Bankruptcy Questions and Answers
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a proceeding under federal law whereby you are granted partial or complete relief from the payment of your debts. This relief is provided in the form of an “automatic stay,” which is issued automatically and immediately upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition and which stops all creditor collection activities. The Bankruptcy Court enters an order at the end of the case, relieving you from responsibility for paying certain debts. The final order is called the “discharge.”
What is the automatic stay?
The automatic stay is an order issued upon the filing of your petition that orders creditors to cease all collection activities against you. From the second this stay is issued, you are protected by federal law from creditors trying to collect from you. If you have previously filed a bankruptcy case, some restrictions may apply.
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
If you want to stop creditor action right away by discharging or wiping out your legal liability for your debts, Chapter 7 may be a solution. Under a Chapter 7 filing, you get to keep your assets — your furniture, clothing, car and home — within the framework of your allowed exemptions.
If you have a steady income and want to pay off all or part of your debts, you may choose Chapter13, especially if you have many “secured” possessions or have a lot of equity in your property. Through Chapter 13, you can spread your payments over a period of time up to 5 years. When you call for your FREE Consultation, we will discuss these things with you and help you decide what is best for you.
What do I need to bring to an appointment?
You will need to bring a written list of all of your creditors and how much you owe them, a recent pay stub, and a written list of your monthly living expenses (rent, food, gasoline, etc.). Also bring any lawsuit or foreclosure related papers that you may have. Click on the link to Make an Appointment or for convenient forms and additional information.
When does protection start?
Once you retain the services of Rhymer Law Firm and your case is filed, the law requires creditors to deal with us and leave you alone.
What are the filing fees and court costs?
The clerk’s filing fee for a Chapter 13 case is a total of $310.00. Part of the filing fee may sometimes be paid through your Chapter 13 payment plan. The clerk’s filing fee for Chapter 7 cases is $335.00. In most cases, this will need to be paid at the time your case is filed. (Costs are subject to change by the bankruptcy court.)
Can student loans be discharged?
Under a Chapter 13 plan, you can repay your student loans along with the rest of your debts. In Chapter 7, student loans may not be discharged except in “extreme hardship” cases.
What happens to guarantors or co-signers?
Under Chapter 13, all consumer debt co-signers are protected by the courts. Under Chapter 7, they are not, and creditors may try to collect the debt from the cosigner. You may, however, sometimes keep the cosigned debts and make the contract payments so that the creditor will not try to collect from the cosigner.
How does bankruptcy affect my credit rating?
Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for 10 years. By not filing, credit bureaus may show negative reports for 7 years. By filing, negative reporting stops immediately. This allows you to begin re-establishing credit faster by keeping auto and other payments current. You may also obtain a “secured” credit card to help re-establish your credit once your case is over.
How does bankruptcy affect pending lawsuits?
Pending lawsuits, garnishments or judgment collections are
stopped immediately when you file your case.
How are taxes treated in bankruptcy?
Under Chapter 13, you pay most back taxes, without interest, under your plan. Under Chapter 7, secured taxes, such as property taxes, cannot be discharged. Some unsecured taxes, such as income taxes, may be
discharged if the taxes are more than 3 years old, you filed timely, there was no fraud, and the taxes were assessed more than 240 days from the filing of the case.
Can I prevent a repossession?
Repossession action is stopped immediately when you file
What about garnishment of my wages or bank accounts?
As soon as you file a bankruptcy petition with the court, it becomes illegal under the automatic stay for creditors to even attempt or continue to garnish your wages or bank accounts.
Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Georgia today.
Call the Rhymer Law Firm at 1-888-889-3328 or contact
us online to schedule your free initial consultation
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Athens, GA 30605
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Conyers, Georgia 30094
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Lawrenceville, Ga 30046
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Loganville, Ga 30052
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