I am in over my head with tax debts to the IRS. Will a bankruptcy stop them from collecting or wipe the debts out?

Unfortunately for you, many tax debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy can at least temporarily halt the IRS from attempting to collect the debt from you. Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 also has an impact on how your tax debt is treated. 

When you file for bankruptcy, whether it’s a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, an automatic stay is created. The automatic stay prevents most creditors, including the Internal Revenue Service, from continuing or starting any debt collection activities against you. If a creditor wants to continue trying to collect a debt, it must get permission from the court in order to legally proceed. However, when your case is dismissed, or if your debts are discharged, or if the court agrees to lift the automatic stay, the automatic stay ends and your creditors can continue attempting to collect any outstanding debts.

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I am a truck driver and was injured in an accident in Atlanta. What are my legal options?

Atlanta is a major city and commerce hub, and every day thousands of truckers pass through on Atlanta’s freeways, highways, and city streets. Unfortunately, Atlanta has a reputation of having roads which can be dangerous for truck drivers. Drivers spend long days and weeks on the roads, which can increase the potential that they will experience fatigue and distractions. Tight deadlines when combined with fatigue leads to an increased risk of catastrophic accidents for truck drivers.

Many truck accidents have catastrophic results. The injured trucker may be unable to work for a significant amount of time. Some of the common injuries that can occur in commercial trucking accidents include back and neck injuries, brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, and even death. Many of these injuries are life-long and will cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment.

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Do I have to have a job to be able to file for bankruptcy in Atlanta?

When someone goes a long period of time without a job, bankruptcy can be the inevitable result. For most people, it’s hard to stay current on bills without any money coming in. Once debt starts to pile up, it can be hard to get out of it, which can lead to a bankruptcy. Under federal bankruptcy law, there is no requirement that a debtor must be employed. However, being unemployed can affect the success of your bankruptcy filing in some cases.

Individuals typically file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills are wiped out. In most situations, creditors do not receive anything because there is no property that can be taken and sold. Because of the nature of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors have to pass a means test to be able to qualify for a Chapter 7. This means that your income will be compared against the state median income. If you have too much income, you may be disqualified unless you also have very high allowable expenses. If you are unemployed, you will obviously be below the income limitations, even if you are receiving unemployment compensation.

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I was hit by a tractor trailer because it could not stop in time. Can I sue the trucking company or the driver?

Because of their massive size and weight, as well as the speeds at which they travel, tractor trailers or semi-trucks are difficult to bring to a complete stop, especially when needing to do so quickly. One of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents is a failure to account for additional stopping distance. If a driver fails to take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident, the driver and his or her employer may be held liable for any damages that occur as a result.

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I am considering filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but I’m worried about my car. Will it get repossessed if I file?

For most people filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of their biggest worries is their vehicle. If a person loses a vehicle in a bankruptcy, he or she loses a way to get to work and will then have even more financial difficulties.

If you are in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your car lender cannot repossess your car or otherwise try to collect the debt without getting permission from the court. The reason is the automatic stay – when a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay is created. An automatic stay makes it illegal for most creditors to attempt to collect debts.

However, your lender can ask the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay in order to repossess your car. In order to do this, the lender must file a “motion for relief from the automatic stay”. In the motion, the lender has to show that it’s a party to the bankruptcy as a creditor, that it has a right to repossess the car, and that its interests are not being properly protected because you are not making timely loan payments.

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What is the difference between debt resolution and bankruptcy?

Debt resolution is settling a debt with a creditor for less than is owed on the debt. Bankruptcy means filing papers in court stating that you are bankrupt, and asking the court to either discharge your debts or to reorganize the debts into more manageable payments.

Debt resolution is a good option for some people. Normally, you will have to have a sufficient monthly income, or you may be asked to make a lump sum payment to settle the account. That may mean that you have to stop all payments on accounts and save money until you have enough to make a settlement offer. This could damage your credit and cause you to be sued in court by creditors.

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If I need to file for bankruptcy, am I free to choose between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 or am I forced to choose one or the other?

Many people who are considering filing for bankruptcy are unsure which type to file, especially if they do not have a bankruptcy attorney to assist with the case. Most individuals file either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are requirements that must be satisfied for each type of bankruptcy, and if an individual meets those requirements, he or she can choose which type of bankruptcy makes the most sense for the situation.

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What are my legal options if I have been injured in a car accident with an elderly person in Atlanta?

The baby boomer population is quickly aging, bringing the number of senior citizen drivers over the age of 65 to an all-time high. It’s estimated that every day, 10,000 more people will turn 65. Elderly drivers are at a high risk of automobile accidents, with over 15 fatalities daily and 500 injury accidents daily.

Although senior citizens do have the benefit of a great deal of driving experience in most cases, aging can take a toll on the body and can affect driving. One huge contributor to automobile accidents among elderly drivers is a decline in vision. According to a survey done by the CDC, over 40 percent of drivers over the age of 65 admitted to restricting their own driving because of vision issues. Seniors also often have physical and cognitive impairments that can make it difficult to drive safely. Seniors may also be taking several different types of medications, which can affect the ability to drive.

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I own a small business and am considering bankruptcy. What are my best options?

It depends on how your small business is structured. Normally, small business owners have three options for bankruptcy: a Chapter 7, a Chapter 11, and a Chapter 13. Each of those has benefits and drawbacks. Which option is right for you depends on your particular situation.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option for debtors that are not going to be able to restructure their debts and continue in business. Under federal bankruptcy laws, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations can all file bankruptcy under Chapter 7. Also, people who own and operate small businesses as sole proprietorships also may file bankruptcy under Chapter 7, depending on their income. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, assets are sold and the creditors are paid to the extent funds are available.

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I was in an accident in Atlanta with a driver who was using a cell phone. What are my legal options?

Experts say that there are now more cell phones in the United States than people. Many cell phone users are attached to their phones at all times, and often driving a vehicle does not prevent them from using their cells.

Using a cell phone while driving can in some cases be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. Almost a quarter of all car accidents are attributed to cell phone usage, or over 1.5 million accidents a year. The CDC estimates that nine people per day are killed in an automobile accident due to a distracted driver, and most of those distractions are attributable to smart phone use. 

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