Hello, this is Jeff Kelly. Today is October the 15th 2020. And today we’re going to talk about how Filing bankruptcy is not scary. A few weeks ago, I was at a large local hardware store and I watched a young father and his three year old son walked into the store. I was in the lightbulb section, and they walked right up next to me. The Father, let go of his son’s hand, and the son slowly started to walk away now, I’m 50 years old, and I’ve helped raise five kids. And I’ve developed some kind of sixth sense where I can detect when a drama episode is about to erupt from a child.
Three year old slowly walked away from the Father towards a group of Halloween decorative, which is for sale. And one of the witches had a lifelike size and a button beside it that said, press here. I bet you can guess what happens next. After the curious little boy press the button, which came to life and lent out some terrifying warnings along with some Halloween sound effects. As you can guess the little boys, a little boy belted out some shrill screams. And he was shaking with tears. His good father rush to his side and comfort him. Everything’s gonna be okay, so the good father there which is not real, she can’t hurt you. You’re safe in my arms. And much the same way. Many people are as terrified of bankruptcy as that sweet little boy was of the fake which, in my 22 years as a consumer bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen some people do some crazy things to try to avoid the inevitable bankruptcy. Personally, I think the worst thing a person can do is drain the 401k retirement account. To make payments on credit card debt until the funds run out. Your 401 k is a protected asset. You get to keep all of it when you file chapter 7 and 99.99% of the cases. It’s frustrating to see people fruitlessly lose their retirement funds in an effort to avoid a clearly inevitable bankruptcy.
Another common bad move to avoid bankruptcy is to pawn the title of a car. When you miss your payments of a title upon the title of your vehicle transfers automatically under Georgia law. And as a consequence of this automatic transfer, Chapter 13 is not going to save you from the clutches of a title pawn creditor.
I want to talk a little bit now about more about this this fear of bankruptcy. My my friend Richard James has a saying that goes like this fear equals false evidence appearing real. And so what I want to address now are the most common fears about bankruptcy that are not real. The most common fear is that lawyers are scary and not easy to talk with. And this is certainly not true about myself, or the bankruptcy attorneys at my law firm. Check out our reviews on Google. And you’ll see this is true. We also have some testimonials as well on our YouTube channel. We understand we’re on your side. Another common fear is that you will never be able to get credit again after you file bankruptcy. Yes, chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit for 10 years. And Chapter 13 will stay on your credit for seven years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get any credit during that time period.
The truth is that most people have no problem at all obtaining credit once their bankruptcy case is completed. Just ask your friends almost everyone has some connection to a friend or family member who has filed bankruptcy and recovered. If you are a lender, would you be willing to loan money to somebody who has a huge cloud of debt hanging over them and is going nowhere? Of course not. How about somebody who just completed their chapter 7 bankruptcy, and it was no one. If they had good income, how likely are they to obtain credit? Ask a car finance company because they make loans to people who have just obtained their chapter 7 discharge all the time.
Another irrational fear about bankruptcy is that some people believe the trustee is going to come to their house. I have filed thousands of bankruptcy cases and I have never heard of a trustee go into a person’s house to look at their stuff. There are always exceptions to the rule. But I’m sure it’s a rare case. When Evander Holyfield filed for bankruptcy. He had moved Millions of dollars worth of stuff. In his specific case that trustee had a duty to inventory his household items. In contrast, most people don’t possess anything of real true significant cash value. So what should you be afraid of? Well, personally, if you have financial problems, I think the thing you should fear the most is procrastination. If you put your head in the sand and ignore the problem, in Georgia, your creditors will obtain judgments against you. And in Georgia, they’re going to use these judgments to completely clean out your checking account and take 25% of your paycheck. In addition, if you have a house, they will put a lien on it.
Let’s talk about some other fears. The court hearing, there’s no need to be afraid of a court hearing. Currently, bankruptcy court hearings are virtual. And this reduces a lot of stress. This is about the only good thing I can think of that has come from COVID-19. And this may change once we find a cure for COVID-19 are the infection rate rate drops dramatically. But until then, I think this is the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future. Even the signing the petition, we can do that virtually with a program called zoom. So you don’t you don’t actually have to ever come to my office. You don’t have to ever actually physically appear in court.
The bottom line is this. If you have financial issues, you should take advantage of a free consultation and talk to a bankruptcy attorney as soon as you can call us today at 770-881-8449.