Tax Refunds are being Held Up in Atlanta

Last weekend lines at the downtown IRS location in Atlanta, GA were exceptionally long due to a hold up on people receiving their tax refunds. These long lines were due to many receiving a request from the IRS to verify their identities in person. The people in the lines shared exasperated and frustrated sentiments about the situation. Many were upset that they did not receive their refund when their turn finally came.

If you are part of the 41% of Americans who planned on using your tax refunds to pay down debt, you may be in a pinch due to these delays. Luckily, bankruptcy may be an option for you to ease the pain of overwhelming debts.

How Bankruptcy Can Help

Filing for bankruptcy does not expedite the IRS’s refund process, but it can help to alleviate some of your concerns about outstanding debts. By filing for bankruptcy, you can discharge liabilities like credit card debt, medical bills, and auto loans. It also has the potential to prevent foreclosure on your home or repossession of your car.

What Happens to Tax Refunds in Bankruptcy?

In most cases your tax refunds can be protected through something called a wildcard exemption. They give you a combined wildcard exemption of $11,200.00 in Georgia, which means that the vast majority of those who file will have their tax refunds exempted from their bankruptcy.

In the event that your tax refund exceeds $11,200.00, you may be required to turnover the amount over and above the exemption of $11,200.00. The Trustee only does this is the amount you’d be turning over is considerable, i.e., “worth their time”. The Trustee then uses the money turned over to pay a portion of the debt you’re discharging in the bankruptcy.

Got Questions?

If you live in Atlanta and your delayed tax refund is keeping you from paying off debt, let bankruptcy help you. Call us at the Atlanta Bankruptcy Law Offices of Dax J. Miller today to see how we can help you pay off your debts.

 

Buying a House or Car in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A chapter 13 bankruptcy can last around 3-5 years. In that time, big things can happen in life. Did you
know that you can buy a car or house while in a chapter 13 bankruptcy? The bankruptcy court has a streamlined process to allow you to apply for financing for both a house and car.

Finding a Loan in a Chapter 13

Whether it is for a car or a home, getting a loan while in bankruptcy may seem counterintuitive.  The reality is that people need a place to live and car to get around in.

For a car, shopping around will get you the best deal possible. A dealership will give you a sample buyer’s order that lays out the details of the loan that you then give to us for submission to the Court for approval.

For a house, there are several loan options available to you, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans. When you find a loan that works for you, your bankruptcy attorney can file a motion that includes all the necessary information – such as home purchase price, down payment amount, and projected monthly mortgage payments.  The Court typically approves the application in about thirty days.

Get Help from a Bankruptcy Attorney

Don’t let fears of not being able to buy a house or car stop you from getting the help you need to lower your financial burdens. You don’t need to put your life on halt for a chapter 13 bankruptcy. You will find that financing is available to you during your case and, with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you will get court approval to take the loan.

If you are thinking about filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy, call us at The Law Offices of Dax J Miller to schedule your free phone consultation!

US Bankruptcy Filings Increase in the First Quarter of 2024

In 2023 total bankruptcy filings increased from the previous year and it appears that trend is not stopping. There were 120,094 total bankruptcy filings in the first quarter of 2024 (January 1 through March 31). This is a 14% increase from the 105,497 filings in the same quarter of 2023. Further, consumer filings are up a total of 13% from last year – up 17% for chapter 7 bankruptcies and up 9% for chapter 13 bankruptcies. This unfortunately marks 20 consecutive months that all bankruptcy categories have seen a monthly year-over-year increase. So why are more and more Americans turning to bankruptcy?

Why Is there an Increase in Filings?

A survey done by the Federal Reserve found that there has been an increase in consumer worries about job security, debt, and inflation. The survey notes that rising cost of essential goods and anticipated rise in gas prices, food costs, and rent is causing financial strain on American households. Further, Americans are expressing fears that they might not be able to meet minimum debt payments.

How Bankruptcy Can Help

Bankruptcy might seem like a last resort, but it can be a great option if you are concerned about being able to pay off your debts and expenses. Bankruptcy can help erase many types of debt, including medical debt, credit card debt, and auto loans. It can also help you in the case of a foreclosure on your home or if your vehicle is being repossessed.

Let Bankruptcy Help You!

If you are having trouble making ends meet or are drowning in debt, bankruptcy may be what you need. Call us today at the Bankruptcy Law Offices of Dax J. Miller for a free phone consultation. We can help you decide what is right for you.

 

Dischargeable Debt in Bankruptcy

Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy does not automatically take care of all your debt. How much of your debt is dischargeable depends on the type of debt you have and the type of bankruptcy you file.

What Is a Discharge in Bankruptcy?

A discharge is the endgame of a bankruptcy. It is what will occur to absolve you of personal liability for some specific debts that you have. The discharge is a permanent order, making your creditors no longer able to come after you for those debts ever again. It is important to note, however, that this is not to say that the same creditor cannot come after you for different debts incurred after your discharge.

One distinction that must be made is the difference between discharge and dismissal. Both mark the end of your bankruptcy, but for different reasons. If the court discharges your case, then it takes care of the debts included in your bankruptcy, and creditors included in the bankruptcy cannot pursue you anymore. If the court dismisses your case, it indicates that something went wrong in your bankruptcy process – for example, you missed too many payments. This means your bankruptcy case is over but creditors may continue to pursue you for those debts.

What is Not Dischargeable?

You may be asking, now, what debts can be discharged? The answer to this is not cut and dry. Much of the answer depends on the type of bankruptcy that you file. There is a slightly broader array of dischargeable debts available in a chapter 13 bankruptcy than a chapter 7. There are 19 categories of debt excepted in a chapter 7, the most common non-dischargeable debts being:

  • certain types of tax claims
  • debts not provided by the debtor on the lists and schedules the debtor must file with the court
  • debts for spousal or child support or alimony
  • debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property
  • debts to the government for fines and penalties
  • debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments
  • debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated
  • debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans
  • debts for certain condo or cooperative housing fees.

What is Dischargeable?

For a Chapter 13, some exceptions exist to what is non-dischargeable because it typically gets discharged after completing a repayment plan. These exceptions include:

  • debts for willful and malicious injury to property
  • debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations
  • debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings

Along with those exceptions for a chapter 13, there are some debts that are dischargeable in both a chapter 7 and 13. These include medical debts, credit card debts, car loans, personal and payday loans, home mortgages, overdue bills, and collection agency accounts. In cases of undue hardship, bankruptcy can even discharge student loan debt.

Get Help With Filing Bankruptcy

The ins and outs of bankruptcy can be difficult to understand. This is why having an attorney in your corner is the best way to navigate your bankruptcy. Call us at the Bankruptcy Law Offices of Dax J. Miller today to schedule your free phone consultation. We can help you decide what works best for you.

Taxes and Bankruptcy

Even if you don’t think that you owe any back taxes, making sure that you have your taxes on file is important for the successful confirmation of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. This is to prove to the IRS and your state tax collectors how much, if any, tax debt needs to be added to your Chapter 13 plan.

Proof of Claims for Taxes

When you decide to file for bankruptcy, your creditors, including the tax authorities, can file something called a Proof of Claim. So what is a Proof of Claim? A Proof of Claim essentially tells the Trustee how much debt the creditor believes you owe them. The tax authorities will file a Proof of Claim in your bankruptcy case if you owe any back tax debt, and/or if there are years in which they do not have a return on file for you. The missing tax years will show an estimated amount they believe you owe. A lot of times this amount is greater than what you actually owe for that year.

Why We Need Your Signed Taxes

In short, the IRS and State governments require you to file a tax return each year you have income.

In order to show what you actually owe, you will have to file the missing tax returns, and provide your attorney with the signed copies of the tax returns to send to the tax authorities and your
Trustee. Once the signed returns are received and processed, the tax authorities will file an amended Proof of Claim show the accurate amount owed.

It is important to note, the tax authorities can request the dismissal of your case if you fail to file or ask for an extension within the proper tax time frame. If you still don’t provide those documents in the 90 days following that request, the tax authorities can then force the dismissal of your case.

Got Questions?

Navigating Bankruptcy can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone! Call the Bankruptcy Law Offices of Dax J. Miller today to set up a free phone consultation. With our help, knowing what you need for your bankruptcy to be a success will be no problem.

Your Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to Affect Your Spouse

When you are facing the reality that bankruptcy is your best bet to discharge overwhelming debt, you may find yourself worrying about what that will look like for your spouse. Luckily, just because you are filing bankruptcy, doesn’t mean your spouse has to as well. It is true, you and your spouse can make the decision to file separately. This decision is important, as it can determine how your debt is discharged.

Why File Bankruptcy Jointly?

All debts and assets of both you and your spouse are disclosed in the bankruptcy when you file together. When filing jointly, all the debt is bundled together. This makes the process simpler if both you and your spouse have debt. Filing together can seem like an obvious answer, especially if both you and your spouse have incurred debt, either together or separately, but it is far from your only option.

Why File Separately?

What If Only I Have Debt?

If you have debt and your spouse does not, it can be a easy decision to keep your spouse out of the bankruptcy. When your spouse is not a part of the bankruptcy, you can do things like save 50% of your tax refund if you filed your taxes jointly. You can also protect assets that are in the name of the non-debtor.

 What If We Both Have Debt?

What you may not know is that even if you both have debts, it can benefit you to file separately. If you have a lot of debt, a chapter 7, or liquidation bankruptcy, may sound like the best option as it discharges the debt, rather than putting it into a payment plan.

Unfortunately, The trustee has the right to sell any assets and utilize the proceeds to pay off creditors due to the nature of a chapter 7. This means you could lose big assets like your home. However, if the spouse whose name is on the house files a chapter 13 while the other spouse files a chapter 7, you can get benefits of both bankruptcies. In your Chapter 7, the debt is discharged. Meanwhile, in your spouse’s Chapter 13, your home is protected and their debt is placed into a payment plan.

Talk to an Attorney About Your Options.

Thinking of filing bankruptcy but nervous about how it’ll affect your spouse? Your best option is to speak with an experienced attorney about your options. Call The Law Offices of Dax J. Miller today and schedule your free phone consultation! We can help you find out what works best for your situation.

Biden Cancels $1.2 Billion in Student Loan Debt, What Now?

Biden cancels $1.2 billion in student loan debt for 150,000 borrowers, bringing the total cancelled debt to $138 billion for 3.9 million borrowers. This recent cancellation benefitted those enrolled in the income-driven repayment plan called SAVE. If you didn’t sign up or didn’t qualify for SAVE and still feel the weight of your student loan debt, don’t worry. Bankruptcy could be your way out.

Bankruptcy and Student Loans

Did you know that bankruptcy can help you with your student loan debt? According to bankruptcy code, student loans can be discharged if there is proof of undue hardship. This essentially means that you must prove to the court that you cannot maintain basic living conditions while paying off student debt. You must also prove that the debt will impact you for the majority of your repayment plan. Undue hardship can be difficult to prove since it is loosely defined by the bankruptcy courts. Luckily, there have been efforts in recent years to broaden the definition and make the process easier. In fact, last year Biden sent out experimental guidance that encouraged the government to cooperate with student loan borrowers seeking relief.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is the legal process by which a business or individual can seek relief for debts that they don’t have the means to repay. Filing for bankruptcy may sound intimidating, but it can do wonders to restart your life. Along with its potential to eliminate student loan debt, it can also stop collections, clean up your credit, and help you deal with other debts such as medical debt, credit card debt, and auto loans. Here at The Law Offices of Dax J. Miller, we offer Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to place your debt into a repayment plan to help you pay off the debt you owe to your creditors. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to discharge your debt.

Let Bankruptcy Help You with Student Loan Debt!

Having trouble making ends meet with your student loans or other debts? Call The Bankruptcy Law Offices of Dax J. Miller today to schedule a free phone consultation. We can help you figure out what the best move is for you.

Indiana Unemployment Claims on the Rise

The US Department of Labor reported that Indiana unemployment claims rose in the week ending on January 27th. Possibly caused by layoffs, Indiana jobless claims were reported at a whopping 4,122 for the week, up from 3,996 the previous week. This appears to be a part of a nationwide trend, as total US filings are also up 9,000 claims from the previous week. Bankruptcy filings are also on the rise in the US. Could bankruptcy be the next move for newly laid off Americans?

How Does Unemployment Affect Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When you are unemployed, you are likely contemplating what your options actually are. Even with unemployment benefits, many Americans will fall well below the median income in their state. This means that an unemployed person who is struggling with their debts and looking to file bankruptcy will likely pass the means test that will qualify them for a Chapter 7.

How Does Unemployment Affect Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 is a great way to discharge your debts, however, it might not be a great option for those looking to save their assets. In that case, you might be looking for a Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 may be difficult to navigate when unemployed, even if you are receiving benefits. This is because your debt is placed into a repayment plan that you are expected to contribute to regularly. If you cannot make those payments, your bankruptcy will likely get dismissed. In this case, it is important to communicate with your lawyer about what you can afford so they can help you make the decision that is right for you.

Can Bankruptcy Help You?

If you are unemployed and considering bankruptcy as an option, call us here at The Law Offices of Dax J. Miller for a free phone consultation. We can help you figure out which chapter is right for you.

Bankruptcy Filings Rise in 2023

The numbers are in – bankruptcy filings are on the rise. With all four quarters of 2023 reaching new peaks, we are seeing the highest number of both business and non-business filings since 2020. With business filings up 40.4% and non-business filings up 16%, we are seeing a total 16.8% rise in filings since 2022.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that is taken by a business or individual who cannot repay debts to their creditors and seek relief from those debts. At The Law Offices of Dax J. Miller, we offer Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies for individuals seeking to file. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives an individual the opportunity to discharge their debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives an individual the opportunity to  repay their debts through a repayment plan.

Why File for Bankruptcy?

There are many reasons that people file for bankruptcy. Many Americans have a variety of debts including credit card debts and auto loans. Filing for bankruptcy can be a great option when those debts start to pile up. This is because bankruptcy can give you relief from garnishments and collection letters. When you file for bankruptcy, it stops your garnishments and collections by initiating an automatic stay.

Another reason to file for bankruptcy is in the case of repossession or foreclosure. When you file for a chapter 13, repossession can be halted or prevented and foreclosure sales can be stopped in their tracks. Chapter 7 bankruptcies, on the other hand, can provide you with relief from your personal liability on your property.

Is Bankruptcy Your Next Move?

The idea of filing for bankruptcy can be daunting, but here at The Law Offices of Dax J. Miller, we do our best to provide guidance through what can be a very stressful time in your life. If you think bankruptcy could be the right move for you, contact us today to schedule your free phone consultation.

Rise in Bankruptcy for Millennials and Generation X

Despite recent economic data reports showing a 29% increase in consumer confidence since November of 2023, LegalShield’s December Consumer Stress Legal Index displays a worrying rise in financial pressures. According to these documents, more consumers, especially Generation X and Millennials, are seeking legal help for bankruptcy and repossession than in previous years, marking a three-year peak.

The Bigger Picture

According to Newsweek, bankruptcy filings are up 24.7% for Generation X and up 40.1% for Millennials. This rise in bankruptcies is no coincidence. The economic strain on younger generations is clearly reflected in  broader economic data. American household debt has risen 1.3% in the third quarter of 2023, now at $17.29 trillion. This was due to marked increases in debt balances across the board, including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans.

Why Bankruptcy Could Be the Answer

Bankruptcy can sound daunting, but it could be the answer to the financial burdens that younger generations are now experiencing. It can help clear credit card debts, auto loan debts, medical debts, and, in some cases, student loans.

These debts can be overwhelming financially by garnishing your wages and mentally by having various creditors banging at your door. Luckily, filing for bankruptcy can help with both of those problems. Not only will filing discharge your debt or put it into a repayment plan, but it will force garnishments and creditor calls to cease.

Bankruptcy can even help you in the case of repossession of your vehicle or other property. Repossession can be halted or prevented when you file a chapter 13. We achieve this through the initiation of an automatic stay. An automatic stay prevents your creditors from taking further action against you.

Is Bankruptcy Right For You?

Are you are interested in learning more about how bankruptcy can help you? Call us at the Law Offices of Dax J. Miller. We can set you up with a phone consultation – free of charge.

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