Filing Bankruptcy in Rome, GA
Do you have a debt collector hounding you every day? Are you overwhelmed by credit card debt or student loans? Bankruptcy is one of the best ways to get a reprieve from dire financial stress.
Bankruptcy protection gets debt collectors off your back, stops wage garnishment, and prevents collection lawsuits. But you might be worried about losing your personal property if you choose to file for bankruptcy. Our Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly can help you get out of debt!
This article will cover how a bankruptcy filing can affect your Social Security income and home.
If you have any more concerns regarding bankruptcy law, call our office. I will be happy to help you through the bankruptcy process and get you the fresh start you deserve!
Should I push through with my bankruptcy case if I have a home or social security income?
Generally, people on social security are told not to file for bankruptcy. Why?
Social security is a protected stream of income so creditors cannot garnish your social security check.
Filing bankruptcy gives the trustee some power over what you own when creditors cannot do anything to you.
Lawsuits and harassing phone calls are a total pain in the rear, but these are much better to have than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee selling valuable assets you own — like your house.
So what should a person do if his only income is Social Security, and his house is completely paid off? The answer depends on the house’s value and how much the mortgage is.
Let’s say you have a person on social security who owns a home worth $100,000 with no mortgage in Georgia:
- If this person is single, the most equity they can protect is $21,500
- If the person is married, the maximum amount is $43,000
- If the house is titled in both the husband’s and wife’s names, the non-filing spouse will remain entitled to half the equity in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy situation
Assuming the person is single and files for Chapter 7, there would be a potential $78,500 of exposed equity. In other words, in this particular hypothetical, the trustee is going to sell the house in Chapter 7.
Why would the Trustee sell my house?
“How is this fair?” you might ask. “I have worked my entire life to pay off this house, and the trustee can take it away in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case?”. In the state of Georgia, the answer is that this can happen because of the number of housing exemptions set by the state legislature.
If you have more concerns about bankruptcy and how it can affect your supplemental security income, call a bankruptcy attorney in Georgia for sound legal advice! We’ll find a way to get you out of debt problems and another stab at a secure financial future.
What can a person do if they owe money on credit cards but have a house with zero balance on the mortgage?
One option would be to file for Chapter 13. How can this help you?
- In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is possible to protect exposed equity. For example, let’s say a person on social security owes $15,000 on credit card debt. If this person has more than $15,000 exposed equity in their home, they are looking at a Chapter 13 payment of around $400 per month. If this credit card debt is $50,000 and they have $50,000 of credit card debt, then they would be looking at a Chapter 13 payment of around $1,000 per month.
- Chapter 13 may not be everyone’s first choice for bankruptcy relief, but it’s your best option if you want to protect your assets.
If you need legal help with shielding your equity from a bankruptcy petition, you may reach out to our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys from one of our Georgia offices. We have law firm offices in Rome, Dalton, Kennesaw, Douglasville, Cartersville, Dallas, and Marietta.
What should a person do if they are on Social Security and own their house outright but cannot afford the Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment required to protect it from creditors?
The best answer might be to sell the house, pay off the creditors and move on. Another option is to reach out to your heirs and see if they can pitch in to make your Chapter 13 payment to protect the house from creditors. Otherwise, the creditors will sue and put judgment liens on the house.
These judgment liens will accrue interest until the house is sold and paid off. Thus, nothing will be left for your heirs if you don’t do anything. Another option is to consider a reverse mortgage. On a reverse mortgage, you take equity from your home to pay your creditors, but the mortgage company will take your home when you pass away.
For more bankruptcy help, consider scheduling a consultation with your Georgia bankruptcy attorney.
Call Our Experienced Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
The bankruptcy code offers a reset button for Americans overwhelmed by debt. Here are three main points you should remember:
- A Chapter 7 bankruptcy lets you get rid of your debt at the risk of letting go of your assets.
- A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to negotiate a 3-5 year repayment plan for your debts. Bankruptcy laws can be complex.
- Without skilled legal assistance, you may not know the best option when it comes to bankruptcy proceedings!
At the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly, our team is committed to helping our clients get out of debt! Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys have been serving Georgia for over 2 decades.
If you want your bankruptcy case handled with care and respect, look no further because you’ve got me! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with our Rome bankruptcy firm.