What debts are eligible for discharge through bankruptcy?
A wide range of unsecured debts, including credit card balances and most medical bills, can be fully discharged — and that means eliminated — if you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. All or some of these debts can also be discharged through Chapter 13 bankruptcy for higher-income individuals and those whose goals include stopping a home foreclosure or protecting other essential assets.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows restructuring of other types of debt for payment over a period of up to five years, the ability to eliminate second mortgages no longer supported by the market value of a home, and some added flexibility to deal with other types of secured and unsecured debt, such as IRS or state tax debt.
Will bankruptcy stop garnishments, judgment liens and repossession?
Yes. In most cases, filing bankruptcy can stop or prevent collection lawsuits, wage garnishments, seizure of bank accounts, judgments, liens and repossessions, in addition to immediately stopping creditor harassment through an automatic stay against creditor actions against you. The sooner you contact our firm if you face such an action, the more likely we will be able to help you get the protection you need.
Does my spouse have to file for bankruptcy, too?
Most couples will file one petition together. However, in cases where one spouse has significant assets, such as a house, and the other has debt, it may make more sense for only one spouse to file. It can be advantageous for one spouse to remain outside of bankruptcy, preserving access to credit.
Can I keep my house? What about my car?
In almost all cases, you can accomplish either or both. Please view our pages titled Save My Houseand Save My Car for more information.
Do I have to give up my retirement savings?
In most cases, no. If you have savings in a qualified, tax-exempt retirement account such as a 401(k) plan or IRA, the entire balance usually qualifies as a bankruptcy exemption and can be 100 percent protected. If you are considering tapping into or liquidating these accounts to hold off creditors, it is definitely time to speak with a proven Georgia bankruptcy lawyer.
What about legal fees? Can I afford bankruptcy?
At The Slomka Law Firm, P.C., we offer competitive, affordable fees for our clients. Fees are paid up front for Chapter 7 bankruptcies, while the bulk of the Chapter 13 fees will be paid over time. Unlike many firms, we cover the cost of the required credit counseling, saving a significant amount of money for our clients.
How will bankruptcy affect my credit?
Your bankruptcy filing will be reflected on your credit report for a period of 10 years after your petition is filed. However, chances are that if you are considering bankruptcy, your credit is already seriously damaged. Wiping away these debts can provide you with a fresh start and a chance to rebuild your credit from the ground up over time, so that you get back in control of your life and your credit score.