Georgia Bankruptcy...For Dummies

Bankruptcy can be a difficult and emotional experience. If you're considering bankruptcy, please call The Carter Firm P.C., at 770-287-8850 for a free consultation.

1. Bankrupt? Don't Worry About It.

Bankruptcy law exists for a reason — for people who need it. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you are not alone. Remember that lots of famous people have filed bankruptcy and later rebuilt. Kim Basinger, Donald Trump, John Wayne, Willie Nelson and even Abraham Lincoln have all filed for bankruptcy. Even in the Old Testament of the Bible, all debts were released every seven years. So, please remember that this is not a horrible nightmare that you will never escape. Bankruptcy is an opportunity. It's a chance to start again with a clean slate.

2. What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy in Atlanta, Georgia, is the legal state of a person who cannot repay their debts. Usually, the debtor petitions the court for bankruptcy status. Typically, when a person or business runs out of cash, creditors impose unreasonable late fees, default rates and other penalties in an effort to collect more money. When a person in Georgia files bankruptcy, that person is asking the court to find some middle ground between the debtor and the high fees imposed by creditors.

3. Chapter 13 Versus Chapter 7

Simply put, Chapter 7 wipes out most of your debts. Chapter 13 creates a payment plan whereby you pay back some or all your debt over time in a more reasonable fashion. Qualifying for Chapter 7 requires that you satisfy the means test for Chapter 7. Basically, the means test determines if your household income is below the Georgia median. The means test can become somewhat complicated as it is different depending on the county in which you live.

4. What Is The Bankruptcy Process?

Well, it is different with each attorney, but here is a short list of what to expect:

  • Your Initial Consultation — This involves coming into our office and chatting about your situation with me, Jed Carter. Here I get an idea of your situation. I give you a plan of action and our questionnaire.
  • Credit Counseling — The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires all debtors filing bankruptcy to complete some credit and financial counseling. We set this up for you, and the cost is included in your fee.
  • File Bankruptcy — Once we have your questionnaire and you are ready, you'll have a pre-filing meeting with us. We go over the filing one last time to make sure everything is included.
  • Meeting Of Creditors — This is a formal meeting between you, your attorney (me), and your creditors, who typically do not appear. At this meeting, your identity is confirmed and you will have to answer a few questions.

What happens after this depends on your bankruptcy filing. Typically, your filing is approved in a number of months and discharged.

5. Do I Need An Attorney?

In Georgia, yes! Under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act, it is possible to lose your ability to file at all if you incorrectly file. Also, the back-end process for filing with federal courts is fairly complicated. Many people feel they can't afford an attorney, but we accept payment plans for most of our clients. In the end, it's cheaper to pay an attorney than to continue to pay the excessive fees and default rates. Either way, you don't need to go through this alone. Let us help.

Contact The Carter Firm P.C., at 770-287-8850 or online for more information on bankruptcy.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.