Atlanta Business Debt Relief and Debt Settlement Lawyers[yoast-breadcrumb]
Finding Debt Relief in Atlanta, Georgia
Living in Atlanta and struggling with overwhelming business debt? You’re not alone. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs in Atlanta find themselves facing serious financial challenges. Whether due to predatory lending practices, unexpected circumstances, or simple bad luck, falling into debt can feel inescapable.The good news? There are debt relief options available in Atlanta that can help you regain control of your finances. This article will provide an overview of debt settlement and consolidation services in Atlanta, as well as legal options like bankruptcy. We’ll also discuss laws and regulations related to debt relief in Georgia.
Debt Settlement Companies in Atlanta
Debt settlement involves working with a company to negotiate down your total owed balances. The debt settlement company will contact your creditors and try to get them to agree to settle for a lower amount – usually between 40-60% of what you originally owed. This can be an attractive option, allowing you to resolve debts for less than the full amount.There are several reputable debt settlement firms operating in the Atlanta metro area. Some examples include:
- National Debt Relief – With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, this nationwide company has helped over 100,000 clients negotiate settlements on unsecured debts. They have an office located in Atlanta.
- Freedom Debt Relief – As one of the largest debt settlement companies in the country, Freedom Debt Relief has settled over $10 billion in debt since 2002. They have a location in Atlanta.
- ClearOne Advantage – ClearOne is a smaller, family-owned debt settlement provider based in Atlanta. They offer a more personalized approach to debt relief.
The Federal Trade Commission cautions that while debt settlement can be helpful for some consumers, these programs do come with risks and fees. It’s important to research any debt settlement company thoroughly before signing up.
Non-Profit Credit Counseling in Atlanta
Non-profit credit counseling provides an alternative route to managing unsecured debts. Agencies like CredAbility and ClearPoint Credit Counseling offer Debt Management Plans (DMPs) in Georgia.With a DMP, the agency works with your creditors to negotiate reduced interest rates and more affordable payment plans. This helps consumers consolidate multiple debts into one monthly payment. Counselors also provide financial education resources.The downside is that DMPs can take 3-5 years to complete. The programs require discipline to stick to the payment schedule. Still, credit counseling is a good option for motivated individuals who need help getting their debt under control.
Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Lawyers in Atlanta
For small business owners facing extreme financial hardship, bankruptcy may be the most practical solution. This legal process involves either liquidating assets to pay creditors (Chapter 7 bankruptcy) or restructuring debts through a court-approved repayment plan (Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy).The skilled bankruptcy attorneys at CMC Law have extensive experience advising small businesses and entrepreneurs in Atlanta. They can objectively evaluate your situation to determine if bankruptcy makes sense. The lawyers at CMC Law will walk you through every step of the bankruptcy process.Some of the top debt relief and bankruptcy law firms in Atlanta include:
- The Semrad Law Firm – Well-known for affordable Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Slomka Law Firm – Provides debt relief services including Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce – Large firm with bankruptcy lawyers in Atlanta.
- King & King Law – Atlanta firm experienced with business bankruptcies.
- Arnall Golden Gregory LLP – Prominent Atlanta law firm with bankruptcy and debt restructuring services.
During a consultation, a bankruptcy lawyer can evaluate the specifics of your situation and create a legal strategy tailored to your business needs.
Georgia Laws Related to Debt Settlement and Relief
Georgia has laws and regulations governing debt adjusting and settlement activities within the state. It’s important for consumers to understand their rights when seeking help with debts.
Debt Adjusting Licensure
Any for-profit company offering debt management or adjustment services in Georgia must be licensed through the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Licensure ensures companies meet standards for consumer protection.Non-profit credit counseling agencies are exempt from the licensing requirement. However, they must register and file annual reports with the Department of Banking and Finance.
Limits on Upfront Fees for Settlement Services
Georgia law also places limits on fees charged by for-profit debt settlement providers. The state prohibits companies from collecting any upfront fees prior to settling at least one of the consumer’s debts (O.C.G.A. § 18-5-2).Fees for debt settlement services in Georgia cannot exceed 7.5% of the amount saved as a result of the settlement. This helps protect consumers from excessive or predatory fees.
Restrictions on Wage Garnishment
Georgia has restrictions on creditors garnishing wages to collect on debts. The maximum part of disposable earnings subject to garnishment in Georgia is 25% or the amount by which disposable earnings exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is less.Wage garnishments are also prohibited in Georgia for certain types of debts, like medical bills. Understanding wage garnishment law can help Georgia residents protect their income while repaying debts.
Bankruptcy Exemptions in Georgia
When filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, the state’s exemption laws allow you to protect certain assets from liquidation. Georgia has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions and instead has its own set of exemptions.Some of the exemptions that can help protect assets like home equity, vehicles, household goods, retirement accounts, and personal property are outlined by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Consulting a bankruptcy attorney can help you fully utilize exemptions.
Finding the Right Debt Relief Option in Atlanta
As an Atlanta resident struggling with business debts, it’s essential to understand all your debt relief and legal options. The services and firms discussed above provide a starting point to explore solutions that match your circumstances.Seeking help early maximizes the likelihood of negotiating favorable settlements with creditors and avoiding aggressive collections or lawsuits. The potential exists to resolve your debt for a fraction of what you owe and regain financial stability. Don’t wait – you have debt relief choices in Atlanta.