Bankruptcy is not a topic most people are comfortable with, and few are willing to discuss the issue openly. This lends a haze of mystery to the filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and many consumers are ill informed of their rights - which means they are more vulnerable to financial predators.
The problem usually falls in the arena of bankruptcy mills, which are firms run by "professionals" who advertise low-cost, cut-rate bankruptcy filing services. Some of these people will tell customers that they do not fit the income criteria for the less-expensive Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and will instead insist that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only option.
It is true that there are income requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia and elsewhere, but the law provides other forms of relief that may still make Chapter 7 possible. In Georgia, for instance, household expenses are weighed in relation to income. Certain expenses, such as caring for elderly relatives or ongoing medical bills, can counteract a higher income.
Avoiding bankruptcy mills is not easy, however, especially for people who do not wish to discuss their financial issues with others. The stigma attached to financial insolvency can lead to self-imposed seclusion, which makes consumers vulnerable. It is important to remember that you have rights regardless of your financial situation, and that there are unscrupulous individuals out there just waiting to take advantage.
When filing for any type of bankruptcy, consumers should seek references for reputable attorneys who will act in their best interests. Reliable representation will offer peace of mind as you navigate the confusing waters of bankruptcy - and it might save your home, your personal belongings and your financial future.
It is also a good idea to become familiar with all aspects of filing for bankruptcy. The more you know about your rights and your options, the less likely you'll fall prey to a scam.