Claeys McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys Dublin GA
Are you behind in your bills? Do you have creditors calling you repetitively throughout the day? Are you facing wage garnishments and foreclosures and feel like the walls are closing in around you? It may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy! When making such an important decision, the bankruptcy attorneys at Claeys McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens in Dublin GA are here to help.
You have two choices when it comes to bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is a total liquidation and is reserved for those who have no way to pay back their debts. These people usually don’t have any assets beyond their home or a vehicle and need a fresh start. However, what about the people who have assets and jobs? People that make good money, but it’s just not enough to cover all their bills?
Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The first step is to seek help from a Bankruptcy Attorney in Dublin GA. Your attorney will perform a Means Test. This test will determine if you have any disposable income that can be used to pay back a portion of your debts. The court wants to repay creditors whenever possible, even if it’s just pennies on the dollar.
After this review, your attorney can decide if you can file for a complete liquidation or if you need to file for a Chapter 13. This type of bankruptcy is very different from Chapter 7, and you won’t get an immediate discharge. The attorney will help you come up with a repayment plan that is fair to you and to your creditors.
Many people attempt to file their bankruptcy petition without an attorney in an attempt to save money. However, the paperwork of Chapter 13 is quite particular, and it is challenging for even many lawyers to handle it. It is extremely helpful to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get this done and passed through the courts.
The Repayment Plan
Claeys McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys Dublin GA will look at your incoming finances versus your outgoing obligations. We will devise a plan that repays a portion of the debts over the next 3 to 5 years. The court must approve this repayment plan, so everything must be calculated appropriately.
We have 14 days from the filing of the petition to submit the plan to the court. This gives creditors and the trustee time to look over everything. Changes can be made to the plan, and the first draft is not always the final plan.
Debts are grouped and split into three categories; priority, secured, and unsecured. Anything listed in the priority category must be repaid in full within the terms of the repayment plan. Secured loans may require complete payment, or may be able to be lowered, or “crammed down” to the actual value of the item. It also matters whether you want to retain the property or return it to the lender. Finally, the unsecured creditors get whatever is left.
The 341 Meeting of Creditors
The Meeting of Creditors is a bit different in Chapter 13 than in Chapter 7. While creditors can still come to the meeting and appear against you, their appearance is to ask questions about the repayment plan. The trustee will also ask questions about your debts and income.
The trustee is there to ensure that the creditors are paid as much money as possible. They are not there on your behalf as they represent the court. It is important to have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy Dublin GA attorney to represent you. The meeting is informal and short, but everything you say must be factual as you are under oath. Additionally, the session is being recorded.
Receiving a Discharge
Unlike Chapter 7, where you get a discharge in about 6 months, a Chapter 13 doesn’t become discharged until the repayment plan has been completed. This occurs after 36-60 months have passed. After you have fulfilled your obligations to the creditors, you will receive a discharge from the court in 30-60 days.
If at any time during the repayment process you are unable to continue making payments, then you may qualify to convert your case to a Chapter 7, provided you meet the income and time frame requirements. Your attorney can help you with this decision.
Why Would You File A Chapter 13 over a Chapter 7?
There are several reasons why Chapter 13 might be more appealing than a Chapter 7. First, if you have assets that you want to retain, then Chapter 13 is the best way to go. You are extremely limited on the things that you can keep when you do a complete liquidation.
Additionally, if a person has filed for a Chapter 7 within the past eight years, you will have no choice but to file for a repayment plan rather than be relieved of all your debts. The court has limits to protect creditors from people who chronically file for help.
Lastly, after your monthly living expenses are paid, if you have any disposable income left over, the court will expect you to use it to repay your debts.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Dublin GA
It’s important to note that if at any time during the repayment process, you fail to make the required payments, your creditors can ask the Court for permission to begin collection proceedings against you once again. Since these payments are often taken out of your paycheck, it’s imperative to let your attorney know if you’ve switched jobs or have a hardship.
Due to the complexity of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need a Claeys McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney Dublin GA by your side. Our experienced firm has helped thousands of people get out of debt, and we have three offices to serve you.
If you have a steady income but are struggling to make your monthly obligations, you need to call for help. We can protect you from wage garnishments, repossessions, and foreclosures and reorganize your debts.
CALL OUR CONVENIENT DUBLIN GEORGIA OFFICE
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.