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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney in Tifton, GA

Filing chapter 13 in Georgia? We Can Help.

Between the struggling economy and other surprises life throws at us, such as the unexpected loss of a job, the death of a loved one or expensive medical treatments, bankruptcy cases have become more common. Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision. However, it is often a necessary one that helps many people keep their property and lower their debt payments to a manageable level.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, it’s important to consult a Tifton bankruptcy lawyer to find out which type of bankruptcy filing, Chapter 7 or 13, is right for you and your family. With over 5,000 cases handled, Michael H. Turner P.C. is here when you need us most.

No Money Down.

Get started on your path to financial freedom. Contact us online or call (229) 354-4490 for a free initial meeting! Our Chapter 13 lawyer in Tifton is ready to answer your questions.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to establish a repayment plan for your debts with your creditors using your disposable income. This form of bankruptcy does not require you to sell your home or other non-exempt assets. You can reorganize your debt into lower, more manageable payments for a plan ranging from three to five years. As long as you maintain your payments, you can discharge many of your debts upon completion of your plan. Filing for Chapter 13 helps many people regain control of their financial lives and save their homes.

What Are the Benefits of Chapter 13?

Filing for Chapter 13 can protect you from:

  • Repossessions
  • Foreclosure
  • Wage garnishment
  • Lawsuits
  • Creditor harassment
  • IRS liens

In addition to these protections, filing for Chapter 13 can also protect certain third parties who are liable on your consumer debts, such as certain co-signers. You also do not have direct contact with your creditors, instead making your payments through a Chapter 13 trustee.

Difference Between Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

The main difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is what happens to your property. Chapter 7 involves selling some or all of your property to pay off debts. Chapter 13 gives you a chance to keep property and pay your debts through a 3 to 5 year repayment plan.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically the choice for those who do not have a home or have limited income. Whereas with Chapter 13, you must be earning enough income to pay your debt with disposable income.

Have more questions? Reach out to a Chapter 13 attorney in Tifton at Michael H. Turner P.C. by dialing (229) 354-4490. Schedule a free initial consultation.

How to Qualify for Chapter 13

In order to qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, you need to prove certain aspects of your case:

  • You have enough disposable income to repay your debt.
  • Your debts are within the limits.
  • Your income tax filings are current.
  • In the last 4 years, you have not filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • In the last 2 years, you have not filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • You have not filed a petition for Chapter 7 or 13 that was dismissed in the last 180 days for certain reasons like failing to appear in court.

Below are more details about Chapter 13 eligibility.

Are You Filing as an Individual or Business?

You cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy for any business in debt that you own. However, if you are the owner of a sole proprietor, debts related to your business will be included in the bankruptcy filing alongside your personal debts.

Do You Have Enough Income to Repay the Debt?

To file for Chapter 13, you need to prove you have enough income to repay your debts, after paying for certain essential expenses or payments for secured debts. You can fund your Chapter 13 plan through a number of income sources, including regular wages, pension payments, disability benefits, and more.

Do Your Debts Fall Under the Debt Limitations?

There is a maximum amount of debt allowable under a Chapter 13 plan. This amount changes typically changes every three years. As of June 2022, under the Bankruptcy Threshold Adjustment and Technical Corrections Act, the debt limitations has been updated to $2,750,000 for both secured and unsecured debt. This limit is effective until June 21, 2024, at which time the original limits on debt will be reimposed:

  • Unsecured Debt Limit: $465,275
  • Secured Debt Limit: $1,395,875

Are Your Income Tax Filings Up-To-Date?

You need to provide proof that you have filed your state and federal tax returns for up the past four years. You can provide returns or transcripts regarding your filings. If you need time to catch up on your filings, the court can postpone the proceedings, although this is not guaranteed.

Can I File Chapter 13 With No Disposable Income?

If you don't have disposable income, chances are that you will not be able to file for Chapter 13, but you may have a chance if you are able to plan to pay off only your required debts and not your unsecured debt during the repayment period.

Required debts include:

  • Priority debts
  • Arrears on secured debt
  • Administrative costs

Reach out to an experienced Chapter 13 lawyer near you for guidance.

Considering bankruptcy? Call (229) 354-4490 to speak with an experienced Tifton Chapter 13 attorney.

How to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 13, you must take several steps to prove your eligibility.

Steps for filing Chapter 13 include:

  • Attend an approved credit counseling session
  • Submit documentation proving you have enough income to repay your debt
  • Demonstrate your secured and unsecured debts fall within the legal limits

After completing your repayment plan under Chapter 13, many of your debt balances can be discharged.

What Debts Can Be Discharged With Chapter 13?

The following debts are eligible for discharge:

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Uncollateralized personal loans

Notably, student loans are not dischargeable under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Will I Lose All My Assets If I File For Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy in does not necessarily mean you will lose all your assets. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy provide exemptions that allow you to protect certain property from being sold to repay creditors. Georgia has its own set of bankruptcy exemptions, which include exemptions for your home, vehicle, personal belongings, retirement accounts, and more. Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand and utilize these exemptions to protect your assets to the maximum extent allowed by law.

How Long Does A Chapter 13 Repayment Plan Last?

The repayment plan typically lasts between 3 to 5 years. The exact duration depends on various factors, including your income, expenses, and the amount of debt you need to repay. The bankruptcy court will review and approve your proposed repayment plan, taking these factors into consideration. Once the repayment plan is approved, you are required to make regular monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee for the duration of the plan.

Can I Modify My Repayment Plan?

Yes, it is possible to modify your repayment plan under certain circumstances. If you experience a significant change in your financial situation, such as a loss of income or unexpected expenses, you can request a modification of the repayment plan. The court will review the modification request and consider the changes in your circumstances. However, any modifications must be in compliance with the bankruptcy laws and approved by the court.

How to Get Out of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

To get out of Chapter 13, you must:

  • Confirm that your finances are stable and that you are truly able to pay off your debt and still have enough money for your essential expenses such as housing, food, and bills.
  • Formally request an early payoff from all of your creditors (this also needs to be approved by the court)
  • Wait for the bankruptcy court's decision
  • Pay off the entire original debt

Compassionate Representation in Chapter 13 Filings

At Michael H. Turner P.C., we are committed to helping you through this difficult time. We know how challenging it is to deal with overwhelming debt, and we want to use our knowledge and experience to help you get your life back. With no fee for your initial meeting and no money down, we will address your case with the personal attention and dedicated service it deserves. We have over 20 years of experience and have handled over 5,000 bankruptcy cases in South Georgia.

Find out if filing for Chapter 13 is the right way to get your financial life under control. Contact us online or call our Tifton law office at (229) 354-4490.

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