Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Augusta
Helping Debtors Throughout Georgia Get Back on their Feet
You work extremely hard to support your family, but every week on payday, your paycheck disappears when you hand all of your money over to creditors. Your income is steady and reliable, but it's just never enough to pay your bills and keep food on the table and clothes on your back. It seems like you're just constantly treading water, barely keeping your head above the surface.
This way of living is far too common for many Americans, but they do not realize that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help them get a grip on their debts and create a payment plan that they can afford.
Call Seymour and Associates for a free consultation at (706) 872-7117.
We're ready to help you with filing for Chapter 13 in Georgia.
Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Georgia
A Chapter 7 filing allows debtors to discharge debts. However, a Chapter 13 filing involves creating a debt repayment plan. Therefor, Chapter 13 is best for those who have a source of income but are overwhelmed by debt. This plan will help you pay off some or all of your debt in a much more manageable way.
How Does a Chapter 13 Payment Plan Work?
- Your bankruptcy attorney will help you arrange and propose a payment plan to the bankruptcy courts.
- Filers will continue to pay monthly on a plan for the 3-5 year duration of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately starts the automatic stay.
This protects you from collection actions such as wage garnishments, foreclosures, and repossessions. The automatic stay can give you the time you need to save your essential assets and recover financially.
How much you pay will depend on:
- The amount of disposable income you have
- Your assets
- Whether you have any previous bankruptcy filings
Our attorneys are dedicated to obtaining the lowest payment possible for your situation.
Eliminating Debt in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you have personal debt, you might be able to eliminate a portion, or even ALL of your debt, if you file bankruptcy.
Common personal debts wiped in bankruptcy include:
- Car purchases
- Credit cards
- Medical bills
- Cash Loans
At the end of your Chapter 13 case, your unsecured debt is completely discharged. If you paid secured debt, such as a car, through your bankruptcy, you will receive the title to the vehicle. Additionally, any past due mortgage or rent payments will be paid in full. If your car has been repossessed, we can often have that returned to you within just a few days of the filing of your case. Simply put, you are free to begin a new life without the burden of debt holding you back.
Chapter 13 Rules for Wage Garnishment in GA
The law states that garnishment must be stopped when someone files for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Additionally, lost wages from garnishment may be repaid. If you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy before the hearing date at the end of your garnishment period (90 days to 180 days), that money will typically be refunded. In certain situations, a smaller portion of these funds may still have to go towards your Chapter 13 repayment plan. For a more complete assessment of how filing chapter 13 bankruptcy will affect your wage garnishment circumstances, call an experienced attorney for a case evaluation.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 13?
Individuals or married couples who have a source of income and are overwhelmed by their debt can file for Chapter 13.
In order to qualify for Chapter 13, you must have:
- Current income tax filings
- Sufficient disposable income
- Very high debts
If you file bankruptcy in Augusta, your income will be compared to the median income for a household of your size in whatever county you reside in. So, your income will affect your bankruptcy case differently depending on what county you live in. Ultimately, your average monthly income will be annualized, then compared, to the median income to similarly sized families in your county.
If your secured and unsecured debt exceeds a certain amount, you may need to file for another type of bankruptcy. Additionally, your debt must not be because of a business that you own.
How to File for Bankruptcy Under Chapter 13
Filing for bankruptcy comes with fees that are determined by the federal laws and our court systems. In Georgia, the filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $310. If you are unable to pay the whole fee due to financial difficulties you may ask the court permission to pay it in four installments.
In the Southern District, the process of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can either be very easy or extremely difficult. If you want to take the easy route, you need to meet with an Augusta bankruptcy lawyer to learn about your options. If you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your bankruptcy attorney will put you in a payment plan that you can handle in order to pay off a portion of your debt.
The amount you pay back is determined by 3 things:
- Disposable income
- Previous bankruptcy filings
In short, if you do not have a lot of disposable income, equity in property, or previous bankruptcy filings in which you received a discharge within the last 8 years, you will only have to pay back a small percentage of what you owe to your creditors.
So, for instance, take the following situation:
- Debtor owes $45,000 in credit card debt, medical bills, and cash loans
- If he qualifies for a 1% plan, he will only have to pay back $450, over a period of either 3 or 5 years
- 3 years = $12.50 dollars/month to the creditors
- 5 years = $7.50 dollars/month to the creditors
- The other $44,450 is then discharged
In other words, the debtor will legally eliminate his/her obligation to pay the rest of the debt. While this may seem too good to be true, Augusta bankruptcy is designed for the very purpose of helping individuals and their families get back on track and start over financially.
Why Hire a Lawyer to File for Chapter 13?
Bankruptcy is best filed through an experienced law firm, like Seymour & Associates. Not only will we help you determine if you should file bankruptcy or not, but we will give you valuable insight to your financial situation from a legal perspective. However, you filing bankruptcy yourself is also an option, if you don’t mind dedicating a few weeks to learning about the relatively complex Augusta bankruptcy laws.
There are many advantages to choosing to file bankruptcy through an Augusta bankruptcy lawyer:
- You do not need to do any paperwork yourself - The petition, alone, is usually over 60 pages long. If you add the supporting documents that the court will require you to file, you will need to prepare at least 80-100 documents yourself in order to file bankruptcy in Augusta. Fortunately, attorneys will do this for you.
- You do not have to represent yourself in court- In Augusta, bankruptcy usually requires 2 mandatory hearings for a Chapter 13. If you cannot present your case well to the Trustee or the Judge, then your case will likely be dismissed. However, you are almost guaranteed to have your case approved if you hire and experienced law firm like Seymour & Associates.
- In most cases, you will not have to pay any money up front if you file with our firm - This is an extreme advantage for people who are struggling to pay their bills as it is. The attorney fees will be built into your Chapter 13 plan payment and a small percentage of your Augusta bankruptcy will be devoted to the cost of representation.
If you decide to file bankruptcy by yourself, you will need to do some studying. Learning about Federal bankruptcy law is a good starting place, but in order to protect your assets in your own case, you will also need to research the local Augusta bankruptcy rules and regulations. So, before you decide any of this, call Seymour & Associates so you can at least learn about your options and the available legal remedies before you make a big decision.
Help for Clients Struggling with Debt
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an appealing option for people who are desperate to get out of debt—but not everyone qualifies. Contact Seymour and Associates for a free consultation and we will take a look at your situation and help determine if Chapter 13 is the right choice for you. Even if you do not qualify, you might be a good candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Seymour and Associates focuses exclusively on cases involving bankruptcy law, debt settlement and student loan law. That means that when you hire our Augusta Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers to represent you, we will answer all of your questions. You'll know that you have experienced attorneys on your side that deal with issues involving bankruptcy every single day.
Our fees are some of the lowest in the area, we offer flexible payment plans, and your first consultation with us is completely free. Call today!
Learn about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how the lawyers at Seymour and Associates can help! Call (706) 872-7117!