How Does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia Work?
Steps you must take after you know you're eligible
Once the court has determined you are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your DebtStoppers attorney works with you to prepare the legal document at the center of your bankruptcy plan: the bankruptcy petition. To start, you give your bankruptcy attorney all tax, banking and other financial documents that tell your financial story, including complete information about your assets, liabilities, monthly expenses and income.
An asset is anything you own that has value. This includes large items like vehicles, real estate, cash and investments, but don't forget to include your appliances, clothing, jewelry and furniture. You also need to include money owed to you, such as domestic support and tax refunds. Finally, you list all the money you owe your creditors.
Listing every detail of your complete financial picture may seem like an overwhelming task, but with the help of an experienced Atlanta bankruptcy lawyer, it gets done more quickly than you think — and it's done right the first time.
How much does it cost to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Atlanta?
Georgia bankruptcy courts charge a filing fee — currently $274 — to file a Chapter 13. Your legal fees are incorporated into your debt reorganization plan, so the bankruptcy trustee pays your attorney directly from the monthly payments you send the court. There are no additional legal fees. Most DebtStoppers clients feel that the cost of filing for bankruptcy is insignificant compared to the value of service they receive.
What happens after I file?
The automatic stay goes into effect and you're protected. The bankruptcy court informs your creditors that all collection activities must stop and that all future communications about your debt must go through your bankruptcy attorney. If bill collectors continue to call, we make them stop. If they persist, DebtStoppers sues them in Georgia state court to collect monetary damages for you.
The court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to review your case. The trustee's role is to make sure your bankruptcy petition is accurate and complete.
Within the next 15 days, we file a schedule of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Your DebtStoppers attorney does all the work for you and is there to make sure everything goes smoothly. Working with your attorney, you create and submit a bankruptcy plan with monthly installments you can afford. This is the most important step in the process, because you won't get the full benefits of bankruptcy if you can't afford the monthly payments. DebtStoppers attorneys have done this hundreds of times. They know how to fight for the best possible deal for their clients.
A month or two after filing, you attend a meeting of creditors with your bankruptcy trustee. This may sound uncomfortable, but in reality, the tone of this meeting is relaxed and informal and the meeting itself is short. Few, if any, creditors will actually attend.
At this point, all you need to do is make on-time monthly payments to the court. Once you complete all the payments in your plan, the court sends you a notice of discharge relieving you of any remaining debt.
The DebtStoppers Difference: 90-Day Follow-up Meeting
Bankruptcy follow-up care is an area where most Atlanta bankruptcy firms falls short, and one in which DebtStoppers excels. About 3 months following discharge, we ask you to come back in so we can review your credit reports to make sure that your creditors are acting according to the court orders. After all, what good does it do to go through bankruptcy in order to clean up your credit if your creditors aren't reporting your credit correctly?
If we find that creditors are reporting your information incorrectly, we'll make sure that they fix their errors. If they persist, we'll take them to court and sue to collect monetary damages for you. There is no additional charge to you for our post-discharge legal care.
Call DebtStoppers with your questions about filing Chapter 13 in Georgia
Don't put off relief any longer. Find out more with a free one-on-one consultation with a DebtStoppers Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. Call us at 404.750.4706 or contact our Atlanta office online.