Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision for anyone to struggle with. A bankruptcy can get you free from all of your financial debt and stop creditors from calling and harassing you, but it also scars your credit. Unfortunately in Georgia, bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. However, the positive side is that in most bankruptcy cases you can keep your car and your home due to exceptions and "homestead" clauses. This is good news for those people who have to choose between paying their mortgage and paying their credit cards because of a job loss, illness or divorce. You can file bankruptcy and get a new start on life.
Once the bankruptcy is discharged you will begin to get new credit offers again, but this time be careful not to overextend your financial obligations so that you will be all right if financial troubles occur again.
Go to a credit counseling agency such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service. In the state of Georgia, you are required to get credit counseling before you are allowed to file for bankruptcy.
Collect all of your financial documentation showing how much money you earn compared to your debts and how much money you owe to creditors. Also include a copy of your credit report.
Obtain and fill out the bankruptcy filing paperwork for your county. If you choose to hire a lawyer, the lawyer will go over this paperwork with you and advise you how to handle the bankruptcy with the best outcome possible for you.
File the bankruptcy paperwork with the county court system. Include all of the items they require to prove your inability to pay your debts.
List every single debt. Once the bankruptcy has cleared, any debts you forgot to include are still your responsibility, regardless of your bankruptcy status.
Pay the filing fee when you file the papers with the court. In the state of Georgia, the fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which you are relieved of all of your debts, is $274, and the fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which you are required to repay a portion of your debts, is $189.
Set up a payment plan if you claimed Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you plan to file Chapter 13, a lawyer is strongly recommended. If the court believes that you can afford to pay back some of the debt, they may require you to file again for a different chapter bankruptcy.
All financial activity in the months leading up to the bankruptcy will be carefully reviewed by the court.