Chapter 13 Bankruptcy- Can I File in Georgia If I am Unemployed?
Yes, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia even if you are unemployed as long as you are receiving unemployment income. If you have zero income, you obviously won’t be able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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One of the main reasons someone who is receiving unemployment chooses to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia is to save their house from foreclosure by the mortgage holder. Any person in this type of situation must be able to show the bankruptcy court that they are able to make their future mortgage payments and a Chapter 13 payment.
In most of these types of situations, usually one spouse has a job and the other is receiving unemployment. I am hesitant to file these types of cases because once the unemployment runs out, the case is doomed to be dismissed by the trustee unless the family can make all future mortgage payments and all future Chapter 13 payments based only on the salary of the employed spouse. In most cases where once spouse is employed and the other receives unemployment, the only thing that will ultimately save the Chapter 13 case is when the unemployed spouse finds a job. I have seen a few cases of mine this year where the unemployed client was able to find a new job right before the unemployment was about to run out.
It is always an absolute joy for me to see someone stop a foreclosure and save their house. Not every case has a happy ending but those that do are fun to celebrate.
Another reason why someone who is receiving unemployment in Georgia may choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to save an automobile from repossession. If the only source of transportation gets taken back by the car creditor, finding a new job can be even more difficult. Georgia can get blazing hot in the summertime. Walking to a job interview is not a reasonable option in a high temperature and high humidity climate. For many people, saving the car means saving their livelihood.
I am amazed by how many of my clients love their car beyond reason. Some of them are petrified by the thought of their vehicle getting repossessed. I was meeting with a client in my Rome, GA office the other day who said that he would rather lose his wife than his car. I hope he was kidding.
To sum up, the biggest challenge to this type of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that the person who files the Chapter 13 must find a new job before the unemployment runs so that the Chapter 13 case will not be dismissed.