Bankruptcy – Consumer & Business
Bankruptcy Attorney serving North Georgia including Cobb, Cherokee and Bartow Counties, and the cities of Marietta, Acworth, Canton, Kennesaw, Cartersville and Canton, Georgia. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies.
The process of deciding to file for bankrutpcy is often difficult. Filing for bankruptcy is not what you wanted to do or ever thought you would have to do. You have looked into other debt relief alternatives, but none of them are feasible or practical for you. Bankruptcy protection may be the most responsible step you can take to resolve your debt situation and get a fresh start.
At the Kennesaw, Georgia offices of Joseph W. Segraves, Attorney at Law, we help both consumers and businesses obtain debt relief through Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. CONTACT US today for a free half-hour consultation to find out what options you have available. For more information about bankruptcy filings, please visit our additional BANKRUPTCY FAQ page.
In considering whether to file for bankruptcy, you should seriously consider your debts, your ability to pay them in the foreseeable future, and whether bankruptcy is the best way to handle the situation. Realistic debt relief options could include negotiating with your creditors, seeking credit counseling, or filing for bankruptcy.
With nearly 25 years of experience, bankruptcy lawyer Joseph W. Segraves can help you analyze your situation and determine whether bankruptcy is the best move in your situation.
We understand that there a lot of things that can lead to bankruptcy. With the recent downturn in the real estate industry, many local businesses, such as mortgage companies, real estate brokers and contractors have especially vulnerable to debt problems. We have helped clients facing financial difficulties due to the following problems:
- Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) with rates that went up
- Lack of adequate medical insurance and mounting medical bills
- A loss of job or underemployment after a downturn in the economy
- Debts from a divorce settlement
- Excessive credit card debt
Business and Consumer Bankruptcy Options
Timing is very important in all bankruptcy cases. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can get the debt relief you need. For example, if you wait too long, you may no longer be able to prevent foreclosure on your home. Each type of bankruptcy has benefits and downsides, but filing any type of bankruptcy will stop creditor harassment immediately and give you an opportunity to prevent wage garnishment, repossession and other problems.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Consumers and Businesses: This is the traditional “straight bankruptcy” that wipes out most types of debt, although you may have to give up some of your assets.
Under the 2005 bankruptcy law, consumers must meet certain criteria to qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You must not have filed a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy within 8 years and, if a majority of your debts are consumer or non-business debts, you must pass a “means test.” If you do not make enough money to meet your basic expenses, Chapter 7 may be a good option for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Consumers: This “wage-earner plan” is designed to help you repay all or a portion of your debts under a court supervised repayment plan. To qualify, you must have a regular source of income that is sufficient to pay your basic living expenses and pay the required Plan payments. Additionally, the total of your unsecured debts cannot exceed $360,475.00 and the total of your secured debts cannot exceed $1,081,400.00. (Amounts adjusted periodically.)
If your income greatly exceeds your basic expenses, you may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy when you would not qualify for Chapter 7.
With a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you pay back your missed mortgage and car payments and pay back some or all of the other debts that you owe. Depending on the plan you may not be required to pay 100% of your debt. If you want to keep certain assets, such as your home, Chapter 13 may be the best alternative. It is not always possible to keep these assets, however.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for Individuals and Businesses: This type of bankruptcy is generally known as “business reorganization.” For some high debt or high income individuals, it can be the only form of bankruptcy protection that is available to them. Businesses that qualify for this type of debt relief will be given an opportunity to reduce existing debt and restructure their company or business practices to obtain long-term savings. Individuals and businesses may be able to develope a plan and to work with or negotiate with creditors to find a best solution the an overwhelming debt situation.
Required Credit Counseling for Personal Bankruptcy
Prior to filing for personal bankruptcy, the law requires you to take a course from a qualified consumer credit counseling agency and obtain a certificate of completion. The course is designed to assist you in evaluating your situation and determining the best course of action for your particular circumstances. The course can be completed online at a number of credit counseling agencies, and we will be happy to refer you.
However, be careful in dealing with anyone who promises to “fix” your credit, drastically reduce the amount of your debt, cut your interest rates, pay your bills for you, or do anything that does not make common sense. Check references, contact the Better Business Bureau, and deal only with established, reputable and licensed credit counseling agencies or services.
If your debt has gotten out of control, filing for consumer or business bankruptcy may be a responsible, positive step for you. Let us help you consider your options and get back on your feet. We are located off I-585 on Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw. CONTACT US today for a free initial consultation.
NOTICE: The services or benefits offered are bankruptcy relief under the provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.