time. A trustee appointed to your case will ask questions regarding your petition and debts during this session. After the meeting, you must wait for the bankruptcy court to render a decision on your debt relief. It might take anywhere from six to eight weeks for an answer. Although most obligations can be erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain debts are not eligible to be discharged. Some of these non-dischargeable debts include the following:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Recent income tax debt
  • Student loans 
  • Debts incurred by fraud
  • Criminal restitution

Debt management is a stressful and anxiety-provoking experience for individuals and their families. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help you get back on track financially by wiping away credit card debts while also freeing up money that can be used to pay down your mortgage or automobile payments. For more information about filing for bankruptcy, contact our Atlanta chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at Robl Law Group today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Keep My Property After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

One of the most prevalent misunderstandings about Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you will lose everything, but this isn’t the case. In fact, you may be able to keep your home and automobile in certain situations. By default, most of your family property is exempt from creditor collection efforts under Georgia law. Robl Law Group can safeguard your stuff from being liquidated by the Trustee by utilizing these “Exemptions.”

The easiest way to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy is by simply listing all of your assets on the docket. However, this is one of the more difficult aspects of bankruptcy law and the main reason why individuals who do not seek expert assistance regret filing for bankruptcy. Your Chapter 7 trustee will generally just care about a few sorts of assets: houses with significant equity, luxury vehicles with substantial equity, cash-in deposit accounts, and publicly listed shares. The majority of people, including those with six-figure salaries, lack equity in their houses or automobiles for a trustee to sell and do not have cash or money in deposit accounts above what is permissible under Georgia law.

What Are the Benefits of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia is a legal financial option that may assist you in eliminating debt and getting back on track with your finances. Individuals who meet the requirements of Chapter 7 are able to get rid of the vast majority of their obligations, such as:

  • Medical bills 
  • Credit card balances
  • Unsecured personal loans

Another advantage is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy law offers a significant property and personal belongings exemption. Depending on the amount of equity in your house and the state of your mortgage, you may not be required to sell it.

Will My Credit Be Ruined After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Many people believe that by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, their credit will be ruined for years. This notion is completely untrue. The economy in the United States is based on credit, and the majority of people are able to start rebuilding their credit right away after their Chapter 7 bankruptcy is completed. In fact, many are able to purchase a home within 12-18 months of receiving a Chapter 7 discharge in Georgia. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia takes an average of four to six months to complete. The majority of clients get a discharge around four to six months after filing.

Contact An Atlanta Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Debt problems can take the enjoyment out of life. All of us do our best to fulfill our obligations, but sometimes our best efforts fail. That’s when it’s time to take a step back and examine other options. An experienced Atlanta Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney may evaluate your legal possibilities with you and assist you in creating a path forward. It’s possible that the time has come to start fresh. At Robl Law Group, we are dedicated to making bankruptcy more accessible. Call us at (404) 373-5153 to learn more about how our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can assist you in taking your first step toward a brighter future.