Bankruptcy Help & Frequently Asked Questions
Most people have many questions about bankruptcy and the process of filing bankruptcy in Atlanta. Below are some of the most common bankruptcy questions our attorneys receive from people just like you.
After reading through the answers, we strong urge you to take advantage of our free Atlanta bankruptcy consultation to get answers to specific questions about your financial situations. Contact The Ballard Law Group online or by calling 404-220-9906 to get answers to all of your bankruptcy questions.
Why Do People File Bankruptcy?
People file bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. The common element in all bankruptcy cases is that the debtors do not have enough money left over each month after paying living expenses to pay their debts. This creates an extremely stressful environment that causes mental anguish but can also cause physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, eating disorders, and sleeping disorders.
People choose to file bankruptcy to end the stress and anxiety of debt problems because bankruptcy offers a fresh start free from the burden of overwhelming debt.
Some reasons why a person may choose to file bankruptcy include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Loss of a spouse through death or divorce
- Unemployment or reduction in hours
- Stop a home foreclosure or vehicle repossession
- Drowning in student loan debt or tax debt
- Creditor harassment
- Failure of a business
- Stop wage garnishments and/or property seizures
- Stop debt collection lawsuits
Call our office at 404-220-9906 to discuss if a bankruptcy case is right for you.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?
Each bankruptcy case is different; however, most Chapter 7 cases filed in the Atlanta area take between four to six months to complete from the initial date of filing. A Chapter 13 case is longer because of the bankruptcy payment plan. A normal Chapter 13 case takes between three to five years to complete.
What Is A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is referred to as a “liquidation” or “straight” bankruptcy case because a trustee is appointed to liquidate any assets that are not exempt. The proceeds are used to pay your creditors. However, almost all Chapter 7 cases filed in Georgia are no-asset cases meaning you get rid of your debts and you keep all of your property.
What Is A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is referred to as a “reorganization” or “repayment plan” because the debtor pays a portion of his or her debts through a bankruptcy plan. Chapter 13 cases can be used to save your home from foreclosure or prevent creditors or the court from taking assets that may have excess equity above the exemption amount. In most Chapter 13 cases, the debtor only pays pennies on the dollar to unsecured creditors then discharges the remaining balance when the plan is complete.
What Is The Cost Of Filing Bankruptcy?
When you file a bankruptcy case, you must pay a filing fee to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The current filing fee for a Chapter 7 case is $335 and the current filing fee for a Chapter 13 case is $310. If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney to file your case (this is highly recommended), you will also pay an attorney fee. These fees vary depending on the chapter of bankruptcy being filed. Our bankruptcy attorneys work with our clients to find an affordable solution so they can get the debt relief they need.
What Courses Do I Have To Take To File Bankruptcy?
As part of the bankruptcy process, you will be required to complete a Credit Counseling course before filing bankruptcy and a Debtor Education court prior to receiving your discharge. These courses are between 90 and 120 minutes in length and can be completed online or over the telephone. The cost of these courses can be as low as $15 and, in some cases, debtors qualify for a waiver of this fee.
How Does Bankruptcy Impact My Credit Rating?
This is a very common question because people worry about their credit rating after bankruptcy. In most cases, by the time you come to our office your credit will already have taken a hard hit because of past due payments, over the balance accounts, and collection accounts. Filing bankruptcy can actually help you improve your credit score faster than trying to solve your debt problem on your own. In many cases, debtors see improvement in their credit score within a year or two after filing a bankruptcy.
Do You Have More Questions About Bankruptcy?
It is our number one priority to make sure you are comfortable with your decision to file a bankruptcy case; therefore, we welcome all of your questions. We do not mind taking the time necessary to answer your bankruptcy questions. Please call our office at 404-220-9906 or contact us online to schedule a free bankruptcy consultation with one of our Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.