Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I file bankruptcy and keep my house?
  2. How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit score?
  3. Can I file bankruptcy and keep my car?
  4. Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?
  5. Should I continue to make payments to creditors after I file bankruptcy?
  6. Will I have to attend a hearing after I file bankruptcy?
  7. Can I rebuild my credit after I file bankruptcy?
  8. Can I keep one credit card when I file bankruptcy?
  9. How much debt do I need to have before filing bankruptcy?
  10. What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
  11. Can I file bankruptcy against child support or alimony?
  12. Can I discharge tax debt?
  13. Can I discharge student loan debt?
  14. How long does the bankruptcy process take?
  15. Who will find out about my bankruptcy filing?
1. Can I file bankruptcy and keep my house?

Yes, you can keep your house in a bankruptcy in Atlanta, Georgia. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in Georgia allows you to consolidate your mortgage arrears and other debts into a monthly payment. In a Georgia Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you can keep your house if it does not have equity subject to liquidation and if you keep your mortgage payments current.

2. How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit score?

Filing bankruptcy will lower your credit score, but you can rebuild your credit after bankruptcy by maintaining current monthly payments on the debts that you still have and by keeping your debt to credit ratio low.

3. Can I file bankruptcy and keep my car?

Yes, you can file bankruptcy in Georgia and keep your car. In a Chapter 13 in Atlanta, Georgia, you can consolidate your car payment with other debts into a monthly payment. In a Chapter 7 in Georgia, you are required to reaffirm your car note or resign the terms of the original car loan and keep your monthly payments current in order to keep your car.

4. Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?

Yes, you can file bankruptcy without your spouse. The bankruptcy petition will not contain your spouse’s name or social security number. Further, your bankruptcy filing will not be reported on your spouse’s credit report. However, you must disclose your spouse’s income when you file bankruptcy.

5. Should I continue to make payments to creditors after I file bankruptcy?

After filing Chapter 7 in Georgia, you should not pay any of your unsecured creditors, such as credit card companies. However, you should continue to pay your mortgage and car note if you want to keep your house and car. After filing a Chapter 13 in Georgia, you will make a consolidated monthly payment to the bankruptcy trustee. Thus, you do not need to make a separate car payment or payments to credit card companies. However, if you are keeping your house, you must make your monthly mortgage payments directly to the mortgage company each month.

6. Will I have to attend a hearing after I file bankruptcy?

Yes, you will have at least one hearing after you file bankruptcy. The hearing is known as the 341 Meeting of Creditors and is normally held in federal court in Atlanta and allows the bankruptcy trustee and creditors to ask you any questions about your assets and liabilities. You may be required to attend additional hearings, depending on your specific case.

7. Can I rebuild my credit after I file bankruptcy?

Yes, you can rebuild your credit after you file bankruptcy. Creditors report the same information to the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Thus, if you make timely monthly payments on the debts that you have after the bankruptcy is closed, those timely payments will be reported positively on your credit report. On the other hand, if you make late payments or default on loans, such actions will be reported negatively.

8. Can I keep one credit card when I file bankruptcy?

No, you cannot keep one credit card. You cannot pick and choose which creditors to list on your bankruptcy petition because that would not be fair to all of your other creditors.

9. How much debt do I need to have before filing bankruptcy?

You do not need to have a certain amount of debt in order to file bankruptcy.

10. What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Georgia will tell you that a 13 case is a consolidation and repayment of your debts over the course of 3 to 5 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia is a total liquidation and wipes out your debts upon the discharge of the case, which normally occurs about six months after you file.

11. Can I file bankruptcy against child support or alimony?

You cannot discharge domestic support debt, such as child support or alimony, when filing bankruptcy.

12. Can I discharge tax debt?

If have Georgia or federal IRS tax debt, you may be able to discharge it, but it depends on how old the tax debt is and whether you filed the taxes on time and correctly. For more information about tax liability and bankruptcy, see our tax dischargeability section.

13. Can I discharge student loan debt?

Normally, student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, under some circumstances, where a debtor can show that the student loan imposes an undue hardship and that the debtor cannot repay the loan, a court may find that the student loan debt is dischargeable.

14. How long does the bankruptcy process take?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in Atlanta, Georgia usually takes about six months from start to finish. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case continues for 3 to 5 years.

15. Who will find out about my bankruptcy filing?

Although a bankruptcy filing is public record, the court will normally only notify your creditors about the bankruptcy filing.