Jeff Kelly: Hello, this is Jeff Kelly. And here we are on January 6 2021, is the date of this recording. And today, what I would like to talk about is the current state of bankruptcy, some changes that may be coming down the pipe. So as a consequence of the elections, it does look like the democrats are going to have control over the Senate, and there is some Bankruptcy Reform that is most likely going to come down the pipe and looks like it may pass. And I don’t have all of the details yet. But one of the biggest things that is coming is that student loans are going to be dischargeable in bankruptcy, that’s going to be huge. And that’s that’s going to create a flood of cases.
Jeff Kelly: So what does this mean for people who are in debt right now? Well, one of the biggest mistakes that I see people make about filing is they just put it off too long. And it can create a lot of problems waiting too long. It and there’s no sense in doing that. It’s a free consultation to call us.
Jeff Kelly: Let me give you an example of people who wait too long they get in to fix they have some debt hanging over their head. And and they they could qualify right now today, they could wipe the debt out and get a fresh start and move on with life. But a lot of people will wait. And some things happen. People get new job, they start making good money, and then they want to file. Well, we might not be able to wipe out as much debt if you have gotten, you know, a new job a new income. And I’m seeing that a lot where people’s income has passed, picked up in the past couple months, a lot of people working overtime and so forth, that can affect us on the Means Test.
Jeff Kelly: Will there still be a means test? Once the new bankruptcy form reform laws go into place? I don’t know. When Will those laws go into place? I don’t know. So you know, the bottom line is if you need to file now is a good time. If you have a bunch of student loans hanging over your head, it potentially might be better to wait, we’ll see. I don’t know how the new law is going to impact old cases are we gonna to be able to discharge student loans in cases that were filed before the law changed? I, again, I don’t know there’s a lot of things are up in the air. But if you are in a situation where you’ve got debt hanging over your head, you need to take action. Because in Georgia, if you mess around and wait, and your creditor gets a judgment against you, they can take 25% of your net check. They can also clean out your checking account. They can also put liens on your house.
Jeff Kelly: Is it ever too late to file bankruptcy? No, it’s not. It’s not too late. But you definitely don’t want to do things like empty out your 401k and I and I get it. I’m I’m human, I’m the same way as everybody else you. You want to put off doing difficult things, I understand that. But now is a really good time to file if you’re if you’re behind on house payments, and you’re being threatened with foreclosure. In chapter 13, You can take all of those past due payments and put them into a plan and stop the foreclosure. If you’ve got a car that you wanted to keep, and you fell behind a little bit because it COVID Hey, we can catch those car payments up in the chapter 13 plan.
Jeff Kelly: So the bottom line is it’s, you know, another good reason to not wait is I’m expecting once this new law goes into effect. And again, I don’t know when it’s going to happen. But when it does, there is going to be a tidal wave and there’s going to be a long line of people filing. And I think some people are going to have to wait when that happens. So why not just if you if you know if you know you’re struggling Now, why continue the pain? Why not take care of the problem today. So give us a call 706-295-0030 my office my main office is in Rome. And we have offices all over North Georgia. We’re in Dalton cartersville Dallas, Kennesaw Marietta. My Rome office is catty corner from the clock tower.
Jeff Kelly: And another neat thing right now is you can actually file chapter 13 or chapter 7, without ever leaving your house, you can even your court hearing and can be done remotely over the phone. So the way it works is we can do an initial consultation with you over the phone, if you’re worried about COVID if you want to meet live, I am meeting people live as well. But we meet, we go over your income, we go over your budget, let’s take a look at the whole situation what what’s going on, then, you know, we get your we get all of your information ready for a court file. And the next step would be to set up a you know, approximately a two hour meeting that we can also do virtually over the phone over zoom. And during this appointment, we’re going to go through every single page of your petition together to make sure that it is absolutely perfect. And that nothing is missing, we want you to get the best freshstart possible. I’ve got really good staff, you can check out our reviews on Google, we’ve gotten some good ones, a lot of good ones. And thank you to all my former clients that have written those for us, I really do appreciate it.
Jeff Kelly: And one more thing I want to say right now, the current real estate market is unbelievable. And I’ve never seen people get such high prices for their homes. And so you know, a lot of people who who wait till the last possible second come in and want to file and sometimes they find out they can’t because their house is worth too much. So Zillow is a good guide, a good indicator, Zillow is not the be all end all. But it will give you a good estimate of what your house is worth. But the main thing that I want to emphasize to anybody who is thinking about filing a chapter 7 is just because Zillow says Your house is worth something or a tax assessor says Your house is worth something doesn’t mean that the chapter 7 trustee is bound by it, they have a right to, to look at your house, and they have a right to evaluate it themselves. And when you do file a Chapter 7, you’re you’re in I mean, you’re once you make that call, you’re stuck, you can’t get out of it, if a chapter 7 trustee finds a buyer for your house, and it’s going to be more than the amount that we can protect, then you can get in a big mess.
Jeff Kelly: Currently, in Georgia, we can protect about $43,000 of equity in your home for a married couple 21,500 for a single person. You know, you also want to factor in things like what’s the cost of sale, and so forth. Things like that. So if your house is you know, borderline if it is over the amount that can be protected. You know, the other option is you can file a Chapter 13. And you can still wipe that out and a chapter 13 the same way you can and a 7. But you know the differences for somebody that’s got an expensive house with a lot of equity, we would want to pay back enough in the chapter 13 plan to protect the house. And so that is crucial. The legal term for that it’s called the liquidation test. Got to make sure we pass the liquidation test. And again, it doesn’t cost anything to come into our office, sit down with us. Let’s review your situation. Let’s find out. What is the best option for you. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about chapter 13 and chapter 7.
Jeff Kelly: And in today’s episode, and I want to just spend the rest of the time talking about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ real quick. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are stressed, who are worried. I get it, I feel it too. These are some really scary scary times that we’re in. And we we just have to trust God and I want to encourage you if you’re struggling right now, and you’re worried take a look at Psalm 91. It’s, it’s really good. And you know, the basic gist of it is, God is your protector. We’re going to get through these tough times we’re going to get through these scary changes that are going on in our country. I get it. I know it’s difficult, but you know, personally, I’m 50 years old now. And I probably think about eternity more than I’ve ever thought about before. And this, this life that we live here is just temporary, our permanent home is forever with God. And I would encourage anybody out there who’s listening to this, if you have never made a decision to give your life to Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to do it. And it’s a simple prayer. Lord, I come before you, I want to give my life to you, I want to accept you as my Lord and Savior. Please show me the way and I believe he will. And if you need to meet with a pastor, who can really explain it and just fantastic way better than I can go see my buddy Sam Bice, out at living waters church, soft Martha Berry, super great guy, he’s the real deal. And he can talk to you about it more and point you in the right direction. Get a Bible, read your Bible every day. Don’t let a day go by without doing it. It’s I know, these are scary times. I know it’s it’s rough. But this will pass. And my encouragement to all my friends is try not to look at the news. Try not to get on Facebook. Just try to live each day, one day at a time. Let’s do our best. Let’s make this world a better place. Let’s love each other while we can during these these tough COVID times. And I’m just hoping and praying, Lord, please help us get through it. I’m hoping it’ll be over by the end of this year. And pray for all of your friends and family who work in the medical community, the heroes, the people on the frontline. Wear your mask, wash your hands, do everything you can to catch this thing. And so we can all stay away from the hospitals to give these people a break. And that’s all have in this episode. I hope you guys have a great week. And we’ll be back on again. Next Saturday. Have a good one. Thank you.
Outro Speaker: You’ve been listening to Kelly Can Help with Jeff Kelly reached out to the Law Office of Jeffrey B Kelly today by phone 7062950030 in Rome or visit Kellycanhelp.com.