What Can Bankruptcy Attorneys Do For You On Your Case ? What Should I Expect From him

Bankruptcy attorneys play a crucial role in guiding individuals and businesses through the complex process of filing for bankruptcy. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, here’s what you can expect a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorneys to do for you and your case:

  1. Expertise and Legal Advice: Bankruptcy attorneys are well-versed in bankruptcy law and regulations. They can provide you with accurate legal advice tailored to your specific financial situation. They will help you understand the different types of bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 13, etc.) and guide you in selecting the most suitable option for your circumstances.
  2. Assessment of Financial Situation: Your attorney will review your financial records, including income, debts, assets, and expenses. This assessment helps them determine the best course of action and ensures that all relevant information is included in your bankruptcy petition.
  3. Documentation and Paperwork: Bankruptcy involves extensive paperwork and documentation. Your attorney will help you gather and organize the necessary documents, ensuring that everything is accurate, complete, and submitted within the required deadlines.
  4. Bankruptcy Petition Preparation: Based on your financial information, the attorney will prepare the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and other required forms. These documents are filed with the bankruptcy court to initiate the process.
  5. Communication with Creditors: Once you hire a bankruptcy attorney, they will handle communications with your creditors. This can alleviate the stress of dealing with collection calls, letters, and legal threats from creditors.
  6. Representation in Court: Bankruptcy often involves court proceedings. Your attorney will represent you during these proceedings, including the meeting of creditors (341 meeting) and any hearings related to your case.
  7. Protection of Your Rights: Your attorney’s primary responsibility is to protect your legal rights throughout the bankruptcy process. They will make sure you understand your rights, including exemptions, dischargeable debts, and the impact of bankruptcy on your credit.
  8. Negotiation and Mediation: In some cases, your attorney might negotiate with creditors or work with them to create repayment plans. This can be especially relevant in Chapter 13 cases, where you’re repaying some or all of your debts over a specified period.
  9. Guidance on Rebuilding Credit: After bankruptcy, your attorney can provide advice on how to start rebuilding your credit and improving your financial situation. While bankruptcy has a negative impact on your credit, it’s not permanent, and your attorney can help you take steps toward recovery.
  10. Legal Compliance: Bankruptcy law is complex and subject to change. Your attorney will ensure that your case adheres to the latest legal requirements and guidelines.
  11. Emotional Support: Dealing with financial difficulties and the prospect of bankruptcy can be emotionally challenging. A bankruptcy attorney can provide support and guidance during this stressful time.

Overall, hiring a Tucson Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys can greatly simplify the bankruptcy process, increase your chances of a successful outcome, and provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a legal professional advocating for your interests. New Jersey bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Repayment Plan – 3 Things You Should Know

You could be struggling with your finances even with a regular income because of several reasons. If you are out of options and need a fresh start, you could consider filing for bankruptcy. People who earn a significant income with valuable property to protect may choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you get debt relief and pay your discretionary income to creditors throughout the next 3 to 5 years. Additionally, while some other options may require you to give up your assets, this Chapter offers you a new path to pay back your debts. If you understand how Chapter 13 repayment plans work, you can make an informed decision if filing for bankruptcy under this Chapter will best serve your circumstances and needs.

Here are 3 important things that you should know when it comes to the Chapter 13 repayment plan:

1.     How to Handle Debts?

The U.S. Courts require Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans to provide for the total repayment of priority debts. These claims are supposed to include debts like bankruptcy filing costs and taxes. However, people may choose to make alternative arrangements with priority creditors in some cases.

If some people want to keep their collateral attached to secured debts under this Chapter, they need to include repayment of these claims in their plans. Additionally, if their plans utilize all their projected disposable income over the repayment period, they may not have to pay back certain unsecured debts. So, once their bankruptcy is discharged after the completion of the repayment period, they will be free from owing such claims.

2.     How to Make Payments?

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your repayment plan usually spreads out over three to five years. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey requires a Chapter 13 plan to:

  • Provide for payments of regular fixed amounts (usually monthly) to the trustee
  • Provide for the complete payment of all claims that are on priority (such as taxes and child support), unless otherwise the claim is agreed upon to be treated differently
  • Provide for equal monthly payments to be made to secured creditors through the Chapter 13 plan
  • Provide for the same treatment for each claim within each class (in case the plan classifies claims)

You will have to start making payments to the Chapter 13 trustee within the first full month following the filing of the case. Your trustee will then distribute the specified funds to the appropriate creditors.

3.     When Can Your Case Get Dismissed?

If you fail to make plan-prescribed payments, it may result in the dismissal of your case. If in arrears at the meeting of creditors, your bankruptcy trustee may dismiss your case without any further hearing or notice. Also, your bankruptcy trustee may choose to drop your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition if you fall 45 days or more behind on your payments.

You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as it offers several benefits when you are struggling with overwhelming debt. However, you should remember these three crucial things about the Chapter 13 repayment plan. If you fail to complete the requirements of this plan, it may have serious implications.

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How to File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

If you’re in need of bankruptcy relief, you may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta. This type of bankruptcy is available to people with high incomes who are unable to pay their debt. There are certain restrictions, though. In some cases, people can file without an attorney. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Atlanta, you should first consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney Atlanta for advice.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney will ask you a series of questions about your financial situation. This is to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7. You’ll also be asked about your assets, debts, and payments to creditors. The lawyer will try to determine whether your financial situation is so dire that you should file for this type of bankruptcy.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta involves filling out forms that are specific to Georgia law. While most bankruptcy forms are standard federal ones, you will need to fill out the Pro Se Affidavit if you’re filing for bankruptcy in Georgia.

Redeeming your car in bankruptcy

If you’ve filed for bankruptcy in Atlanta, you might be wondering how you can redeem your car after the creditor repossesses it. You can do this through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Redeeming your car means refinancing your payments at a lower price than what you owe on it. If you’ve been making payments on your car for more than 10 years, you may be able to keep the car if you follow these steps.

Generally, the process of redeeming your car in bankruptcy is simple. In this way, you’ll be able to stop making payments on your car and free up funds to settle your debt. Your new lender will make you a new loan offer, and then file a motion with the court for judicial approval. Once you have submitted this motion, your current lender will either agree to accept the new loan value or dispute it. If the current lender isn’t satisfied with the new offer, it’s important to get a judicial decision on the car’s fair market value before you surrender it.

Another option is to choose to reaffirm your car after filing for bankruptcy. This option allows you to keep your car if you have less than $5,000 in equity in it. In Georgia, however, there is a wild card exemption of $5,000. This is a type of exemption that applies to any property up to $5,000, and you can use this money to put toward the car’s equity.

Filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer in Georgia has its advantages and disadvantages. While an attorney will definitely be the most expensive item, there are ways to save money without hiring a lawyer. The first step is to gather your documents. If you can gather them as early as possible, you will have less stress later on.

Bankruptcy forms are similar across the country, but in Georgia, you may need to use “local forms”. Most law firms have fillable PDFs that you can use. They will ask you some questions to generate your forms. You can also use a free filing tool like Upsolve to generate your own forms.

Once you have gathered your documents, you can begin filing your petition. The first step is to gather financial documents. Your financial statements are essential in filing a bankruptcy petition.

Cost of filing

If you’re looking into bankruptcy, you may be wondering about the cost. There are several factors that can affect the cost. Most importantly, the attorney fees you pay for bankruptcy can have a significant impact. Depending on your situation, you may want to try to have these fees waived. The best way to find out exactly how much it will cost is to talk to a knowledgeable attorney.

The attorney fees can be higher in Atlanta than in other cities. However, it is possible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without paying more than the average. In this case, you may need an attorney who specializes in filing bankruptcy in Georgia. These attorneys are usually available for free consultations. The fee for filing bankruptcy in Atlanta may be more expensive than in other cities, so it’s important to shop around before making a decision.

If you’re looking for a fresh start and want to get out from under your creditors, you may want to consider filing for Chapter 7 in Atlanta. A bankruptcy attorney can advise you on the process and help you determine if this option is right for you

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Filing for Personal Bankruptcy Can Be Smooth

Bankruptcy is a term dreaded by both businesses and individuals mainly because of its long-term impact on their credit worthiness. However, there are many situations when bankruptcy works the best to help individuals get rid of their debts and make a fresh start. An expert lawyer firm can help you clearly understand your financial position and explain the various options available to you and their pros and cons, besides helping you through the complete gamut of bankruptcy proceedings.

Resolving Financial Woes

A study has revealed that two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy in the US cite medical issues as the key reason for their financial woes. Other reasons include piling up of credit card dues, divorce or separation, and the inability to make mortgage payments. However, before you decide to file for bankruptcy do explore other options like non-profit credit counseling, debt consolidation and debt settlement. You can discuss your debt dilemma with a legal expert who will also help you negotiate with your creditors to work out alternate schedules for repayments or waiving off some portion of the debt.

Filing for Bankruptcy

After all other options to deal with your debt problem have been ruled out, bankruptcy is considered. The United States Bankruptcy Code governs the bankruptcy proceedings across different courts. You have the option to choose between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Chapter 7

In the case of a Chapter 7 filing, individuals are required to voluntarily turn over their assets to the bankruptcy Court. These assets are then sold and the proceeds used to pay back the creditors. This leads to the discharge of the debt of the individual filing for bankruptcy. Some categories of assets like the motor vehicles owned by you, clothing, pension amount, personal jewelry, household goods and appliances may be exempt from the categories of assets to be handed over. The option of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is, however, available only if the individual’s income for the last six months is less than the median income in his/her state. If the earnings are more than the state median level, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is recommended.

Chapter 13

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a little more complicated and takes a longer time for the discharge of debts. It applies to individuals who have income and the ability to manage the debt under a different payment plan structure. This option offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosures besides rescheduling their secured debts for repayment over the life of the Chapter 13 plan. This bankruptcy option protects third parties who are liable with the debtor on consumer debts or co-signers. An important feature of this bankruptcy option is that individuals have no direct contact with the creditors and all plan payments are made to the trustee who in turn distributes them to the creditors. Since the bankruptcy law regarding the scope of Chapter 13 discharge is complex, debtors should consult competent lawyers before filing for bankruptcy.

Going for Credit Counseling

US laws make it compulsory for individuals seeking bankruptcy relief to get credit counseling from a government-approved organization. The course must be completed within 180 days before the filing as it helps in deciding the best option for resolving your credit woes. The course can be done online or by phone or in person and the certificate for the same has to be shown to the court.

Fill the Required Forms and Pay the Court Fees

The next step is go ahead and fill the necessary court forms and pay the court fees. Once you have completed all the formalities in accordance with the law and the bankruptcy petition has been filed, the court appoints a trustee to oversee the case. Applicants need to start paying their Chapter 13 payments one month after their application is filed even if the court has not approved or confirmed the proposed plan. However, if the bankruptcy court does not confirm the suggested plan, your attorney will make the necessary changes

Creditor Meeting

An important step in the bankruptcy proceedings is a meeting with the creditors. Mandated by the section 341 of the bankruptcy code, this meeting involves the presence of the trustee, the individual applying for bankruptcy and the creditors.

Debtor Education Course

Before the final discharge of debts, the individual who has filed for bankruptcy will need to complete a post-filing debtor education course from a government-approved organization. This course helps to learn budgeting, money management and use credit wisely.

To ensure the smooth completion of bankruptcy proceedings and the discharge of debts it is best that the services of an expert bankruptcy lawyer are sought. This will not only ensure that the petition is not rejected on grounds of improper filings or discharge of wrong debts.

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3 Things to Know About How Often You Can File Bankruptcy

Whether you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are at liberty to file for bankruptcy as often as you deem fit. The bankruptcy code does not put a limit on the number of bankruptcy an individual can file over a lifetime. Those who made this law understood that the chances are high that you’ll fall into debt and there may be a cause to file for bankruptcy. As such, there is nothing that stops a debtor from filing bankruptcy the second time. In addition, you should understand bankruptcy homestead exemption when filing bankruptcy.

However, to prevent abuse of the court process, there are restrictions on the number of discharges an individual can get within a specific period of time. As such, you can fine for bankruptcy multiple time, but whether you’ll qualify to receive a discharge depends on the former bankruptcy case.

The 2-4-6-8 Rule

As mentioned earlier, you can always file for a bankruptcy discharge, but you may or may not be issued the discharge. As such, if you want to file for bankruptcy again, then the real question is if you have waited enough before filling for another discharge.

Your waiting period is determined by two pieces of information, which are: the bankruptcy chapter you filed before, and the bankruptcy chapter you want to file under. The 2-4-6-8 Rule will apply if you got a bankruptcy discharge in the previous case.

If the 2-4-6-8 Rule applies to you, then it means that you can’t get a bankruptcy discharge till after 2,4,6, or 8 years after getting a discharge. To know the waiting period that applies to your case, you simply need to check your previous bankruptcy filing, and the one you want to file for now, then check the guide below.

Waiting Period

The waiting period is determined as follows:

  • Two years—(For Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy)—you will have to wait for a two year period before you can get another Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge.
  • Four years—(Chapter 13 bankruptcy after Chapter 7 bankruptcy)—here, you will have to wait for a period of four years before you can get a bankruptcy discharge.
  • Six years—( Chapter 13 to Chapter 7)—if you applied for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you now want to apply for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you’ll have to wait for six years before you’re issued a bankruptcy discharge.
  • Eight Years—(Chapter 7 to Chapter 7)—you have to wait for eight years if you want to apply for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after getting one previously.

To calculate the time limits for getting a bankruptcy discharge, then you’ll start from the period you filed for bankruptcy discharge and not the time the discharge was given. Recently, there has been a surge in people filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 7.

It’s important to note that bankruptcies can vary slightly from state to state, especially when it comes to income limits.. For instance, if you are planning on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio, it may look different than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia. Make sure you are aware of these differences before moving forward with filing.

What About Cases That Did Not Receive a Discharge?

The waiting period might be shorter if you didn’t get a discharge on your previous application. You can file for another bankruptcy discharge if the bankruptcy court dismisses your case—this bankruptcy discharge has to be done after 180 days. Also, you can discharge the debt in the previous case by filing for a new bankruptcy discharge.

If your bankruptcy discharge or the case was dismissed, then the best thing to do is hire the services of a highly experienced bankruptcy attorney before you file for a discharge. Some special circumstances might have an effect on the time limits between bankruptcy discharges.

Another thing to remember when filing bankruptcy is that the rules on how to file and what goes into the filling are dependent on where you are in the country.


Bankruptcy can be a lifeline for folks who cannot pay their debt and need debt relief. That said, there are certain limits to consider when understand how often you can file bankruptcy. Understand the waiting period and how discharge works when it comes to filing bankruptcy.

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How Do I Know If I Qualify for Bankruptcy Chapter 7?

Nowadays, it’s all too easy to sink into debt, but it’s extremely difficult to get rid of it. You may be watching your debts pile up month after month while you don’t have enough money to make ends meet. As you face this difficult time in your life, you may wonder what you can do to get out of debt and regain control of your life and finances. Fortunately, there is a legal alternative that could be helpful to you. As you might imagine, we’re talking about bankruptcy.

Now, bankruptcy may be the answer to your financial problems, but not everyone qualifies for it. You need to keep in mind several factors to know if you qualify for your preferred bankruptcy chapter or if you’ll have to look for other options to get the fresh financial start you need.

Here you will learn how you can determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how a bankruptcy attorney may help you navigate the process.

What is chapter 7 bankruptcy?

One of the most important decisions you will have to make during your bankruptcy filing is which chapter of bankruptcy you wish to file. Bearing this in mind, you should know that the most popular type of personal bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy will enable you to get rid of most of your debts in a matter of months. To accomplish this, your non-exempt assets will be sold by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will then use the proceeds to pay your creditors.

So, if you are looking for a quick solution to your debt problems and don’t mind the prospect of having to sell some of your assets to do so, Chapter 7 may be your best option.

However, qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not as simple as it may seem. To do so, you will have to pass a means test that will assess your finances and determine if you meet the financial requirements to be eligible for this debt relief solution.

Is your income low enough?

The first phase of the means test will determine if your income is below or above the state median. Income includes wages, bonuses, tips, salaries, overtime, commissions, interest, royalties, workers’ compensation, tax returns, and more. Essentially, most of your money inflows.

If your current income is below the state median for households similar to yours, you will automatically qualify for Chapter 7; you won’t have to complete the rest of the means test.

However, if your income is higher than the state median, you will need to proceed with the rest of the test to determine if you qualify.

The bankruptcy means test

The means test is designed to restrict the use of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The goal is to make this solution available only to those who indeed cannot pay their debts.

To do so, it deducts certain monthly expenses from your current monthly income to determine your “disposable income.”

As a rule of thumb, the higher your disposable income, the less likely you are to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The point is, if you have enough disposable income each month, you should use it to pay your creditors.

Now, if your income is too high, but you still want to get rid of your debts, you may want to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. In this type of bankruptcy, you will have to create a 3-to-5-year repayment plan. Once you complete it, most of your remaining debts will be discharged.

Other requirements to keep in mind

Besides your monthly income, there are other details you should consider to find out if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

           Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is mandatory:

           Before filing for any type of bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course conducted by an approved agency. You are required to attend this course six months before your bankruptcy filing. Otherwise, your filing may be dismissed.

           There must be nothing suspicious about your finances:

           Bankruptcy courts will carefully evaluate your finances after your filing. If they find anything suspicious, such as that you transferred money or assets to family members to avoid losing them or that you maxed out your credit cards to abuse the process, your filing could be denied, and you might face fraud charges.

What if you filed for bankruptcy before?

If you previously filed for bankruptcy, you will have to wait some time before doing it again. To be exact, you have to wait eight years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing before filing again, and six years in case of a Chapter 13 filing.

Should you work with an attorney during your filing?

Working with a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney during your bankruptcy filing could be very helpful to you and will maximize the chances of success of your filing.

The attorney will help you choose the bankruptcy chapter that best fits your financial situation and advise you during the means test to ensure that you include all the required information without making unnecessary mistakes.

Overall, working with an experienced attorney may be your best option if you want your bankruptcy filing to be effective, simple, and stress-free.

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Does Bankruptcy Eliminate Student Loans?

Using Bankruptcy to Eliminate Student Loans

Unless lawmakers take other action, the temporary coronavirus student loan forbearance program is set to end on September 30, 2021. At that point, student loan borrowers who have been skipping payments for over the past year must somehow find the money to meet these obligations. As the COVID-19 economic crisis persists, that won’t be easy to do.

In terms of bankruptcy law, student loans are unsecured debts, like medical bills and credit cards. Before 1980, student loans were always dischargeable in bankruptcy. But then, Congress added an “undue hardship” provision to this portion of the Bankruptcy Code. Pro-lender law quicky developed, and as a result, many student loan borrowers do not think bankruptcy is an option.

As outlined below, that’s normally not the case. In almost all jurisdictions, a generous partial discharge is usually available. Additionally, in many jurisdictions, a full and almost immediate discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be on the table.

The Brunner Rule

That pro-lender law included In Re Brunner (1985), a still-controversial decision from the Second Circuit. Marie Brunner, who had made no effort to repay about $9,000 in student debt, asked the Bankruptcy Court to discharge it. The court denied her request and further stated that the debtor only had an “undue hardship” if:

  • The debtor cannot repay the loan and maintain a minimal standard of living,
  • This situation would persist for the life of the repayment term, or at least most of it, and
  • The debtor had previously made a good faith effort to repay the loan.

Essentially, the Brunner rule, which almost immediately became the majority rule in the United States, limits student loan discharge to cases which involve a physical disability that did not occur until after the debtor graduated from school. Even then, discharge is not guaranteed, mostly because of the minimal standard of living requirement (i.e., a net income above the poverty line).

The Eleventh Circuit, which includes Georgia, has shown little interest in revisiting the Brunner rule, even in light of the current student loan crisis. So, many Georgia bankruptcy lawyers do not bother to file a motion seeking discharge. However, as one of our law school professors stated, you do not get anything unless you ask. Many people who ask at least receive a partial discharge, mostly thanks to the mediation process.

Totality of the Circumstances

In the neighboring Fourth Circuit, which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, the law is different. In Erbschloe v. U.S. Department of Education (2013), a Fourth Circuit panel relaxed part of the Brunner rule. This decision opens the door for arguments concerning the totality of the circumstances test, a minority rule which is quickly gaining traction.

As the name implies, the totality of the circumstances test takes all loan and repayment circumstances into account, and all these factors have roughly equal weight. So, a bankruptcy attorney only needs to find one factor which is compelling, and press that issue before the court.

If your client is unwilling to commit to this course of action, mediation is also appropriate. A negotiated settlement, which usually includes a partial discharge, might be better anyway, since a bird in the hand is normally worth two in the bush.

Bankruptcy Mediation

If the bank objects to a motion for student loan discharge, which is a near certainty, a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer can file a motion for mediation. Judges normally grant such requests.

During mediation, both parties have a duty to negotiate in good faith. This phrase is rather ambiguous, but it normally means that each side must compromise in order to reach an agreement. In other words, if the bank takes a hard line “sorry Charlie” approach, claims the debt is not dischargeable, and refuses to budge, the judge, who will probably not be too happy, will most likely intervene.

A split-the-difference 50 percent discharge might not be available, but a noticeable 30 percent discharge is probably available. Additionally, everything is negotiable during mediation. That includes loan repayment terms, such as the interest rate. As a result, the client could save even more money.

Christopher Ross Morgan, who has helped bankruptcy clients since 1997, is a principle in Morgan & Morgan, a consumer bankruptcy law firm based in Athens, Georgia. The firm also practices disability and workers’ compensation. Click here for more information.

Can I File Bankruptcy and Keep My Home?

Can Bankruptcy Preserve Home Ownership?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, FHA mortgage delinquency rates recently hit an all-time high. Observers do not expect delinquency rates to decrease significantly until at least the spring of 2022. As a result, as coronavirus financial protections end, many people will need to take measures to save their homes against banks which are eager for money.

These creditors are likely to be even more aggressive than ever before in 2021. In many states, lenders can begin foreclosure proceedings after just one missed payment. Because the Supreme Court has recently watered down some protections in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, that may become the majority rule very soon.

Bankruptcy, and especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy, is the best way for distressed homeowners to stay in their homes. As a bonus, bankruptcy does more than stop foreclosure proceedings. It also makes homes more affordable, at least in many cases, so home ownership becomes more sustainable.

Automatic Stay Issues

Simply filing the bankruptcy petition does not automatically stop foreclosure. The parties handling the foreclosure, which is normally the loan servicing company and the local county sheriff, must receive actual notice via the creditor matrix. If foreclosure is imminent, best practices dictate direct notice as well.

Buying and selling mortgage-backed securities (MBS) is not as common today as it was before the 2008 financial crisis. But it still happens. As a result, the homeowner might not know the current servicing company’s identity, even though the servicer is legally required to divulge this information.

So, when preparing the matrix, do not exclusively rely on the information the debtor provides. Check the county deed records as well. Then, if things go sideways, you can at least prove you did your due diligence.

The local sheriff is usually not part of the paperwork until the foreclosure sale itself. So, review the foreclosure sale notice, if the client provided it, and deliver notice, including the bankruptcy case number, to the person in charge of the sale.

Maximizing the Homestead Exemption

Georgia’s homestead exemption is rather limited. Single filers can exempt up to $21,500. If the client has lived in the home for more than ten years, the equity amount probably exceeds that ceiling. To maximize the exemption and therefore keep the trustee from seizing it, it’s important to understand the difference between fair market value and bankruptcy value.

Assume Duane has $40,000 of equity in a home worth $200,000, according to the tax assessor’s website. According to those figures, which do not account for the fact that the house needs substantial foundation work, the trustee is free to sell Duane’s home, pay off his $21,500 equity exemption, and distribute the remaining proceeds to creditors.

But not so fast. The COVID-19 pandemic has depressed the real estate markets in many places, driving already low home investor offers even lower. And these are the offers that matter in this context. Schedule A requires debtors to list the as-is cash value of a particular asset.

So, at least one home investor’s written offer for Duane’s $200,000 house would be as low as $50,000. After the trustee pays the equity exemption and bears all other costs, mostly the cost of repairs, there might be almost nothing to distribute to creditors. According to the Bankruptcy Code, that fact makes Duane’s house untouchable.

Bankruptcy Affordability Options

These same valuation principles apply to some advanced bankruptcy options which a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer can unlock. If these options apply, the homeowner could save a considerable amount of money.

Lien stripping is a good example. This option is usually available if the homeowner used 80/20 financing to buy the home and the home’s value has decreased at least 20 percent. In that situation, the house’s value is not high enough to secure both liens. Therefore, the junior lien is an unsecured debt which is subject to discharge.

Other options, which are often available if the UPB (unpaid principal balance) of the loan is below $20,000, include a cram-down. If the homeowner makes accelerated payments and remits the home’s current fair market value to the lender, the bank might have to forgive the rest of the loan.

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What Do I Need to Know and Do Before Filing For Bankruptcy in Texas

There is a chance that you’re flooded with anxiety when contemplating filing for bankruptcy. Having challenges with debt can be a stressful period in one’s life. Creditors will be on your case and a simple mistake could make you lose your assets. That is why you should be getting in touch with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a smooth process. The process itself is complex and confusing and isn’t something that you’d want to do on your own. Before you can start filing, here are a couple of things that you need to know about bankruptcy.

It is Not an In and Out Process

If you’ve never had any experience with bankruptcy cases, it is easy to assume that they’re similar to normal cases. A bankruptcy case can last up to a year. If you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can expect a shorter time but other types of bankruptcy could take more than a year before the cases are finalized. If you’re unsure of the process, it is imperative that you’re getting in touch with a Dallas bankruptcy lawyer.

You’ll Be Open For Financial Scrutiny

If you’re never the person to discuss your finances with friends and family, you should be prepared for financial scrutiny. This could sometimes mean that your financial life will open to the public. Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you’ll be required to attend the meeting with creditors in person. There are no restrictions on the kind of questions the creditors can ask provided they’re related to the case. This will mean that anything to do with your finances can be questioned.

Honesty is Required

It is crucial that you’re being completely honest with the information presented when filing for bankruptcy. This is because a bankruptcy court will be of the opinion that only an honest individual should be entitled to a debt discharge. The first thing you’ll be required to do is to list down all your creditors, debts, and property. If it is discovered that you’re being dishonest at any point, there is a chance that you might lose the bankruptcy discharge. The FBI could be involved as bankruptcy fraud is a serious offense.

Bankruptcy Forms Are Complex

A lot of people are of the assumption that filing for bankruptcy is a simple and straightforward process. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There will be complex questions that need answers and will mostly be centered on your financial affairs. It is important that you’re taking your time as you’ll not want to provide the wrong information. Having an experienced attorney will help you fill the forms correctly so that there are no chances of making mistakes.

The Discharge is Personal

For any filing of bankruptcy, the ultimate goal will be to have the debt discharged. This is because it will prevent all the creditors from collecting debt from you. The bankruptcy will only protect you as an individual. It doesn’t include shared debt. A good example is when you’re the co-signer of a loan. There is nothing that will be stopping the lender from collecting debt under such circumstances.

The Process is Not Cheap

You could be in a bad place financially but filing for bankruptcy could be costly. The cost of filing for bankruptcy will be determined by the attorney you’ll hire and if the fees will be waived. Doing the filing on your own could still attract substantial fees.

It Will Impact Your Credit

It could take up to 2 years before you can start recovering from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are not a lot of creditors that will be willing to work with you. You’ll first have to rebuild your credit score. Don’t take on huge credit that you’ll have issues with repayment. The last thing you should be doing when still recovering from Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to accumulate more debt.

You Might Lose Property

It is possible to keep property when filing for bankruptcy but not all of it. Any property that isn’t exempt can be claimed by the bankruptcy trustee. The kind of property that you get to keep will be determined by the bankruptcy option that you go for. The exemptions will also vary from one state to the next.


Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit for years to come but it could sometimes be the only way out. If it comes to that, you’d want to get an experienced bankruptcy attorney that will ensure that you’re getting the best out of the case.

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Things You Need to Know When Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is often seen as a scary proposition. As an individual or a business owner, you might never have imagined things taking that route but life is never short of surprises. The focus should be on getting back on your feet. It is important that you’re familiar with the process of filing for bankruptcy even if you’ll be working with an experienced attorney. Having a deeper understanding is crucial so that you’re aware of the steps to take.

There Are Two Main Options

When filing for bankruptcy, you’ll be faced with two main options. You will have to consult with the attorney in order to determine the one that is best for you.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Also referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, this option will mostly discharge all your unsecured debts. Such debt will include credit cards and personal loans.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: With this type of bankruptcy, you’re required to come up with a repayment plan so that the creditors are paid over a period of time. There will generally be no liquidation of the property with this process but it could take up to five years before everything is finalized.

Bankruptcy Will Open You Up to Financial Scrutiny

If you’ve never gone through a bankruptcy case before, one might assume that it is a normal process and the court system is the same. It should be noted that such cases could last for longer than 90 days and entail complicated legal matters. That is why it is important to have a bankruptcy attorney by your side for the best possible outcome of the case. When you file for bankruptcy, it will be mandatory that you attend the meeting of creditors. During such a meeting, you will be asked many of questions in a public setting and under oath. There are no restrictions on the questions and any creditor that is present is allowed to probe. You should expect your finances to be scrutinized.

Complete Disclosure Is Required

It is crucial that you’re completely honest and transparent when filing for bankruptcy. Leaving out important details could be detrimental to your case. You’ll be required to provide a list of all your properties, creditors, and debt. When dishonesty is discovered, you could be looking at losing your discharge, or worse.

Having looked at some of the most important elements when declaring bankruptcy, you might be wondering what is required in order to begin the process. There are some key steps that you should take and we’re going to highlight some of them.

Find an Attorney

This will be the first thing you’ll need to do if you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy. There is a lot of information on the internet about finding the right lawyer. Ideally, you should be looking for someone that is experienced with bankruptcy law and has handled a case similar to yours in the past. To get the right attorney, you can ask for references from your family lawyer or accountant that you’ve worked with.

Credit Counseling

It is a requirement by the Federal Bankruptcy Code that individuals get credit within 180 days before declaring bankruptcy. For married couples, both individuals will be required to attend credit counseling sessions. You’re not supposed to go to just any other counselor. There is a list of approved counselors by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Complete The Paperwork

This is the most time-consuming part of the whole process of filing for bankruptcy. Your attorney will need to prepare a petition. In addition to that, you’ll be required to provide detailed documentation of your assets, income, living expenses, and tax returns.

Meeting With Trustee

The court will appoint a trustee for your case once you file for bankruptcy. The role of the trustee is to oversee the case up to its logical conclusion. The trustee’s work is to look for assets to liquidate to pay your creditors with.  However, most assets are protected with bankruptcy exemptions.  For the process to be smooth, it is imperative that you’re cooperative with the trustee. You must furnish them will all the financial documents that they request.

Additional Considerations

There could be additional requirements for a married couple. You have the option of filing for bankruptcy together or separately. If you’re on good terms, it is recommended that you’re filing together to avoid filing fees. It might seem like a good idea for one spouse to file for bankruptcy so that their credit score isn’t being affected. It will be imperative to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if it makes sense to file bankruptcy together.


The process of filing for bankruptcy is complex and time-consuming. Once you’ve decided it is the best option for your situation, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the process. There are potential pitfalls that can easily be avoided with the right information. It is also important that you’re working with an experienced attorney for your case. Take your time to do research. Look at all the available options before making any important decisions.

Butcher Law Office, LLC.

Butcher Law Office, LLC was founded on the premise of offering personal and one-on-one bankruptcy services for clients. You get to work with Tom Butcher who is an attorney with more than 12 years of experience and more than 1300 bankruptcy cases filed.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.