Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How can bankruptcy eliminate my debt?
Bankruptcy is a unique process designed to help people get a fresh start after financial trouble. After completing your bankruptcy, you will receive what is called a discharge. The discharge is the mechanism that prevents creditors from ever collecting certain debts included in your bankruptcy.
2. What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain debts. After your debts are discharged, you are no longer legally required to pay those discharged debts. The discharge acts as a permanent order of the court that prohibits your creditors from taking any form of collection action against you, including legal process, or communicating with you about your discharged debt. Only your personal liability will be discharged in bankruptcy. Any liens that are not paid or avoided will remain in effect after your bankruptcy.
3. How much will it cost to talk to a lawyer to find out about my options?
Nothing. As a service to clients, we provide a free consultation. Many times there are alternatives to Bankruptcy. You just need to call Savannah bankruptcy lawyer Thomas Gore at 912-335-3640.
4. How does bankruptcy stop creditors from calling all of the time and harassing me? How does it stop a foreclosure or garnishment?
As soon as you file a bankruptcy, the Federal Court issues an order called the Automatic Stay stopping all actions by your creditors. Creditors cannot call you. Creditors cannot call your job. Creditors cannot call your family. Creditors cannot call co-signers. Creditors cannot sue you. Creditors cannot even write you. The Bankruptcy Court can and does punish creditors for violating its orders.
5. What are the different types of bankruptcy?
Chapter 13, Debt Consolidation or Wage Earner: This type of bankruptcy combines your debts into one affordable payment. If you have income-but all of your creditors want a payment at the same time and there is just not enough money to go around-this type of bankruptcy may solve your financial problems. Chapter 13 lowers the amount you pay creditors to an amount that YOU can afford in one payment. Generally, you keep your house, car, furniture and other property.
Chapter 7 or Liquidation: This type wipes away unsecured debts. Secured debts you pay under the original terms of your purchase contract, or you return the property and pay nothing. This type is very effective if you are current on your regular bills, but have a large unsecured bill such as a past repossession, medical bill or foreclosure. This type is also very effective if you do not have many secured debts but a lot of unsecured debts.
6. Will I lose my house, car or furniture?
No. In most cases you can keep these items along with your sanity.
7. Where do I file and where do I go to court?
Everyone living in Chatham, Effingham, Bryan and Liberty Counties must file in Savannah and attend hearings in Savannah.
8. Does it cost a lot to file Bankruptcy?
No. Chapter 13 cases do not require any money to start. Fees in Chapter 7 cases vary depending upon the size and complexity of the case and this firm will work with you in Chapter 7 cases to tailor our fee to your particular case.
9. What if I am nervous or worried about court?
Your attorney is always with you in court. In most cases, your attorney does all of the talking. Furthermore, most bankruptcy related court appearances are very brief in nature and all parties involved are usually very cordial to those filing bankruptcy. There is no need to be nervous or worried. We will walk you through each step.
10. What documents do I need to file bankruptcy?
- All bills with the contact address and account numbers. Be sure to include all medical bills, credit card bills, car payments and mortgage statements, personal loans, rent to own contracts, furniture loans, title loans or title pawns.
- The last six months of paycheck stubs.
- The last two years of state and federal tax returns.
- The last three months of bank statements for all of your accounts.
- Any paperwork regarding lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosure or repossession.
You are entitled to a free credit report each year with Annual Credit Report.
Download and fill out our intake form and bring it with you to your next appointment.
- Creditor: The person or company that is owed money.
- Debt: An obligation to pay money.
- Debtor: The person who owes money.
- Secured debt: Money owed for the purchase of some sort of property, such as a house, furniture or a car.
- Unsecured debt: money owed with no property attached, such as hospital bills, credit card bills, and signature loans.
- Stress: A destructive tension, anxiety, or worry.