Many people view bankruptcy as a fresh start for their finances – eliminating debt and allowing them a chance to rebuild their credit over time. For Atlanta residents who do not want to liquidate their assets under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law and only keep possession of specifically exempted items, there is a softer landing – if they can qualify. Read on to understand the requirements for an individual to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia.
What Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Means in Georgia
Sometimes referred to as a “Wage Earner’s Bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 permits people with sufficient income the ability to avoid liquidation of assets by repaying some or all of their debt. The advantage of this option (as opposed to Chapter 7) is you are allowed to keep your home if you can create an acceptable settlement plan wherein you pay your mortgage. Depending on your family income, you will have either three or five years in which to pay unsecured debts with all your “disposable income” as defined in the bankruptcy code
It is important to remember that no bankruptcy will eliminate all debts incurred before bankruptcy. Unpaid tax debts, obligations such as child support and alimony, and government-issued student loans are disallowed from discharged.
It is important for debtors to stick exactly to the terms of an approved repayment plan. Any late payments or noncompliance with the terms can result in the bankruptcy case being dismissed.
Qualifying for Chapter 13
Under the current laws in Georgia, an individual debtor cannot have more than $394,725 worth of unsecured debts – debts such as personal loans or credit cards. Additionally, a debtor cannot qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they have accumulated over $1,184,200 worth of secured debt including automobile loans and home mortgages. Additionally, a debtor must show they have financial means and/or income to pay down debts, have not had a Chapter 13 bankruptcy dismissed within 180 days for unwillingness to appear in court, and be current in their tax filings.
All businesses, including sole proprietors, are disqualified from filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This ban also extends to commodity brokers and stockbrokers even if their debts are solely personal in nature.
Get Your Georgia Bankruptcy Questions Answered Today
Filing bankruptcy can seem overwhelming, and you may not know whether you meet all the requirements of Chapter 13 bankruptcies in Georgia. The experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group can help. We have years of experience handling bankruptcies for clients like you, and our knowledgeable attorneys can help you understand bankruptcy requirements as well as the options available to you. We offer a free bankruptcy consultation to review the facts of your case, answer your questions, and begin your fresh financial start on the right foot. Call us at (404) 800-9939!