GEORGIA BANKRUPTCY LAW
Georgia Bankruptcy: Attorneys, Statistics, Exemptions and Courts.
Georgia Bankruptcy Statistics: In Georgia, in 2009, a total of 75,145 bankruptcies were filed. Business bankruptcies accounted for 3,019 of the total and personal bankruptcies accounted for 72,126 or 95.98% of the total.
Georgia State Bankruptcy Exemptions:
The debtor’s residence is exempt from bankruptcy for a value of up to $10,000 for a single person and $20,000 for a married couple, even if only one of the spouses is filing bankruptcy. Both real property such as a house or an apartment and personal property such as mobile home are included in this exemption.
Note: Burial plots fall under the “homestead” exemption and its value limitations ($10,000 per person and $20,000 per married couple). Burial plots for the debtor or the debtor’s dependents may be exempt up to whatever value is left over from the homestead exemption.
Health aids which are professionally prescribed to debtor or debtor’s dependents are wholly exempt when filing bankruptcy in Georgia.
Damages recovered in a wrongful death action are exempt up to whatever is necessary for support of the debtor and debtor’s dependents.
The following items are exempt up to $300 per item, but not exceeding $5,000 in total:
The following exemptions are subject to limitations:
Life insurance proceeds and unvested life insurance policy contracts are entirely exempt; however dividends, interest, loan value or cash value paid by an unvested insurance policy are exempt up to $2000, and only if the beneficiary is the debtor or the debtor’s dependent.
The following insurance policies are exempt in their entirety:
Health and disability benefits are exempt up to $250 per month.
When filing bankruptcy in Georgia federal pension exemptions apply, even though federal exemptions do not apply otherwise.
IRAs and ERISA-qualified pensions are wholly exempt; all other pensions are exempt only up to whatever is necessary for support. However, when the debtor receives a payout from an IRA, the payout is exempt up to what is necessary for support of the debtor and his or her dependents.
The pension of public employees and nonprofit employees is wholly exempt.
The following public benefits are wholly exempt in a Georgia Bankruptcy:
Tools of the trade
In a Georgia bankruptcy, tools of the trade, including but not limited to books, implements and tools are exempt for up to $1,500.
Wages are exempt at either 75% of weekly earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater.
Child support, alimony and separation maintenance are exempt to the extent that they are necessary for the support of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents.
When filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, any property can be exempt for up to $600, in addition to the listed exemptions. Also, if the homestead exemption is not fully used – $5,000 from the homestead exemption may carry over to the wild card exemption.
Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions: No
Georgia Bankruptcy Courts:
United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia has jurisdiction in the following counties: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, Dekalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Murray, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Rabun, Rockdale, Spalding, Stephens, Towns, Troup, Union, Walker, White, Whitfield.
United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Georgia has jurisdiction in the following counties: Appling, Atkinson. Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Columbia, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Lincoln, Long, McDuffie, McIntosh, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Tatnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, Warren, Wayne, Wheeler, Wilkes.
United States Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Georgia has jurisdiction in the following counties: Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Butts, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clarke, Clay, Clinch, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dooley, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Elbert, Franklin, Grady, Greene, Hancock, Harris, Hart, Houston, Irwin, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan, Oconee, Ogelthorpe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Walton, Washington, Webster, Wilcox, Wilkinson, Worth.