Realizing that your financial situation has reached an unmanageable point can be a very emotional process. Like some people in Georgia you may have spent years trying to get ahead of your debt while steadily falling further and further behind. Or maybe you experienced a sudden financial crisis, like an unexpected medical bill or job loss. Regardless of the reason you find yourself in need of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to have the right tools and information to get you through the process.

You might have already heard Chapter 7 bankruptcy referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. This is because you may have to part with some of your assets in order to satisfy creditors before any remaining debt is discharged. Once you file for bankruptcy, a trustee will be appointed to your case, and he or she will be in charge of selling or liquidating nonexempt assets for this purpose.

However, this does not mean that you will have to give up everything you own. To the contrary, there are many assets that are exempt and cannot be sold off. You may be able to keep your home, your primary mode of transportation, household furnishings and more. In other words, you will not have to start all over from scratch.

You will need to pass the “means test” before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. During the means test, your income from the six months before you filed will be compared against Georgia’s average income. This is meant to measure whether you have enough disposable income to pay back at least a portion of your debt. If you pass the means test — meaning you earn less than average — then you can proceed. You can learn even more about exempt property, the means test and other important bankruptcy information by visiting our website.