E.L. Clark

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Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, you need to know how much of your property you can protect through exemptions.

About filing for bankruptcy in Georgia

Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is not a decision to take lightly, and although it should be done as a last resort, it can lead to the fresh start that some people need to get back on track with their finances. One of the most common questions people have when they are considering filing for bankruptcy is whether or not they will lose all of their assets as a result. The specifics differ from state to state, but filers are usually entitled to claim certain exemptions during the bankruptcy process that may protect some of their property from creditors.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions in Georgia

There are several different categories of exemptions which you may be eligible for if you are filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Georgia, including:bankruptcy attorneys

  • Homestead exemption: This exemption protects equity in your home by up to $21,500 for an individual filer and $43,000 for joint filers
  • Vehicle exemption: Up to $3,500 of exemption can be applied to a vehicle that you own
  • Household goods exemption: This exemption is worth up to $5,000 per household, and it is typically applied to furniture or other important household items
  • Retirement exemption: Money in qualifying 401(k) and IRA accounts is completely exempt during bankruptcy, provided that it is not removed from the account
  • Jewelry exemption: Since the jewelry exemption is relatively modest at $500, most people choose to apply it to their wedding bands
  • Wildcard exemption: Up to $600 of exemption can be applied to any property that you own, and you can also take an additional $5,000 wildcard exemption if you refuse the homestead exemption

What to do if you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy

Every bankruptcy case is different, and which exemptions you take will depend on your personal situation. Since there is no one-size-fits-all answer, you need the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can navigate the complex property exemptions in Georgia. Contact Clark & Washington, LLC today for a free consultation that can help you begin to rebuild your financial future.

Steps to Take When Filing For Bankruptcy

It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that you need to file for bankruptcy. Once you have made the decision, however, you will need to be aware of the steps you’ll need to take. Knowing these steps can greatly benefit you and help you stay organized in the process.

Bankruptcy Filing Process

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Step 1: Get a Bankruptcy Attorney

Getting a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy can make the process much easier for you. If you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area, consider consulting Clark and Washington. We offer a free consultation and will also request your tax records, obtain your credit report, attend your court hearings, and file all the necessary paperwork for you.

Step 2: Gather All Your Financial Information

It will be important to have all your financial information together in one place. This will probably take some time, but collecting this information will help things go more smoothly for you. Here is some of the information you’ll need:

  • A list of debts that you owe
  • Any type of income (except for Social Security) you have received in the last six months or will receive
  • All your assets and property
  • A list of monthly living expenses

Your bankruptcy attorney can help you gather this information and will let you know of any additional information that may be required.

Step 3: Receive Credit Counseling

Once you have all your financial information collected, you’re going to want to receive credit counseling. This is not optional, and in order to finalize your bankruptcy, you must complete it six months before you formally file for bankruptcy. Mandatory credit counseling must be done with an agency that has been approved by the United States Trustee’s Office. If you don’t get credit counseling, your bankruptcy case will be dismissed in court.

Step 4: Go To Your Creditors’ Meeting

The court will inform you of when your creditors’ meeting will be held. During this meeting (also known as a “341” meeting) you will have to answer questions about your finances. You are required to attend this meeting and if you are married, your spouse will have to attend as well.

Step 5: Take a Debtors’ Education Course

This is another mandatory course you will need to complete after you file for bankruptcy and before you receive your bankruptcy discharge in the mail. Once you have completed this course and you have received your discharge, your case will officially close.

Contact An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

For help navigating the bankruptcy process, please contact the experiened attorneys at Clark and Washington. We conviniently eleven offices located throughout the metro-Atlanta area. From Woodstock to Morrow, Gainesville to Conyers, and everywhere in between, Clark and Washington is Atlanta’s most trusted bankruptcy attorneys.

 

Learn More About Chapter 13 in Georgia

There is no legal requirement for you to use an attorney for any bankruptcy proceedings, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek the services of a qualified professional. Even though it’s not a requirement, having an attorney while filing for bankruptcy is something you should definitely consider doing.

Reasons to Use an Attorney for Your Chapter 13

There are several reasons for this including these from your local Chapter 13 attorneys.chapter 13 attoneys erase debt problems

1. The Process Will Be Easier

There are many steps that need to be taken when you are filing for bankruptcy, and if you are trying to do it on your own, not only will you have to learn about the process, but you will also have to make sure that you do everything correctly. This is something that can delay the process and make it more drawn out as a result.

2. You Can Save Time and Money

It may seem like an additional expense, but the right attorney on your side is worth their weight in gold. If you have an attorney with experience, your bankruptcy filing will be filed correctly and in a timely manner, which equates to money saved in the long run. If you are desperate and need to file a bankruptcy, it makes sense to get an attorney.

3. Bankruptcy Can Be Complicated

This is not something that is easy to figure out. In fact, bankruptcy can be a very complicated process, and many people figure this out after it is too late. But you do not have to spend time trying to navigate the complexities that you are not familiar with. With the right attorney, these will be seen in advance, and the process will be easier to manage.

Contact Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider consulting Chapter 13 attorneys for your bankruptcy case. If you would like more information or would like to explore your options, be sure to reach out to us today for an appointment.

Who Can View My Bankruptcy Record?

If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, you might be wondering who will be able to view the details of your filing. Filing a bankruptcy is a public record, and the creditor’s hearing is open to the public. So what exactly does the bankruptcy being a matter of public record mean for you?

Ways in Which the Public Can View Your Bankruptcy

Because your bankruptcy is a public record, it is not sealed and can be viewed by anyone with the means to do so. The following ways are just a few instances in which your bankruptcy can be discovered:bankruptcy petition

PACER

Everyone who files a bankruptcy is entered into a national government database called Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Anyone who makes an account on PACER can view the details of your bankruptcy. Because it costs eight cents per page to do so though, typically only attorneys and creditors access PACER.

Local Newspaper

Many local newspapers print a section entitled, “Public Notices” or something to that effect. It is in this section — along with other public information such as criminal proceedings, weddings and births — that information about your bankruptcy proceedings might appear. You can contact your local newspaper to inquire about their policy concerning the printing of bankruptcy proceedings.

Local Television Station

Some towns have a local television station that broadcasts public meetings and other events that are open to the public. If your town has one, it’s possible that they might announce public records including your bankruptcy.

Your Mail

It’s likely that you’ll receive mail from both your bankruptcy attorney and the bankruptcy court itself. This means that not only will your mail carrier see it, but your neighbors might also become aware of your bankruptcy if they accidentally receive your mail.

Contact Bankruptcy Attorneys

At Clark & Washington, we’re experienced bankruptcy attorneys who understand the complexities that such a filing can bring to your life. As Georgia’s largest bankruptcy filer, we have the experience and knowledge to help you navigate this process. Contact us today for a free, friendly and no obligation consultation.

Understanding Tax Liens and Bankruptcy

Most people choose Chapter 7 in the first place because they are overwhelmed financially – and this situation can include tax liens. It is important to understand how liens work when it comes to bankruptcy, so you can make the best possible decision for yourself and your family.

What are Tax Liens?

A lien is a claim to a specific piece of property; when you have a mortgage for your home, it functions as a lien on the property. If you do not pay, the home can be sold to allow the lender to recoup their costs. A lien functions in the same way; if you have a Federal or State tax lien, then the entity you are beholden to is the IRS or your state.tax lien on home

A Stay Via Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, it triggers an automatic stay which prevents collection activities and gives you some breathing room. If you do not have a lien yet, then the IRS can’t place one upon you once you are in bankruptcy – a tax lien filed before bankruptcy, though will still be in place even if you file.

Tax Liens During Bankruptcy

If you already have a lien in place, then it can be paid during the process. Depending on your particular situation, your lien could be paid in part or in full during this process. In many cases there are no assets to be used in a chapter 7 case, so there is nothing available for payment. When this happens, you’d still have the lien after your bankruptcy concludes.

Get Help with Tax Liens and Bankruptcy

The best way to determine what to do if you have a lien against your home or other property is to speak with an attorney. Your situation is unique, and you can only figure out the best path to financial freedom by taking your current debts, assets and if you have them, liens, into consideration. Contact us to talk about your specific case and needs; our bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you get a fresh start and get out from under your financial woes.

What Do I Do If I Cannot Afford To File Bankruptcy?

If you’re a resident of Georgia considering filing for bankruptcy, you’re not alone. Each year thousands of people in the state go through the process. The district that includes the city of Atlanta has one of the highest rates of bankruptcy in the nation, with about half the filings being for Chapter 7.

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What Should I Do Before I File for Bankruptcy?

Before you file for bankruptcy, there are several things you should be doing. Bankruptcy can solve many debt problems, but it’s a serious decision that deserves adequate time and attention. For more information about bankruptcy, contact Clark and Washington.

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What Do I Need to Know About Refiling Bankruptcy in Georgia

When it comes to the number of times you’re allowed to refile bankruptcy in Georgia, there are no restrictions unless the court order states one. However, if your debts were dismissed in a previous bankruptcy, you must wait a specific amount of time before you can file again.

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What Happens When I File Chapter 7 While in Foreclosure

If you’re facing foreclosure, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an option you are considering to help your situation. Depending on your circumstances, a Chapter 7 filing may indeed be the relief you’re looking for.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Issues to Consider

If you are seriously considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it stands to reason that your financial situation is dire. The main reason that people would file for Chapter 7 without hiring an attorney is to avoid the attorney’s fees.

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Get Control of Your Finances: Decrease Your Holiday Stress

If you are struggling financially this holiday season, you are not alone. Many people living in Atlanta and the surrounding area are wondering what to do about the growing mountain of debt they are facing. If your debt is out of control and you aren’t sure what to do, bankruptcy may be an option.

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Bankruptcy Statistics Among Residents of Georgia

At Clark & Washington, we understand that there may come a time when you can no longer pay your bills and you need to find a way out. If you are trying to make the minimum payments on your credit cards and you continue to get behind on your bills, it’s time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

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Your Pension in Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and you currently have a pension in place, it is only natural to wonder if your pension will be safe. Currently, there is broad protection for pensions under the law.

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Types of Creditor Claims in Bankruptcy: Secured, Unsecured & Priority

There are many different kinds of debts, and when it comes to bankruptcy, they are not all treated the same.

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Will I lose My Home If I File for Bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy does not mean you will automatically lose your home. In fact, the automatic stay provided when you file for bankruptcy could prevent your home from going into foreclosure.  Click here to read more »

Hiding Assets in a Bankruptcy Can Cost You

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy or already have, you want to do everything in your power to follow the law.
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Top Reasons People Go Bankrupt

Bankruptcy is a scary word, and it can happen both over time or very fast. The causes of bankruptcy can vary from person to person but they usually revolve around the same things.  Click here to read more »

The Number One Cause of Bankruptcy: Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are rapidly increasing in the United States. With higher deductibles that are coming with insurance policies and Americans who are still without insurance, people are paying more out of their own pocket for health care than ever before.

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Which Debts Will Be Discharged In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

One component of bankruptcy that many people get confused about is what can and cannot be discharged from their debts. The common misconception is that all debt is discharged and this is simply not the case. The types of debt that can be discharged have a lot to do with the type of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the type of bankruptcy that has to do with discharging debts instead of simply paying them down. Before you file Chapter 7 Atlanta, you need to know if your debts are able to be removed from your record.

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Life After Bankruptcy: 7 Steps To Rebuilding Your Credit

Once you have filed for bankruptcy and your case has been closed, you may find yourself relieved but also scared about what comes next. Now that you have removed debt, you are still stuck with a bankruptcy on your credit and your credit score has likely gone down. It takes time to rebuild your credit but that doesn’t mean it will happen on its own. There are things you will need to do after your Atlanta bankruptcy so start rebuilding credit. Use these 7 steps to help get your credit back on track.

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