Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions Protect Chapter 7 Filers From Losing House, Cars, and Assets
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers often fear that they will lose everything by filing bankruptcy in Atlanta, Georgia. They consider their 401k or pension and worry about how they will live after retirement. They assume that they will lose their home, car, or money. Luckily, these fears are usually unfounded. The perception that filing for bankruptcy, especially Chapter 7, which allows filers to “wipe out” their debt, equals losing everything you own is a myth!
When you file bankruptcy, the law provides exemptions which allow you to protect certain types of property from taking. These exemptions are governed by state law. While Georgia’s provisions, found in O.C.G.A. 44-13-100, are both less generous than exemption laws found in some other states and less generous than the federal exemptions that some states have chosen to adopt, there are substantial exemptions that Georgia filers can use to shield their hard earned assets.
Perhaps the best news for Georgia filers is that assets in their 401ks and pensions are completely exempt so long as the accounts are unliquidated.
Debtors are almost always worried about whether they can keep their homes and cars in bankruptcy. Homeowners are allowed to shield the first $10,000 of equity in their residential real property. Married homeowners who file jointly are allowed to shield $20,000 worth of equity. If this exemption is not used, then half of it, $5,000 or $10,000 may be used to protect any other property.
Debtors who file bankruptcy in Georgia can also keep their cars. $3,500 of equity in one given vehicle is exempt and married co-filers may claim two vehicles for a total of $7,000. Vehicle equity is determined by subtracting the amount owed from the vehicle’s current worth. Here’s how the math works. Let’s say that your vehicle is worth $12,000 but you financed it and still owe $9,000. This means that you only have $3,000 in equity in it and you are well below the limit of the exemption! That means you can keep your car in a bankruptcy case.
What about the stuff inside your home–your furniture, electronics, clothes? Each filer is allowed to protect $5,000 in household goods. That’s a $10,000 property exemption when married clients file jointly. Chances are that you will not have to surrender your couch or your television, as household items are given “garage sale” values. Finally, Georgia law allows a $600 per filer wildcard exemption that can be used to cover categories where assets may exceed the exemption limits.
As you can see, there are a variety of exemptions under bankruptcy and Georgia law that is designed to protect your house, car, and other property. Deciding to file bankruptcy is am important decision. If you are making this decision please consult a qualified attorney. For a free consultation please contact 404.585.0040 or email at email@example.com.
Charles is absolutely a brilliant attorney! He is a critical thinker and determined problem solver. He is very accessible, even via text. If he is in court, his ability to multi-task, you can feel safe and secure in knowing he is handling any issues or concerns. I entrust him with my future, he is a uniquely talented attorney who always challenges himself to achieve the absolute best outcome for his clients.
I was very satisfied with Mr. Clapp services. He is a man of his word and did everything he told me he would. I would highly recommend him.
I came to Mr. Clapp by referral with a complicated case involving both personal and business debts that were out of control. Mr. Clapp evaluated the situation and gave me options that I was not even aware of. He knows his stuff, executed flawlessly, and I have been able to start over. I highly recommend Charles Clapp if you have debt or bankruptcy issues. Listen to his advice, he knows his stuff. I consulted with several other bankruptcy attorneys prior to retaining Mr. Clapp, and they did not have the same breadth of knowledge that Mr. Clapp brought to my case.
I selected Charles Clapp to handle my bankruptcy based on his already positive reviews and I am glad that I did! He was very accommodating to my schedule and made my negative life experience positive. I was actually very surprised how easy he made the process. Life happens and it’s great to be represented by someone that understand that!!! Stop your attorney search with Charles Clapp!!!