Marietta Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Helping Local Clients Wipe Out Debt
If you are unable to keep up with mounting credit card debt or medical bills, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice for you. Under Chapter 7, you will liquidate your non-exempt assets in exchange for the elimination of many types of unsecured debts. At the end of the process, you will have a clean slate and can start building your fresh financial future.
Our team at The Law Office of Danielle J. Eliot, P.C. has considerable experience helping individuals navigate bankruptcy filings. No matter your circumstances, we will work to maximize relief and get your life back on track. We treat our clients like friends and will be with you through every step of the process. Our Marietta Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is eager to provide the personalized guidance you need to retake control of your life.
Who Is Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?
Not everyone will necessarily be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You cannot file again if you received Chapter 7 relief in the preceding 8 years. Most people will also need to pass the Georgia Means Test.
Compare your current average monthly income with the state’s median average for your household size. If your income is less than the average, you pass the Means Test and can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is more than the average, you may still qualify. Calculate your monthly disposable income by subtracting qualifying expenses. If you have little or no disposable income, you can most likely seek Chapter 7 relief. If you have too much disposable income, you may need to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
Some categories of debtors will not need to complete the Means Test. For example, disabled veterans who acquired a majority of their debt while serving their country are exempt from the Means Test and can file at any time. Our Marietta Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your eligibility and advise whether this approach makes sense for your situation.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work in Georgia?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy” or “straight bankruptcy.” When you file, a Bankruptcy Trustee will be appointed to determine if you have any non-exempt assets that can be liquidated to partially repay creditors. A court order called the automatic stay will also temporarily protect you from any pending or ongoing collection actions, including wage garnishments and creditor lawsuits. Once all non-exempt assets have been liquidated, you will in most cases be able to eliminate most unsecured debts, including credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills.
Will I Lose All of My Property in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Many people who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy fear they will lose the bulk of their possessions if they file. Fortunately, you may be able to keep certain assets if you sign a reaffirmation agreement. This agreement states that you can and will continue to make monthly payments associated with the debt. You can select which assets to reaffirm and let the others go into bankruptcy to be discharged.
Georgia residents can also exempt many types of assets from the liquidation process, including:
- Your residence (up to $21,500 of value or up to $43,000 of value if you file jointly with your spouse and only one spouse owns the property)
- Your vehicle (up to $5,000 of value)
- Health aids (fully covered)
- Child support and alimony payments needed for support (fully covered)
- Many types of public benefits, including unemployment and workers’ compensation (fully covered)
- Pensions and retirement benefits (in many cases, fully covered)
- Tools of your trade (up to $1,500 of value)
- Your jewelry (up to $500 of value)
- Your personal property, including animals, furniture, instruments, appliances, electronics, and clothing (up to $300 per item and up to $5,000 of total value)
If you do not utilize the full value of your homestead exemption, you can reallocate up to $10,000 of the unused amount to protect whatever you choose. Georgia also offers a wildcard exemption that can protect up to $1,200 of value in any type of personal property.
At The Law Office of Danielle J. Eliot, P.C., we are committed to helping you overcome debt and get back on your feet. We also recognize that you do not want to lose your most important assets in the process. Our Marietta Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you make the most of your filing while minimizing the impact of liquidation.