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 Aug Chapter 7 Debtor Waits Four Years for Trustee to Release his Money

chapter 7 trustee delaysYou may be wondering what happens if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you own assets that cannot be exempted or sheltered under the applicable exemption laws in your district. There may be instances where you need to file bankruptcy to stop a pending lawsuit but you do not have the income to support a Chapter 13. Chapter 7 functions as a liquidation type of bankruptcy. While it is true that most Chapter 7 debtors have no assets to liquidate (because those assets fit within the exemption provisions of the bankruptcy laws) there are some cases where the Chapter 7 trustee must function as a liquidation asset. A client of mine here in Atlanta faced this situation several years ago. He was employed at a relatively low paying job but had well over $50,000 in credit card and other unsecured debts. After we filed, my client discovered that he was a beneficiary of his great aunt’s estate - his portion was just over $20,800. Under the Georgia exemption law, my client had a potential “wildcard” exemption of $5,400. We had used up $3,200 in the original filing, meaning that there was $2,200 of the exemption left. I filed an amendment to Schedules B and C of his petition to declare the $2,200 as exempt. This meant that my client would participate in the liquidation of the bankruptcy estate.
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06 May Do You Need Exact Debt Balance Amounts to File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

no need for exact debt balances when filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13You may be putting off filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 debt consolidation because of concern about not having the exact debt balances due on your credit cards and other debts. After all, bankruptcy involves a federal court filing under penalty of perjury. Let me reassure you that you do not need to worry or delay your bankruptcy filing if you are only able to estimate the balances due. It is far more important to have the accurate name and correspondence address for your creditors. When you file bankruptcy - and this holds true whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy - your case filing includes something called a mailing matrix. The matrix comprises a list of all of your creditors and creditor representatives (collection agencies or lawyers) who will get notice of your bankruptcy filing.
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10 Apr What to Do if You are Served with a Collection Lawsuit

respond to lawsuitCollection agencies will refer delinquent accounts to a law firm when they reach an impasse with you about the payment of a delinquent debt. Often times, collection agency owners are owned by or are associated with collection law firms, so from the collection agency’s perspective a lawsuit is just another step in the collection process. From your perspective, however, collection litigation should be taken much more seriously than dunning letters and collection phone calls. Litigation starts the clock running on a judicial process that can result in a judgment against you. In most jurisdictions a judgment means that every asset you own can be at risk. Liquid assets such as bank accounts and cash equivalent assets are at the most risk.
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06 Mar Direct Deposit Requirement may Create Problems for Debt Laden Social Security Beneficiaries

bank account levySocial Security’s new rules requiring all beneficiaries to set up direct deposit could create significant problems for beneficiaries who owe money to creditors. Protected Social Security funds that are co-mingled with other monies will likely lose their protected status and could be seized by creditors. Federal law provides that Social Security payments are exempt from garnishment from civil creditors. If, for example, a credit card lender sues you and obtains a judgment, that creditor cannot ask Social Security to withhold funds from your government check. The only exceptions to this rules involve:
  • tax debts owed to the IRS
  • child support debt
  • all claims (including tax and child support) against SSI money. SSI is considered a welfare payment and not subject to seizure by anyone.
Social Security money that is co-mingled with non-Social Security money, however, may lose this special protection.
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