How Much Does it Cost to File Bankruptcy in GA?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is difficult and this is mainly because while considering filing for bankruptcy the main concern is how much does it cost to file for bankruptcy

Times like these make people ask questions like “Is it worth it?”, “should I do it myself or hire an attorney?”, etc. In this article, you will learn about how much it costs to file for bankruptcy in Georgia, the consequences, and other effective alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.

What is Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding involving a person or business that cannot repay its outstanding debts. Bankruptcy is designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate all or part of their debt or help them repay a fraction of what they owe in times of financial crisis.

The federal bankruptcy courts oversee bankruptcy. These courts decide whether to discharge the debts so that debtors are no longer legally required to pay them or dismiss the case if they believe the debtor has enough assets to pay their bills.

What Does it Mean to File Bankruptcy?

When filing a bankruptcy, one notices that creditors should stop any effort to collect money from you, at least temporarily because you are unable to meet or discharge financial obligations.

With this information given, most creditors can’t write, call or sue you after you’ve filed. But even if you declare bankruptcy, the courts can require you to pay back certain debts.

When declaring bankruptcy, the court looks through your assets and liabilities to decide whether to discharge some of your debts, if not, one is said to be in bankruptcy.

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Types of Bankruptcy

           Even though the general goal of bankruptcy is to clear debt, not all bankruptcies are created equal. There are about 6 types of bankruptcy which are:

  1. Liquidation
  2. Municipalities
  3. Large reorganization
  4. Family farmers
  5. Repayment plan/Wage-earners plan
  6. Used in foreign cases

Liquidation:

Also known as the liquidation or straight bankruptcy, this is the most common bankruptcy. Here, a court-appointed trustee oversees the liquidation of your assets to pay off creditors.

But its limitations allow you to dispose of their unsecured debts, such as credit card balances and medical bills. People who have no valuable assets and only exempt property like household goods, and clothing mostly end up repaying no part of their unsecured debt.

Municipalities:

Bankruptcy is another repayment plan for towns, cities, and school districts, that are financially distressed to reorganize and pay back what they owe.

Large Reorganization:

Bankruptcy is used to reorganize a business or corporation. Businesses come up with a plan for continuing to operate the company while paying off their debt, approved by both the court and the creditors.

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The goal is to reorganize, remain in business, and once again increase revenue, they do this by cutting costs, and creating plans for profitability. In rare cases, individuals file for this type of bankruptcy.

Family Farmers:

This is a repayment plan that allows family farmers and fishermen to avoid selling all their stuff or foreclosing on their property. They are allowed to maintain their businesses while working out a plan to repay their debts. 

Repayment Plan/Wage-Earners Plan:

This allows individuals and businesses, with a consistent income to create workable debt repayment plans, commonly in installments throughout a three- to five-year period. In exchange for repaying their creditors, the courts allow these debtors to keep all of their properties.

It allows individuals or businesses with a consistent income to create workable debt repayment plans which at commonly installments. The payment amounts depend on the income and the amount of debt you have. 

Used in Foreign Cases:

This type of bankruptcy deals with international bankruptcy issues and gives foreign debtors access to U.S. bankruptcy courts.

How Much Does it Cost to File Bankruptcy in Georgia (GA) 

If you feel overwhelmed by your financial obligations and consider debt relief, Georgia bankruptcy filing is worth exploring. Bankruptcy is a surprisingly common strategy for people trying to get on sound financial footing after they might have experienced huge losses.

One frequently asked a question about the bankruptcy process is probably how much it would all cost. If you are looking to file a bankruptcy report in Georgia, you should know that it depends on several factors, including the district you live in.

Since the federal laws and court system set bankruptcy fees, it would cost the amount to file for bankruptcy in every state in the United States including Georgia. The cost of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338 while the cost of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313.

It is also important to know that the filing fee is the same whether you hire a lawyer or not. If you hire a lawyer, you will need to pay attorney fees, which costs between $649 – $1,500, and also they will charge more as the complexities of the case grow, especially if they are to make court appearances.

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Factors that Affect the Cost of Filing for Bankruptcy

Some factors affect the price range of filing for bankruptcy in Georgia. Some of these factors include where you live in Georgia (the district), the complexity of your case, who you hire, how long the case might take, your number of assets, the number of creditors you fall in debt with, any added accusation of fraud, having filed a bankruptcy report before maybe in the last five years or so, etc.

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Effects of Declaring Bankruptcy

When it’s time to decide whether to file for bankruptcy or not, it is important to know about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy. Some of the consequences of filing for bankruptcy include the following:

Loss of property: 

Due to your inability to pay off debt, your assets and properties may be seized, relinquished, or sold off by the bankruptcy trustees or judge to compensate your creditors. 

Stigma: 

It brings in a bad image to you as a businessman, any investor that would like to do business with you would think twice after doing some research on you. He may not see you as credible to do business with especially during the bankruptcy period, accessing any form of credit would be extremely difficult 

Financial losses:

Any form of loan taken as capital to start up the business either from the bank, friend, or family member appears as a loss if your business crashes. 

Damages Credit report: 

Seeing a bankruptcy on your credit file may prompt creditors to decline to extend your credit or offer you higher interest rates and less favorable terms if they decide to give you credit. 

Problems with financial institutions:

Most debts can be written off but bankrupt individuals will experience substantial problems dealing with financial institutions like banks. 

Individuals considering bankruptcy should weigh up the pros and cons before deciding whether to proceed. If there is no prospect of improvement in their financial situations – and if their debts will take many years to repay – bankruptcy may prove to be a sensible option.

However, they should first consider alternative ways of dealing with bankruptcy.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

 If you are struggling with debt, you may have the option to file for bankruptcy. While it might be the best option at the moment, it is not a remedy to the problem. Some good alternatives to filing for bankruptcy include:

  • Come to terms with your creditors: If you still have some assets, you can negotiate the options of selling, mortgaging, rendering subsequent profits to your creditors, etc. This may buy you some time to get back on your feet.
  • Credit counseling agencies: One can also get help from credit counseling agencies, people always get scared of negotiating with creditors or counseling agencies, these agencies can work with you to help you repay your debts and improve your financial picture. 
  • Judgment proof debtors: If you almost have no assets or income on you, you may be judgment proof, that is, which means that a creditor has nothing from which to collect a debt. You won’t be denied any human basic amenities or rights, you will not go to jail for refusing to pay a debt, except in some rare cases involving child support or taxes. Therefore, doing nothing at all can help you get away from such a situation.
  • Take out a debt consolidation loan: These types of loans can be difficult to get and could aggregate multiple high-interest, costlier debt into a single, lower-interest loan. Other terms and conditions may apply, research more on this before taking out a loan. 
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FAQs How Much Does it Cost to File Bankruptcy in GA?

How much does it cost to file bankruptcy in GA

The chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee is $338 while the chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee is $313

How do I qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia?

You must meet an income test also referred to as the “means test” and you must have not filed for chapter & bankruptcy less than 8 years ago.

Can I file for bankruptcy and still have money?

It depends if your state’s rules allow you to exempt the money. If so, you can keep the funds in your bank.

Which type of debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcy?

Debts from fraud, 401k loans, student loans, government fines and penalties, and certain debts from luxury goods or services bought 90 days before filing cannot be discharged if a creditor objects during the case.

What can I lose during bankruptcy?

Personal items and clothing, household furniture, tools necessary to your work, cars, land, etc

How long does it take to rebuild credit after bankruptcy?

The time to rebuild credit after bankruptcy depends on the debtor. Generally, it takes between 2 months to 2 years for your credit score to improve.

What happens to my bank account after I file for bankruptcy?

Nothing will happen to your bank account when filing for bankruptcy so long as an exemption protects it.

Conclusion

Whenever a debtor files for bankruptcy, it affects their credit score negatively. It is important to know that sometimes filing for bankruptcy comes with more damaging and long-lasting consequences. This means that filing for bankruptcy costs more than the filing fee and you have to weigh your options carefully before you go ahead to file for bankruptcy.

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