Georgia Bankruptcy: What Your Bankruptcy Lawyer Needs

Posted by William H. Sherman on Jun 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

More and more Georgia residents are taking advantage of the bankruptcy laws and are eliminating debt and getting a fresh financial start by filing bankruptcy. People file bankruptcy to get out from under debts – and it works!

And to file a Georgia bankruptcy you will have to provide your bankruptcy lawyer many financial documents. These documents will be used to determine what chapter of bankruptcy you qualify for, it could be a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13; Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings are uncommon.

Your bankruptcy lawyer needs to know your income.

First, your last six months of income will be used to determine your average monthly income. This is one of the factors the Court uses to determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your gross income is used in the calculation, comparing your income to the median income for your household size. Your deductions for taxes, medical insurance and retirement are used in other calculations. It is essential that your lawyer have each paystub you have received for the last six months. If you do not have the paystubs, your employer or payroll company can easily reprint them.

Your bankruptcy lawyer needs to know your expenses.

Next, your lawyer will need to know your expenses. You should be able to look at your monthly bills and bank records to construct your budget. The most difficult part of this calculation for many people is determining where you spend your cash. If you use a debit card for every purchase, this task is much easier. In fact, creating your budget can be enlightening and may explain why you are in debt and seeking the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer.

If you have money left over every month, you may need to examine your budget to see what expenses you have left off. Generally, if you have more income than expenses, you will need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (a reorganization of debt repayment) rather than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (a straight forgiveness of most debt owed). 

What do you own?

Your lawyer will also need to know what you own. Every state has limits of how much you can own and file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will need to know the value of your house and the total amount you owe on your mortgage or mortgages.  You will need to know the value of your vehicle and the amount of your car loan. You must disclose your personal property.  Most trustees don't want to know how many shirts or socks you own but only the general value of your clothing and personal items.

They will also be interested in any accounts you have including investment accounts (with items like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs), cryptocurrency accounts (with coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Binance Coin, Cardano, and Dogecoin), and your general bank accounts. They will want to know about anything you own that has a value. For example, something you inherited from your family or any collectables you own, including artwork, firearms, baseball cards, and antique cars. Does anyone owe you money, either to repay you or because you could sue them for something (such as maybe you were involved in a car accident and suffered a personal injury)? You have to report these items. 

What types of debt do you have?

Finally, your lawyer will be interested in the type of debt you have. Do you have student loans? Are your debts mainly for your house and cars? Do you have credit card debt? Do you owe the IRS or do you owe Georgia state taxes? Do you have medical debt (owed to doctors or to hospitals)? Was the medical debt generated from an accident or from illness? You must include all of your creditors so they are discharged.

The type of debt you have will determine whether you will have to pay all or a portion of the debt. When you incurred the debt is also very important. You cannot discharge credit card debt that was incurred right before filing bankruptcy. 

The paperwork is very important.

Putting together the paperwork for a bankruptcy is very important. When you file a bankruptcy, you swear you have disclosed all of your assets and your debts to the bankruptcy court and that your paperwork is truthful. Also, by going through the process you may be able to see what occurred that caused you to have to consider filing bankruptcy. Most times, bankruptcy is caused due to unemployment, divorce, an illness or just a mistake or two. The paperwork can show you what went wrong, but more importantly, what changes need to be made to put you on a more secure financial path heading into the future.  

Call us for help now!

When you want to finally get out of debt and get a fresh financial start, call us for a free case evaluation at 678-215-4106 and we will get you on the path to a great future!

We proudly serve the entire Atlanta metro area from Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and Dunwoody, to Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, DeKalb County and Cherokee County!

About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.

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