Anyone who has been deep in debt and then opted for bankruptcy will know how traumatic the process can be. But with the right legal advice from an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney, you can take a deep breath, relax, and carry on with your life.
It really isn’t difficult to survive bankruptcy; after all, the goal of bankruptcy is to get a fresh start in financial terms. In fact, choosing bankruptcy is often the only way to survive!
One of the best parts of bankruptcy is that creditors can no longer hound you for money. The other is that your debts will be wiped out or reduced depending on which type of bankruptcy you opt for.
The key to surviving bankruptcy is to know exactly how the process will affect you. For instance, credit bureaus record bankruptcies, and if you file for bankruptcy, this information will remain on your credit record for 10 years. However, this won’t stop you from getting credit, and it won’t affect your job because employers are prohibited from discriminating against anyone just because they file for bankruptcy.
Furthermore, filing for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you will lose everything. There are a number of exemptions that enable people to keep certain assets. In Georgia bankruptcy exemptions relate to various assets including homesteads; personal property, including motor vehicles, clothing, household goods, and jewelry; tools of the trade; pensions; insurance benefits; income from alimony and child support; and there is also a $1,200 wildcard that can be used in addition to maximum amounts allowed for property.
The maximum figures are important, because if property is worth more than the exemption, the trustee handling the bankruptcy may opt to sell to recoup money owing. For example, the car exemption is set at a maximum of $5,000; if the car is worth less than this, the trustee cannot sell it. Similarly, if you own a boat that is worth more than the exemption, the trustee can sell it as part of the liquidation process to pay creditors.
Types of Consumer Bankruptcy in Atlanta
There are two types of bankruptcy open to individuals in Georgia:
- Chapter 7, a liquidation procedure that wipes out most if not all debt.
- Chapter 13 that reorganizes and reduces debts.
The choice is dictated primarily by circumstance.
Those who opt for Chapter 7 are usually deeply in debt and have no major assets like real estate.
Those who opt for Chapter 13 usually have property that is not exempt, that they don’t want to lose. Only those with an income big enough to repay the reorganized debts, and their ongoing expenses, qualify for this form of bankruptcy.
A good Georgia bankruptcy attorney will advise which form is best for you.
Either way, there are certain debts that cannot be erased by bankruptcy. This includes:
- Student loans
- Income tax debt
- Child support and alimony
- Debts incurred as a result of someone being injured or killed while you were drunk driving
If you decide bankruptcy is the way to go, our Georgia-based bankruptcy attorneys will help stop real estate foreclosures, vehicle repossessions, and they will negotiate with debtors, and propose a repayment plan for the court to mandate. With our help, you will definitely survive bankruptcy.