I represent individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases filed in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, Newnan, Gainesville and Rome. I publish several informative web sites, including https://www.atlanta-bankruptcy.com and an Atlanta bankruptcy blog, https://www.thebklawyer.com/thebkblog. Please mention Bankruptcy Law Network when you call.

 

Author: Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.

06 Jun How Bankruptcy Can Solve Your “Too Expensive Car” Problem

Next to home mortgages, motor vehicle loans are often your most expensive purchase. According to USA Today, the average transaction cost of a new car or truck sold in the U.S. was around $33,500. Lenders are now extending vehicle purchase loans to 6 years or longer, and when interest rates are factored in, you can easily find yourself responsible for $40,000, $50,000 or more. Unlike real estate purchases, motor vehicles are depreciating assets. If you finance your car or truck over 4 to 6 years, there is a good chance that you will owe more on your vehicle until year 3 or 4 of your contract. This means that in the event of a financial crises such as an illness or job layoff, you won’t be able to eliminate your financial obligations by selling your vehicle. If you “roll over” your loan into a new loan for a less expensive car, you’ll just delay your day of reckoning because you will end up owing far more on the less expensive car than it will ever be worth. Further, your installment payment is not your only vehicle expense. Insurance costs can rise quickly and unexpectedly if you or a family member has an accident. Routine maintenance and service such as new tires and brakes can add to your cost of ownership.
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19 May Why I Prefer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation

Most folks considering bankruptcy will consider two options - Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Sometimes, you have the option of choosing either type of bankruptcy, whereas in other situations you would only be eligible to file either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. When I meet with a client, I always start with the question of how can I fit this person into Chapter 7. It is not always possible, but, in my experience my Chapter 7 just works better - my clients get their discharge that wipes out debt completely, their cases are over in about 5 months, credit rebuilding can start within a year and the cost of bankruptcy is about 25% of the cost of Chapter 13.
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07 Mar Mistakes to Avoid: How to Recognize When and Where You are Exposed Financially

Last month, I wrote a blog post entitled Are You Exposed on this blog where I suggest that most bankruptcies occur when a debtor allows himself to be excessively exposed to external forces. By recognizing and controlling these points of exposure, you reduce the risk that you will need to file for bankruptcy, and, if you do file, you will be better positioned to avoid falling into the same traps in the future. Recovering from bankruptcy means more than re-establishing credit. True recovery means that you need to change the way you think about credit and money. If you make the same financial choices post bankruptcy discharge with your new credit cards, you will inevitable find yourself back in your bankruptcy lawyer’s office at some point in the future.
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06 Feb Are You Exposed?

subconscious patterns of behaviorDoes it do any good to think about why you have debt problems? As a bankruptcy lawyer I have represented clients with every type debt problem imaginable and I think is very worthwhile to reflect about how and why you ended up in a bankruptcy lawyer’s office or even why the word “bankruptcy” may have crossed your mind. Without getting overly philosophical, I’d like to offer a way to think about debt issues that may help you break whatever patterns exist in your life that put you into debt crisis. I firmly believe that your conscious and subconscious thoughts led you into your debt issues and if you don’t address the underlying thought patterns, nothing is going to change in the long term.
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06 Jan Is Your Car Loan Underwater – What Are Your Options?

underwater car loanWould you be surprised to discover that your car is underwater? Not underwater in the sense of being wet, but in a financial sense. You are financially underwater with your loan if the fair market value of your vehicle is substantially less than the debt you owe. According to Edmunds.com, quite a lot of folks are significantly underwater with their loans. In 2016 nearly one-third of all vehicles offered for trade ins at dealerships are worth less than the debt encumbering those vehicles. By comparison, the underwater percentage was less than 14% in 2009.

Why Do Car Loans Get Upside Down and What Does it Mean?

There are several reasons why you may get upside down with your loan. First, the average term of car loans is getting longer - Experian reports that the average loan now lasts between 68 and 72 months. Further, the average loan now amounts to around $30,000. Second, vehicles are what as known as depreciating assets - they lose value every year and with every mile driven. When you do the math, you won’t break even on a $30,000 loan financed over 72 months at a 4% until year 3 or 4 of the loan. As the interest rate goes up, it may be year 5 or even year 6 before your loan balance falls below the vehicle value. If you trade in your underwater vehicle for a replacement (or if you have to replace a damaged or destroyed car) when the loan balance exceeds the fair market value, the replacement lender will reduce the unpaid balance by the wholesale value of the original car and “roll in” the remaining balance into a new loan. You may end up with Mercedes sized payments but a modest Chevrolet in your driveway.
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06 Dec Your Chapter 13 Is Filed, You Still Have Work To Do

debtors duties after filing Chapter 13Much has been written on this site and others about the information you need to gather to help your lawyer prepare your Chapter 13 case. You have also learned about mistakes to avoid during the weeks and months prior to your Chapter 13 filing. Now your attorney has "pressed the button" and your case has been filed. A case number has been issued and the immediate crisis has passed. The repo agent is no longer circling the block, the foreclosure has been called off and the harassing phone calls have stopped. But now is not the time to relax because the Bankruptcy Code sets out numerous steps that you and your lawyer have to take to prepare your case for confirmation (a formal approval by the judge) of your Chapter 13 plan. Here is a checklist of tasks that you must undertake to help your lawyer get your case ready for confirmation:
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