Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that protects both individuals and businesses that are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to meet their financial obligations.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Discharges debt
- Can be brought by individuals and small businesses
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Reorganizes debt
- Can be brought by individuals
Advantages of Filing Bankruptcy
- Allows you to take financial control over your life
- Stops the harassing phone calls from debt collectors
- Stops cars from being repossessed
- Stops a foreclosure
- Puts a hold on pending lawsuits and garnishments
- Chapter 7 (discharge of debt) allows you to wipe the slate clean and start all over by discharging your debt
- Chapter 13 (reorganization of debt) can allow you to keep your house, car and/or other property without the worry of losing them to the court
- Monthly car payments may be reduced by filing a Chapter 13
- Certain other debt may be reduced by filing a Chapter 13
- Chapter 13 may allow you to pay arrearages owed to the mortgage company over an extended period of time which can result in you keeping your home
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy affords you the ability to start fresh and wipe the slate clean because most or all of your debt can be discharged. When a debt is discharged, you are no longer legally responsible for paying that debt. Each individual or business wanting to file bankruptcy must meet certain criteria before the court will allow you to proceed.
Through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will be able to repay some or all of your debt over a 3 – 5 year period. A payment plan that is approved by the court determines the amount of money you will pay to your unsecured creditors each month. Many people are able to avoid foreclosure and/or repossession of a vehicle by filing a Chapter 13.
What Kind of Debt Do You Have?
Secured Debt: A loan that requires the borrower to pledge property as collateral in return for receiving the loan. Car loans and mortgage loans are examples of some of the most common secured loans. Failure to pay a secured loan could result in the creditor taking back the collateral.
Unsecured Debt: A loan that does not require the borrower to pledge property as collateral. Credit card debt and medical bills are examples of some of the most common unsecured debt that people accumulate. Other examples are gym memberships and unsecured installment bank loans. Failure to pay these bills, as required by the terms of the credit agreement, could result in the creditor suing you.
What Debt Can Be Discharged?
Generally speaking most unsecured debt, such as credit card bills and medical bills, can be discharged through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Student loans, taxes, and court ordered support (child support or alimony) are some of the most common debts that may not be dischargeable.
Mortgages, car loans and other secured debt can only be discharged if you return the collateral property to the lender. If you decide to keep the property, you will have to continue paying on the debt.
Directions to the Gainesville and Atlanta division courthouses.