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Category Archives: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Savannah Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are exploring how bankruptcy can help you get out of debt, we invite you to meet with us for a free consultationcontact us on the web or call (912) 351-9000 today!

We are the premiere bankruptcy law firm in Savannah, Georgia. The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel proudly serves the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

Relief from Your Financial Burdens

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can erase your debts. While choosing to file may be a difficult decision, it may be the best decision for your financial future.

We have been practicing bankruptcy law for over 35 years and often we have met clients who delayed filing until their situation became far worse than it needed to be. In many cases people spent thousands of dollars trying to avoid a bankruptcy that they ultimately needed to file anyway.

Sadly, many of our clients lost assets that they would have been able to keep if they had filed for bankruptcy sooner. Many borrowed against retirement in an attempt to manage their debt and stave off collection. In general retirement accounts are fully protected in bankruptcy. Others took out Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) to pay off some creditors and ultimately risked losing their house to foreclosure.

Powerful and Positive Impacts of Bankruptcy

Our firm has helped thousands of families keep their cars, their homes, and other belongings. Erasing debt, halting all collection action, and protecting your belongings from creditors are just a few of the powerful and positive impacts bankruptcy offers. Bankruptcy can also erase certain older tax debts, give you the opportunity to catch up on missed mortgage or car payments, and can even lien strip away an underwater second mortgage.

Savannah Bankruptcy Attorney

All of us here at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel are committed to helping people get out of debt and gain the financial freedom they deserve. We invite you to learn more about who we are here. If you live in Savannah, GA or the surrounding areas and have questions about your debt relief options, let’s meet for a free consultation.

Please reach out to us at (912) 351-9000 or contact us by filling out this simple web form. Follow us on Facebook for tips on getting out of debt!

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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How Chapter 7 Differs from Chapter 13

Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy are designed for individuals and families. Both chapters offer many of the same benefits. However, there are significant differences between what these two chapters offer and how they operate.

The “chapters” come from the United States Bankruptcy Code, and the numbers represent the code sections.

Overview of How Chapter 7 Differs from Chapter 13

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases all or most of your debts:
    • Without a repayment plan.
    • In general allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings.
    • Is the quickest and simplest form of bankruptcy, typically taking four to six months to complete.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debts:
    • Creates a three to five year repayment plan.
    • Allows you to pay back all, none, or a portion of your debts.
    • In general allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings.
    • Is more complex than Chapter 7, but offers additional benefits.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies. When we meet for a free consultation we will go over the pros and cons of the various chapters and help you determine which chapter is best for you. Our goal is to ensure you understand the different chapters of bankruptcy and how filing will affect you and your family.

Both Chapters Offer Many of the Same Benefits

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are powerful legal tools to help you regain control of your financial wellbeing. Both chapters offer the following benefits:

  • Eliminates credit card debt, medical debt, and most unsecured debts.
  • Stops harassing phone calls from creditors.
  • Stops wage garnishments.
  • Stops lawsuits filed by creditors.

Benefits of Chapter 13 Not Offered In Chapter 7

Filing for Chapter 13 commits a debtor to a monthly plan payment for three to five years. Though, for some debtors filing for Chapter 13 is the best solution to their debt problems.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you:

  • Save your house by creating an opportunity for you to pay back missed mortgage payments.
  • Prevent car repossession by creating an opportunity for you to catch up on missed car payments.
  • Creates an opportunity to catch up on other missed payments, like back taxes or back spousal or child support payments.
  • In some cases, a homeowner can “lien strip” or eliminate a second mortgage.

At the conclusion of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any remaining credit card debt, medical bills, or other unsecured debts, and some tax debts, are discharged. To qualify for Chapter 13 you must have a steady source of income, such as from a job, self-employment, a business, retirement income, or social security.

Bankruptcy is a Powerful Tool

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are powerful tools to help you get out of debt and get the fresh financial start you deserve.

At the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we file hundreds of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases every year. But our clients are never just a number. You will not be left in the hands of a paralegal. You will have access to your attorney throughout your bankruptcy case.

Call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us via the web to schedule a free consultation.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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The Pros and Cons of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt, it is time to consider filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy offers so many benefits, like a debt-free fresh start and relief from incessant collection phone calls. While bankruptcy offers so much, there are drawbacks that must be considered as well.

To help you decide whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option for you, consider the following pros and cons.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy “Pros”

  • A successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you a debt-free fresh start.
  • Chapter 7 eliminates most unsecured debts, including credit card debt and medical debt.
  • The money you were spending on monthly debt payments can be redirected toward wise financial choices, such as saving for retirement and having sufficient emergency savings on hand.
  • Most people are able to keep most or all of their personal belongings and other assets through bankruptcy.
  • Filing for bankruptcy will immediately stop all collection action, including collection phone calls, wage garnishment, bank levies, and law suits for unpaid debts.
  • Filing for Chapter 7 will at least temporarily halt a foreclosure sale or vehicle repossession.
  • Even people will high income are often able to quality for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.
  • You do not have to pay taxes on debts erased in bankruptcy.
  • After bankruptcy people are still able to get car loans, lines of credit, and home loans.
  • A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will fall off of your credit report after 10 years.

This is only a cursory review of all of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To explore exactly how Chapter 7 can benefit you, meet with us for a free consultation.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy “Cons”

  • Depending on your specific case, you may still owe on some debts after bankruptcy.
  • Not all debts can be erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as student loans, back child or spousal support payments, newer tax liabilities, certain government imposed fines, and certain other debts depending on the type of debt and how and when the debt was incurred.
  • Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit score; however, if you have already fallen behind on your debts, your score has likely already decreased.
  • You may lose property or assets if their value exceeds what is exempt under bankruptcy law.
  • A bankruptcy filing will appear in certain background checks and may affect your security clearance.
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy does not create an opportunity to catch up on mortgage arrears or missed car payments (though Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can).
  • You may feel badly about filing for bankruptcy―but bankruptcy protection is your legal right and may be the best financial decision you can make.

For most people who are at the point of considering bankruptcy, the pros will far outweigh the potential cons. To explore how Chapter 7 can benefit you and what cons you may face, meet with us for a free consultation.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It is our mission to ensure that you understand the power and benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as well as any drawbacks you may face. We’re here to answer all of your questions. Call us right now (912) 351-9000 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Follow us on Facebook for tips on getting out of debt.

We proudly serve the people of Savanna, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, Garden City, and Ludowici, Georgia.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Bankruptcy Means Test Basics

The bankruptcy means test is used to determine eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is one of the major hurdles to overcome if you want to be eligible for a Chapter 7 filing. Those that cannot pass the means test or otherwise become eligible for Chapter 7 may be able to use a Chapter 13 repayment plan instead.

 

Georgia’s Median Income for the Means Test

 

If you make less than your state median income, you do not need to worry about the means test, and you are generally eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Median income numbers are update frequently. These are the Georgia median income levels effective April 1, 2017, but you should ask your bankruptcy attorney if the numbers have been updated.

 

  • $43,274 for a one-person household
  • $56,301 for a two-person household
  • $62,483 for a three-person household
  • $73,202 for a four-person household

 

Each additional member of a household increased the median income amount by $8,400.

 

To determine your current income, you will have to report your income for the past six months. This will be used to calculate your current monthly income, which will then be adjusted into an annual figure and compared to the Georgia median income.

 

If you have had steady income for the past six months, it will be fairly simple to figure out your current monthly income. However, if you have had recent changes in your income or receive commission payments or other irregular compensation, it will be a bit more complicated.

 

What to Do If You Fail the Means Test

 

If your income is over the state median, you have to take the means test, which requires you to subtract statutorily allowed expenses from your income. This calculation attempts to determine how much disposal income you have to pay your creditors in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

 

Because Chapter 13 plans last up to five years, you will multiply your currently monthly income by 60 to determine your potential income over the next five years. You will then subtract the allowed expenses for this time period. If the result is over $12,850, you fail the means test. If the amount is below $7,700, you pass the means test. Disposal income between those amounts will require further calculations to determine if you pass the means test.

 

Failing the means test raises a presumption of abuse, but that presumption can be overcome if you have special circumstances justifying higher expenses. You may also decide that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option for you.

 

If you expect a reduction in income that could put you below the state median income, you may be able to become eligible for Chapter 7 by waiting a few months to file. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your eligibility and options if you are unable to pass the means test.

 

We’re here to help you through your bankruptcy case from start to finish. Contact us or call (912) 351-9000 to schedule a free consultation. Together we will explore how bankruptcy can help you.

 

For over 35-years we have proudly served the people in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, Garden City, and Ludowici, Georgia.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions

Your bankruptcy exemptions determine which property you protect from your creditors during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and are also used to calculate how much your payments will be in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Your Georgia bankruptcy exemptions are an important consideration when preparing for a bankruptcy because they only protect a certain amount of each category of property from being seized to pay your creditors.

 

If you have property that is above the amount allowed by the Georgia bankruptcy exemptions, you may lose this property during a bankruptcy. However, if your property is below the amounts listed in the bankruptcy exemptions, you may be able to file for bankruptcy without losing any property.

 

The Most Important Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions

 

The homestead exemption protects your interest in real property that you use as a primary residence. The current homestead exemption amount is $21,500. If you are married, you can double the exemption amount, protecting up to $43,000 worth of equity in your home. Any home equity above this amount will not be exempt.

 

The vehicle exemption allows the debtor to keep $5,000 worth of equity in their vehicle. If you are married, you and your spouse will each receive a $5,000 exemption, but you can only use your exemption on a vehicle that you own or are a joint owner of.

 

Personal property is protected by a $5,000 exemption that covers a wide variety of property, including furniture, clothes, musical instruments, household goods, appliances, animals, and crops. There is a limit per item of $300.

 

A wildcard exemption of $1,200 can be used to cover any type of property, whether you have personal items or equity in your car that is not fully covered by the vehicle exemption. Unused homestead exemption amounts up to $5,000 ($10,000 if married) can be used as well. This extra wildcard amount allows debtors that don’t own homes to keep even more of their personal property during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

Learn More About Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions

 

Before you file for bankruptcy, you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about all of the property you own and determine how much of it will be covered by the Georgia bankruptcy exemptions. This way, you can fully understand how a bankruptcy will affect your property ownership before you file your bankruptcy case.

 

At the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we are here to give you the fresh start you deserve. Call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us via the web to schedule a free consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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A Survival Guide To Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or have already decided to file, it is important that you understand the bankruptcy process and what to expect. We’ve put together this Survival Guide to Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy so you can have an overview of the entire process.

Quick Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can erase debts, including credit cards and medical bills. It is generally the quickest and simplest chapter, and is typically completed in four to six months.

Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Erases most unsecured debts: including credit card debt and medical bills.
  • Stops all collection action.
  • Stops harassing phone calls from creditors.
  • Stop wage garnishments and bank levies.
  • Stops lawsuits filed by creditors.
  • Depending on your specific situation you will most likely be able to keep your car and your home. It is more likely that you can keep your car or home if your payments are current and there is not significant equity.

 

The Process of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Meeting For A Free Consultation

First, come meet with us for a free consultation. Together we’ll review your debt relief options and explore if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for you and your family.

Preparing the Bankruptcy Petition

Prior to filing for bankruptcy it is necessary to gather the necessary documents, prepare the bankruptcy petition, and complete a Credit Counseling course.

When you work with The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will prepare your bankruptcy petition. Then we will review it together to make sure that it is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Bankruptcy is a complex area of law, and bankruptcy petitions are filed under the penalty of perjury.

File with the Bankruptcy Court

Once your bankruptcy petition is complete, we will file it with the Bankruptcy Court on your behalf.

As soon as your case is filed the Automatic Stay immediately takes effect. This means that all of your creditors must stop all collection action. The Automatic Stay stops foreclosure proceedings and repossessions (at least temporarily), stops wage garnishments and bank levies, and puts an end to collection phone calls.

Attend the Meeting of Creditors

You must attend a Meeting of Creditors, also known as a 341 Hearing, approximately one month after filing for bankruptcy. The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. It is not held in a courtroom and there will not be a judge present.

While your creditors will be notified of the meeting, creditors rarely attend. In the unlikely event they do attend, they cannot badger you or question you about why you filed for bankruptcy.

Complete a Debtor Education Course

Within 60 days of the Meeting of Creditors you must complete a Debtor Education course. Debtor Education is a two-hour course in personal financial management that can be completed online or over the phone, and is relatively inexpensive.

Other than this course, generally in Chapter 7 cases there is little the debtor must do after the meeting of creditors concludes.

Receive Your Bankruptcy Discharge Order

A bankruptcy discharge is a court order that is the legal instrument that releases you from personal liability on dischargeable debts. Getting the Bankruptcy Discharge Order from the Bankruptcy Court is the goal of any bankruptcy filing. The Bankruptcy Discharge Order is issued from the Bankruptcy Court at the end of a successful bankruptcy case.

Prior to filing your bankruptcy case, we will need the following documents:

  • 6 months of pay stubs
  • 6 months of documentation of other sources of income (if applicable)
  • 6 months of profit & loss statements (if self-employed or you own a business)
  • Copies of your bills and documentation of other debts you owe
  • Copy of your most recent mortgage statement(s)
  • Copy of your most recent car loan statement(s)
  • Copy of your federal and state income tax return or a transcript of the return, for the most recent filed year ending immediately before your case is filed.
  • Copies of paperwork in regard to: pending lawsuits, wage garnishment, bank levies, foreclosure on real property, or repossession notices
  • List of all bank and credit union accounts
  • Record of any interest you have in an individual educational retirement account or under a qualified state tuition program.
  • Certificate of completion for pre-filing credit counseling

 

Get the Fresh Financial Start You Deserve

Filing for bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start. It can be your chance to get your financial life in order. Once you are out from under the burdensome weight of debt, you are empowered to make wise financial decisions for your future.

We Will Help You Through Your Chapter 7 From Start to Finish

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious financial decision. If you are feeling apprehension about the process, we understand. Know that if you hire us to file your bankruptcy case, we will be by your side from start to finish. We will prepare your bankruptcy petition, file it with the court, and be by your side until you receive your Bankruptcy Discharge Order.

Contact us to explore how bankruptcy can help you! We offer free consultations to anyone looking to explore how to get out of debt.

Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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A Step-by-Step of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Deciding to file bankruptcy is a difficult decision. If you are considering bankruptcy, or have already decided to file, it is important that you understand the bankruptcy process and what to expect.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can erase debts, including most unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. It is generally the quickest and simplest chapter, and is typically completed in four to six months. The following is a brief overview of the step-by-step of what happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Meeting For A Free Consultation

First, come meet with us for a free consultation. We’ll answer all of your questions and help you understand how filing for bankruptcy can help you.

We offer free consultations because we know this is the best way to serve our community and help people get out of debt. Our goal is to help you gain financial freedom and to help you make today the first day of the rest of your life.

Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Prior to filing for bankruptcy it is necessary to gather the necessary documents, prepare the bankruptcy petition, and complete a Credit Counseling course. We invite you to learn more about these pre-filing steps in the following articles:

When you work with The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will prepare your bankruptcy petition. Then we will review it together to make sure that it is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Bankruptcy is a complex area of law, and bankruptcy petitions are filed under the penalty of perjury.

Filing the Bankruptcy Petition

Once your bankruptcy petition is complete, we will file it with the Bankruptcy Court on your behalf.

As soon as your case is filed all creditors must stop trying to collect from you. This is the power of the Automatic Stay. The Automatic Stay stops foreclosure proceedings and repossessions (at least temporarily), stops wage garnishments and bank levies, and puts an end to collection phone calls.

The Meeting of Creditors

You must attend a Meeting of Creditors, also known as a 341 Hearing, approximately one month after filing for bankruptcy. Many of our clients are concerned when they hear this, so we want to put your mind at ease. First, while your creditors will be notified of the meeting, creditors rarely attend. In the unlikely event they do attend, they cannot badger you or question you about why you filed for bankruptcy. Second, the meeting is not held in a courtroom and there will not be a judge present. The Meeting of Creditors is conducted by the Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case.

Within 60 days of the Meeting of Creditors you must complete a Debtor Education course. This is the second of two mandatory courses of the Debt Counseling Requirement when you file for bankruptcy. Debtor Education is a two-hour course in personal financial management. It can be completed online or over the phone, and is relatively inexpensive. The curriculum is designed to teach you strategies on how to handle your finances after bankruptcy.

Otherwise, in general there is little a Chapter 7 debtor must do after the meeting of creditors concludes.

The Bankruptcy Discharge

Getting the Bankruptcy Discharge Order from the Bankruptcy Court is the goal of any bankruptcy filing. This is the legal document that releases you from personal liability on your dischargeable debts.

You are no longer legally required to pay back any debts that are part of your bankruptcy discharge. Further, the creditors of discharged debts can never legally attempt to collect payment on those debts.

When you hire us to help you get out of debt, we will help you through every aspect of your case from start to finish.

Life After Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start. It can be your chance to get your financial life in order. Once you are out from under the burdensome weight of debt, you are empowered to make wise financial decisions for your future.

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We Are Here to Help You File for Bankruptcy Protection

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult financial decision, but bankruptcy can also be the best financial decision. Come meet with us for a free consultation to learn about how bankruptcy will affect you. You may be surprised to learn that many people who file for bankruptcy get to keep most or all of their belongings. You may also be surprised to learn that bankruptcy is not a courtroom battle.

Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We invite you learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Qualifying to Have Your Debt Erased Through Bankruptcy

If you are deep in debt and struggling to make ends meet, you may benefit from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 has the power to erase credit card debts, medical debts, and other unsecured debts. Further, most people who file for Chapter 7 are able to keep most or all of their belongings, including their car.

But do you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? There is a bankruptcy myth that people with high incomes cannot qualify for bankruptcy. The truth is, even people with high incomes are able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.

Your Income & Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Here’s what you need to know about your income and qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • If your income is below the median income for your state and household size, then you automatically qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • If your income is above the median income for your state and household size, then you must run themeans test to determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Median Income in Georgia

As of May 1, 2017 the median household income in Georgia is:

  • Household of One: $43,274
  • Household of Two: $56,301
  • Household of Three: $62,483
  • Household of Four: $73,202
  • Households of more than four: add $8,400 for each individual in excess of four.

If you live in Georgia and your gross household income is above these figures, then you must run the means test to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. In you live outside of Georgia, you can find your state’s median income here.

The Means Test

Having a high income does not mean you cannot qualify for bankruptcy, it simply means that you have to run the means test to show that you qualify. The means test is a review of your income minus allowable expenses.

Income Calculation

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code defines how to calculate income for purposes of bankruptcy. The presumption is that your ability to pay back your debts in the future should be determined by your average income over the past 6-months. Though, this calculation using a 6-month look back period does not account for your present circumstances, including recent decreases in your income.

The means test calculation of income is your average income for the past 6-months. The calculation must include all income that you receive, with the exclusion of the following benefits: social security benefits, payments to victims of war crimes or crimes against humanity, and payments to victims of international terrorism or domestic terrorism.

Means Test Calculation

The means test calculation considers your income minus allowable expenses.

The allowable expenses in the means test are calculated based on a mix of your actual expenses and standard pre-determined expenses. You can explore the official means test form here. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate through the means test.

Qualifying to Have Your Debts Erased Through Bankruptcy

Certainly the means test makes qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy more difficult; however, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the means test and qualify for the debt relief you deserve.

We are here to help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We offer free consultations to anyone in Savannah, GA and all of the surrounding counties including Chatham County, Effingham County, Bulloch County, Bryan County, Liberty County, Long County.

Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Chapter 7 or Chapter 13: Which Chapter is Best for You?

Bankruptcy is a complex art of law. There are a number of “chapters” available to give people the debt relief and financial fresh start they need. The chapters come from the United States Bankruptcy Code. The two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals or married couples are Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Which chapter is best for you will depend on your specific situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases all or most of your debts, without a repayment plan, and in general allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings. Chapter 7 eliminates credit card debt, medical debt, and most unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are debts that are not backed by anything. Meaning they do not have property attached as collateral. Generally, it is the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy. And takes roughly four to six months to complete.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debts, creates a three to five year repayment plan, and also allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings. The repayment plan gives you a chance to catch up on mortgage arrears, missed car payments, back taxes, and other debts. To qualify, you must have a steady source of income, such as from a job, self-employment, a business, retirement income, or social security.

Which Chapter is Best for You?

While Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 operate very differently, they have many of the same powers. Either chapter will immediately put a stop to collection phone calls, wage garnishment, bank levies, lawsuits filed by creditors, and stop (either temporarily or permanently) an automobile possession or foreclosure sale of real property.

Chapter 7 is best for people who have significant debt that they cannot reasonably pay off within a few years, do not have mortgage arrears or an underwater second mortgage, and can meet the Means Test for qualifying for Chapter 7 relief.

Chapter 13 is best for people with steady income who:

Which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you is specific to your situation. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. Take advantage of this and explore all of your options on getting the financial relief you need.

Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we offer free consultations to anyone in Savannah, GA and the surrounding area. We are knowledgeable and experienced attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy and debt relief. We have over 35-years of experience. We’ve helped thousands of people get out of debt and have the fresh financial start they deserve.

Contact us here or call (912) 351-9000 to schedule your free consultation.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Chapter 7 Keys to Success

We often say that bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool. Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates credit card debts, medical debts, and other types of debt.

Some of the Chapter 7 powers and benefits include:

  • Erases most unsecured debts.
  • Stops harassing phone calls from creditors.
  • Stops wage garnishment.
  • Stops lawsuits filed by creditors.
  • Stops, at least temporarily, foreclosure or car repossession.
  • Stops all collection action.
  • Depending on your specific situation, you will most likely be able to keep your car and your home.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the solution to your debt problems. Read on for Chapter 7 keys to success to ensure that your case makes it to discharge!

Click here to read Chapter 13 Keys to Success.

Understand What Debts Are Erased In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Not all debts can be erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is important that you understand which of your debts will be erased, and which of your debts will survive the bankruptcy.

Debts that are erased are called dischargeable debts, and do not have to be paid back after a successful bankruptcy. Dischargeable debts include:

  • Credit cards
  • Medical bills
  • Collection agency debts
  • Personal loans
  • Most civil court judgments (unless based on fraud)
  • Certain tax debts (older tax liabilities may be erased)
  • Other unsecured debts (debts that are not backed by collateral)

 

Debts that are not erased in bankruptcy are called nondischargeable debts, and these must be paid back after bankruptcy. Nondischargeable debt include:

  • Student loans
  • Certain tax debts (newer tax liabilities are not erased)
  • Back child or spousal support
  • Secured debts, such as your house or car (if you want to keep the item, you must pay back the loan)
  • Civil or criminal debts based on fraud

 

Stay Current on Your Bills

After filing for bankruptcy you must remain current on your post-petition monthly obligations such as your rent, electric bill, spousal or child support payments, car payment (if you plan to keep your car), and mortgage payment (if you plan to keep your house). Failure to stay current on any of these payments may result in serious consequences.

Make sure you talk with your attorney about what monthly payments you must continue to make after filing for bankruptcy.

Complete Debtor Education

Debtor Education must be completed after filing for bankruptcy. It is a mandatory two-hour course in personal financial management. The curriculum is designed to teach you strategies on how to handle your finances after bankruptcy.

You must complete this within 60-days after the first Meeting of Creditors. After you finish Debtor Education you will receive a certificate of completion, which must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court along with Bankruptcy Form 23, Debtor’s Certificate of Completion of Instruction Course.

When you work with us, our office will handle filing this certificate for you, along with all other necessary paperwork for your bankruptcy case.       

Understand the Benefits of Bankruptcy

It is our mission to ensure that you understand the power and benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We’re here to answer all of your questions. Call us right now (912) 351-9000 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.


 

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