Questions about Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?
According to the National Bankruptcy Research Center, Georgia is home to the second highest bankruptcy rate in the country, after Nevada. As unemployment rates continue to soar, (the AJC reports that the rate remains steady at 8.9%) there are few options for those who still have bills coming in, and families to feed.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy serves as an ideal option for those under the pressure of creditor harassment, facing garnishment, or considering home foreclosure. Bankruptcy attorney in Marietta, Roger Ghai offers the following information to help you decide if bankruptcy is the best decision for you and your family.
The Definition of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are two main types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Folks who seek to file a Chapter 7 are looking for relief from all liquid debts. While some debt can be reaffirmed with proof that the individual is able pay for it, most debts will be discharged. These include:
- Credit card debt
- Old tax debt
- Personal loans
- Business debts
However, some debts such as school loans or alimony and child support payments are not dischargeable. If you are unsure what debts qualify for a Chapter 7, contact a local Marietta bankruptcy lawyer for assistance.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows those who have a large amount of assets to reorganize their debts in a payment plan. Some of the debt is discharged, but most of it is either rolled into a three- or five-year payment plan. For either type of bankruptcy, the debtor in question must meet the state’s qualifications.
Ways to Qualify
Every individual that wants to discharge debts through a bankruptcy must meet the median income requirements for the state they live in. Their income level must fall at or below the average income for the respective family size. The current income levels for families are as follows:
- Single-earner: $40,947
- 2-person family: $52,313
- 3-person family: $57,470
- 4-person family: $66,250
Families over four people: Debtors must add $7,500 per additional family member to the base income level.
If you make more than the income level based on your family size, you still can
qualify by passing the mean’s test. This mathematical calculation utilizes your
financial information by comparing the ratio of debts to assets. If your debts largely
outweigh your assets you may qualify. Similarly if the converse is true, you may
not qualify for a Chapter 7, but you might be able to file a Chapter 13. Bankruptcy
lawyer in Marietta, GA, Roger Ghai will work with you to see if you meet the qualifications
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Benefits of a Chapter Bankruptcy
The most obvious and immediate need debtors seek in a bankruptcy is relief from harassment from creditors and collection agencies. If you are able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy quickly, you may also be able to stop a foreclosure, prevent garnishments on a bank account or wages, thereby saving yourself from embarrassment from friends and co-workers.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not a long process. From the initial consultation to the final discharge document from the court, your case usually takes no longer than 60 days. Because of the fast process, families are able to rebuild their life and put the negative past behind them.
The biggest drawback for a bankruptcy filing is the damage done to a credit report. Typically once your file, your score will lower 75 points or more. Your bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for 10 years. This is a considerable drawback for some, but for many others the pros outweigh the cons in finding complete relief of all dischargeable debts. Also, six months after you file your credit score will begin to rebuild.
Roger Ghai – Bankruptcy Lawyer in Marietta, GA
Finding a qualified and skilled attorney within your area can be a difficult and frustrating process. Fortunately for Marietta residents, Roger Ghai is a highly experienced attorney specializing in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies. If you are struggling with your finances, come in and find out how a bankruptcy can help you get rid of them once and for all. He offers a free initial consultation so you can make the best decision for your family.