Law Offices of David Courtney

Call us today and talk to a lawyer, not a secretary or paralegal!

Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13

Should you file anything in the Bankruptcy Court? This is the most common question asked. If you can make your minimum monthly payments on credit debt, no one is threatening to take something like your home, car or paycheck or you can see the light at the end of the tunnel in paying off debt, you do not need to file.

Chapter 7

If you are spending what you are making just for living expenses and have nothing left over you generally file a chapter 7. You must be making less than half of the people in the state for your family size to file a chapter 7. You must be current with mortgage payments to keep your home. You need to be current with any cars you want to keep.

In chapter 7's, there are some debts that are nondischargeable. Child support, alimony, criminal fines, some taxes and fraud are nondischargeble. If you run up a credit card just before filing or get cash advances just before filing, these may be nondischargeble. Even though most bankruptcy information says the trustee takes your assets, rarely does a chapter 7 debtor loose any property. Chapter 7 is a good method for getting rid of unwanted houses, cars, spa memberships, and specially time shares that are a burden to you. Houses and cars must be listed in the petition with corresponding debt. Than if you are keeping those assets, you agree to keep the debt also.

In a chapter 7, you get your discharge approximately 4 months after filing.

Chapter 13

If you need to catch up on house payments, car payments or back child support, we file a chapter 13. If you have some debts that are nondischargeable in a chapter 7 we look at a chapter 13. In a chapter 13, if you want to keep your home, you must be able to make current mortgage payments directly to the bank. The amount that you have not been able to make before filing goes in the plan to be paid out. Usually we are able to reduce the interest percentage significantly on your car loans. This more than makes up for my fees which always come through the Trustee's office.

Chapter 13's can not last longer than 5 years. Income minus living expenses goes to the Trustee from your paycheck. This amount divided into your debt must be less than 5 years.

Both chapters will stop creditor harassment, lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures and garnishments.


Very professional yet made me comfortable.
    Stephanie - Alpharetta

Seems to have the respect of other lawyers and Judges in the Court.
    James - Tucker

He was talking to me more than the other lawyers were to their clients. Made me feel at ease.
    Marilyn - Decatur

His cases seem to not have the problems that I heard with other lawyer's cases.
    Mike - Atlanta