Savannah Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Decades of Experience in Helping People Achieve a Fresh Start
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an effective process for eliminating what is described as “unsecured debt.” This is debt that is not backed by any physical collateral, such as house or car. It includes such debt as credit card debt, personal loans, medical or dental bills, judgments, liens, and prior lease obligations. Generally, through a Chapter bankruptcy proceeding, this is the type of debt that will be discharged once the process is complete.
If you are facing insurmountable debt, you should learn your available options for solving this frustrating problem. That can easily be done by discussing your financial scene with our Savannah Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark A. Bandy, PC.
Attorney Bandy has more than 20 years of experience handling all aspects of Chapter 7 as well as other forms of debt relief solutions. He believes in personalized service where you get to know your attorney one-on-one. At our office, you will be treated as the individual person you are with unique financial and family circumstances, obstacles, and goals,
How a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unexempt assets may be subject to sale by the trustee to pay your creditors. That said, most assets owned by individuals are exempt and herby protected from such a sale.
The process begins with the filing of your bankruptcy petition, which then kicks in the “automatic stay.” This stay stops your creditors from contacting you in any way to collect on your debts. That means no more harassing phone calls, letters, emails, or texts.
The automatic stay can stop wage garnishments, repossession, and even foreclosures. However, secured debt on collateral will eventually have to be handled by reaffirming those debts and catching up of payments. Handling your secured debts through a Chapter 13 is often a better way to keep your home, vehicle, or other significant assets.
Qualifying for Chapter 7
Two obstacles may prevent you from a Chapter 7 filing. These are:
- Non-exempt assets
- Income above the state median for a household of your size
In order to file for Chapter 7, you must pass a "Means Test." This test is meant to determine if you truly have no way to repay your debts with your income against your essential expenses.
If your income falls under Georgia's median for a household of your size, you will automatically pass the means test. Otherwise, bankruptcy courts will take into account any regular expenses you have deemed "essential," weighed against your income. Whatever is left over is considered your "disposable" income that could potentially be used to repay debts. If this amount falls under threshold, you can then file for Chapter 7.
What Assets are Exempt from Creditors in Georgia?
Every state has laws that protect the assets that you own from bankruptcy creditors up to a certain dollar value. These protections are called “exemptions.” These exemptions have limits and if you own an asset which exceeds the limit allowed by Georgia law, you could lose that asset or a portion of it in bankruptcy.
Georgia provides exemptions for your:
- Motor vehicle
- Household goods and furnishings
- Tools of the trade
What is a Wildcard Exemption?
The state of Georgia also has a wildcard exemption that can be used as part of your homestead exemption.
It is important to remember that the values of your assets are reduced by any related debts such as a mortgage or car loan in determining the value or “equity” which you actually own. For example, if you own a car worth $7,000 with a car loan of $4,000, you only own $3,000 worth of “equity” in the car. Georgia provides an individual automobile exemption of up to $5,000. Therefore, the $3,000 worth of “equity” in the car which you actually own is exempted, putting it out of the reach of the Bankruptcy Trustee.
Many people do not own assets with values that exceed these exemptions and, as a result, assets are not lost in a Chapter 7. In order to keep all of your assets, it is important that you work with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who knows the applicable exemptions for your case and can protect your assets.
Turn to the Law Offices of Mark A. Bandy, PC for Capable & Trusted Legal Help
The purpose of a Chapter 7 is to give you a fresh start. Once the entire bankruptcy process has been completed, it will result in a discharge of your unsecured debt. With a clean slate, you will have the opportunity to start again without the worry, stress, and roadblock of runaway debt. Our teamr is here to ensure that you bankruptcy case is handled to protect your best interests.
If you are in a bad place financially, have lost all hope, and feel there is no one out there to turn to, then please reach out to Mr. Bandy before you make any other decisions. He will get you the relief and guidance you are looking for.- Crystal
He helped us stay calm and positive throughout the whole experience.- Faith
He answered all my questions and made the whole situation go smoothly.- J.C.
Mark was very patient with my questions, answered them thoroughly and his recommendations were accurate and proved true.- M.A.
After reaching out to Mark my initial apprehension was immediately put to rest. Mark is very understanding and broke the process down in its most simple terms.- Ben
Flexible & Affordable
We offer free consultations, weekend, after-hour, and virtual appointments for your convenience.
We are accessible to our clients and are here to answer all questions throughout the process.
When you retain us you can rest assure you will receive excellent representation and the best possible outcome.
Attorney Mark A. Bandy has over 20 years of experience successfully handling bankruptcy filings in Savanna.