People, filing for bankruptcy, first attempt to qualify for Chapter 7 in many cases. Chapter 7 discharges all of your debts and requires no repayment. However, not everyone may be eligible for this type of bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia, you may receive approval for a Chapter 13 debt reorganization. Chapter 13 requires filers to make a monthly or lump sum payment for a defined period set by bankruptcy courts.
Consumers facing Chapter 13 are rightfully concerned about the amount they must pay every month. The best way to get an idea of how much you might have to pay is to speak with a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer. He or she applies the law and fundamental principles to manage help you know what to expect from the process.
Here are the five factors you attorney considers when estimating your monthly repayment plan during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in Georgia:
Number of Missed Payments Across Your Accounts
A significant benefit of filing for bankruptcy is that you can avoid losing your car or home. It allows you to catch up on your debts. A Chapter 13 plan will enable you to accomplish this goal over a period of three to five years.
The Priority of Your Debts
Bankruptcy courts allow certain debts to take priority over others. These types of debts are typically related to legally mandated payment requirements. For instance, money owed to the IRS and back child support must be paid. You will be ordered to pay these types of debts in their entirety.
The Ownership of Non-Exempt Assets
Chapter 13 permits you to keep your non-exempt assets in most instances. You are not exempt from paying your debts, however. Instead, your assets are exempt from repossession provided you maintain the terms and conditions of your bankruptcy repayment plan.
The general rule of thumb is an asset free of liens or exemption protection must be repaid within five years of exiting bankruptcy.
Your Amount of Disposable Income
Disposable income is the amount of money you have left over after subtracting your monthly expenses from your income. Bankruptcy courts are going to expect that you use this entire some as the basis of repayment for bankruptcy. Any disposable income you have is handed over to your creditors.
Total of Administrative Expenses
Bankruptcy trustees and judges consider the costs associated with having to file for bankruptcy in the first place. Types of expenses factored into your repayment plan include:
- Attorneys’ fees
- Filing fees and court costs
- Bankruptcy trustee fees
Typically, these costs are calculated to offset the debt. The idea is to help people exist after bankruptcy with a renewed sense of a fresh start. That cannot be accomplished if you are swimming in additional expenses.
Hiring a Georgia Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consider hiring an attorney to help you through the process. Since their fees are limited by law, it is not as expensive as most people think to have an advocate on their side.
At Charlton & Glover, P.C. we have been serving families in Fulton County, GA in matters of bankruptcy since 1983. Our Georgia Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers are eager to learn more about your financial goals. Contact our office today by calling (770) 993-1005 or sending us a quick note through our request form.