At The Sherman Law Group, our North Georgia bankruptcy lawyers focus on offering comprehensive debt relief for hardworking individuals seeking a fresh start. We realize that everyone’s financial situation is complicated, which is why it’s important to have options if you find yourself in a difficult position. When you need assistance stopping a foreclosure on your home, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or stopping debt collector harassment, we are there to provide the compassionate legal advocacy that so many North Georgians need.
Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of individuals eliminate or reduce debt, save properties, prevent repossession, stop abusive creditors, and find a way to move on with their life. Our attorneys believe in treating every client like family, which means starting from a place of respect and understanding. At The Sherman Law Firm, our goal is to get to know you and your unique financial situation as closely as possible, and explore every possible option to bring relief and peace to you and your family.
Debt doesn’t have to define your life. Call The Sherman Law Group today at (678) 712-8561 to schedule a consultation.
What We Can Do For You
In times of extraordinary economic stress, it’s important to hire a lawyer who will support you. At The Sherman Law Group, we know that the decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one. While no one wants to have to go through this process, the fact that you are reading this right now means that you’ve taken an important step to securing your financial future.
Our goal is to get you out of debt, period. There’s a lot of misconception around bankruptcy, which is why we’re here to set the record straight. Our firm provides research to help educate people on the facts of debt relief, and even offers free initial consultations, so we can review the specifics of your case and layout a customized plan to eliminate debt that fits your needs. Your situation may seem dire now, but remember, financial freedom is possible, with assistance from The Sherman Law Group.
Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In the broadest terms, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cancels most debts. This can include everything from credit card debt, medical bills, or unsecured loans. After we help you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your will be “discharged,” preventing creditors from taking further debt-collecting actions against you.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, meanwhile, is commonly known as “reorganization” or “restructuring” bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy prevents your property from being sold, while you complete a court-mandated repayment plan. At the time your repayment plan is completed, and you have paid your creditors back a portion of what you own them, it may be possible to discharge any remaining debts.
Commonly asked questions related to bankruptcy include:
- Can I keep my house, car, and other personal property if I file for bankruptcy? The general rule of thumb with this is yes, you are allowed to keep personal property, especially if you’re paying a mortgage on your house or making regular payments on other items. If you are behind on those payments, you will need to start making them immediately. Creditors may stop sending you statements or discontinue your online access out of concern for violating the automatic stay, so it is important for you to be alert, and keep track of monthly house or car payments made through the mail. These installment payments are a great way to begin rebuilding your credit quickly, so it is key to make sure they are always on time.
- Does bankruptcy prevent or stop credit card and other lawsuits? When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” will go into effect. This should effectively stop all collections immediately, prohibiting collection phone calls and lawsuits during the duration of the bankruptcy, except in the rare situation where a “lift-stay” is granted.
- Can I file for bankruptcy to avoid a lawsuit? Yes! As mentioned above, most entities will be prohibited from suing you while bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing.
- What is an energy bankruptcy petition, and should I seek one? The Sherman Law Group does file emergency bankruptcy petitions, which create an automatic stay and prevent creditors from continuing collection efforts. Many clients find them extremely useful for this reason.
- Am I barred from having a bank account or owning property following bankruptcy? Absolutely not! You are allowed to have assets including a bank account and a house after filing for bankruptcy.
- Can I file for bankruptcy if I have a job? A popular but incorrect myth surrounding bankruptcy is that you must be unemployed and destitute to file. This is not true. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are available to the employed and unemployed alike, including to individuals with high incomes. Your eligibility for either chapter, under the law, will depend on the type and amount of debt you have, as well as household size, monthly income, and expenses.
- Am I allowed to file for bankruptcy if I have a high income? The bankruptcy code allows for anyone to file for bankruptcy, regardless of the size of their income. If your income is above the state’s median level for your given household size, it will be necessary to analyze your expenses to determine how much “disposable income” you have. If your disposable income is under a certain amount, you will be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is over that amount, you will have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- How do I protect valuable assets in bankruptcy? Assets including pensions, IRAs, retirement funds, workers’ compensation benefits, and in some cases substantial equity in your house can be protected during bankruptcy proceedings. It is important to note, however, that there are significant limitations on protected assets. This another reason it is vital to hire seasoned bankruptcy counsel who will be able to determine which specific protections apply to your case.
- If I’m going through a divorce, how will my ex-spouse’s decision to file for bankruptcy affect a settlement? Alimony, maintenance, and/or support are protected from discharge following bankruptcy. Further information on divorce decrees and separation agreements are covered in 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(15).
- What is a reaffirmation agreement? A reaffirmation is a document under which a bankruptcy debtor become legally obligated to pay all or a portion of an otherwise dischargeable debt. This type of agreement should be filed with the Clerk 60 days after the first meeting date is set with creditors. A reaffirmation agreement can be enforced without a court order or hearing, so long as the agreement is accompanied by a declaration or an affidavit of the debtor’s attorney.
- Can I be denied a student loan because of bankruptcy? No! The Bankruptcy Code strictly prohibits denial of a loan because you or someone you have associated with has filed bankruptcy.
- Will filing for bankruptcy get rid of my student loans? Unfortunately, most student loans are not considered dischargeable under current laws. That said, if you can prove you have suffered from extreme hardship, it may be possible to discharge or eliminate some student loads, or at least restructure them through Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Will declaring bankruptcy allow me to get my driver’s license back? If you lost your license solely because you could not pay court-ordered damages following an auto accident, filing for bankruptcy will allow you to get your license back.
- What is a secured versus an unsecured debt? Secured debts are debts that a creditor can collect by selling a specific piece of property. This may include your house, car, or other major assets. These debts are also known as collateralized debts. Unsacred debts, in contrast, are debts that are held by your creditors without collateral. This may include credit card bills, medical expenses, as well as personal loans and utility bills.
- If I made a family member or close friend an authorized user on my credit card, will filing for bankruptcy affect their credit? Any authorized users on your lines of credit are using credit attached to your social security number, not their own. While a co-signer on the card can be included in your bankruptcy case and will also be liable for your debt, an authorized user will not be affected.
- What forms will I have to fill out? A skilled attorney like the ones at The Sherman Law Group will help prepare and submit petitions for you in a bankruptcy case. While you will need to fill out several forms and provide us with financial information, we will use this to complete all the necessary documents for you, and prepare the bankruptcy petition and submit it in accordance with the court’s requirements.
- Will I receive a copy of my bankruptcy filing? Federal appellate, district and bankruptcy court documents can be easily accessed through Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER, an electronic public access service.
- Can a discharge be revoked? It is rare, but a bankruptcy discharged can be revoked under certain circumstances. For instance, a trustee or creditor may request that the court revoke a debtor’s discharge in a Chapter 7 case under section 727(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code if there are accusations the debtor acted in a fraudulent manner. This could include concealing assets or not being honest about earnings. Typically, a request to revoke a discharge must be filed within a year of a debtor’s initial discharge, or in some cases, before the date of said debtor’s bankruptcy case is closed. Before a discharge can be revoked, a judge must analyze all allegations leveled against the debtor and make a final judgment on whether they are true.
- Can I eliminate taxes if I go bankrupt? If your taxes are 3 years past due, it may be possible to eliminate them in totality by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Conversely, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be used to pay IRS taxes that cannot be eliminated by filing for Chapter 7. During Chapter 13 proceedings, interest and penalties on taxes are generally stopped. You will then be able to pay the IRS with monthly payments you can afford to make. This will prevent the IRS from garnishing your bank account, attaching your wages, calling you to collect, and putting a lien on your property.
- If I get a wage garnishment against me, how much of my pay check is a creditor allowed to take? A creditor can deduct up to 25% of your gross income via wage garnishment for debt repayment. If you have more than one wage garnishment, creditors will proceed in chronological order to execute the garnishment, i.e. the first creditor to sue you gets to garnish your wages first. When the first creditor is repaid in full, the next creditor who sues you will be allowed to garnish your wages, with the process continuing down the line through any remaining creditors.
- Can my disability payments be garnished? While creditors can legally obtain a wage garnishment against disability income like Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, federal and state law bars disability payments from being garnished specifically.
- How many times can I file for bankruptcy? It is not uncommon for Americans to file for bankruptcy on multiple occasions. However, there are time restrictions you will have to adhere to, depending on when your last discharge occurred. You cannot revive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if you have received a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last 8 years or a Chapter 13 case filed in the last 6 years. You also cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case if you revived a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last 4 years or a Chapter 13 case filed within the last 2 years. If you have not received a discharge during your previous bankruptcy filing, you may be able to receive a discharge without any restrictions, depending on the circumstances of your case.
- How common is it for people to file for bankruptcy? Believe it or not, filing for bankruptcy is actually extremely common. Georgia residents are consistently among the most likely individuals to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States, as is their right under the U.S. Constitution.
Call Now to Schedule a Consultation!
As experienced bankruptcy attorneys, Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman understand that life’s daily struggles are hard enough without worrying about debt problems, harassing creditors, or the potential of foreclosures and repossessions. We have seen the strength in takes to begin finical reconstruction, which is why we are proud to represent the people of North Georgie at this pivotal time in their lives. Making the choice to file for bankruptcy is hard, but we promise to do everything in our power to make it a little easier on you.
At The Sherman Law Group, we represent you start-to-finish. We deal with your creditors directly, saving you the time-consuming hassle of going back and forth to relay every important piece of information. We also offer payment plans designed to fit wit with the needs of every individual client. We are always available to answer your questions, and once your case is filed, you will be accompanied and assisted at all hearings until your bankruptcy is fully and totally complete and you have received your discharge.
There is life after bankruptcy. With our legal skills, you will be able to do things like borrow money, lend money, open new bank accounts, obtain a safe deposit account, pay back discharged debts, transfer property, move into a new place, and make big purchases again before you know it. Take the courageous step to protect your financial future, and call The Sherman Law Group today.
Our firm is available by phone at (678) 712-8561, or you can click here to schedule your free consultation online.
What Our Clients Say
I have utilized all types of attorneys in the past and have never had someone work so hard for me! Thank you! I will refer anyone to your firm!!Kevin B.
We can't thank you enough. You made a bad situation better. You were all a pleasure to work with. Thank you again!Mark V.
"The one on one personal attention and compassionate care we received from Valerie, Bill & David was beyond what anyone would expect."Heather W.