We have helped people buy cars and homes immediately after filing, but the time for qualifying for a loan depends on each individual case. As a general rule, you need a pretty consistent work history and a credit score of around 640 to qualify for a mortgage these days. Depending on the economy, those qualifications can change month to month. As for buying a car, we work with a couple of dealers who can help you through the loan process even though you have a bankruptcy on your credit report. These dealers can start working with you as soon as we file your case.

Will Having a Bankruptcy on My Record Affect Job Opportunities?

If you’re trying to get a job on Wall Street as a financial manager, probably. Otherwise, employers cannot discriminate against you because you filed bankruptcy. If a future employer runs a credit report, they will see that you filed bankruptcy on your report, but they will also see that you have no debt, which is a good thing.

What Happens If Someone Falls Behind in Payments After Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is debt restructure, which can involve a lot of issues. If you have a mortgage, your Chapter 13 plan might catch up the past due payments but you continue making your month to month mortgage payments on your own. If you fall behind on your post-petition mortgage payments, the mortgage company can file what’s called a Motion for Relief in order to remove your home from the protection of the bankruptcy court and foreclose on it. We generally work things out with the mortgage company to give you an opportunity to catch up on any payments that came past due after we filed your case. You are responsible for attorney’s fees and court costs for the mortgage company. If you fall behind on your Chapter 13 plan payments for your car, taxes or other collateral, the trustee may file what’s called a Motion to Dismiss your case for failure to maintain plan payments. Overall, the trustee wants you to succeed and make these payments and get your debt discharged, so they will generally work with us. In exchange, you have to get back on track and catch up on any missed payments.

What Debts Are Dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can potentially get rid of 95% of all of your debts: medical bills, credit cards, personal loans. If you’d like to keep secured loans on a house or car, you’re going to have to pay for those to keep the collateral and avoid having them discharged. Certain taxes are not dischargeable, including income taxes that were incurred three years prior to filing your bankruptcy. However, if taxes were timely filed and are older than three years, we can usually get rid of those. Child support and alimony are also not dischargeable. If you were in an accident because of a DUI and hurt somebody, those debts are not dischargeable either.  Certain fraud, like embezzlement, may not be dischargeable in a bankruptcy.

 Would the Court Ever Deny a Discharge in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

We go through an exhaustive questionnaire with our clients and ask a lot of questions to ensure that your bankruptcy goes through with no problems. Our firm has not had a denial of a discharge in a Chapter 7 case since I started practicing in 1994.

Does the Debtor Have the Absolute Right to Discharge, or Can Creditors Object?

The debtor has the right to a fresh start, and that is always our goal. While the creditors do have the right to object to a discharge, we’ve already vetted your case to make sure that it’s going to go through. We’ve already identified any red flags the creditors might use to contest your discharge. If you ran up $5,000 on a credit card one month and filed bankruptcy the next month, a creditor could object to the dischargeability of that debt. But the debtor has the right to a fresh start—that's the purpose of the bankruptcy laws.

Can a Creditor Attempt to Collect a Discharged Debt After the Case Has Concluded?

If a creditor attempts to collect a debt that was discharged in a bankruptcy, you should contact your bankruptcy lawyer immediately because the creditor is violating the discharge order and can be held in contempt of court.

Can the Debtor Pay a Discharged Debt After the Bankruptcy Case Has Been Concluded?

Why would you do that? Typically, creditors are going to close those accounts, so they won’t allow you to pay on a closed account. If you have a local loan company, sometimes they’ll say, “Come on back. We’ll loan you $100 if you’ll reassume that debt that was discharged in your bankruptcy.” Don’t agree to that. The purpose of filing for bankruptcy was to get rid of bills, not go right back into debt. That’s a nasty trick, but people will fall for it when they’re desperate. For more information on Bankruptcy in Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (706) 940-0594 today.