Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
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At Braziel Law, we have been handling bankruptcy cases and assisting people with complex financial situations for over 35 years. Our experienced attorney, Barbara B. Braziel assists with bankruptcy filing, stopping foreclosures, repossessions, and wage garnishments. In our many years working in the Savannah, GA, area, we hear many of the same questions. We have pulled together a list of the most commonly asked bankruptcy questions and answers to help you. We are here to help if you have any questions — contact us today to inquire.
Can I purchase a car while on Chapter 13?
You can buy a car while in Chapter 13, with court approval, to provide needed transportation. If you find you need to buy a car, do the following:
- Do a Little Shopping. Look around to see the type of car you can get within your budget. To get an idea of what you can afford, you will need to determine your down payment plus monthly payment. We have seen the Chapter 13 Trustee approve car loans ranging from $150 to $450 per month. Use this range as a general rule of thumb. Remember, payments are made outside of Chapter 13, paid directly to the lender. Also, many lenders will only work with individuals that have court approval.
- Prepare a New Budget. Once you have done your shopping, gather current pay stubs for you (and your spouse, if you are married). Then sit down and prepare a new budget to see if you can afford to add a car payment to your current budget.
- Request Court Approval. After careful review of you budget, make an appointment to come to the office to redo your budget and request court approval. Remember, the trustee requires you to supply proof of purchase within 45 days of approval. If you do not follow through with the purchase once approved, your Chapter 13 payment will be increased to absorb the additional funds in your budget.
Can I buy a house on Chapter 13?Once you have been in Chapter 13 with consistently current payments for 12 months, you have no delinquent accounts, and a 620 beacon score, you may qualify for a VA or FHA home loan. Once you have made your 12th payment, you will need to contact a loan broker. The loan broker will want a copy of your Chapter 13 receipt history. You can obtain a copy of the receipt history by contacting our office. After application and approval, secure a copy of a good faith estimate for your loan from your broker, then make an appointment to come into our office to secure court approval. Bring pay stubs for yourself (and your spouse, if you are married). Any loan application made to the court is permissive. You must get permission to purchase a home.
Can I sell my house when I'm on Chapter 13?Yes, you can enter a listing agreement with a real estate agent, or work on your own to list your home for sale. Once you receive a contract, you must include an addendum that the sale will be subject to court approval. Once the motion for leave to sell is filed, the court will send notice to all creditors. The court will allow creditors 14 days to object to the sale. If no objections are filed within 14 days, the clerk will note no objections and you will be ready to close. Allow yourself at least 30 days to secure court approval. Once your home has sold, you will need to notify our office, so that we can assist you with securing the funds from the Chapter 13 Trustee. Note: You will not receive money from the sale at the time of closing. All proceeds must be forwarded by the closing attorney to the Trustee, who will then distribute any remaining funds to you.
Can I borrow money for school when I'm on Chapter 13?
You can. You will need to get court approval. Before you make an appointment, gather the following information:
1. The total amount of money you will need to borrow to complete your program of study.
2. What degree will you earn.
3. The date of your expected graduation.
4. The salary range you should expect once you have graduated.
5. When your first payment will be due on the loan.
6. The monthly amount of the payments once your repayment has begun.
United States Bankruptcy Court: Southern District of Georgia Location and Contact InfoChief Judge: Hon. Edward J. Coleman, III
Court Location: 125 Bull St, Second Floor, Savannah, GA 31401
Phone: (912) 650-4100
Region 21: Office of the United States Trustee Location and Contact InfoMatthew E. Mills
Location: Johnson Square Business Center, STE 725, 2 East Bryan St., Savannah, GA 31401
Phone: (912) 652-4112
Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee Location and Contact InfoChapter 13 Trustee: O. Byron Meredith, III
P.O. Box: 10556, Savannah, GA 31412
Payment Address: Chapter 13 Trustee, Savannah. P.O. Box 116561. Atlanta, GA 30368-6561