Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is September the 16th 2020. And today we’re going to be talking about using bankruptcy to bounce back from COVID-19. Do you remember where you were when you first realized that COVID-19 was going to alter the course of your entire life? I remember the restaurant. I remember the smells. I remember the family members that were sitting with me. March 2020, was the absolute strangest month of my entire life. How do you really prepare for a national shutdown? Do you remember the empty shelves at the grocery store? I do. The past six months have seemed like such a strange, bad dream. Well, what do we do now? Lay down and give up? Well, you can’t. There’s people depending on you. We’ve got to move forward. And for many people in this country, bankruptcy is going to be a good tool to help bounce back. COVID-19 has caused massive amounts of unemployment.
After it hit, over 40 million people in this country lost their job due to the shutdowns. Well, the stimulus money certainly helped. Lots of people still missed many months of mortgage payments and car payments. But the good news is that chapter 13 can help people catch up on the past due payments. Chapter 13 stops a foreclosure of your home. Chapter 13 stops the repossession of your car. This past week, NBC reported that the unemployment rate has fallen back into the single digits. For the first time since the pandemic began and that over 1.4 million jobs were added to the economy last month. Things seem to be heading in the right direction. The March 2020 shutdowns stopped almost all collection activity in Georgia. And that has now ended. Georgia courts were shut down due to the pandemic. But in mid-September, they’ve almost fully reopened and I suspect there’s about to be a huge deluge, a giant wave of garnishment orders coming down the pipe. Unfortunately, most people are going to wait until the last segment to do anything about a garnishment.
Georgia garnishment law is brutal. Once a creditor obtains a judgment against you, they can take 25% of your net paycheck. The good news is that chapter 13 can stop the garnishment as soon as we get a bankruptcy case number. So I want to go over just like a you know, short example of how chapter 13 can help a family back back bounce back from COVID-19.
So I want to tell the story about a young couple that I recently spoke with. To protect their privacy, I’m going to change around some of the facts. This young couple has three children and before COVID-19 hit. They both worked full time jobs after the pandemic, their local daycare completely shut down.
In addition, their local elementary school also closed and moved everything online. Does this story sound familiar?
With no one to watch the kids, they decided that in their particular situation, it would be best for the wife to quit her job because the husband was earning more.
Then a year ago. Before all this stuff began. They both realized that the minimum credit card payments they were making were slowly slipping out of their reach into their misfortune. They heard about a debt settlement commercial on the radio that promised the moon and the sun. They call the phone number they set up a payment plan and they assumed all as well until the sheriff showed up. A few weeks ago, to their horror and dismay, the local sheriff pulled up into their driveway while they were outside in their front yard and find all their neighbors playing with their children. And this Sheriff served them with a collection lawsuit.
At first they thought there must have been some kind of misunderstanding. Then, they called the debt settlement company only to discover that most of the money they had paid out over the past year went to the fees of the debt settlement company. I hear this exact same story from clients all the time. Furthermore, they learned that the debt settlement company had zero legal means to prevent the collection lawsuit and contrast when a person is in an active chapter 13 case no one can file a lawsuit against you? While this case is going? creditors cannot call garnish or bother you while your case is live. You get great protection from the bankruptcy court. This young couple was free, extremely frustrated to learn that they had essentially wasted a year with a debt settlement company. The good news is we were able to get their house and the cars protected with a solid chapter 13 plan. Also, we were able to eliminate all of their credit card debt. Chapter 13 help this young couple. And I believe it’s going to help thousands of consumers in Georgia bounce back from COVID-19. If you think it might be able to help you, give us a call 7708818449 Thank you