Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I'm in trouble!!! What will happen if I file Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy can be a wonderful tool to get a fresh start.  Job loss, illness, and yes,  bad financial decisions can leave you and your family in a hole.   The longer you do not fix this problem the worse your credit will get.   You can face garnishment of both your wages and your bank account, leaving you unable to pay your living expenses.

The good news is that a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can fix this.   After filing bankruptcy all of your credit history will reflect "Discharged in Chapter 7", meaning that your credit will stop being dinged every month.  Usually within several years your credit will rebound to an acceptable range.  You need to use some credit (NOT MUCH!!!) after bankruptcy to re-establish credit.

A bankruptcy filing basically involves the following.   Your bankruptcy attorney will prepare a Petition (like a lawsuit) identifying who you are and what type of bankruptcy you are filing.   A Chapter 7 filing means that you are not going to repay creditors under an plan but seek to eliminate all debt.  For most people this is the best choice.  You must provide a list of all your creditors, including addresses and account numbers.  You may then choose to reaffirm (promise to pay) some debts, such as car loans. The accuracy of the amount you owe is less important than having the correct address.  Your bankruptcy lawyer will provide a list of all your assets, including clothes, bank accounts, and retirement accounts.  A budget will show your  monthly income and your expenses.  Your bankruptcy lawyer will fill out a "means test", which is basically a summary of your last six months income less your expenses. Means Test Information  The means test is designed to stop people who have plenty of income from seeking bankruptcy relief.   The vast majority of people will pass the means test.  You must provide paystubs, tax returns, and attend an online credit management course.

All of this information is filed as a PDF file with the bankruptcy court in Newnan Georgia, if you reside in Fayette County (Fayetteville and Peachtree City) and Coweta County (Newnan).  A trustee, (who is not a judge but an experienced bankruptcy lawyer appointed to review cases) will conduct a meeting to make sure your filing is complete and accurate.  He will look for assets to sell for creditors.   Under bankruptcy law you can keep most of your property, including some equity in your house.  Two months after your meeting you will be discharged from the debts.   Please call if you have any questions.

Please visit my website at tomtierneylaw.com

Please call if you need legal representation to Thomas F. Tierney at (770) 631-1100 or e-mail at tierneylawyer@yahoo.com  Thomas F. Tierney is an attorney who represents clients in south metro Atlanta, including Fayette County, Coweta County, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Fayetteville, and Newnan Georgia.

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