When Should I File For Bankruptcy?

When Should I File For Bankruptcy?

The Timing For Filing For Bankruptcy Is Important Many people start the New Year with a resolution to get their finances in order.  Filing for bankruptcy protection is a big decision with big consequences.  But, it can be a huge relief for people who have been struggling for years, to finally execute a plan to end the turmoil.  But, don’t be in too much of a hurry.  The best bankruptcy lawyers consult with Debtors about getting the timing right before filing.  Filing too early can have negative consequences.  Many people use credit cards when buying Christmas gifts.  It is very important that you try to wait to file if you have done that.  There is a four month look back on credit card purchases when you file for bankruptcy relief.  So, if you have used credit cards in December, you should wait until May to file, unless you are facing a foreclosure or garnishment, and you are unable to delay.  Filing too soon could result in having to pay back that credit card debt which would otherwise be dischargeable debt. Have more questions about how and when to file for bankruptcy?  Contact us today for a FREE consultation: (770)...
Should I Consider Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Even if I Qualify for Chapter 7?

Should I Consider Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Even if I Qualify for Chapter 7?

In general, people qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they have little or no income and relatively few possessions. But when individuals fall at the higher end of the means test used to qualify for Chapter 7, they have potentially more to lose by liquidating their assets. By discussing your financial circumstances and overall goals with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you may learn that filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia offers significant advantages. Without a doubt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings are more complex than Chapter 7 because you must re-negotiate the terms of all outstanding loans to create new repayment plans for all debt, over a three to five year repayment schedule. But according to the United States Courts, Chapter 13 offers many potential advantages, including, but not limited to: It can stop foreclosure on your home and offer the opportunity to cure delinquent mortgage payments over time, as long as you make all payments on time over the life of the bankruptcy proceedings. You can reschedule other secured debt to retain additional assets. It can help protect co-signers of your loans. But filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not a do-it-yourself project. Working with an experienced Georgia Chapter 13 lawyer helps ensure you identify all outstanding debt — and that your income provides the means to repay the debt under a new negotiated settlement. Every person has a unique financial situation that requires detailed analysis before determining if Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the right option for achieving debt relief. But the attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP work with you to assess the details...
How Much Time Do I Have to Stop Foreclosure of My Georgia Home?

How Much Time Do I Have to Stop Foreclosure of My Georgia Home?

If you default on your mortgage — or even if you fail to keep up with property tax or insurance payments — the mortgage holder can begin the foreclosure process. And once the process begins, you need to act quickly to initiate an effective foreclosure defense in Georgia. So the best time to begin is as soon as you default on any of your mortgage responsibilities, rather than waiting until the mortgage holder takes action. Since Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, you cannot buy time while waiting for a courtroom proceeding. According to the Attorney General of Georgia, a lender can foreclose on a home without filing a lawsuit or obtaining permission from a judge. And since Georgia law only requires the mortgage holder to notify you at least 30 days before the proposed sale date, you have very little time to enter into negotiations with the lender in an attempt to stop the foreclosure. Naturally, you know of your default before your lender, so it makes sense to seek legal advice sooner rather than later. An experienced attorney can often negotiate with your lender if you need just a short time to make up the default payments. Or a lawyer can help convince mortgage holders to modify the terms of the mortgage to make it affordable over the long term. With legal support, foreclosures are not necessarily inevitable. Not all people can save their homes from foreclosure. But the attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP work with you to assess the details or your specific circumstances. We educate you on all available options...
Can Creditors Garnish my Wages if I Fall Behind on my Payments?

Can Creditors Garnish my Wages if I Fall Behind on my Payments?

Creditors cannot just take your wages directly from your employer. But they can potentially garnish your wages under certain circumstances. Garnishment of wages in Georgia involves a detailed judicial process. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, debt collection agencies require a court judgment before they can garnish your wages. They also need a judgment before they can take your home or property. But you have specific rights and obligations during this process, including the right to hire an attorney to represent you — and even deduct certain attorney fees from the value of the judgment. In other words, they cannot just start taking your wages or other property without receiving judicial approval. Wage garnishment typically occurs long after individuals know they have credit issues. Rather than waiting for the delivery of a summons to your door, a better option is to address these issues by retaining a lawyer experienced in debt relief and Georgia wage garnishment laws. Your attorney may be able to negotiate new repayment terms for your outstanding debt. Or he or she may recommend filing for bankruptcy to eliminate or consolidate debt. The recent economic downturn caused countless individuals to turn to credit just to pay basic expenses for their families. Seek advice from the attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP as soon as you recognize you have mounting credit issues. We can offer legal alternatives to help you move toward a brighter financial future. Contact us today to set up a...
Do Georgia Creditors Have the Right to Harass Me?

Do Georgia Creditors Have the Right to Harass Me?

Naturally, creditors have the right to maintain regular contact with you or your attorney if you owe money. But many credit collection agencies seem to find new meaning to the term regular contact by contacting you repeatedly at home during any time of day or night or at your workplace. Some collectors even discuss your debt with friends and neighbors. You need to know that federal and Georgia harassment laws are in place to protect you from this type of abuse. If you have delinquent debt, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection recommends that you take a proactive approach by working directly with creditors to negotiate a new repayment plan that can put your payments back on track. But if a creditor sells your debt to a collection agency, federal law prohibits collectors from contacting you in the following ways: At unreasonable places and outside the hours of 8am to 9pm At your place of employment, provided you notify them that your employer does not permit personal calls In any way if you notify them you have the representation of an attorney One of the best ways to avoid Georgia credit harassment is to retain an experienced attorney. Your lawyer acts as a buffer between you and all threatening contact. Your attorney can also help you find ways to get your payments current — or even file for bankruptcy to eliminate or consolidate debts. Your inability to repay outstanding credit balances does not give anyone the license to harass you. If you experience unfair treatment by debt collection agencies, you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights....
Do the 2005 Bankruptcy Law Changes Prevent me from Filing Chapter 7?

Do the 2005 Bankruptcy Law Changes Prevent me from Filing Chapter 7?

The U.S. Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 partially in an effort to protect creditors from abuse. But the new laws also protect consumers and businesses from continuing along a debt-ridden path. While the laws carry specific filing requirements, they do not prevent individuals from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia. Even in 2006, one year after the Act was signed into law, the United States Courts reported 1,432,074 business and consumer Chapter 7 filings. This number represents the vast majority of all 1,794,795 bankruptcy filings for the year. Clearly, individuals and businesses that follow the rules and meet basic requirements continue to successfully file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 filings now have more stringent standards. For example, in an effort to prevent anyone from escaping debt they can afford to repay, the new law introduced a means test. Before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to show you do not have enough income or assets to fully repay your creditors. And most filers must complete approved credit counseling within 180 days of filing. But many other regulations can affect your ability to file successfully, which is why it makes sense to seek support from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Many people consider Chapter 7 to be a simple form of bankruptcy. But you need to follow precise reporting requirements to avoid errors that can stop proceedings or leave you facing continued debt after going through the process. The bankruptcy attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP have the skills and experience to guide you through the entire bankruptcy process,...