Filing for Chapter 7 Protection in Georgia

debt-relief-square-300x186Filing a bankruptcy action is not a step that people take lightly.  A decision often involves a careful weighing of options and a determination that a person, or couple, needs the economic clean slate that bankruptcy can provide.  Often, a traumatic life event, such as a medical emergency, divorce, or job loss, has prompted the filing.  It is important for the person who has made the determination that bankruptcy is the right choice to select the filing option that best meets his or her needs.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy action often may be referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. This is because the goal of the filing is to discharge certain unsecured debt, rather than reorganize the debt and establish a payment plan.  There are specific categories of unsecured debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7, including student loans, specific types of tax debt, child or spousal support obligations, or criminal fines.  In addition, a bankruptcy court will not discharge debt that was acquired in anticipation of filing for bankruptcy, which often involves the purchase of expensive luxury items.  Unsecured debt that may be discharged in a Chapter 7 action includes:
  • Credit card debt;
  • Unpaid medical bills;
  • Outstanding rent;
  • Overdue utility bills; and
  • Signature loans – often referred to as character loans, these are provided without collateral and the funds may be used for any purpose, but these loans often are subject to high interest rates.
Secured debts, such as mortgages, also are not subject to discharge in a Chapter 7 action, with the exception that it may be possible to discharge the debt if the collateral is turned back over to the creditor.  There are circumstances where a debtor may have limited equity in a home or vehicle and is permitted to keep the residence pursuant to an applicable homestead exemption and the car under another exemption.  This only applies if the creditor is able to keep making payments on the secured debt. In order to file a Chapter 7 action in Georgia, it is necessary to satisfy the means test. This involves a review of a person’s income and a determination about whether it falls below the established median threshold.  It is important to perform this review carefully as a mistake may lead to filing a case that is dismissed after significant costs are incurred. The Benefits of a Chapter 7 Filing If a person does qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the filing puts in place and automatic stay, which also happens in other bankruptcy actions.  This means that creditors must stop contacting the filing party and let the court case resolve any issues of outstanding debt.  This is a very important tool for those being routinely harassed by creditors and debt collection agencies.  In addition to the stay, a person also has the opportunity to preserve certain assets during a Chapter action, which are referred to as exempt property.  Any non-exempt property may be sold to pay creditors, to the extent possible, before the discharge of any remaining, qualifying debt.  Georgia’s exemptions are relatively limited when compared to some other states. Commencing a Chapter 7 Case There is a lot of preparation that goes into the filing of a bankruptcy case, including the collection of all relevant financial documents, the completion of schedules, listing all creditors, the filer’s income and expenses, as well as any assets, and the attendance of mandatory credit counseling.  It is important to make certain that everything is done properly so that there can be a discharge of debt at the conclusion of the case and a fresh start for the person going through the bankruptcy. Roswell Bankruptcy Attorneys Provides Necessary Assistance during a Bankruptcy Case There are many complicated issues that arise during a bankruptcy case, including determining what type of action is the best choice for a particular person or couple.  If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Roswell Bankruptcy Attorneys are ready to help you.  Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Filing Bankruptcy Due To Medical Bills in Georgia

If you’re considering filing bankruptcy due to medical bills in Georgia you’re not alone. According to NerdWallet Health medical bills are the number one reason why people file bankruptcy across the US. Medical bankruptcy doesn’t just affect people without medical insurance. Even people who have good insurance coverage can end up with huge medical bills that make bankruptcy the best option for them financially. For some people filing for bankruptcy is the best way out from under a mountain of medical debt.

Is Bankruptcy Right For You?

Bankruptcy isn’t always the right choice. Roswell bankruptcy attorneys are a good source of information if you want to get a professional opinion about bankruptcy for your specific financial situation. But in general if you don’t have a lot of assets and you do have a lot of medical debt a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be a way for you to get rid of that medical debt. Bankruptcy isn’t a quick fix. It will hurt your credit for a few years. But if you’re struggling to pay off medical debt a bankruptcy could give you a more secure financial future.

Medical Debt In Bankruptcy

The debt that you have is classified in different ways in a bankruptcy. Some of your assets like your home or your car might be exempt from bankruptcy. But other debts like credit cards and medical debt is eligible to be wiped out by a bankruptcy. Medical debt is considered a nonpriority unsecured debt. That means that you can get rid of that debt by declaring bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Isn’t A Quick Fix

Filling for BankruptcyDeclaring bankruptcy isn’t a magic fix for your debt problems. Alpharetta bankruptcy attorneys can tell you more about the consequences of bankruptcy for your specific situation. But for most people who find themselves stuck with enormous medical bills a Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives them the chance for a clean slate so they don’t have to spend years trying to pay off huge medical bills. Medical bills can happen to anyone. Most Americans are just one emergency away from falling into a pit of debt that they can’t climb out of without help. A car accident that leaves you or a loved one disabled, an emergency surgery, or a catastrophic illness can happen to anyone. Bankruptcy was created for situations like this when people need a little help getting back on their feet after an emergency.

Get A Personalized Medical Bankruptcy Assessment

If you have medical bills that are piling up and you are wondering if bankruptcy is the best way for you to get rid of that debt talk to a bankruptcy attorney in Georgia today. Alpharetta bankruptcy attorneys and Roswell bankruptcy attorneys can tell you if you qualify for a medical bankruptcy and how a medical bankruptcy will impact your credit. Medical bills don’t have to ruin your financial future. If you’ve been struggling to pay your medical bills but you just can’t keep up with the growing expenses talk to a bankruptcy attorney today. Your medical debt could be a thing of the past in just a few months.
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Can I keep my retirement account if I file bankruptcy?

401 The good news is that for the most part, your 401(k) and other qualified retirement accounts are protected in bankruptcy. Traditionally, retirement accounts are almost always protected from creditors and are considered “exempt” when a bankruptcy is filed. An “exemption” in a bankruptcy just means that the asset is safe from the clutches of the court and the bankruptcy filer can keep it with no problem.   Regardless of how much savings you have in your 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), Keogh or other benefit plan, those retirement accounts can not be touched by creditors if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, nor will they affect the amount you pay back if you file Chapter 13. If you have funds saved in an IRA (including Roth, SEP, or SIMPLE), these funds are generally exempt from creditors, however there will be a certain limit. As of April 2013, this limit was approximately $1.2 million.   The Federal Bankruptcy Code lists specific assets that are exempt. Your IRA is one such asset, but only if you or your spouse were the ones contributing to it.   According to federal bankruptcy laws, once an IRA is passed on and inherited by another, it loses its protected status. However, this does not apply to spouses. If your spouse passes, the IRA you get from your spouse is considered a “rollover IRA” and will remain protected.   You need to know that these federal bankruptcy exemptions are not applicable in every state. Each state has the option to come up with it’s own exemptions.   What if I am retired?   The circumstances are different if you are already retired and taking distributions. If you are drawing income from your retirement accounts, that money is more accessible to creditors. That accessibility depends on how much income you need to meet your living expenses.   If you were to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, anything above what you need to support yourself could be fair game to creditors. Should you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the income from your retirement plan or plans will likely be included to determine how much you can afford to repay your debt.   Is it a good idea to cash out my retirement before filing for bankruptcy?   In general, cashing out your retirement account prior to filing for bankruptcy is almost never a good idea. There are usually severe penalties and negative tax consequences for cashing out your retirement account early. Additionally, there will be a loss of protection of those funds or assets you bought in bankruptcy.   Charlton & Glover Can Help You Bankruptcy can be very complicated; we will bring clarity to your questions. If you live in the North Atlanta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover are here for you. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.  
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Can I file Bankruptcy Twice?

double-bankruptcyIf you are struggling with debt and have previously filed a bankruptcy case, you might wonder if or how long you have to wait before you can file for bankruptcy again. Great news! You can file for bankruptcy as often as you like. However, the bad news is that there are time limits on how often you can file if you want to discharge your debts. This article will discuss the timing of repeat bankruptcy filings, refiling once your case is dismissed, and how you could file for bankruptcy even if you are not able to discharge your debts.   What is the Bankruptcy Discharge? At the completion of a successful bankruptcy case the court will grant a discharge. This discharge will wipe out all of your dischargeable debts. Know that there are non-dischargeable debts, which cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy. Examples of non-dischargeable debts are:
  • Child support and alimony.
  • Criminal fines, penalties, and restitution.
  • Certain tax obligations.
  • Student loans (with rare exceptions)
  • Debts acquired by fraud
Since the goal for most bankruptcy filers is that you receive a discharge of your debts, it is important that you understand the time limits on repeat discharges. Sometimes it makes sense to file for bankruptcy even if you cannot get a discharge. Thus, refiling for bankruptcy at any time can be helpful in some cases.   Time Limits for Bankruptcy Discharges Displayed below are the time limits for receiving a second discharge. These limits vary depending on whether you plan to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the type of bankruptcy for which you previously got a discharge. You received Chapter 7 previously and wish to file Chapter 7. The time limit in this case is eight years. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot get another Chapter 7 discharge unless the second case was filed more than eight years from the date you filed the first Chapter 7 case. You received Chapter 13 previously and wish to file Chapter 13. The time limit in this case is two years. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you cannot get another Chapter 13 discharge unless the second case was filed more than two years from the date you filed the first Chapter 13 case. You filed Chapter 13 previously and wish to file Chapter 7. The time limit in this case is six years. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you cannot get a discharge in a Chapter 7 case unless you file the second case more than six years from the filing date of the Chapter 13. However there is an exception. You can file right away if:  
  • You paid 100% of the debt owed to your unsecured creditors in the Chapter 13
  • You paid at least 70% of the claims in the Chapter 13 using your best effort to repay creditors.
You filed Chapter 7 previously and wish to file Chapter 13. The time limit in this case is four years. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13 case unless you file the Chapter 13 case more than four years from the filing date of the Chapter 7.   Can I Refile If My Bankruptcy Case Was Dismissed? If the bankruptcy court has dismissed your case, you may refile unless the court says otherwise. However, if your case was dismissed due to fraud it is likely that the court will likely prohibit you from refilling. Depending on the reason your case was dismissed, you may have to wait 180 days to refile. Be aware that if you refile within a few years, the protection of the automatic stay may be limited. An automatic stay is an automatic injunction that halts actions by creditors, with certain exceptions, to collect debts from a debtor who has declared bankruptcy. If your discharge is denied by the court you likely can file again, but it is likely that won’t be able to discharge any of the debts that were part of the first filing. In you are considering bankruptcy after a dismissal or discharge, it would be best to talk to an attorney.   Charlton & Glover Has the Answer You need a knowledgeable attorney who understands the nuances of bankruptcy in the state of Georgia. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover are here to help you. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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The Debtor Education Requirement in Bankruptcy

derWith few exceptions, all debtors are required to receive credit counseling from an approved agency before they can file for their bankruptcy. Further, debtors cannot receive a discharge unless they also complete a debtor education course (also known as a financial management course) after filing their case. Let's examine this requirement a little more closely. After filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to complete a debtor education course before you can receive your discharge. If you filed a joint petition, both you and your spouse must complete the debtor education course. You must understand that the debtor education requirement is separate from the credit counseling requirement in bankruptcy. You will also have to complete a credit counseling course. In a nutshell, you will need to complete a credit counseling course before you can file your bankruptcy and complete a debtor education course before you can receive a discharge. This course has a specific time completion. If you don’t complete the debtor education course within the required deadlines, the court will close your case and you won’t get a discharge. This means you remain liable for your debts.

 The Purpose of Debtor Education

The purpose of debtor education is to help one focus on life after bankruptcy. The course teaches you how to manage your money, use credit wisely, and make the most of your bankruptcy discharge. You will be educated on how to make sound financial decisions to avoid bankruptcy in the future.

When to Complete Your Debtor Education Course

The debtor education course must be completed after your case is filed. If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete the course within 60 days of the initial date set for your meeting of creditors, also known as the 341 hearing. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it must be completed before you make your last plan payment. Like the credit counseling course, you must use an approved agency and file your certificate of completion with the court. Should you fail to complete the debtor education requirement, know that the court can close your case without a discharge. If you miss these deadlines, you can reopen your case, for a fee, in order to complete the class and file your certification of completion.

 What to Expect from Debtor Education

The debtor education course covers money management skills. The focus of the course will be primarily in educating you about how to budget, manage your money, and use credit wisely after you receive a discharge in bankruptcy. Expect to develop a budget using your projected income and expenses after bankruptcy. The debtor education class typically lasts about two hours, and provides information on such topics as:
  • Setting and reaching financial goals
  • Saving money
  • Money management
  • How to prepare a budget
  • Consumer protection
  • How to cut expenses
  • How to use credit wisely and effectively
  • How to deal with an unexpected financial crisis.
When you are in financial distress, it's always a good idea to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer about your situation. It doesn't mean you've committed to do a bankruptcy but rather to finding out your options. If you live in the North Atlanta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover can help you make the best decision that provides the most benefits for your unique situation. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule your free initial consultation.
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What to expect at a Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing)

341One of the most commonly asked questions asked about bankruptcy is “Will I have to go to court?” In most bankruptcy cases, the answer is no.  In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor is required to attend a “meeting of creditors”, also called a 341 hearing.  The meeting of creditors is not a court hearing. Instead, it is run by your bankruptcy trustee and usually held in a meeting room. The 341 hearing gives the bankruptcy trustee the opportunity to ask questions and have you confirm under oath the information you provided in your petition, schedules, and other documents. The meeting of creditors is held approximately thirty days after the bankruptcy petition is filed. The debtor and everyone listed on the list of creditors filed by the debtor will receive written notice of the day, time, and location of this meeting. Knowing what to expect at this hearing will likely make things go smoother and help to ease anxiety.   Who will attend the Meeting of Creditors? In most cases, the only people attending the meeting are the trustee, your attorney, and you. Many people are concerned that their creditors will come to this hearing and grill them. It is very unusual for creditors to show up at the meeting and ask questions. On a rare occasion when a creditor does turn up, your attorney can make sure they do nothing inappropriate. It is possible that a representative of the United States Trustee could be present and ask you questions. This person should be treated the same as the bankruptcy trustee and you should be willing to answer their questions.   The Setting The meeting of creditors will take place in a meeting room. You will be accompanied by your attorney and sit across a desk or table from the trustee. In most cases, this meeting is relatively short, 15 minutes or less. Be prepared to wait for a time before your case is called. The creditors meeting is generally less formal than a hearing held before a judge. Dress neatly, but a suit and tie is not required.   How the Meeting of Creditors Works In most cases the meeting will start with the trustee asking to see your driver’s license, Social Security card, and to swear you in. Have your Social Security card and driver’s license out and ready when you go in to see the trustee. The trustee should then ask several questions related to information that you provided in your petition, schedules, and other documents. Know that the trustee will never try to trick you or trip you up. Most often, the purpose of the questions is just to confirm information for the record. Know that your lawyer will be there to help you if you do not understand a question. If anything is inaccurate or has changed, you should tell your attorney ahead of time. In addition to asking questions, the trustee may request certain documents such as:
  • Your most recent pay stub
  • Financial statements showing the date of filing, mortgage and auto loan balances as of the date of filing,
  • Property and vehicle valuations (with insurance)
  • Your most recent federal tax form.
These documents would have been provided to your attorney before the hearing. Should the trustee request any additional information or documents, be sure to get it to your attorney as soon as possible. That is the entire 341 hearing in a nutshell. The meeting of creditors is nothing to fear, but a little preparation will help to ensure that your case is approved without delay. We are here to help! Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can prepare your Chapter 7 bankruptcy paperwork and appear for you in front of the bankruptcy trustee. Contact us or call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Chapter 7 Actions

chapt-7There are many events that can drive a person or couple into bankruptcy, but it usually involves financial devastation and an inability to keep current on payments for necessities such as housing and food. People often find themselves not making payments on one thing, so that they can make payments on another.

Most people believe that there are no options, even in bankruptcy, to eliminate some of the debt associated with a home, but this is not true.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- also called "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy -- is designed to give you a fresh start. It wipes out most types of debt, and in return the bankruptcy trustee sells (liquidates) your nonexempt property in order to provide partial repayment to creditors. But because most people have very little property that is not exempt, most Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers end up keeping most or all of their property.

Chapter 7 Actions
A debtor who files for Chapter 7 protection may take steps outside the bankruptcy court to modify the terms of his or her mortgage through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  The act of filing for bankruptcy does not limit a person’s ability to seek a modification nor should the bankruptcy case influence whether or not a person qualifies for a modification.  It is possible for a person to get the debt on a HELOC discharged in a Chapter 7 case, but the creditor maintains its lien on the property, which means that a person could face a foreclosure action after coming through the bankruptcy.  A person may reaffirm the debt during the bankruptcy case in order to avoid legal actions after the case has been closed, but this only makes sense if the person has the means to stay current on the debt.  The fact is that most people with equity in a home pursue Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections.

We Can Help!
Charlton & Glover provides guidance to those considering a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Before you file for bankruptcy, there are many things that should be analyzed. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover are ready to sit down with you and help you make the decision that works best for your circumstances. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Chapter 13 Actions

  A chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a wage earner's plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. It is possible to take actions that reduce the debt to a manageable level, which may be done by stripping off a second mortgage or discharging a home equity line of credit.

Actions in a Chapter 13 Filing

chap-13There are several things that might happen in a Chapter 13 action. If there is a home equity line of credit (HELOC), there may be payments made to the HELOC creditor during the three to five years of the plan. At the conclusion of the plan period, any remaining debt under the HELOC may be discharged. A second mortgage may be subject to discharge if the value of the house has decreased to the level where there no longer is security for the debt. A home that is underwater (where the outstanding balances on the primary and any secondary mortgages is greater than the market value of the home) may allow the debtor to have the second mortgage discharged as part of the bankruptcy case. However, he or she still will be obligated to make payments on the primary mortgage.

Charlton & Glover Provides Guidance to Those Considering Bankruptcy

When those who own a home are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, many things  should be analyzed. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced Charlton & Glover attorneys are ready to sit down with you and help you make the decision that works best for your circumstances. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Benefits of Joint Filing of Bankruptcy in a Divorce

Joint filing of bankruptcy in Alpharetta GAThere are financial and logistical benefits that may result from a joint filing, which must be done before a divorce is finalized. This includes lower costs because the couple can be represented by one attorney and only will need to pay one bankruptcy filing fee, which may be significant based on the financial distress that prompted the filing. It is possible that the couple may qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action based on the combined household income, whereas they would not qualify as individuals after going through the divorce. In addition, the distribution of assets and debts that is part of the divorce proceeding may leave one person with too much consumer debt to qualify for an individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy after the divorce. There are circumstances where one spouse will take steps to file bankruptcy individually in order to discharge debts, leaving him or her in a better financial position than the other spouse. A judge may view this as inequitable and may award the non-filing spouse additional property to create a more balanced situation or may award spousal support in order to provide the non-filing spouse with the means to pay down the debt that he or she still has.

We can help!

Let us help you understand the benefits of joint filing before deciding which path to pursue in your bankruptcy. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover are here to help you. Use the Contact Roswell Bankruptcy Attorney or call  (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Bankruptcy and Divorce

Bankruptcy & Divorce Lawyer in RoswellThere are few things as stressful as going through a divorce, but when you couple that with a need to obtain the financial clean slate that a bankruptcy action may provide, it may prove overwhelming. There are some things to consider when deciding whether, and how, a bankruptcy action contemporaneous with a divorce may benefit a person. It is common for a couple who has decided to divorce to also consider filing a bankruptcy action, as financial difficulties play a large role in many divorces. One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether to file jointly as a couple prior to the divorce or whether to wait and file an individual bankruptcy case after the divorce has been finalized. Filing during a divorce enables a couple to liquidate certain debt in order to have a simplified division of assets and liabilities after the divorce. However, there are circumstances where a person may want to go through the divorce, including the equitable division of property, and then commence a bankruptcy action.

 The Type of Bankruptcy Matters

There are two common bankruptcy actions that are pursued by individuals, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These bankruptcy cases have very different outcomes. A Chapter 7 case is often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy as the goal is to eliminate certain debt as opposed to reorganizing it and making payments. In order to file for Chapter 7, there are income restrictions. If a couple, or individual filing alone, exceeds the established median income, then they would have to file a Chapter 13, where there is a bankruptcy trustee who is assigned to the action and oversees a repayment plan for creditors, which is in place for between three to five years. It is important to decide if this ongoing obligation would work for a couple going through a divorce. Once the divorce has been finalized, it may be beneficial for an individual to file a Chapter 13 action. Understanding Your Options There are many reasons why individuals file for bankruptcy, but the financial uncertainty surrounding a divorce often prompts people to make the decision to pursue a bankruptcy case. It is important to understand the different options and how they will affect you before deciding which path to pursue. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced bankruptcy and divorce attorneys at Charlton & Glover are ready to help you. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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How To Deal With Creditors

creditor-callOne of the most common events that pushes a person or couple to take the step of commencing a bankruptcy action is dealing with the harassing telephone calls of creditors and debt collection agencies. Although there are legal limits on what these individuals and companies can do to attempt to collect a debt, this does not make dealing with the harassment much easier on the people struggling to find a way to pay the debt. One of the greatest benefits of filing a bankruptcy action is the automatic stay that starts immediately upon filing, preventing creditors from continuing to contact debtors outside of the bankruptcy court. Managing Creditors before Filing Although the goal is to get the bankruptcy action filed in order to put a complete halt to the contact, there are things that can be done to manage the interactions prior to the filing. Once the decision has been made to file a bankruptcy case, it is important to find an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The retention of legal counsel means that you can refer creditors to the attorney when they contact you, avoiding having to deal with the harassment until the case can be filed. It is important to refrain from incurring any more unnecessary debt during the time period between deciding to file bankruptcy and actually completing the requirements for filing or it may provide ammunition for a creditor to challenge the good faith basis of the filing through an adversary proceeding. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) It is important for every consumer to realize that there are restrictions in place that limit what a creditor may do in an attempt to collect a debt. If the creditors violated the provisions of the FDCPA before the bankruptcy case was filed, it may be possible to recover damages for the violations. Some of the prohibitions that apply to creditors include:
  • Repeatedly contacting the debtor after a creditor has been informed that the individual has retained an attorney to handle this matter;
  • Calling a person at work after the creditor has been asked not to do so;
  • Informing a person’s employer or co-workers about the existence of the debt;
  • Threatening that a person is subject to arrest and prosecution for failing to pay a debt;
  • Impersonating an attorney;
  • Calling a debtor at his or her home after 9:00 PM or before 8:00 AM; or
  • Discussing the debt with anyone other than the debtor or his/her spouse.
These are only a few of the restrictions that exist. It is important to take note of any contact from creditors in order to discuss the actions with an attorney in order to determine if there were legally actionable violations. Dealing with Creditors after the Filing of the Bankruptcy Action Once the bankruptcy action has been filed, creditors are absolutely barred from contacting a debtor. The creditor is notified about the filing through a 341 Notice, which the court mails to all the creditors identified in the initial filing – this is why it is important to be careful and thorough in the preparation of the filing paperwork. If a creditors contacts a person after the filing of the case, the filer should inform the creditor of the bankruptcy action and provide the case number. Any mailing from a creditor, including additional bills, should be addressed with a return mailing containing the initial correspondence and a copy of the 341 Notice. If there is ongoing contact, it is important to record all identifying information and then seek the assistance of the attorney handling the bankruptcy case. There may be legal ramifications for the creditors who are violating the stay. Charlton & Glover Advocates for Those Going Through Bankruptcy A bankruptcy action is stressful enough without the anxiety being compounded by aggressive creditors. If you live in the Roswell or Alpharetta area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover can help you get relief from your creditors and pursue a successful bankruptcy action. Call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia

BankruptcyThere are two common bankruptcy actions for an individual or couple who are overwhelmed by debt to pursue. One is a Chapter 7 action, where the debt is dischargeable and there is no plan to repay creditors, other than the debtors continuing to meet their obligations to secured creditors. There is an income limit for those who wish to pursue a liquidation bankruptcy. The other common filing for individuals is a Chapter 13 action. This involves the reorganization of debt and the formulation of a repayment plan that may extend for a period of three to five years.

One of the key aspects of a Chapter 13 case is that there is a trustee who oversees the development of the plan and then ensures that the debtor is making the scheduled payments to creditors pursuant to this plan. A debtor who decides to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has to main obligations:

• Develop a repayment plan that will allow for regular payments, through the bankruptcy court, to the creditors over the plan period – a debtor must be reasonable in determining the amount of disposable income that he or she has in order to ensure that the payments are made on a timely basis; and

• Ensure that the creditors are receiving at least as much as they would have if the debtor had filed for Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13 – in a Chapter 7, non-exempt property is liquidated and the proceeds of the sale of the assets are used to pay down the unsecured debt to the extent possible. A creditor in a Chapter 13 action must receive at least the amount of payment under the plan as he would have done if the debtor liquidated his property to pay off debts.

One of the reasons that a person may choose to file for Chapter 13 protection, even though he or she qualifies for Chapter 7 is that there is a mortgage or other secured debt that the individual wants to address. If a person has a home in foreclosure, or that is about to go into foreclosure, the filing of a Chapter 13 case will put a stop to the proceedings. The repayment plan can be developed with the goal of making current payments on the mortgage, while also catching up on overdue debt. In addition to addressing the primary mortgage holder, it may be possible to strip off a secondary mortgage in a Chapter 13 case.

There are many important considerations that must be made before deciding whether to file for bankruptcy and what type of bankruptcy to pursue. If you live in the East Cobb or Milton area, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Charlton & Glover can help you get relief from your creditors and file the bankruptcy action that provides the most benefits for your unique situation. Contact us using the form below or call us at (770) 993-1005 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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