Bankruptcy Lawyer for Cobb County
Credit Cards - Medical Debt - Payday Advance Loans
There are a lot of misconceptions about bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is synonymous with losing in board games we play growing up, and many adults never advance their knowledge of bankruptcy beyond that. As a result, when people are faced with financial difficulty it’s common to have a resistance to the idea of filing bankruptcy because we are conditioned to think of it as the end. The reality is, bankruptcy can provide a new financial beginning for people who are struggling with credit card debt or medical debt.
Bankruptcy and Credit Card Debt
The amount of credit available to the average American as it relates to their household income is usually an opportunity to get into some trouble. Most credit accounts start with the best intentions and are used responsibly, until some unforeseen event. Looking back at Covid-19 and its impact on unemployment and the economy, there have been a lot of unforeseen events. Once you have a large balance and the introductory interest rate goes away and you’re faced with 30% interest, it can be difficult to maintain minimum payments much less make any progress on paying it off. If you are in an impossible situation with credit card debt, bankruptcy may be a very effective tool to get a fresh start.
Bankruptcy and Medical Debt
Many people mistakenly believe that medical debt can not be discharged through bankruptcy. The fact is, medical debt, just like any “unsecured debt” can be discharged through either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. It’s also a fairly common belief that people who have medical insurance would not need to file for bankruptcy. While health insurance can help people manage medical costs, there are often huge deductibles to pay before any assistance from insurance begins. Deductibles can be as high as $7,000 to $10,000… an amount most Americans would have trouble writing a check for, but even more so when you were just hospitalized.
Common Questions About Bankruptcy
There is a lot of information about bankruptcy online, but not all of it will necessarily apply to you. We hope the following questions and answers help you begin on your path towards a financial recovery, but the best way to learn about bankruptcy is to talk to a lawyer. During a video or phone consultation, you can speak with Phyllis and learn about the protections available to you under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and how they apply to your specific situation.
Will I lose my House and Car?
You will not lose your primary home or automobile. There are “exemptions” in bankruptcy which is basically a protection for assets that a person needs to maintain their basic living situation. There are both state and federal exemptions and we can talk more about which best suits you, but in either case, your home and car will be protected. If you are behind on your auto loan or mortgage, bankruptcy can actually be a good way to protect your car or home and give you time to get back on track with your lender.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is referred to as dissolution and Chapter 13 is referred to a reorganization. If you qualify for Chapter 7, it will completely remove all of your unsecured debts. If you are unable to qualify for Chapter 7 and file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are basically combined into one account that is managed by the bankruptcy court. You will have a payment plan that takes either 3 or 5 years to complete.
What is Unsecured Debt?
There are two main categories of debt: secured and unsecured. “Unsecured” debt is debt that does not involve collateral, or a piece of property that the lender has an interest in until the debt is paid. A secured debt involves an asset like an automobile or a piece of real estate. Unsecured debt includes credit card debt, payday loans and medical debt.
Will Filing Bankruptcy Ruin my Credit?
The reality is, if you are considering bankruptcy there is a good chance that you have already done some damage to your credit with either a high percentage of your available credit used and or a history of late or missed payments. In a lot of cases, people with a bad credit history can improve their credit much faster through bankruptcy than by working to try to repair each item individually. With responsible behavior and a dedicated effort to rebuild your credit, many people who file for bankruptcy are able to obtain loans within a year or two.
Call Now for a Consultation
Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Contact our office for a consultation to learn more about how bankruptcy laws would apply to your unique situation.