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Chatham County Lawyers Guiding You Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

An important option for Georgians struggling with debt

More than 70,000 businesses and individuals file for bankruptcy every year in Georgia. Although bankruptcy is very common in the state, most people are unfamiliar with the process and its benefits. Bankruptcy offers a solution when your creditors are knocking on your door for payment and you don’t have the income available. By declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can put an end to harassing phone calls and take care of your debts once and for all. The Savannah lawyers and staff of Gastin & Hill, Attorneys at Law have decades of experience working with clients through the bankruptcy process. Our staff understands the fears and stress you are feeling when considering Chapter 7 liquidation, and we are with you every step of the way.

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option for people whose debt is well beyond their income and who can no longer pay what they owe.  Chapter 7 is also an option for businesses that are in great debt. There are many reasons people fall deep into debt that are not their fault, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of job or income
  • Child support or alimony
  • Unexpected natural disasters
  • Economic downturns
  • Legal troubles
  • Divorce
  • Student loans

Someone who is in debt may file a petition with a federal bankruptcy court for relief, usually through an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. The petition outlines the individual’s income, all of their assets and the debts that they owe to others. The court then issues an automatic stay. This stops creditors from filing lawsuits for repayment or seizure of property. All collection efforts also cease. The court then appoints a trustee to oversee the sale of the petitioner’s assets to satisfy outstanding debts.

Wipe out credit card debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy

At Gastin & Hill, we understand how easy it is to fall behind on credit card payments, and we know how much relief our clients feel when their credit card problems are resolved through bankruptcy.

When credit cards have high interest rates, even reasonable spending can quickly lead to large balances. It’s not unusual for people who are struggling with other bills, such as a mortgage and car loans, to devote their paychecks to those bills and then rely on credit cards to buy food, clothes and other necessities — and then find themselves overburdened by credit card debt on top of their other obligations. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide instant relief from credit card debts, giving you a fresh start after your case is completed

What property is exempt from sale under Chapter 7 relief?

Under Georgia law, some property and income is exempt from being sold off in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Those exceptions include:

  • The homestead, up to $21,500 in value
  • Income from child support or alimony
  • Workers compensation
  • Veterans benefits
  • IRAs and ERISA-qualified benefits
  • Insurance proceeds
  • Motor vehicles, up to $3,500 in value
  • Unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits or public assistance
  • Aid to disabled persons
  • Tools necessary for a particular trade
  • Up to $600 of property chosen by the individual

The homestead exception can be critical to someone facing the prospect of foreclosure and eviction. There are also other exemptions under Chapter 7, but you should know that filing for bankruptcy has a long-term effect on your credit rating, for up to ten years. If you’d like more information on whether filing for bankruptcy is right for you, speak with one of our knowledgeable Savannah, Georgia bankruptcy lawyers today.

Contact our Savannah office for a free initial consultation about Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Anyone who tries to file for Chapter 7 alone risks omitting critical property exemptions or having their petition rejected altogether. You can avoid this by having an experienced bankruptcy lawyer guide you through the process. Gastin & Hill, Attorneys at Law provides bankruptcy counsel to people in Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties. Call us at 912-472-0993 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.