Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases in Georgia
In our previous post, we outlined the timeline for the filing and close of a Chapter 7 in Georgia. A Georgia Chapter 13 bankruptcy case normally takes 3 to 5 years to close. That is because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is a reorganization where the debtor repays his/her debts over the course of time. Debtors who file Chapter 13 cases do so in order to obtain relief from actions such as foreclosures or repossessions or to free up monthly cash flow.
The typical events that occur in a Chapter 13 case in Georgia are as follow:
- File your case with a payment plan and petition;
- An automatic stay is placed, preventing all creditors from collecting against you;
- The clerk of court sends out a notice of bankruptcy to all creditors;
- Two hearings are scheduled in your case. The first is a meeting of creditors, which is generally about 30 days from the date you file. The second hearing is a confirmation hearing, which is generally about 60 days from the date you file;
- Thirty days after you file your Chapter 13 case, your first monthly plan payment is due;
- After your meeting of creditors, the Chapter 13 trustee file objections to confirmation of your case;
- When the objections are cured, the court issues an order “confirming” your case. If the case is not confirmed, then it will be dismissed;
- Creditors have an opportunity to file “proofs of claims” to be paid through the Chapter 13 case;
- After confirmation of your case, you continue to make your monthly payments for a period of 3 to 5 years;
- Before you can receive a close and discharge, you must complete a financial management course and file the counseling certificate in your case.
During the 3 to 5 year Chapter 13 plan, you are making a monthly payment to the Chapter 13 trustee who disburses the funds to all of your creditors. If you are not paying back your unsecured creditors at 100%, then you will have to pay your tax refunds into the case every year. Over the course of such a long period of time, many issues come up that may cause you to have to go back to court. While you’re in Chapter 13, you are not allowed to incur new debt or sell property without court approval.
If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia, you will have access to a website that shows the Chapter 13 trustee’s disbursement of your payments to creditors. There, you will see that creditors are paid according to their statuses. Creditors such as mortgage companies and car creditors receive payments first. Tax creditors and domestic creditors seeking child support or alimony are next in line. Last in line are unsecured creditors, which usually consist of credit cards, medical bills and utility bills.
If you are thinking about filing Chapter 13 in Georgia, call the Law Offices of Charles Clapp at 404.585.0040 for a free consultation with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.