Debts can get overwhelming and fill your head with catastrophic thoughts. Fortunately, US law and the state law of Georgia allow you to file for bankruptcy and get quick relief by canceling the unsecured debt. In this quick guide, we explain how to file for bankruptcy in Georgia using Chapter 7.
What is Chapter 7?
Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is an effective legal method to get rid of unsecured debt. Chapter 7 is legitimate in the entire country, including Georgia. Depending on your situation, this Chapter may require you to partially pay the debt by liquidating some of your assets, but in the majority of cases, you can eliminate debt and leave most or all of your property. This type of bankruptcy process allows reduction and full elimination of:
- Tax liabilities
- Unsecured loans
- Medical bills
- Utility bills
However, there are limitations, too, so you should understand that your education loan as well as domestic and child support cannot be discharged with Chapter 7. It’s also most worth considering this debt relief instrument if you don’t have large assets, such as houses or expensive vehicles.
Chapter 7 Requirements in Georgia
If you want to file for bankruptcy in Georgia, you have to start by hiring a lawyer who will file a petition to the local court. You have to hurry up with filing the petition as it will automatically stop creditors from trying to collect a debt from you. This is called an automatic stay order. After submission, your trustee may call a 341 meeting to discuss debt discharge with creditors, but they have the right not to come.
You should also remember that the state law of Georgia allows you to keep:
- Up to $5,000 worth of property and $5,000 worth of vehicles;
- Your pension;
- Your IRA, 401k plan, and 403B plan;
- Defined-benefit retirement plans.
How Much Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?
The fees may vary depending on the case, but always include:
- Attorney fees – you can choose an attorney that offers the best plan for you;
- The court filing fee of $355 – you should pay it as soon as possible to activate the automatic stay. Some bankruptcy firms can advance this payment for you if it’s too much for you at the moment.
What is the Means Test?
The means test was designed to determine the amount of your monthly disposable income that can be used to pay the debt. If the test finds out that your income for the last six months is lower than the established median income in the state of Georgia, then you can apply for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you hire a bankruptcy attorney, you will get notified whether you qualify or not before the means test, so it’s a wise investment.
Seek Professional Help
Don’t let negative thinking control your actions and apply for debt relief as soon as possible to reduce any negative consequences. The law is on your side, as well as Georgia bankruptcy professionals who help hundreds of people who want to get rid of debt. There’s always a legal way out!