Bankruptcy Information You Need | Rome, GA

Bankruptcy Information You Need in Rome, GA

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Facing financial challenges and considering bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Understanding the complexities of the bankruptcy process is crucial to making informed decisions about your financial future. In this guide, we’ll provide you with the essential bankruptcy information you need Rome GA, to navigate this challenging terrain.

At the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly, we recognize the stress that financial difficulties can bring. Our dedicated team is here to help you through the intricacies of bankruptcy, providing legal guidance and personalized solutions tailored to your unique situation. With years of experience and a commitment to client success, we aim to empower you with the knowledge needed to make confident decisions about your financial well-being.

Are you struggling with debt and seeking reliable guidance on bankruptcy? The Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly is here for you. Our team of experienced Rome bankruptcy lawyers are here to help individuals like you understand their options and navigate the bankruptcy process with confidence.

Don’t let financial difficulties control your future. Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly today for a free consultation. 

Quick Summary:

Here’s a brief overview of everything you need to know:

  • Understand the nuances of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While Chapter 7 is quick and cost-effective, Chapter 13 involves repaying debts over several years, making it suitable for specific financial situations.
  • Learn how filing for bankruptcy in Georgia provides relief from overwhelming debt. Recognize the importance of the state’s rules in determining what belongings you can keep.
  • Discover how bankruptcy can eliminate various debts, from credit cards to medical bills. Assess whether bankruptcy will discharge enough debts to make it a worthwhile option.
  • Be prepared for the time commitment—Chapter 7 takes at least 6 months to a year, and Chapter 13 lasts at least 5 years. Understand eligibility criteria and the impact on your credit report.
  • Explore the exemptions available in Georgia, safeguarding home and vehicle equity, personal possessions, retirement funds, and more.
  • Understand the costs involved in filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, including court fees and additional expenses. Learn about the post-filing process, including meetings and required courses.

If you’re struggling with debt, our experienced professionals at the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly are here to guide you. Schedule a free consultation to explore personalized legal solutions for a fresh financial start.

What is Bankruptcy? 

Bankruptcy is a legal process designed to provide individuals and businesses relief from overwhelming debt and financial struggles. It is a court-supervised procedure that aims to help debtors eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the bankruptcy court.

What’s the Right Bankruptcy Chapter for Me in Georgia? 

Bankruptcy comes in different types, and they each have their own rules. The two main ones for people are called Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

  • Chapter 7 is a popular choice for bankruptcy because it’s fast and inexpensive. It’s suitable for those with essential belongings but may not be ideal if you have valuable assets. In Chapter 7, unnecessary items can be sold to pay creditors. However, there’s a risk of losing significant assets like a house or car, especially if you’re behind on payments, as there’s no option for a payment plan to catch up.
  • Chapter 13 is about repaying what you owe over three to five years. You get to keep everything you own, and the payment plan helps in tough financial situations. It’s handy for catching up on late payments to save your home or car. You can also use it to manage debts you can’t completely get rid of in bankruptcy.
    • But it can be costly, and not everyone can afford the monthly payments. Businesses can’t use Chapter 13 either. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to understand small business bankruptcies before deciding which option is right for you.

Bankruptcy is a legal tool that can offer a fresh start for those overwhelmed by debt, providing a structured way to address financial challenges. However, it’s essential to understand the specific implications of bankruptcy, as it can impact credit scores and financial options in the future. Seeking legal advice is crucial to navigating the process successfully.

Georgia’s Bankruptcy Process: How Does It Work?

Filing for bankruptcy in Georgia is similar to other states. It follows federal law, not state law, and helps break the agreements between you and your creditors, giving you a new beginning. However, Georgia’s rules are important because they decide what belongings you can keep. We’ll also share more details about filing after covering some basics.

Can Declaring Bankruptcy in Georgia Wipe Away My Debts?

Bankruptcy can eliminate various debts, including:

  • credit cards, 
  • overdue utilities, 
  • medical bills, and
  • personal loans. 

You may also be able to remove a mortgage or car payment if you’re willing to give up the associated property. However, not all debts can be discharged, such as domestic support arrearages and recent tax debt. Student loans are generally challenging to erase, but recent changes in 2023 aim to simplify the process with a new student loan bankruptcy form. It’s important to assess whether bankruptcy will eliminate enough debts to make it a worthwhile option.

How Much Time Does Bankruptcy in Georgia Usually Take?

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, be ready for it to take at least 6 months to a year for Chapter 7 or at least 5 years for Chapter 13. The duration might change based on your financial situation or if there are any issues with the payment plan or challenges from creditors.

In Chapter 7, the process wraps up when the court approves payments by the bankruptcy trustee. Chapter 13 isn’t finished until all necessary payments are made, and the court recognizes the completion of your payment plan.

Remember, filing for bankruptcy will be on your credit report for 7 to 10 years. Chapter 7 stays for 10 years, while Chapter 13 usually disappears from the credit report in about 7 years.

Am I Eligible for Bankruptcy in Georgia? 

To qualify for bankruptcy, there are several requirements you need to meet. If you’ve filed before, you must check if enough time has passed to file again, which varies based on the previously filed chapter and the one you plan to file.

For Chapter 7, you qualify if your family’s income is below the median for your state. Use the Quick Median Income Test online to check. If you make too much, you might still qualify after the “means test.” If you can’t afford a Chapter 13 plan, you qualify for Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 can be costly. To qualify, you pay the larger of 

  • your priority debt, 
  • nonexempt property value, or 
  • disposable income. 

What Are the Bankruptcy Exemptions in Georgia?

People filing for bankruptcy can safeguard certain home and vehicle value, personal belongings, retirement funds, and other assets. Here’s a list of common Georgia bankruptcy exemptions that filers often use.

  • Homestead Exemption – In Georgia, the homestead exemption allows you to keep the house you live in, as long as there isn’t too much value in it. This exemption helps protect your property from the bankruptcy trustee and creditors.
    • You can exempt up to $21,500 of your home equity when filing for bankruptcy in Georgia. If your spouse co-owns the home and you both file for bankruptcy together, this amount doubles to $43,000.
  • Wage Exemption – You can keep 75% of what you earn each week after necessary expenses, or 40 times the higher of the state or federal minimum wage. Bankruptcy judges can decide to let people with low incomes keep more of their wages.
  • Motor Vehicle Exemption – If you own a car, you can protect $5,000 of its worth from being included in the bankruptcy.
  • Jewelry – You can keep jewelry worth up to $500.
  • Tools of the Trade ExemptionYou can keep tools, books, and other essential work items worth up to $1,500.
  • Personal Property Exemption – According to Georgia law, you can protect certain household items. You can safeguard a total of $5,000 for all items, but no single item can be worth more than $300. These items include furniture, household goods, clothes, appliances, books, musical instruments, crops, and animals.
  • Support Exemption – In Georgia, money for alimony and child support needed to care for your kids is protected and cannot be taken in bankruptcy.
  • Public Benefits Exemption – According to Georgia bankruptcy rules, specific public benefits are safe from bankruptcy actions. These include unemployment pay, social security benefits, and public assistance. 
    • Additionally, money from worker’s compensation, veteran’s benefits, old-age assistance, aid to blind or disabled persons, and crime victim’s compensation is also protected.
  • Pension and Retirement Account Exemption – Georgia law keeps most pension and retirement plans safe. This includes the following: 
    • Tax-exempt retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and certain benefit plans. 
    • It also covers public office or employee plans. 
    • Additionally, reasonable and necessary payments due to illness, disability, death, age, or length of service under a pension or annuity plan are protected.
  • Other Exemptions – Under Georgia law, additional funds and benefits can be protected. This includes money from health or medical savings accounts, medically prescribed health aids, wrongful death benefits needed for your support, and more. A Georgia bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out which other exemptions might be relevant to your specific situation.
  • Wildcard Exemption – In Georgia, you can keep personal belongings you own worth up to $1,200 as per the law. If you haven’t used all the homestead exemptions, you can use up to $10,000 of the remaining amount to safeguard additional personal property using the wildcard exemption. This is especially helpful if your exemptions don’t cover all your belongings.

What Occurs After Submitting A Bankruptcy Filing in Georgia? 

Following your bankruptcy filing in Georgia, your creditors will generally cease contacting you within a few days due to the court issuing an “automatic stay” notice. This legal order prevents most creditors from requesting payment. The subsequent actions include:

  • Submitting financial documents to validate the details in your bankruptcy paperwork.
  • Attending the 341 meeting of creditors, a mandatory requirement for all filers.
  • Completing a debtor education course and providing the completion certificate.

These steps are essential before obtaining a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. For Chapter 13 filings, there’s an additional requirement to attend a repayment plan confirmation hearing and adhere to the three- to five-year payment plan.

Ready to Navigate Bankruptcy? Contact Our Rome Bankruptcy Attorney Now!

Are you struggling with debt and seeking reliable guidance on bankruptcy? The Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly is here for you. Our trusted team is well-equipped to help individuals like you understand their options and navigate the bankruptcy information you need in Rome, Georgia, as well as its process, with confidence.

At the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly, we understand the stress and uncertainty that financial struggles can bring. Our knowledgeable legal team is dedicated to transforming financial challenges into success stories. Say goodbye to financial stress and hello to a fresh start! Don’t let financial challenges dictate your future. Take Action Now! Schedule your free consultation with the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly today!

Aside from bankruptcy, we provide legal services on personal injury in Dalton, Kennesaw, Douglasville, Cartersville, Dallas, and Marietta.