Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Overwhelming credit card debt?
  • Missed mortgage payments?
  • Property repossession?
  • Tax Debt?

We can help. Our Roswell Bankruptcy Attorneys have more than 30 years of experience filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Overwhelming credit card debt?
  • Missed mortgage payments?
  • Property repossession?
  • Tax Debt?

We can help. Our Roswell Bankruptcy Attorneys have more than 30 years of experience filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. 

GET A FREE CONSULTATION.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to hand over all your non-exempt property to the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to convert it into cash to pay your creditors. Both the creditors and you will meet, and about 60 days after the hearing, you will receive a debt discharge.

WHAT IS CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes referred to as a ‘total debt liquidation bankruptcy,’ is a legal proceeding. Once filed, you have to hand over all your non-exempt property to the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to convert it into cash to pay your creditors. In case of exempted assets, the trustee  files a report of no distribution with the court, meaning there will be no distribution to the creditors.

During bankruptcy proceedings, the trustee will preside over a hearing in which both the creditors and you will meet under Section 341. This first meeting facilitates the creditors in asking you specific questions outlined in the US Bankruptcy Code. After about 60 days of this hearing, you will receive a discharge that will save you from all dischargeable debts.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Advantages of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is a way to reset your debt and start fresh. There are numerous benefits, and sometimes when loan modifications or other debt relief methods are not the answer, filing bankruptcy is the way to go.

Can Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Stop You From Getting Credit?

The notion that filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will ruin your credit for years is not correct. People who go bankrupt and resort to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can immediately start rebuilding their credit. And it takes only about 18 months of being regular in timely payment of bills to re-establish a good credit rating. For instance, people who had filed under Chapter 7 bankruptcy were able to buy a home in 1-1.5 year after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge.
Yes, you read that right.

Prevent Creditor Harassment

In the normal course of bankruptcy, the person who goes bankrupt gets inundated with calls from creditors, either on the phone or physically, demanding their invested money back. However, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy saves you from all this. Once you file a chapter 7, creditors are notified and get automatically debarred by law from calling you or taking collection. If they persist, you may take legal action against them. They can only do so by obtaining a permission from the bankruptcy court. This not only saves you from harassment but provides a much-needed breathing space.

Eliminate Debts

Once the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings conclude, several types of mortgages get discharged, meaning you will no longer owe them. These include three-year-old income taxes, rent and utility bills of the past, medical bills and credit card debt.

The are several debts that don’t get discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Alimony and child support
  • Student loans
  • A monetary penalty imposed by the court

How Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you have been granted a Chapter 7 discharge within the past eight years, you cannot file it again. However, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within four years.

Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?

Although laws and rules on bankruptcy may differ from state to state, you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia if you meet its specific requirements:

First, you need to qualify the ‘means test’.

Second, you should have assets that can be liquidated to repay creditors.

Georgia does offer exemptions that protect most property in Chapter 7 cases.

Furthermore, you are allowed to keep up to $21,500 in value on your home, if you are single. For married couples, this value is $43,000. Subtract what you owe on the home from the worth of the home to get this value. If the entire homestead exemption is not availed, $5,000 of that exemption can be extended towards any other property that you wish to retain.

Can You Keep Your Car/House When You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Georgia law allows keeping up to $5,000 worth of vehicles and $5,000 of personal property. Attorneys well versed in the bankruptcy laws of Georgia can handle these rules and regulations efficiently.

As far as the house is concerned, you can keep it under two conditions:

  1. You are current with your mortgage payments at the time of filing.
  2. The state laws permit exemption of all the equity in the property. Similarly, for retaining your car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to be current with your loan payments and the state laws allow exemption of equity on your vehicle. The best part is that it takes a relatively short period  for getting a bankruptcy Chapter 7 discharge. You can get it within four to six months from the date of filing.

Does Everyone Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is due to the stringent conditions laid out in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Act of 2005.

Debtors need to:

  • Prove that they have no reasonable alternative to bankruptcy.
  • Prove that they have made good-faith efforts to resolve the debt problem but are unable to pay.
  • And it requires passing the ‘means test’ to declare bankruptcy.

The Act also mandates that you deposit the following documents to prove your eligibility for bankruptcy. These include:

  • Latest payroll statement.
  • List of your debts.
  • List of your average monthly household living expenses.

How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 7 on your own is fraught with risks, as you may not be as knowledgeable as an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Our experienced professionals can take you through the steps in the bankruptcy process and provide correct guidance in this matter.

First of all, you need to take a ‘means test’ to determine whether you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

To qualify, your income needs to be lower than the median income of your state. In Georgia, the median income for a family of two stands at $50,712 per year.

An income higher than the state’s median income may disqualify you from filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. However, if you don’t have any disposable income or it is too little then you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Your attorney will calculate this for you by collecting all information pertaining to your monthly income and expenses.

Next, you are required to take a court-approved credit counseling course and attach the certificate of completion with your petition. One can take this course online, and it takes just a few hours.

You must attach schedules with the bankruptcy petition.

The schedules are nothing but a list of your entire income and debts. This is an important step, and you must include all the debts on your schedule.

It is important to check and double check the list of debts on your schedule.

If you fail to include a debt, it will not be discharged at the end of the process. Once you file your petition, it will prevent your creditors from pursuing collection without a court order.

Appointment of a Trustee

The United States Trustee selects the trustee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases on a random basis. The primary job of a Chapter 7 trustee is to liquidate assets for the benefit of creditors. For this, the trustee will review your petition and schedules, filed in the court and may also ask for more information. Although in 90 percent of the cases there are no assets available for liquidation, due to exemption, the Chapter 7 trustees still distribute around $1.5 billion each year.​

Section 341 – The Meeting of Creditors

As already mentioned, this is the first meeting of creditors with you and is presided over by the trustee. Under this section, the creditors are permitted to cross-examine you to find out whether you are holding any assets that can be sold to repay them. The trustee also investigates any fraudulent transfer of property by you before filing.

Chapter 7 helps to release the following debts:

  • credit card
  • medical bills
  • rent and utilities that are due
  • other unsecured debt.

Liquidating Assets

The trustee will sell a portion or all of your non-exempt property to pay off the creditors. The exempted property cannot be disposed of by court and remains safe.

You need experienced, responsive representation. We have more than 30 years of experience filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, with nearly 99% of Chapter 7 cases discharged. When it comes to your future, experience matters.

We Want You to Feel Heard Through the Bankruptcy Process

Mr. Galler sets aside two hours every single day to connect with his clients and answer their concerns. You’ll always have access to his email and personal cell phone number to help put your mind at ease.  Contact us to discuss your debt and find out if bankruptcy is the solution you need. You can schedule an in-office visit or a virtual meeting.

FIND A SEASONED ROSWELL BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY AT GALLER LAW FIRM

Experience Matters

We have more than 30 years of experience filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, with nearly 99% of Chapter 7 cases discharged. When it comes to your future, experience matters.

Responsive

Mr. Galler sets aside two hours of every single day to connect with his clients and answer their concerns. You’ll always have access to his email and personal cell phone number to help put your mind at ease.