If you struggle with debt, you may find that your life is permeated with anxiety and a lingering sense of unease that follows you around. While making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never easy, it can be the path forward to breaking this cycle and building a brighter future for yourself. At CMC Law, a skilled Atlanta bankruptcy attorney will provide you with insights and guidance to get you through your filing with ease and set you up for success.

Once you decide filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you, it can be difficult to know where to begin or how long it will take. In order to project the estimated timeline of your bankruptcy filing, it is important to understand the steps that are involved in the process.

Schedule a Consultation with an Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorney

Our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you navigate this challenging time. This begins with a consultation to give you advice and information regarding your specific financial circumstances. In order to do this, you will need to provide your attorney with the following information:

  • Current income information. This includes your bank statements, proof of paychecks and profit/loss statements if you are self-employed.
  • Past income information. To verify your income and prove your tax record, you will need to provide your most recent tax filing.
  • List of liabilities. This will determine if you will be able to discharge certain debts like student loan payments or takes.
  • List of Assets. Bring records of everything you own including real estate and other property.

Providing this information to your bankruptcy attorney is crucial because it will determine whether you are able to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

First Credit Course

Before you are able to file for bankruptcy, your attorney will advise you to complete one of two required educational credit courses. In this first course, a counselor will explain the advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy, as well as offer alternative solutions you can explore before filing.

File for Bankruptcy with a Payment Plan and Petition

If you move forward with filing your bankruptcy, your attorney will submit a payment plan and petition on your behalf. Doing this allows you the ability to make reduced payments to your creditors over an extended period of time. This plan will determine the total amount of funds the court will disperse for you and the monthly amount you will owe your creditors. Depending on certain factors like your income, this plan will generally last from three to five years.

Once your Atlanta bankruptcy attorney makes this filing, your creditors will receive a stay that prevents them from contacting you or engaging in any additional collection activity. A clerk from the court will also send out a notice so that your bankruptcy filing will be reflected on your credit report.

Meeting of Creditors and Confirmation Hearing

Within 30 days of filing for bankruptcy, you and your bankruptcy lawyer will meet with a trustee to determine if the plan you have set forth will work for your creditors. Once this is done, you and your attorney will attend a confirmation hearing within 60 days of the filing where the court will decide if your bankruptcy case has been approved.

Second Credit Course

Upon this approval, your Atlanta bankruptcy attorney will advise you to complete the second educational credit course. This class will provide you with money management tips and strategies to build your credit after you have filed for bankruptcy. Course completion is required before your debts are allowed to be discharged.

How Long Will This Process Take?

When working with your bankruptcy attorney, the process of consultation, filing and hearings is estimated to take three to four months. However, your debts will not be considered discharged until the payments to your creditors are complete, which can take three to five years.

While making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be difficult, your Atlanta bankruptcy attorney will serve and advocate for your interests every step of the way. Contact our attorneys at CMC Law today to schedule a free consultation to determine if filing for bankruptcy is the right solution for you.