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The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is set by the court at $335. The attorney fee depends greatly on how complicated your case is, among other factors. Generally, both the filing fee and attorney fee must be paid up front. Jennifer will go over your circumstances during your free consultation and make the determination of your final cost then.
The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is set by the court at $310. The filing fee must be paid up front; however, the court may allow you to file for $75, with the remaining balance paid in two further installments. The attorney fee is included in the monthly Chapter 13 payment and is paid with all the other debts.
Under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are protected from your creditors by federal law. A bankruptcy filing will stop ALL creditor contact, including harassing phone calls, nasty letters, and even showing up at your home. Bankruptcy will also protect you from creditor judgments and garnishment.
In addition, a Chapter 13 will immediately stop ALL foreclosures and repossessions, no matter how far behind you are.
A common belief about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you will lose all your property, such as your home or your car. This is actually a misconception! As long as you do not have more than a certain amount of equity in property, the Trustee will not touch those items. You can discuss that with Jennifer at your appointment. She will not let you file a bankruptcy without knowing what will happen!
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, since you are paying your debt back, you will not be forced to surrender any property. There are certain circumstances, such as when an item is considered a “luxury,” where the Trustee may require you to pay back a higher percentage of your debt to keep things fair to your other creditors, but this is not a common occurrence. In any event, the Chapter 13 Trustee will not take anything that you own.
Yes, provided that you have waited a certain amount of time between case filings. By law, a person who has gotten a discharge in a Chapter 7 must wait six years from the date of the original case to file a Chapter 13, and eight years to file another Chapter 7. A person who has gotten a discharge in a Chapter 13 must wait two years from the date of the original case to file a Chapter 13, and four years to file a Chapter 7. If you have not received a discharge in a case, however, there is no minimum time period to wait to file another case.
When you make your initial appointment, you will be asked to bring the following with you: A list of all of your debts, including the creditor names and addresses, how much you owe each one, and what the debt is (such as a loan, a credit card, a mortgage, etc.); at least 2 months’ worth of paycheck stubs (many employers now post these online, so please print them off and bring them with you); any lawsuit or foreclosure papers you have been served with; and your most recent tax return. You will not need to bring any money with you; fees are not due until your case is actually filed. This is a FREE consultation, and you will not be under any obligation to file a case.
Jennifer will go over all of the paperwork you brought and discuss your situation with you. Every person’s story is unique, so Jennifer will take whatever time is necessary to get all of the details she needs in order to give you her honest assessment of your situation. She will let you know what your options are, which bankruptcy is best for you, or if you even need to file at all.
If you think you need to file a bankruptcy, or even just want to find out more about what options are available to you, please call our office at 706-637-3700 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to the opportunity to help you get a fresh start in life by becoming debt-free!
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531 Broad Street, Rome, Georgia, 30161