As the 2010s began, Georgia was infamous as the state hardest hit by bankruptcies, even in the midst of the recession. Today, while conditions have improved, Georgia is still one of the top states filing for bankruptcies, with no sign of the trend reversing.
This doesn’t sound like a trend you want your state to be on top of – but there are some surprising benefits to the bankruptcy-friendly environment of Georgia, as well difficulties you should be aware of. To find out more, let’s discuss some of the top factors that play into this interesting situation.
What Makes Georgia Unique When it Comes to Bankruptcy?
- Fewer Exemptions: Compared to other states, Georgia has few laws that protect assets from debt collectors. That means it is more difficult for borrowers to work out alternatives (such as loan deferment or reorganization), and easier for them to lose important assets that they may need. As a result, bankruptcy is often the only recourse remaining for many in such situations.
- Efficient Foreclosure Processes: Property foreclosure processes tend to differ state by state. In Georgia, the process is very easy, and doesn’t even require court approval – a common step in most states. This allows foreclosures to zoom through to completion, which is good news for banks and lenders, but bad news for homeowners. Fast foreclosures mean more pressure on debtors, and leads to more bankruptcy decisions as people seek for ways to keep from losing their homes.
- Entrepreneurial Endeavors: Georgia – in particular Atlanta – has seen a significant amount of new business activity, especially when it comes to small businesses and similar ventures. This is often good news for the economy, but it also poses problems: What happens when those businesses fail? An active small business community often means a lot of failed businesses. When a small business fails, it’s typically the owner that feels it most severely. As a result, financial catastrophes may be more common and lead to more bankruptcy filings as a whole.
- Bankruptcy Attorneys: Georgia also has a high number of skilled bankruptcy attorneys. You may think this is a natural byproduct of all the filings, but it also helps affect the number of bankruptcies in a different way: Advertisements. The more consumers who see advertisements for bankruptcy services, the more will consider it as an option when faced with financial problems. On the whole, people in Georgia may simply be more aware of their options.
- Social Factors: It is difficult to judge the effects of social factors, but there may be various social pressures at play in the Georgia market – for example, gambling problems may be leading to greater financial difficulties.
Seeking Bankruptcy Help
For more information on bankruptcy and alternatives to your unique financial situation, please contact Morgan & Morgan. You aren’t alone – and our lawyers are here to help explain your options and find the right path for your financial future!