Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides immediate relief from your creditors and debts. Filing Chapter 7 means that pending foreclosures, wage garnishments, and repossessions are stopped. Creditors must stop calling you immediately. Filing Chapter 7 potentially means that creditors get nothing from you. Chapter 7 cases are over in about six months.
Filing Chapter 7 can only be done debtors who are below median income according to the means test, or who have mostly business debt.
As part of my consultation, I will personally analyze your income, assets, and your debts to guide you through the Chapter 7 means test.
The key to qualifying to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the means test. The means test is the most important part of your petition, and you’ll be best served by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney who has the experience necessary to guide you through the means test.
As your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, I will be defending my calculations and deductions on the means test. I will be protecting your assets using Georgia’s bankruptcy exemptions. Before we file (or even decide to file) we will discuss how your assets and liabilities will be impacted by the filing.
I may find debts that are not dischargeble in Chapter 7. I may find reasons why you should consider filing Chapter 13. It is important that you hire a bankruptcy attorney who will take the time to examine your debts and talk to you about what happens in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 is also known as ‘Debt Liquidation,’ but that doesn’t mean that your assets will necessarily be liquidated. Debtors who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy are allowed to keep all exempt assets. At then end of a Chapter 7 case all dischargeable debts are forgiven, all exempt assets remain the property of the debtors, and all non-exempts assets (if there are any) are liquidated to satisfy creditors.
If you file Chapter 7, you will not be able to file another Chapter 7 petition for eight years after discharge in Chapter 7.
Filing has a profound affect on your FICO score, and I will explain what this means when we meet.
You will always be able to speak to me directly. I will always be with you in court (I do not hire appearance attorneys to meet my clients in court.) I keep my bankruptcy practice small enough that I know each of my clients’ cases as well as they do. The bankruptcy code is perilous–you deserve a bankruptcy attorney who will guide you down the right path.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How much does it cost to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
It depends. In most cases, I offer a free consultation. You will leave my office with an understanding of your case, and in most cases a fixed fee agreement.
2. Who’s Who in the Atlanta and Athens Bankruptcy Courts?
There are five players in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy: you the debtor, the trustee, the judge presiding over your case, your creditors, and your bankruptcy attorney.
- You are the debtor who comes before the court seeking relief from debt that you are unable to pay.
- The Trustee is charged with marshaling assets to repay creditors and ensuring that you are complying with the provisions of the rules of court and law.
- The judge decides issues of law and fact in your case. There is no jury trial.
- Your creditors will likely be represented by local counsel who they’ll have hired to represent them in court.
- Your bankruptcy attorney is your advocate and represents you in court. Choose carefully.
3. Can I help you save your house from foreclosure?
Yes, with a properly filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you can slow down (and in some cases) stop foreclosure. This is a very fact specific situation. If you are facing foreclosure, DO NOT DELAY in calling me to discuss your situation. I will not help you commit fraud on the court, but I will help you do what is legally allowed to protect your family from foreclosure.
4. How do we start?
Call me at (404) 418-8879, or email me. I answer all of my own phone calls–and I promise to return your call within 24 hours. I will likely ask you about your debts in order to get an understanding of you case and the urgency with which we need to meet. I will explain to you what I need you to gather before we meet, and we’ll set up a time for our consultation.
5. How long will It take to prepare and file the petition?
The basic skeleton of a bankruptcy petition can be prepared in a few hours, and I will do this for you if we decide that it is the only way to save your home from foreclosure.
In all other cases, it will take 3-5 business days to prepare your petition from the time that I receive all of the documentation I ask you to provide.
6. What happens once your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed?
The instant your petition is filed, the automatic stay is in place protecting you from your creditors. Violations of the automatic stay are taken very seriously and met with actual and sometimes punitive damages. As long as the stay is in place:
- Foreclosure proceedings will stop.
- Suits that are pending will be put on hold.
- Calls from creditors will stop.
- Wage garnishment will cease.
- Repossessions will not occur.
You will continue to pay your secured debts that you intend to keep (your mortgage, your car notes, student loan payments, and other non-dischargeable debts).
One month or so after filing, the Meeting of the Creditors will be held. As your bankruptcy attorney, I will prepare you for court. I will also be with you at the court appearance and anytime you are called upon to appear because of your bankruptcy case.
You and I will discuss signing reaffirmation agreements if you have car notes, or other property that is tied to a security interest. If you intend to surrender property in your bankruptcy case, I will explain what to expect.