Compassionate Legal Care

Chapter 7

McDonough Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Chapter 7 Debt Relief Solutions in Macon 

Medical expenses, credit card debt, and other necessary payments can be overwhelming on top of your daily expenses. Fortunately, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, can be a solution to get a fresh start through discharging unsecured debts. 

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of debt relief for individuals and businesses, allowing them to liquidate their assets in order to repay their creditors. Under Chapter 7, creditors are unable to pursue any further action against the debtor and the debtor is relieved from the debts. It is a type of “straight” bankruptcy, whereby all of the debtor’s non-exempt assets are sold and used to repay creditors. All remaining unsecured debt is discharged, leaving the debtor free of their obligations. However, some unsecured debts, such as student loans and certain taxes may not be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Our skilled bankruptcy lawyer can make a world of difference in navigating every step of filing for Chapter 7. Attorney Lisa M. Roberts, P.C. offers more decades of experience and responsive and compassionate assistance - including same-day consultations and same-day filing - when you need it most.

Call our firm at (678) 509-6170 to schedule your FREE initial consultation. We have two convenient office locations in Macon and McDonough to better serve you.

Chapter 7 Eligibility 

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test. The test is not overly restrictive and most of our clients seeking Chapter 7 in Georgia are eligible. 

In general, Chapter 7 provides relief for those who: 

  • Are overburdened with bills, overextended credit, and unsecured debts
  • Do not own a home, vehicle, or other significant assets
  • Have been facing harassing phone calls, texts, or letters from creditors
  • Have had their wages garnished by creditors

By filing for Chapter 7, non-exempt assets will be liquidated in order to pay off your creditors. Our lawyer has in-depth understanding of bankruptcy laws and proceedings and can provide you with all of your options before you decide on the best path forward for you and your family. If Chapter 7 is not right for your situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option. 

Chapter 7 vs 13 

The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy looks at your current assets and protects exempt assets. In addition, it discharges most if not all of the debt you owe. Chapter 13 looks at your finances at the time of filing. It allows you to create a repayment plan for debts like your house or car while discharging your unsecured debts.

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

While every filing, just like every individual, is unique, the requirements for liquidating your debts through Chapter 7 follows the same general steps. After you retain the services of an attorney, and you have explored all of your options and chosen Chapter 7, you will need to pass the means test. This determines if your monthly income is less then the median of all people living in your state. Your lawyer will then help you file your petition, after which an automatic stay will go into effect which protects you from harassment, wage garnishment, and any other collection attempts. 

You will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee by the court and be required to attend an approved credit counseling course within the first 180 days after filing. Once that is complete, your assigned trustee will schedule a meeting with your creditors and your lawyer. You will need to provide information on your debts and finances in order to begin the process of liquidating any non-exempt assets to pay off what you owe. 

Discharge of debts in a Chapter 7 case usually takes between three and six months. This means that after this period all eligible debts, such as credit card bills, previous medical expenses, and other approved loans will be cleared. It is important to note that Chapter 7 cannot discharge child support and alimony obligations, tax debts owed to the IRS, and student loans. 

Will You Be Able to Keep Property After Filing for Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws do allow a filer to keep some of their personal property during the liquidation process. This is known as exempt property and it may include:

  • The equity in your primary residence
  • Personal possessions and household items
  • Welfare, unemployment compensation, and Social Security payments
  • Earned wages that have not yet been paid

It's important to understand what conditions allow you to claim certain property exemptions. McDonough Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer Lisa M. Roberts can help you review your unique circumstances and determine which property you may be entitled to keep.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation to take the first step to debt relief. We welcome Spanish-speaking clients. Call today to speak with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer near you.