We are a boutique law firm with a family atmosphere. We realize that our clients are in need of help and we make it our mission to create the most comfortable environment possible for our clients. Over the last 30 years, we have been providing legal services pertaining to bankruptcy, workers compensation and disability to the Athens, Georgia metropolitan area. We have assisted all types of clients from commercial businesses to individuals.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very different from Chapter 7. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the assets of a debtor are sold by the appointed bankruptcy trustee to pay off the debtors debts. Chapter 13 cases are different, because instead of losing property to sale, a debtor is allowed to set up a payment plan with the bankruptcy trustee to pay back the debt over the course of a three to five year period. The money used to pay the bankruptcy trustee and satisfy the debt comes from regular income and wages instead of sale proceeds of personal property. This form of bankruptcy is commonly referred to as reorganization bankruptcy.
Like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not everyone qualifies, but not for the same reasons. Any individual, whether self-employed or operating as an unincorporated business may file, provided they are eligible. To become eligible, you have to have enough disposable income to cover your debts. Chapter 13 requires that you pay off your debts with your stream of income, so it is required that you show the court you have the capacity to meet your obligations solely from your income.
Eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also dependent upon the totaled amount of all your secured debts and unsecured debts. Secured debts are debts that are guaranteed by some form of collateral. Collateral, in regards to a secured debt, is an asset that is used to secure a loan – that is – it is something that the creditor can utilize to cover the cost of the loan in the event that the borrower is unable to fulfill their debt obligation. An unsecured debt is a debt for which there is no collateral. Examples of these are credit card debts, medical bills, and student loans. If an individual has amassed secured debts that exceed $1,149,525 and unsecured debts that exceed $383,175 then they will not be allowed to file for Chapter 13.
Consult with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney before you attempt to file. The knowledge and experience of conducting Chapter 13 filings in the past will prove invaluable to your decision making process. Having an attorney explain the process to you will also keep you informed and help the process runs smoothly.
Before you can file for bankruptcy you have to undergo mandatory credit counseling from an agency that is pre-approved by the United States Trustee’s office. You may visit ACDCAS.com for approved credit counseling. The agencies that administer the counseling charge various fees for their services that must be paid to complete the program. After you have completed the counseling, you may then file for Chapter 13.
The actual filing portion of a Chapter 13 case begins by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court in the area where you reside.
Typically, the court will also expect:
The filing fee will be $360 in total which is made up of the $310 in court court costs and the $50 credit counseling. One of our lawyers in Athens, GA will start a chapter 13 case for $120.
Our bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to treating clients like family and making client needs a priority. We have specialized experience in assisting clients who are facing foreclosure on their homes, or have already had their homes foreclosed upon. Morgan & Morgan also specializes in matters of bankruptcy, real estate, immigration and debt collection defense. Let us help you with your debt relief, start your free consultation now by contacting us today at (706) 548-7070 to learn more about how our team of experienced attorneys can help you through these challenging times.