Frequently Asked Questions about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
What are the most common causes of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? +
The most common reasons for bankruptcy are (a) loss of a job or long-term layoffs; (b) loss of overtime hours; (c) large medical expenses or lengthy illnesses; (d) death or disability of a spouse; (e) separation, divorce and marital problems; (g) large unanticipated expenses.
I am married; does my spouse also have to file bankruptcy? +
No. However, a Spouse’s income must be disclosed to the Court, even if that Spouse is not part of the case.
Who determines how much my Chapter 13 payments will be? +
The amount of your Chapter 13 payments are based upon your income, monthly expenses, and the amount and type of your debts.
Will I be able to keep all of my property? +
Yes, a Chapter 13 case protects all of your property.
How long will a Chapter 13 Plan last? +
Chapter 13 repayment Plans last from 3 to 5 years. Upon completion of the Plan, all of the debts are legally forgiven forever.
Can I stop the bill collectors from calling? +
All creditor actions, including phone calls, garnishments, and lawsuits, are immediately stopped when a case is filed.
Will Bankruptcy stop a wage garnishment? +
Yes. All collection efforts, including garnishments, are immediately stopped when a case is filed. (Except for regular monthly child support payments)
Will Bankruptcy stop a foreclosure? +
Yes, all foreclosures are immediately stopped when a case is filed. The Debtor must make all future mortgage payments in a timely manner in order to retain the house.
Will Bankruptcy stop a judgment? +
Yes. Most civil judgments are stopped by bankruptcy.
Who notifies my creditors? +
After your bankruptcy is filed, the Bankruptcy Court mails a notice to all the creditors you listed in your case. This usually takes 4-7 days.
Do I have to go to court? +
Yes. Usually about 30 days after you file the bankruptcy, you will have to attend an informal hearing conducted by the Trustee. The hearing will take place in Newnan, Georgia. At this hearing, the Trustee will ask you questions under oath regarding your income, expenses, assets and debts. Your attorney will be there with you and will help you prepare for the hearing. After this hearing you will normally not need to return to court unless specific problems cannot be resolved otherwise.
If a creditor does call me, what do I tell them? +
You should tell the creditor your bankruptcy case number, and refer all creditors and bill collectors to your attorney.
What if I forget to list a creditor on my bankruptcy papers? +
Generally you can add a creditor that was unintentionally omitted if your case is still open. The Court charges a small fee for the Amendment.
Do I need to include cosigned debt as well? +
You can choose to have the debt included in your repayment plan, or if the cosigner desires to pay for the debt, you can specify that the Cosigner will pay for the debt directly.
Can I reduce the interest rate on my loans? +
Unsecured creditors do not receive any interest in a chapter 13 case. Interest rates on secured debts, such as cars and furniture, are reduced substantially.