Simplified Document Solutions
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose a paralegal service instead of an attorney?
Most people choose a paralegal over an attorney due to the high price of an attorney. Average attorney's fees in the Atlanta area are $1,000 to $1,500 for a Chapter 7 and $3,000-$6,000 for a Chapter 13. Many attorney's advertise lower fees, but the advertised fee is generally just a down payment. Simplified Document Solutions' fee of $249 is not a down payment, and no, it's not too good to be true!
Other people like to deal with the same person every time they call. Clients often find they get conflicting information each time they call their attorney's office because they speak to a different person each time they call. While there may be some attorney's in the Atlanta area that do all of the work themselves, most do not. If you choose Simplified Document Solutions, you will have a personal relationship with the owner and he will be the only person you speak to.
Lastly, because Simplified Document Solutions charges the same fee for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we do not push individuals that want a Chapter 7 into a Chapter 13. Many attorneys will find a reason to push a client into a Chapter 13 because the fees are triple. If the client then fails in the Chapter 13, they convert them to a Chapter 7 and charge more attorney's fees.
Why should I choose Simplified Document Solutions over another paralegal service?
While most paralegal services have fees much more competitive than their attorney counterparts, many have hidden fees for completing ALL of the paperwork, having more than a certain number of creditors, completing a petition quickly, or working on weekends. Simplified Document Solutions doesn't charge any of these fees.
If you are choosing a paralegal service, they should have a significant amount of experience in the bankruptcy court that you are filing in. Simplified Document Solutions takes cases in the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia. It is impossible for anyone to know everything about every court in the country and people that claim that they do can cause real damage. Also, they should comply with all aspects of the law in their advertising and petition preparation. They should always sign the petition and list their address, phone number, and social security number. If they are not doing this they may not be permitted to work in your district, probably due to some type of injury they caused to a previous client. By law, a petition preparer cannot handle your the courts fees.
What is the process for filing?
The process begins with a free, private consultation. Your bankruptcy expert will discuss your situation and the different chapters of bankruptcy. You will choose the appropriate chapter of bankruptcy for you. After you decide on which chapter of Bankruptcy is right for you, we will prepare all the necessary documents for you to file your bankruptcy with the Court. While we are working on your petition, you will complete an online or telephonic credit counseling class required by the bankruptcy code. Once all of the necessary documents are complete, we will review the documents together to ensure they are correct. You will not pay for your documents until you have reviewed them and signed them.
You will then take your paperwork to the appropriate courthouse to file the paperwork. The clerk will review your paperwork and issue you a case number and a court date (also known as a meeting of the creditors). You must complete and file another credit counseling course and mail your last filed tax returns to the trustee. You will then attend your meeting of creditors with your drivers license and social security card. If you are filing a Chapter 7, you then just wait for the discharge order in the mail.
The Chapter 13 is significantly more complex than a Chapter 7. It requires you make payments for 3-5 years and you will have to get your chapter 13 plan confirmed by the judge. There is more to a Chapter 13 than can be discussed here, so please call us with additional questions.
I have seen bad things on the internet about petition preparers, is this safe?
While we certainly don't claim that every client in every case should use a bankruptcy petition preparer, most people that use our service are quite happy with the service they receive. I encourage everyone using our service to check out the reviews on Google, Yelp, Thumbtack, BBB, and others.
As with anything else, when it comes to petition preparers, a "few bad apples" seem to "spoil the whole bunch." There are certain preparers that cause real harm to their clients, don't offer any follow-up, and are driven solely by money. We get a substantial amount of our business from referrals, and work very hard to maintain a great reputation. This means returning phone calls quickly, answering questions honestly, producing a superior product, and maintaining a relationship with my clients before, during, and after the bankruptcy case.
Much of the information that is found on the internet that says that hiring a petition preparer is a bad idea is written by attorneys that do not like the competition from paralegal services.
I'm still on the fence, is there any guarantee?
We offer a guarantee that if you file a Chapter 7, do everything that you are supposed to (such as attending your hearing with your drivers license and social security card and complete and file your first and second credit counseling certificate) you will get a discharge. If you do not, we will give you TRIPLE your money back.
If your home is scheduled for foreclosure, some people may also be eligible for a guarantee that the filing will stop the scheduled foreclosure. Again, if it doesn't stop the foreclosure, we will give you TRIPLE your money back.
DISCLOSURE: We are proud to say that we have never had to honor this guarantee!
This is probably one of the most common questions posed to both attorneys and paralegals alike. The truth is, nobody can tell you what your credit score is after the bankruptcy discharge. There are many different scoring models, and the specific algorithms are a closely held secret.
Often times people that file bankruptcy have numerous missed payments, judgments, charged off debts, repossessions, and/or foreclosures, causing their score to be quite low going into the case. These people will probably see an increase in their score. Alternatively, if you have never been late on anything and have a well established credit profile with a high credit score, your score may drop significantly.
Regardless of what your post bankruptcy credit score is, you can probably get credit right after a bankruptcy and could even finance a home with FHA in as little as 1 year after your bankruptcy discharge. People are quite surprised to see how many creditors want to offer them credit right after a bankruptcy.
We will assist you with re-establishing yourself after bankruptcy.
What do you need to get started?
There are 3 documents that you need to provide when getting started:
1. 7 months of paystubs (husband and wife if married) or profit and loss statements if self-employed
2. Last 2 years of tax returns
3. List of all of your creditors (name, address, and approx. amount owed). A Credit report may help with this. You are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the credit bureaus. If you have not gotten your free credit report in the last 12 months, you can get one by clicking here.
Do you offer any other services?
Yes! We offer the following services:
1. Follow-up review of your credit report and consultation of how to improve your credit quickly;
2. Job search assistance (extra charge applies)
3. Tax Preparation
4. Notary Public
5. Educational Representation
We are conveniently located in Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta at 201 17th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30363. Our office is right next to I-75/85 and only 10 minutes from the bankruptcy court! We offer 2 hours of free parking in the Atlantic Station parking lot, and free shuttle service from the Arts Center MARTA station.
We are Non-Attorney Bankruptcy Petition Preparers authorized to help individuals file for bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 110. We are not attorneys.
I don't have the money to file upfront. Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes! In some circumstances, we are able to offer an affordable payment plan for Chapter 7 clients with as little as $39 down and payments as low as $23! The payment plan will increase the total cost of the bankruptcy, but will allow you to get immediate bankruptcy relief without having to come up with hundreds of dollars before you see the relief.
If you are unable to come up with the $249 before you file, please let us know so we can discuss this option with you during the consultation.