Too many people think of bankruptcy as something to be avoided or feel shameful about. The truth is bankruptcy is a form of powerful protection afforded to us by our laws, and hundreds of thousands of persons and entities take advantage of it every year.
If you are dealing with financial difficulties and are concerned about how you will move forward, it may be time to contemplate bankruptcy. At Reidy Law Firm, LLC, we will carefully review your circumstances and advise whether bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation. Our skilled bankruptcy lawyer has many years of experience handling Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings and is ready to help you navigate each stage of the process. We will be by your side from start to finish, and our bankruptcy services in Atlanta are designed to help you through this difficult moment and make the most of your filing. With our assistance, you may be able to wipe out debt, save your most valuable assets, and get the fresh start you deserve.
Contact us online or call (678) 883-1210 to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer flexible payment plans and after-hours appointments.
As an individual consumer, there are generally two types of bankruptcy you should consider. The type you should file for will depend on your financial circumstances.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as liquidation, or “straight up,” bankruptcy. It offers filers a fresh start by discharging, or wiping out, certain types of unsecured debt.
Be aware that some debts, such as recent tax debt and student loan debt, are not dischargeable. Secured debts, such as car loans and mortgages, are treated in various ways based on numerous unique factors. You may be able to keep your home or car (so long as you continue to pay those debts) while discharging unsecured debts.
Chapter 7 involves a liquidation process in which non-exempt assets are sold to partially satisfy debts. Fortunately, you can protect and keep many of your most important assets. Our bankruptcy services in Atlanta will include help maximizing available exemptions so that you lose as little as possible.
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are fairly brief. If all goes well, a typical case will last about four months.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy. Filers propose and commit to a payment plan that consolidates debts into a single monthly payment. This gives filers time to catch up on mortgage arrears, tax debt, and other non-dischargeable debt. Upon completing all plan payments, filers can typically eliminate any remaining unsecured debt.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often used to save homes and cars from foreclosure and repossession. It is a much longer process than Chapter 7, however, and will last between three and five years.
"Dennis made my bankruptcy super easy and fast. Did 1000% of the leg work and always was responsive and efficient"- Alesha
In most cases, you will qualify for only one form of consumer bankruptcy. All prospective filers must complete a Means Test that determines eligibility for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
You will most likely qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have little to no current income. You could also qualify if you have minimal disposable income, which is the amount left over after you subtract allowable expenses from your gross income.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your only option if you have considerable disposable income. You must be able to afford monthly plan payments.
Our bankruptcy services in Atlanta include a full assessment of your financial circumstances and assistance with completing the Means Test. We will advise which type of bankruptcy you qualify for and walk you through how filing can help you.
We recognize that bankruptcy can be intimidating, especially if you are not familiar with the process. It is important to understand the steps involved and what will be expected of you.
At Reidy Law Firm, LLC, your bankruptcy case will generally involve the following stages:
- Free Phone Consultation. When you first get in touch, you can discuss the preliminaries with our attorney over the phone and determine whether bankruptcy is a viable option.
- Free Office Consultation. If you would prefer to meet in person, free initial office evaluations are also available at convenient times and places.
- Intake Procedure. After consulting with our lawyer (and if it is determined bankruptcy is the route that should be taken), you must go through an “intake procedure,” which basically amounts to filling out the paperwork required for a bankruptcy petition.
- Credit Counseling. Before filing paperwork with the court, you must complete a credit counseling course. This can be accomplished online or over the phone. These courses are offered by agencies approved by the U.S. Trustee and are generally inexpensive. They often range from $9.95 to $25 depending on the agency used. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate. Our bankruptcy services in Atlanta include help sourcing an eligible course.
- Filing the Petition. After a credit counseling certificate has been acquired and all paperwork has been completed, we will file your petition electronically with the court. Upon filing the case, the automatic stay takes effect immediately, stopping all collection actions. Cases are filed electronically and can be filed 24/7.
- Case Assignment. Shortly after the petition is filed, it will be assigned to a court, and a trustee will be assigned to administer the estate created by the bankruptcy filing.
- Court Hearing(s). There will be at least one hearing required in every bankruptcy case. Some cases may require more. The first hearing is known as the “meeting of the creditors” and will typically take place about a month after the case is filed. Creditors may appear at the hearing, but this is rare in the Northern District of Georgia. At the hearing, you will be placed under oath and answer questions about your case. This is less intimidating than it may sound, and these hearings will frequently last less than ten minutes. At the present time all hearings are done telephonically, and you will not have to leave home to attend them, so it has never been easier to file for bankruptcy.
- Financial Management Course. You must take a second online or over-the-phone course before your case concludes. Like the credit counseling course, it is inexpensive, and we can help source a reputable option.
- Discharge. Upon completion of your case, the court will enter an order discharging qualifying unsecured debts and affording to you a fresh start. These debts will be effectively eliminated, and the case will be over. Again, a typical Chapter 7 case will last about four months, while a Chapter 13 case will last anywhere from 36 to 60 months.
Ready to discuss your bankruptcy options with a seasoned professional? Call (678) 883-1210 or contact us online today.
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