Athens Bankruptcy Lawyers & Attorneys
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For most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in Northen Alabama, our Athens bankruptcy lawyers are currently charging a flat rate attorney fee of $850. If you live in Athens, Decatur, Hartselle, or the surrounding areas of Morgan or Limestone County, then you will likely be filing your bankruptcy in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Northern Division. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have a hearing called a Meeting of the Creditors. If you live in the City of Athens or anywhere else in Limestone County, then your bankruptcy hearing will be in downtown Decatur, Alabama.
Filing Bankruptcy in Athens
Call our Athens bankruptcy lawyer today so we can go over the process of filing for debt relief and discuss your options. Normally, there are two types of consumer bankruptcy you can file, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all, or most, of your unsecured debts (with the exception of specific, un-exempt debts such as child support and most student loans) get discharged or eliminated relatively quickly and easily. In most cases, the process is very quick, taking approximately three months from filing to discharge.
After filing a Chapter 7, there will be a Meeting of the Creditors about a month later. Even though it’s called a Meeting of Creditors, typically, no creditors actually show up and the meeting consists of a Trustee that will administer your case by asking you several questions under oath. No judge is involved and the questions are normally pretty simple, such as things like your phone number and whether you listed all your property in the filings.
When it comes to a Chapter 7, you have to qualify to file. The average gross monthly income in your household for the previous six months must be below a number on an IRS chart for a family of your size in Alabama to qualify. The numbers on the charts change based on census data. Your spouse’s income is included in the household income if they live with you. Should they not be filing, then your spouse is not a party to the bankruptcy and it should not affect their credit or debts when you file without them. However, it is assumed that their income is commingled with yours and can be used to pay your debts since they are part of your household, which is why their income counts for purposes of qualifying.
Should your household income surpass the number on the chart, then you have to pass something called the means test, which is a budget based test. This test can be run for you by our Athens bankruptcy lawyer either in person or by you getting everything to us by email or fax. To complete this, we would need a questionnaire filled out by you and your pay stubs or other proof of income (and proof of spouse’s income) for the previous six months.
Chapter 13 is basically a payment plan. Our bankruptcy attorney in Athens will run the means test, do a budget, and look at your debts and other factors to come up with a payment plan that the judge will approve. Give our Athens bankruptcy lawyer a call today to see which bankruptcy is right for you and your family.
Our Athens Bankruptcy Lawyers
To get started with your bankruptcy process just contact our Athens bankruptcy attorney to set up an appointment or speak to them over the phone. We can counsel you over the phone and determine your options fairly quickly without you having to come into the office. If after speaking to our attorney, if you decide to proceed with filing bankruptcy then we will coordinate an appointment in the Decatur office.
Upon setting up the appointment, we will send you a questionnaire to bring with you to the appointment along with all the necessary paperwork required to file. Certain documents will be needed, such as your tax returns for the prior two years, bank statements, and pay stubs. We will inform you what to bring when setting up the appointment.
Our Athens bankruptcy lawyer charges $850.00 for the attorney fees in a Chapter 7 and the Bankruptcy Court charges a filing fee of $335.00. There are additional costs such as the fee for pulling your credit report, tax returns, and the fees for two online courses (each one takes about an hour to complete online or over the phone). The total costs for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with us is about $1280, depending on how you complete the online course requirement.
The up front costs for Chapter 13 can be much cheaper. There is sometimes a flat fee to be paid up front to get it filed, but then you have to start making your payments shortly after that. So it is cheaper up front to file, but the monthly payments begin immediately.
Limestone County Bankruptcy Attorneys
Call us today and let our bankruptcy attorneys in Athens discuss your financial options over the phone. The Harris Firm office in Decatur serves all of Morgan County and Limestone County areas. For those that reside in Athens, Decatur or the surrounding areas of Hartselle, Ardmore, Moulton, Cullman, and Madison, your bankruptcy will be filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama Northern Division.
Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure and help you keep your property by taking the back payments you are behind and spreading them out over five years, allowing you to get caught up over those years. It can also help reorganize some indebtedness such as student loans or vehicle loans. Chapter 7 is a fairly quick and fast bankruptcy. As long as you qualify to file and do not have any property that will be liquidated by the Trustee, then it is usually a good option to get a fresh start.
We are a member of the local Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and the North and Central Alabama Better Business Bureau, so please check us out there for reviews from former clients. You can look at our local Google My Business profile for reviews as well. If you are drowning in debt and need some relief, then giver our Athens bankruptcy attorney a call today for a quick phone consultation.