Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Do You Need to Take the Means Test to Declare Bankruptcy in Georgia?

The Means Test is a complicated calculation that the Georgia bankruptcy court uses to ensure that bankruptcy cases are filed as the correct chapter. If you have an income that is higher than the median income level for your household, then the Means Test will tell you if you are eligible for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Who is required to take the Means Test?

If you are a debtor that has an income that’s greater than the state of Georgia’s median income level for a household of your size, then you’re required to take the Means Test. In Georgia, the exact amount of the state’s median income level changes yearly and the amount increases depending on the amount of earners there are in a home. For exact numbers, contact King & King and ask for information about the current Means Test.  Do not worry: many people who are above the median income level for their household size may still “pass” the Means Test and be able to file a Chapter 7.  Have a skilled attorney help you complete the Means Test. 

Who isn’t required to take the Means Test?

If your income is below the Georgia state median then you don’t have to take the Means Test, you automatically qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
There are others who don’t have to take the Means Test including disabled veterans, and men and women are on active duty with any military branch.

What should be simple sometimes isn’t – the Means Test can be complicated. There are actually a number of other issues that can affect it. For example, what exactly is income? And what expenses can be claimed? What if you have a special circumstance? These and other complexities of bankruptcy are the reason that working with a trustworthy bankruptcy attorney is so important.

Call King & King bankruptcy attorneys for your free consultation. We can discuss the best options for your unique situation and answer and questions you may have about the Means Test. Your fresh start can begin today 404-524-6400.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Three Tips For Financial Success After Filing Bankruptcy In Georgia

Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you’ll have the chance to start fresh. At King & King, it’s true that we want to help you move forward with your bankruptcy, but we also want to help you set yourself up for future success. Here are three things we recommend you do once your bankruptcy has been discharged.

Have an accurate credit report

Two to three months after your bankruptcy has been discharged, request a new credit report. Make sure that each and every creditor who was discharged reported you with either a closed account or a balance of $0.00. If you see that there are errors, then you’ll need to contact the credit reporting agency in writing. When you do so, be sure to include evidence, like your discharge order.

When the credit agency receives this correspondence, they have 30 days to verify the information with the creditor in question. If the creditor can’t verify that the balance they’re showing is accurate, then the credit agency will remove the reporting. It’s also a good idea to contact the creditor in writing as well.

Rebuild your credit

Many people are surprised to learn that once their bankruptcy is discharged, they’re likely to get post-bankruptcy options from credit card companies. The best way to use these cards to improve your credit is to choose one card, use it for small purchases and repay it in full every month. This can be an effective way to start rebuilding your credit.

If you’re in need of a car, consider getting vehicle financing. Many financial companies will offer you credit even though you’ve just been through a bankruptcy. However, they may charge higher interest rates. To avoid this, you can add a cosigner. Rebuilding your credit can put you in a position to buy a home in as early as two years after filing bankruptcy.

Create a budget

Most people who hire King & King file bankruptcy because they’ve had something unforeseen come up, whether they lost their job, had unexpected medical bills, a death in the family, or some other unforeseen circumstance. Now that those issues are behind them, it’s time to get back on track and live within their means. This means taking into account having savings for emergencies, saving for retirement, and long term goals.

If you’re ready to declare bankruptcy, then we’re ready to hear from you.

When you work with the right bankruptcy attorney, you can trust that they’ll help you through the process from start to finish. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the attorneys at King & King. When you have your free initial consultation, we’ll be honest and upfront about your options and will offer our advice on how you can best move forward. Call us at 404-524-6400 today for more information.

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Does Lien Stripping Work In Georgia?

Filing for bankruptcy has the potential to eliminate many kinds of debts. However, debts secured by a lien are not always included. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to eliminate or reduce different types of liens.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy. The goal is to take the individual’s debts and restructure them into something more fair and manageable given their income and assets. Naturally, this includes a way to deal with liens.

Under Chapter 13, some liens can be reduced to the value of the collateral to which it attaches. This ensures that worthless liens do not get included in the reorganization plan.

To determine whether a lien can be stripped or crammed down, it is necessary to establish the value of the collateral and order in which the liens were placed. The first liens to be placed are the first to be paid. In the case of a home loan, the value of the collateral matters because you can only strip or cram down “wholly unsecured” liens, aka liens that are not supported by any portion of the value of the property.

Here’s an example of how lien stripping works:
Let’s say you owe $100,000 on a mortgage on a home now worth $90,000, plus an additional $10,000 from a home equity line of credit. There is no collateral securing that additional $10,000 lien because the entire worth of your home is bound up in that first mortgage. This is a perfect example of a lien that could be stripped with Chapter 13.

Lien stripping is a confusing topic. Fortunately, King & King bankruptcy attorneys can help. Calling us at 404-524-6400 for a free consultation is simply the easiest way to make sure you arrive at a correct understanding of the options available to you in your bankruptcy. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Four Options For Eliminating Credit Card Debt In Georgia.

Credit card debt can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with credit card debt forever. King & King can help you eliminate your debts and put you on a path to a brighter financial future.  Here are a few strategies for climbing out of credit card debt.

Make a Budget

If your credit card debt is growing but not yet overwhelming, and you have a steady income that is adequate to your needs, you may be able to get out of debt by creating a budget. Put a larger amount of your income towards your credit card balance until the card is paid off. For this strategy to work, put a hold on making any new purchases on your cards.

Consolidate Your Cards

If you have good credit, you may be able to sign up for a new card that offers 0% interest for an introductory period. Transferring your existing balances to such a card can be an excellent strategy for cutting down your credit card debt. If you can’t open a new card with a 0% interest rate, consider consolidating as much of your debts as possible onto whichever card has the lowest interest rate. This will enable you to reduce the rate at which your debt will grow while you attempt to repay it.

Work Out a Debt Settlement

If your credit card debt has already gone into collections, you can consider working out a debt settlement with the collection agency. If you can repay 50 percent of the balance within a year or two, the collection agency may accept your offer.

File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy will completely wipe out your unsecured debts including credit card debts and stop creditors from contacting you. You can typically complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without liquefying your personal assets. If you decide to pursue bankruptcy, be sure to hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you.

If you’re tired of living with debt, if you feel like there’s no way out but you need help, then today is the day to call King & King at 404-524-6400 for a free consultation. We are experts in helping people just like you find the best way to move forward from being overwhelmed with debt. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Should I File For Bankruptcy In 2017?

Bankruptcy can be an excellent way to get a fresh start and a brighter financial future. If your debt is holding you back from pursuing your dreams or even just living a normal, stress-free life, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy in 2017.

Here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

What Debts Worry You The Most?

Bankruptcy is effective on most types of debts. Before you file, you will want to discover if you can find debt relief with chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you are primarily burdened by credit card debt, medical debt, or other types of unsecured debt, Chapter 7 provides an excellent option for completely eliminating your debt. Another perk is as soon as your attorney files your case, the debt collectors will have to stop contacting you and instead go through your attorney.

If you are more worried about secured debts such as your mortgage or car payment, Chapter 13 can help. Chapter 13 can bundle these payments together with any unsecured debts you may have, allowing you to make one single payment per month as part of a 3 to 5 year court-approved repayment program. At the end of the program you will have the rest of your unsecured debts cleared and still get to keep the majority, if not all of, your property.  In many of these cases, you pay 0% of the debt owed to unsecured creditors, and they are wiped out, just like in a Chapter 7.

If you have student loan debt, back alimony, child support, or back taxes less than 3 years old, contact King & King to see if bankruptcy is right for you.

King & King has been helping people in Georgia for almost 40 years. If you are ready to take back your financial future, call us today for a free consultation at 404-524-6400 or visit us at www.kingandkingattorneys.com for more information.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Will Anyone Know If I file For Bankruptcy In Georgia?

At King & King, we’ve worked with many clients who worry about declaring bankruptcy. They may not be sure what the short-term and long-term effects will be, they’re afraid it may be too difficult to file, or they worry that filing bankruptcy may take too long. One question we get asked quite often during our free consultation is: Will anyone know if I declare bankruptcy?

Your bankruptcy won’t be publicized

The bottom line is that although your bankruptcy will be public record, it’s not advertised in a newspaper. Just remember you’re not alone, thousands of people in the U.S. file bankruptcy every day. If you’re having financial problems that are seriously impacting your life, don’t let your privacy concerns be the only reason you don’t get a fresh start and a better future.

Your creditors will be notified

No matter if you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the only people that will be notified are your creditors. The bankruptcy court sends out official forms that notify them you’ve filed. This gives you an automatic stay on all debt collection, which means that your creditors will no longer be able to collect from you. No more phone calls at work, no more letters at home – bankruptcy stops collections.

Your bankruptcy will be public record

Your bankruptcy filing will be public record. Bankruptcy records are available through a website run by the Federal Court System. In order for one to find bankruptcy records, users must apply for an approved ID and password. Once they have those, they must pay a fee to search for bankruptcy filings. Searching for a bankruptcy is an incredibly tedious process.

King & King will file your bankruptcy quickly and correctly while putting a stop to creditors. We serve clients in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. To schedule a free consultation, call King and King bankruptcy attorneys at 404-524-6400 or visit us at www.kingandkingattorneys.com

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Three Tips To Help You Save More In 2017

It’s February and you have 10 more months to get your finances back on track before 2018. Starting a budgeting plan right now is the best way to look forward to a promising future. Saving money is easier than you think. Here are three steps to help you save money throughout the rest of the year:

1. Keep a record of your purchases

Little purchases, such as Starbucks stops, lunch out, extra trips to the grocery store, and other small purchases can add up quickly. Keeping a written record of everything you purchase over the course of a month will allow you to see how much you really spend and if you can cut back.

2. Create a budget

After reviewing your purchases, you can determine which items are necessities and which are luxuries. Next, decide which luxury items you can cut out or limit. With your complete list you can create a monthly budget.

3. Make short-term and long-term goals

After you have reviewed your spending record and created a new budget, you can set aside some money in a savings account. Your new savings account can be used to fulfill your short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal can be as simple as only eating out once a week, while a long-term goal might be budgeting extra to pay down your student loans more quickly.

The best way to approach your debt depends on your specific circumstances and needs. Our bankruptcy attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and real experience needed to guide you toward your goals. We will help you make the right choices, and explain exactly what happens next and how it will affect you and your family. At King & King, we are on your side and will treat you with the respect and consideration you deserve. Give us a call today at 404-524-6400 for a free consultation or visit us at www.kingandkingattorneys.com