A Smyrna Bankruptcy Attorney

A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm

A Smyrna Bankruptcy Law Firm

(770) 485-4290

A Woodstock, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm

Smyrna Bankruptcy Attorney

About Bankruptcy in Smyrna, GA

Bankruptcy FAQ's

About Cherney Law Firm

A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm

Bankruptcy Is The Path To Recovery











A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm
A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm
A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm
A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney
A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm
A Smyrna, Ga Bankruptcy Law Firm
An Alpharetta Bankruptcy Law Firm
A bankruptcy attorney in Smyrna, GA

Why Choose

Our Smyrna Bankruptcy Law Firm?

Is Bankruptcy Right For You?

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Experienced Smyrna Bankruptcy Attorney

You have one chance to get it right when filing Bankruptcy. Do not risk it with an inexperienced lawyer or paralegal. With years of legal experience, we have what it takes to properly represent you.


Affordable Smyrna Bankruptcy Attorney

Do not sacrifice experience for cheap representation. We will work with you to create an affordable Bankruptcy plan based on your individual needs.


Fast Filings

Sometimes you can't afford to wait. When garnishments or levies are leaving you in a tight spot, we will act fast to help get you the relief you need.


Speak to a Smyrna Bankruptcy Attorney

This is a critical time for you. You don't want to be passed off to an office assistant. You will develop an important relationship with our law firm as we guide you through the Bankruptcy process.



With experience comes results. We will deliver on our promises and represent your best interests at all times.

A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney
A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney
A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney
A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney
A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney

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Providing Debt Relief Solutions for Thousands of Individuals in Smyrna, Georgia


Many people who file bankruptcy in Smyrna have experienced circumstances out of their control.  Some have lost their job, get sick, are underemployed, or simply cannot afford the astronomical interest rates on their credit cards.

Regardless of the reason, there is no shame in bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are designed to provide individuals a second chance.


We Relieve the Stress


At Cherney Law Firm, I am devoted to assisting individuals get back on their feet.  My job is to relieve the stress associated with too much debt.  The stress associated with foreclosure, vehicle repossession, and I work tirelessly to obtain favorable results for my clients.


I am available six days a week, and I offer night and weekend consultations by appointment.

I understand that you may feel intimidated by the bankruptcy process, so I urge you to schedule an appointment with me.  I can discuss your options with you.


A word from Bankruptcy Attorney Matthew Cherney:


Bankruptcy is a way out.  Here at Cherney Law Firm, I understand the stress caused by debt.  My past testimonials prove the level of dedication and care I give to each case I take on.


Bankruptcy attorney Matthew Cherney has personally handled thousands of individual bankruptcy cases, providing amicable solutions for people throughout Smyrna and the surrounding cities of Georgia.  Read the following review he received from a previous client who walked away retaining the legal help he needed:


"Mr. Cherney was there from the beginning till the end. He kept me informed throughout the entire process. Very knowledgeable and always available for any questions/concerns I may have had. Best lawyer experience I have ever had."


With today’s economy the way it is, Mr. Cherney’s understanding of your financial situation is heartfelt.  His greatest desire is to help you back on your feet.  He is available every day, and offers weekend appointments.  You can feel confident that nothing comes between you and your future well-being.  Put an end to harassing creditors and overpowering debts by hiring a Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyers such as Matthew J. Cherney.  He is invested in your best interest.


Misconceptions About Bankruptcy


Unfortunately, there is a misconception that bankruptcy is shameful.  However, there are a host of circumstances that give rise to debt.  Things such as medical bills and loss of income are oftentimes unforeseeable and unavoidable.  Many people in Smyrna, GA believe that bankruptcy is not common and should be avoided at all costs, but this could not be further from the truth.


In 2019, there were 38,091 non-business bankruptcy filings.  These are staggering statistics.  However, it illustrates that bankruptcy is not all that uncommon, and is a first step to financial recovery.


The Bankruptcy Process Explained


After a free consultation, I will advise you of your options.  This may be bankruptcy, or some other debt relief alternative.


  • Fill out a means test. The means test determines whether you can file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  This is based largely on your income, expenses and debts. . This includes pulling all of your income statements, list of assets, debts, liabilities, monthly expenditures and all major financial transactions from the previous two years.
  • Complete credit counseling. This is required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 and must be operated by a certified credit counselor.
  • Put together all legal paperwork. This includes pulling all of your income statements, list of assets, debts, liabilities, monthly expenditures and all major financial transactions from the previous two years.
  • Have your Smyrna, GA lawyer file a bankruptcy petition. If you are filing in Smyrna, GA, or reside in Cobb County, your case will be administered in the Northern District of Georgia.  Once your case is filed, you can experience relief from your creditors as an automatic stay will be put in place.  This prevents creditors from calling, harassing, or attempting to take your property.
  • Attend a meeting with a trustee and your creditors. You are required to go to this meeting and you will be expected to answer a number of questions from both the trustee and creditors related to your financial situation.
  • Wait for approval from creditors and trustee.


Each Chapter of bankruptcy is different.  IN Chapter 7, you can expect to receive a discharge in approximately ninety (90) days form the date of your creditors’ meeting.  In Chapter 13, you will be required to pay back a portion of your debt over three to five years.


While this sounds straightforward, the process is far more involved.  Failure to complete a form properly may cause a significant setback in our case.  Without the knowledge of a Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer, who has counseled people in in the bankruptcy process for years, you can become quickly frustrated.  Speak with me prior to doing anything on your own.  It will end up saving you time and money in the long run.


Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Lawyer Helping You Move Forward


There are many benefits to filing for bankruptcy.  For example, filing for bankruptcy can eliminate most, if not all of your debts.  This gives you the opportunity to breath.  You can protect your assets, such as your home and car.  Creditor harassment will end.  You can go back to your normal everyday life.  Bankruptcy can enable you to prepare for your future and save.


Cherney Law Firm offers a free, confidential consultation to Smyrna, GA residents.  Please do not hesitate to call.  Let Mr. Cherney work with you to put an end to hounding creditors, and to help you move forward towards a fresh, financial beginning.  You can entrust your case to Cherney Law Firm.  You can feel confident that Mr. Cherney understands that your future is on the line, and he will do everything possible to ensure a favorable outcome for you and your family.   Contact Cherney Law Firm at 770.485.4294, or fill out a free case evaluation form today.




Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney


Bankruptcy may seem intimidating, but it can be a liberating process.  It can allow you to turn back to the life you once lived before debt encroached on you and your family.  Not only can bankruptcy provide relief from months and years of overwhelming stress, it can also put an end to creditor harassment.  Once your case if filed, creditors are legally prohibited from contacting you.  Bankruptcy is a viable option for all individuals, so do not just assume that you do not qualify.


Characteristics of Bankruptcy in Smyrna, GA


Mr. Cherney has experience in representing clients in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.  He will assist you in choosing the best option for you.  In order to determine which bankruptcy you qualify for, you must first take the means test.  This will determine whether you qualify to discharge all of your debt, or whether you are required to pay a portion of your debt back to your creditors.  It is vital that you understand the differences before you begin the process.


The basic aspects of Smyrna, GA Chapter 7 are as follows:


If you qualify for Chapter 7, you qualify to discharge all general unsecured debt.  One must also consider whether this is best for them depending on whether or not they have any asserts.  Assets in bankruptcy consist of property that cannot be exempted under the state exemption laws.   A Smyrna, GA, attorney can assist you with this process.


The basic aspects of Chapter 13 are as follows:


If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 based on the means test, you may otherwise qualify for Chapter 13, which will involve paying back a portion of your debt to the extent you exceed the median income level in the state where you are filing.  The repayment plan for an individual who exceeds the median income level is five years.  After you have paid for five years, any debt that remains unpaid is discharged


In order to determine if bankruptcy is right for you, be sure to speak to a qualified Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer right away.  Contact Cherney Law Firm today for a free consultation.  Mr. Cherney can discuss your options with you, including potential alternatives to bankruptcy.


Dealing with debt? What is your next step?


To learns how a Smyrna, GA attorney can assist you in filing for bankruptcy, contact Cherney Law Firm today.  Having handled thousands of cases since 2006, I am well versed in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.  You can rest easier by placing your case in my hands.  I have success to back up my reputation in the legal community.  Call Cherney Law Firm today for a free, initial consultation, and find out how I can help you get back on financial track.


Areas of Specialty


Cherney Law Firm can provide you with experienced, legal representation for all debt related matters.  Whether you need bankruptcy representation, or need help negotiating or settling a debt, Cherney Law Firm is ready to help you today.


Chapter 13 Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy


Individuals in Smyrna, GA, considering bankruptcy must complete a means test.  This determines what you may be required to pay back in Chapter 13.  This may or may not be 100% of your debt.  It will be based on your six months prior to the month prior to filing.  Chapter 13 can ease the burden of insurmountable debt by allowing for a reasonable repayment plan.


Chapter 7 Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy


If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after taking the means test, you can discharge most, if not all of your general unsecured debt.  Chapter 7 is generally reserved for individuals who do not make enough money to begin paying back their debt.  There are, however, certain debts that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7.  The most common are: student loans, child or spousal support and fines or penalties owed to government agencies.


Smyrna, GA Debt Negotiation


Bankruptcy is not always the most appropriate option for everyone.  As an alternative, many people consider negotiation or settlement.  Creditors may be willing to accept a lesser amount than what is owed to them.

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Bankruptcy Attorney in Smyrna, GA


Overwhelmed by debt? Get legal help today!


Bankruptcy is a financial tool which was designed in order to help individuals and families who have found themselves trapped by debt. There are two main options which people choose when filing for bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. However, not everyone is able to qualify for these types of bankruptcies and so it could be in your best interests to examine an alternative which may better suit your situation.


As an educated attorney with years of experience, I can provide the qualified advice, caring guidance and aggressive representation that you need when pursuing bankruptcy. Such a decision is not easy to make and requires the guidance of a qualified lawyer. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure you are fully informed.


To learn more and better comprehend bankruptcy, read through the various topics we have explained on this website:


Alternatives to Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy isn't for everyone. You might instead benefit from debt negotiation, debt settlement, or by discharging your debt. Always talk to an attorney first so that you make the right decision for your financial situation.


Automatic Stay


One of the most powerful aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is the fact that as soon as you file your petition with the court, you will be protected by an automatic stay against further creditor action. The automatic stay can put an end to wage garnishment, repossessions, evictions and even foreclosure.


Benefits of Bankruptcy in Smyrna, GA


Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy has many benefits. It could allow you to wipe out your debts and financial stress while also providing relief from creditor harassment. It can provide you with a certain peace of mind, while helping to solve your debt issues.


Bankruptcy Exemptions


Many individuals are allowed to petition certain property exemptions when filing for bankruptcy, allowing them to keep items such as their household items, clothes, heirlooms, jewelry, car and house. This way they are able to continue rebuilding their life after filing and do find themselves completely without.


Common Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Questions


Determining whether or not bankruptcy is a correct cull for your financial situation can bring up a plethora of questions. As an experienced Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer, I know full well that you want to feel comfortable before diving into a serious commitment like filing for bankruptcy. That is why I have provided a list of common questions as well as relevant answers for each. Contact my office for further inquiries.


Creditor Harassment


One of the most stressful aspects of serious debt is the harassing calls made by your creditors. According to Federal law, these calls must stop once you hire a bankruptcy lawyer. If you have been threatened or coerced into paying your debts, get in touch with my office immediately.


Differences Between Ch. 7 & Ch. 13


It is important that you understand the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 so that you can pursue the option that is most beneficial to you. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to learn more about the pros and cons when filing either type.


Discharging Your Debt


If you are financially incapable of repaying part or all of your debt, you may be able to have it discharged. This means that you are released from your debts and no longer have to worry about repayment.


Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?


As more consumers turned to bankruptcy as a way to find much needed debt relief, legislation was enacted to tighten the eligibility requirements. My firm can help you determine if you qualify for bankruptcy.


Smyrna, GA Foreclosures


Scared of losing your home? A bankruptcy attorney could defend you from foreclosure and help you save your home. Filing for bankruptcy could halt a foreclosure, so consult with my firm today to learn more.


Life After Bankruptcy


Filing for bankruptcy is often one of the best decisions a person can make. Such an action could end harassing calls from creditors, eliminate financial stress, and allow

debtors to get a fresh start on life.


Means Test


In order to determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must take the means test. This test calculates your financial state and ability to repay any

or all of your debt by comparing your income with your expenditures.


Smyrna, GA Repossession


Many people worry that filing for bankruptcy may cause them to lose their home, car and valuable possessions. In fact, it may put a stop to having certain items repossessed due to lack of payments. When you file a bankruptcy petition, it puts an automatic stay in place, protecting your goods until the bankruptcy process is over. For further information, do not hesitate to contact my firm.


Wage Garnishment in Smyrna, GA


When consumers are unable to remain current on their debts, creditors can have their wages garnished so that they receive payment. As wage garnishment can severely compromise your well-being, my firm offers assistance in protecting you against debt collection and in helping you attain financial stability.


Retain an Affordable Legal Representative in Smyrna, GA


It is not recommended that you attempt to file for bankruptcy without first consulting with a qualified bankruptcy lawyer in Smyrna. Since 2006, I have represented thousands of clients in all kinds of bankruptcy cases and helped them to find the relief that they need. I also seek to remain affordable and may be able to provide payment options depending on your circumstances. Call Cherney Law Firm LLC today for a free case evaluation to determine what legal steps you should take to find debt relief today!




Many individuals who file for bankruptcy do so under Chapter 13, which allows them to repay some or all of their debt over the period of three to five years before discharging the remainder of their debt. Some people with extreme debts may be incapable of making payments at all and this may be a result of lost income or simply due to the overwhelming nature of their debts. In these situations, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the wisest decision.


Who can file for Chapter 7 in Smyrna, GA?


Those Below the Median Income Level


The first step in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to take a means test. Unless it is proven that you cannot afford to repay your debt based on your income and other factors, you cannot file under this chapter. Your income will be measured against the median income of a family living in your state that is comparable in size to your own family. If your average income from the last 6 months is less than or equal to the median income, you are considered eligible for Chapter 7.


In cases where your income is too high for Chapter 7, the court will determine how much disposable income you have in order to pay off some or all of your debt in a Chapter 13 plan should you choose to go that route. The court looks at your income and subtracts debt payments, living expenses and any other required payments to see what amount you can feasibly pay off each month.


Those Who Have Not Filed Recently


Only those that have not filed a Chapter 7 within the last 8 years or a Chapter 13 in the past 6 years are able to file for a Chapter 7 again. In the same way, you also cannot file again if you attempted to file within the last 180 days, but was dismissed because of three different factors, including:


  • Your case was determined to be fraudulent or abusive towards the bankruptcy process according to a court ruling
  • •our actions were in direct violation of a court order
  • The case was dismissed because one of your creditors asked to put an end to the automatic stay agreement
  • Completing the Rest of the Process


Once a means test proves that you are eligible and you come up clean in all of the other areas determining eligibility, you must fill out all necessary forms and petition for property exemptions so that you can keep any necessary items, such as furniture or your car. This process is not simple, and a mistake could cause further harm, so make sure that you retain an educated Georgia bankruptcy attorney with years of experience in Chapter 7 laws and procedures. With such legal assistance, discharging your debt could result in the financial freedom that you've been dreaming of achieving.

Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Firm with Extensive Experience


If you are seeking to have your debt discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consult for free with a Smyrna, GA bankruptcy attorney from Cherney Law Firm LLC. Since 2006, I have represented individuals in more than 2,000 bankruptcy cases and helped them find the relief that they needed. To learn how I can help you, fill out the on-line evaluation form or call my office for a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing your legal options with you.




Some individuals who are experiencing severe debt may be unable to repay even a portion of their debt, either because they have lost their jobs or they simply have too

much debt. In this case, they may be able to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the United States Code (USC). Many others who are in severe debt may still be making a high enough monthly income and be able to make payments as long as they are affordable. These individuals should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer immediately to learn how filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help them find relief from their debts.


Filing for Chapter 13 in Smyrna, GA


The name of this type of bankruptcy comes from Chapter 13 of USC Title 11, the title which provides the government's laws regarding bankruptcy. Before filing under this chapter, a person must first complete a means test to find out if they are financially capable of repaying any of their debts.


If you are eligible for filing under Chapter 13, a structured repayment plan will be set up, allowing you to make affordable payments on your remaining debts over a course of three to five years, after which time your remaining debt is discharged. You will receive detailed paperwork declaring when you must make your payments, how much they should be and which creditors get paid at certain times.


This plan will also provide information regarding any property you may have as well as other pertinent aspects of your financial situation. Bankruptcy trustees as well as creditors have the right to make objections to the plan that is laid out during bankruptcy court. Ultimately it is up to the court to determine what the final end result will be for repaying your debts.


What debts are eligible for the payment plan?


There are various categories of debt that can be repaid through Chapter 13, including secured claims, unsecured priority claims and general unsecured claims. It is vital that you understand what each of these entail before assuming your debts will be eligible for repayment.


Secured Claims:


Any debts owed that are connected to some form of collateral are considered a secured claim. This means that if money is not paid to the creditor, they have the right to sell your collateral in order to pay off your outstanding debts. This can include mortgage payments, car payments and any kind of property taxes. Most of the time, the amount owed in the repayment plan includes the full cost of the debt plus any interest involved. In rare cases, you may be able to pay less than what is owed if your situation qualifies as a "cramdown." Please speak with my firm for further information.


Unsecured Priority Claims:


In this category, it includes those debts that are not secured by collateral, but have been deemed a higher priority than other general unsecured claims by the Bankruptcy Code. Included in this group is debt from taxes, any alimony or child support that is past due as well as any additional domestic support that may be owed. Typically it is required the individuals pay off these debts in full during a Chapter 13 proceeding.


General Unsecured Claims:


These are debts that do not have priority and are not secured by any collateral. This is the portion of debt that relates to consumer goods and expenses. Credit card bills, personal loans, utilities and medical expenses are all considered typical unsecured claims. Fortunately under the provisions provided in a Chapter 13 filing, most people only end having to pay a percentage of their debts back, not the entire sum. Always check with a lawyer before making assumptions about what debts you will have to pay back or not.


Putting Forth Your "Best Effort"


Once a plan has been put into effect, it is expected that you will put forth your "best effort" to pay everything back and complete the plan. This means that any and all disposable income is put towards repaying your debts according to the standards set forth in your repayment plan. You must complete the Form 22C so that the court can determine the amount you should be paying each month to unsecured creditors based off of your income. Depending on the amount of wages you bring in annually, it could greatly affect your required payment stipulation.



Stop Wage Garnishment


Garnishment is a court order that forces your employer to withhold a portion of your paycheck — up to 25% of your after-tax pay, and deliver that money to a creditor. You lose the ability to decide how to spend your pay, and your employer learns way too much about your financial hardship. Bankruptcy takes that garnishment off your check, saving you from the inconvenience and embarrassment.


Qualified Legal Assistance in Smyrna, GA


The most important decision you can make when it comes to filing for bankruptcy is to hire a skilled Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer to counsel and guide you through the process. There are many benefits to filing bankruptcy that you may miss out on without an attorney at your side, ensuring that you take all necessary steps and precautions. Get in touch with my firm today to learn how I can provide you with the representation you need. I have represented over 2,000 clients since 2006 and can help you achieve the financial freedom that you're hoping for. Contact Cherney Law Firm LLC today, either by filling out a free case evaluation or by calling my office for a free consultation.


If your debts are getting out of control and bankruptcy is not your best option, we can represent you with your creditors to achieve a debt settlement or debt consolidation. We will stand by your side and help you face these companies and people. Whether you choose bankruptcy or some form of debt negotiation, we urge you to take action now rather than live another day with the worries and stress of owing large amounts of money.


When you work with our firm, we take a sincere interest in your well-being and measure our success with yours. We can help you find your way through the legal process and get you back on your feet. If you are unsure of how to restore your credit after filing, our legal team can walk you through the best way to get back to a place of financial stability. If you are still unsure if bankruptcy is right for you, talk to our qualified lawyers to explore other alternatives.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes called a straight bankruptcy, is a liquidation proceeding. The debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to the creditors. The debtor receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts usually within four months. Our Chapter 7 Discharge Rate is over 99% . In the vast majority of cases the debtor has no assets that he would lose so Chapter 7 will give that person a relatively quick "fresh start". One of the main purposes of Bankruptcy Law is to give a person, who is hopelessly burdened with debt, a fresh start by wiping out his or her debts. By law all actions against a debtor must cease once the documents are filed. This includes lawsuits, wage garnishment, telephone collections, utility disconnects. Typical debts which are discharged include credit cards, medical bills, utilities, unsecured judgments, repossession's, personal loans, payday loans. Typical debts which are not discharged include, child support, student loans, tickets and most taxes. Debtor's must continue making payments on secured debts they are keeping such as house and car.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the fastest and easiest way for you and your family to completely eliminate crippling debt. It is ideal for those with unsecured or non-mortgage debt, like credit card debt or medical expenses. But the prospect of filing can be intimidating, which is why Cherney Law Firm offers you a free, one-on-one debt analysis with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Smyrna, GA.


Many individuals in the Atlanta Metro Area are facing serious problems regarding the ownership of a home purchased during the sub-prime mortgage boom. No one really understood how terrible the result of this type of mortgage could be. Sadly, many families in the area have already lost their homes as they did not take immediate action and contact a lawyer to assist them in resolving the issue. Two of the types of solutions include a short sale or a deed in lieu. These two actions are often a possibility when dealing with a personal mortgage disaster. With the advice of a Smyrna bankruptcy attorney from Cherney Law Firm, you can determine the best solution for your personal financial crunch.




The sooner you retain a bankruptcy attorney, the sooner the harassing calls will stop. Attorney Matthew Cherney. has helped thousands of individuals find the relief they need and guided them step by step through the bankruptcy process. Call today to set up a one-on-one appointment with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney in Smyrna. We would love to review your situation with you and help you take the first step toward financial freedom.


Cherney Law Firm shares more than 15 years of collective experience and employs lawyers who focus solely on bankruptcy law. Get the advice and representation you need by calling our offices or by taking advantage of our free online case evaluation. Our firm would love nothing more than to help you get a fresh start through bankruptcy or any alternatives, such as obtaining a loan modification or a short sale. Contact Cherney Law today to discuss your options and learn what you can do to resolve your debts.


These days it is easy to accumulate too many debts and run into financial trouble. Financial problems can occur due to a divorce, unanticipated health crisis, the use of high interest credit cards or the loss of a job. If you are in financial trouble, getting out of debt should be a top priority.




Serious debt can result in a lot of stress and emotional hardship and anyone considering bankruptcy is likely to have questions that need answering. At Cherney Law Firm LLC I understand the hardships that you are experiencing and the difficulty of the decisions before you. As a skilled attorney, I have the knowledge and the resources to provide the answers you need. Read below for answers to some of the most common questions asked about bankruptcy:


Will I lose everything if I file for bankruptcy?


Not necessarily. It is a prevalent myth that filing for bankruptcy will result in you losing your home, your car, and/or all of your assets. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for bankruptcy exemptions that allow you to keep certain things, such as your home or your car. If you file a Chapter 13, your possessions will be safe and cannot be touched, but in a Chapter 7 there is a possibility that you may lose some things. It is also important to keep in mind that, although you may have to make sacrifices, there are many benefits of bankruptcy that make up for it in the end. Without the stress of your overwhelming debt, you could find peace of mind again, so consult with an attorney if you think that filing could be beneficial for you.


What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?


The basic difference between these two forms of bankruptcy is that one results in the dismissal of most or all of your debt, while the other involves a repayment plan. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available for those who, after taking the means test, are found to be unable to repay their debt in full. As a result, a significant portion of debt, if not all, will be discharged with a few exceptions. Student loans, child support payments, alimony, fines owed to the government for criminal offenses, money that must be paid in a personal injury case and a few other areas constitute as exceptions that must still be paid by the debtor. Filing for Chapter 13 allows for a repayment plan to be created based on the means test results. This allows the individual to repay their debts over the course of three to five years. While still being held accountable for money owed, it makes the prospect of paying them off much more accessible. Relieving a good portion of stress, it allows for you as the debtor to make manageable payments for a few years, after which the rest of your debt will be dismissed.


Am I eligible for bankruptcy?


Any individual, business, partnership or corporation may file for bankruptcy. Determining what type they may pursue is dependent upon the results of a means test. In order to be deemed eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must first complete the means test. It weighs your income versus your expenditures and determines your ability or inability to repay your debts, either in part or in full. If you cannot repay your debts at all due to financial hardship, you may be eligible for Chapter 7. If you are able to repay your debts over several years, you may be qualified for Chapter 13. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for advice and guidance in taking the means test.


What are Smyrna, GA bankruptcy exemptions?


When you file for bankruptcy, you may be able to request certain property exemptions. The purpose of bankruptcy is to allow you to eliminate your debts and start over; but in order to do so you may fear that you will lose your home or other valuable possessions. The Bankruptcy Code allows for certain exceptions depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. In Georgia there certain rules that allow for you to keep fine jewelry, heirlooms, tools you use for your business, money received from personal injury or wrongful death settlements, burial plots, household furnishings, pets, and other items up to a certain amount. Keeping your car and home may be a bit trickier, but if they fall under a certain dollar amount you do not have to worry. You may not always be able to keep what you want, but an experienced bankruptcy lawyer could counsel you and help you find out what items you could keep. Call my firm today to learn more about bankruptcy exemption laws in Georgia.


Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?


There are viable options when it comes to seeking alternatives to bankruptcy. It is always best to consult with an attorney first who can look at your financial situation and make a proper judgment call. Alternatives include such things as debt negotiation, which allows you to negotiate a repayment plan with your lender. There is also debt settlement, which allows you to have your debts dismissed by paying a lump sum that is less than you owe and clearing your name with your creditors. Another option is also to discharge your debt, which releases you from having to repay certain debts at all. Talk with a qualified lawyer who understands Georgia's laws and practices regarding debt relief before you jump into anything permanent.


How can a Smyrna bankruptcy attorney help me?


The bankruptcy process is detailed, arduous and very confounding unless you have a trained and experienced licit representative on your side. By hiring a lawyer, you can have confidence that you are making the right decisions and taking the right legal actions. Otherwise, you might make a mistake and damage your finances and your future if you are not careful. Call Cherney Law Firm LLC today for the guidance you need to properly navigate the area of bankruptcy law.


Will all my debt be discharged?


Filing for bankruptcy in Smyrna, GA will either liquidate (Chapter 7) or reorganize (Chapter 13) your debt. This means that under Chapter 7, your debts will be discharged, while under Chapter 13, you will have a repayment plan to hopefully enable you to pay off your debts either partially or in full. Some debt cannot be discharged; however, as you must still pay back child support, alimony, and sometimes some tax debt. Student loans cannot be discharged either, unless you can pull off the feat of proving that repaying these loans would be an undue burden. What bankruptcy does do is place an "automatic stay" on your creditors that may give you the relief and time you need to get on your feet. Learn more by speaking with our Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer today.


What is an "automatic stay"?


An automatic stay can stop a lawsuit in its tracks and keep creditors from collecting, for the time being. This action can avert utility disconnections, foreclosure, eviction, collection of over payments from public benefits, and wage garnishments. What it does NOT do is stop audits, some taxes, support actions, criminal proceedings, or pension loans. An automatic stay might still be enough to keep you afloat and to get everything in order.


How will bankruptcy affect my credit?


If you file for Chapter 7 in  Smyrna, GA, then this will appear on your credit report for ten years. Chapter 13 will stay on your record for seven years. This can hurt your credit in the short-term, but it does not kill your credit. In fact, you can immediately start to build credit after a bankruptcy. After filing, you can build your credit by meeting all your subsequent payments, such as your rent/mortgage and utilities. Depending on the creditor, you may even be able to keep credit cards or obtain new ones, and you can make small purchases as long as you repay them on time. Bankruptcy can give you the chance to move on from bad credit and start strengthening your credit score, starting over with a clean slate.


How long will bankruptcy take in Smyrna, GA?


Chapter 7 bankruptcy will probably take three to six months. Once the unsecured debt has been discharged, you can move on. Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes three to five years, and this is because you still have to repay the debts. Your payment plan is reorganized into something you can manage, buying you the time you need.


Will I still be able to keep my home?


Depending on the type of bankruptcy that is filed, you will be able to retain the majority if not all of your assets, such as your home, your vehicles and other personal property. A knowledgeable Smyrna, GA bankruptcy attorney, at Cherney Law Firm can help you to understand Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcies and help to determine what type will work best for your individual situation.


Dedicated to Helping You


At my Smyrna, GA firm, you can receive the caring service and capable representation of a Smyrna, GA bankruptcy lawyer that truly cares about your situation. I take the time to guide and support each of my clients and provide them with quality advice throughout their bankruptcy process. From your free initial consultation to the completion of your case, you can rest assured that I will be by your side. Fill out the free on-line case evaluation or call my firm today so that I can review your situation and provide you with comprehensive options. Do not let yourself be trapped by debt, but contact my office today!


Can filing for bankruptcy save my home?


Each case is individual, but there are many possible options when you are facing foreclosure on your home. Many individuals in the State of Georgia got caught in the sub-prime mortgage crash and now face mortgage payments that are impossible to handle. When this is the case, a bankruptcy filing gives you the time and opportunity to handle the back payments as there will be a halt to collection actions for several months as the filing makes its way through the process of bankruptcy. During this time, you can seek a loan modification or other solution to the problem of your mortgage. It is critical that you get legal representation from a Smyrna bankruptcy attorney to answer your questions with regard to this very important issue. Our firm will assist you in determining how to best move forward in resolving serious debt and mortgage problems.


Don't Let Bankruptcy Myths Stop You From Getting Financial Relief


Being weighed down by crushing debt, with no relief in sight, is a frightening and humbling experience. It can be difficult to discuss personal financial issues, and the stigma surrounding financial success or failure could be a barrier to seeking relief in the form of bankruptcy, or one of the alternatives that could solve your problems. The myths surrounding filing for bankruptcy also pose a problem for people in financial trouble. It is vital that you are getting your information from a source you can trust.


Some of the most common bankruptcy myths include the false idea that you will lose everything you own if you file for bankruptcy. Some believe that family, friends and an employer you know will be aware of the fact that you filed for bankruptcy. Many think that your spouse will automatically be required to file as well. None of these myths are true. There are specific exemptions allowed when filing for bankruptcy, and your bankruptcy lawyer will be able to advise you as to which of your assets and property is exempt. A large majority of people lose absolutely nothing when filing for bankruptcy – except debt.











Woodstock Bankruptcy Attorney

Hear Matthew’s interview on Business Innovators Radio Network on the emotional stress of being in debt.

Transcripts: Is your vehicle in danger of being repossessed, or has been repossessed? If so, Cherney law can help you. Over the years, I've helped thousands of clients deal with vehicle repossession.

Oftentimes, it's unexpected expenses that cause people to fall behind on their vehicle payments. The real problem isn't making the payments going forward. Rather, it's getting the money together necessary to catch the payments up. Before you know it, you may be in danger of losing your vehicle. And we all know that, especially here in Georgia, your vehicle is absolutely essential.

Many people don't know that Chapter 13 bankruptcy can prevent a creditor from repossessing your vehicle if you've fallen behind on your payments. A chapter 13 allows you to propose a plan to pay back the amount owed on your vehicle over a period of three to five years. You may be able to pay back less than what you actually owe on the vehicle, depending on when your vehicle was purchased.

Not only can a Chapter 13 prevent a vehicle creditor from repossessing your vehicle if you have fallen behind on payments, but it may also allow you to get your vehicle back if it has already been repossessed. If this is the case, you need to act immediately.

If you've fallen behind on your vehicle payments, or your vehicle has already been repossessed, please contact my office. I offer a free consultation and am happy to speak with you about your vehicle repossession options.

Transcripts: A question I receive at least once a day is, "Should I file Chapter 13 or should I file Chapter 7?"

My reply to that question doesn't begin with, "how much debt do you have?" It's " What TYPE of debt do you have?"

Her is why this question is critical: There are certain debts that cannot be discharged or eliminated in a Chapter 7. The types of debt that cannot typically be discharged in Chapter 7 are child support, alimony, student loans and certain income tax debt.

Also, if you have a home mortgage or vehicle payment that you are behind on, and your goal is to keep your home or car, Chapter 7 isn't going to help.

So, if you have debts that are not dischargeable in Chapter 7, or you would like to protect your home or car, you may want to consider reorganizing your debts in a Chapter 13.

A Chapter 13 allows you to pay back an otherwise non-dischargeable debt, all while protecting yourself from a creditor that might be trying to collect that debt from you.

When it comes to protecting your home or car, Chapter 13 allows you to pay back the amount you are behind, sometimes at a reduced amount, all while protecting your home from being foreclosed and your vehicle from being repossessed.

Cherneylaw.com offers a free consultation and are happy to speak with you about whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may be right for you based on your particular circumstances.



Transcripts My name is Matthew Cherney. Attorney and owner of Cherney Law firm Georgia. I'm an attorney dealing strictly in bankruptcy in consumer debt related matters. A common question I receive is about wage garnishment.


What is wage garnishment?


Wage garnishment here in Georgia is one of the most effective ways that a creditor can collect a judgment against you. If you have a judgment against you a creditor serves your employer with the notice a garnishment and your employer at that point is obligated to withhold wages from your paycheck.


Depending upon your income it could be up to 25 percent of your take-home pay then. Then the next common question is will how do I stop the garnishment? Bankruptcy is an option, bankruptcy can work.


Bankruptcy can stop a garnishment bankruptcy can stop a garnishment immediately.

If you retain my services to file bankruptcy I will send notice not only over to the garnishing creditor but also to your employer. Immediately upon receiving notice it is the creditors obligation to stop the garnishment and to take steps necessary to stop the



If the creditor fails to do so they may be in violation of a court order

which may entitle you to damages. One thing I want people to know is that if you are being garnished.


if you're finding it difficult to meet your monthly obligations. Bankruptcy does work bankruptcy is effective. You can visit my website at www.cherneylaw.com It has much more information

regarding garnishments regarding the bankruptcy process and how it might be right for you


A Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy Attorney You can Trust


The Cherney Law Firm provides the highest quality legal representation in all areas of debt relief throughout Smyrna, GA and the surrounding communities. Our firm aims to provide personal attention and counseling for all clients with concerns regarding bankruptcy. We have the knowledge and experience to provide the right legal advice and counseling from your initial consultation through the completion of your case.


Call Cherney Law Firm Smyrna, GA at (770) 485-4290 today to schedule a free initial consultation.


Cherney Law Firm has represented more than 2,000 clients, helping them improve their quality of life and reduce their financial burden. If you are looking for a bankruptcy lawyer that can guide you through the process of debt relief, our firm is ready to help you every step of the way. Feel free to call us at (770) 485-4290 today. Cherney Law Firm: Save your home and keep your car. Stop wage garnishment. Helping you get back on your feet.


Professional Associations, Awards and Certifications


  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Illinois State Bar Association




  • In Practice Since 2006
  • Personal Attention and Counseling
  • Works with Clients Throughout the Entire Legal Process
  • Represented More than 2,000 Clients
  • Previous Experience at Large-Volume and Mid-Volume Consumer Bankruptcy Firms


Our Commitment


Our firm is dedicated to providing personal attention and counseling for all clients, from their initial consultation through the completion of their case.


Areas of Practice


  • Smyrna, GA Bankruptcy
  • Smyrna, GA Chapter 7
  • Smyrna, GA Chapter 11
  • Smyrna, GA Chapter 13
  • Smyrna, GA Debt Negotiation
  • Smyrna, GA Debt Settlement
  • Smyrna, GA Vehicle Repossession
  • Smyrna, GA Home Foreclosure
  • Smyrna, GA Wage Garnishment



Attorney Matthew Cherney, founder of Cherney Law Firm, obtained his Bachelor's Degree in 2000 from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin before going on to receive his Juris Doctorate from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan in 2004. Mr. Cherney now aims to provide personal attention and counseling for all his Smyrna clients, working with them from their initial consultation all the way through the completion of their case. Having represented more than 2,000 clients since he began practicing law, Matthew has helped to improve the quality of life for many individuals and to decrease their financial stress.


At Cherney Law Firm, clients can expect to receive the highest quality legal representation alongside thoughtful counseling and attention to detail. Mr. Cherney dedicates his time to thoroughly investigating every possible avenue of debt relief for his clients before simply stepping into bankruptcy. He keeps his clients in the loop with every step taken, seeking to make each consumer that comes to him for legal aid as comfortable as possible.




"I decided to retain Mr. Cherney because I didn't want to feel like a number at one of the big firms. I had used a large firm previously for another issue, and I only spoke with paralegals and the receptionists. I never even spoke with the attorney that was supposed to be representing me at the larger firm.

When I met with Mr. Cherney, he assured me he would give my case the personal attention and care that I deserved. He certainly delivered. Any time I called or emailed, he was there to speak with me and quick to respond. He kept me informed of everything along the way, and didn't wait until the last minute to try and resolve issues about my case.

There was no difference in cost, and there was never a question in mind as to who was handling my case. I can't thank Mr. Cherney enough!"

~Bonnie B.


"Mr. Cherney was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. He explained everything to me in great detail. I was referred to him by a friend of mine who had used him twice in the past. His fees were reasonable. I was very surprised to actually call an attorney's office and actually speak to him and not a Paralegal or receptionist.

Mr. Cherney was extremely efficient. I knew after my initial consultation, he was going to represent me.

I definitely would recommend him to my family and friends! Thank you Cherney Law Firm! ~Maria T.


"I would like to share my experience I had with my personal bankruptcy. I was experiencing a heavy barrage of harassing phone calls and letters. I didn't know what to do. I finally got up the nerve to call an attorney. I called many different attorneys in Alpharetta/Roswell and Smyrna area. I received a few responses; but when I called the Cherney Law Firm, I spoke directly to Matthew (No nosy receptionist or playing phone tag). He picked up immediately. After retaining Matthew as my attorney, he immediately began working on my case.

I can say today that my life has turned around all for the better and I owe it all to Matthew. Considering the severity of my situation, the process was smooth and extremely quick. It was over and done with before I realized. I would strongly recommend his services and consultations- it's never too late to get a fresh start. I can't thank him enough, but I will try."


Transcripts Every year at tax time, I receive the same question, " Will my income tax refund be affected by filing bankruptcy?"


The answer to this question is going to depend on four main things:


  1. The amount of your income tax refund.
  2. When you received your refund.
  3. The extent of the value of your other property.
  4. The chapter of bankruptcy you're filing.


Let's examining income tax refunds in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


If you receive your refund prior to filing chapter 13 and you've spent that refund, a bankruptcy trustee will most certainly inquire as to how those monies were spent.

Depending on how those monies were spent, you may be required to pay that money back to your creditors in your chapter 13 plan.


If you have not spent the refund, and it is in the form of cash, or in your bank account, it will be treated as an asset and subject to your state's exemption laws. This is when the value of your other property becomes critical because you are only able to exempt property up to a certain amount. To the extent that your property cannot be exempted, you may be required to pay that money back to your creditors in your chapter 13 plan.


If you receive an income tax refund while you are in chapter 13, nearly all chapter 13 plans require that at least a portion of that refund be paid into your chapter 13 plan.


Let's next examine income tax refunds in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, keeping in mind some of the same rules.

If you receive your refund prior to filing chapter 7 and you've spent that refund, a bankruptcy trustee will inquire as to how those monies were spent, specifically if the monies were used to pay back any friends or family members.


If you have not spent the refund, and it is in the form of cash, or in your bank account, it will be treated as an asset and subject to your state's exemption laws. Similar to a chapter 13, to the extent that your property cannot be exempt, you may be required to pay that money into the bankruptcy estate for distribution to your creditors.


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