Will I have to surrender all of my assets if I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
No. There is a list of bankruptcy exemptions provided both by the federal government and under Texas law. You may choose which list of exemptions you will use in your Chapter 7. Texas laws are often quite generous. For example, the Texas homestead exemption allows you to exempt your property totaling 10 acres or less in a town or 100 acres or less in a rural area. Talk to a Texas bankruptcy lawyer about which exemption list is right for you. In many cases, a good attorney can help you keep most - if not all - of your assets after filing for Chapter 7.
What is loan modification?
Loan modification is a process of negotiation between a debtor and his or her creditor resulting in a modified loan agreement. If you are struggling to repay your debt, loan modification may be a good option for you. Many creditors are willing to accept a lower payment rather than risk losing the entirety of the amount owed. An experienced bankruptcy attorney may be able to negotiate with your debt collector to ensure improved terms that allow you to repay your debts without declaring bankruptcy.
Is it true that filing for bankruptcy will destroy my credit rating?
No - in fact, declaring bankruptcy gives you the perfect opportunity to begin building a good score! The key is being cautious about which loans you take out, and then being careful to repay those loans on time. Our Bedford bankruptcy attorney can walk you through this process. In fact, many of our clients have been able to rebuild their credit ratings within months after declaring bankruptcy.
What paperwork do I need to begin the filing process?
You will need to gather a list of all your debts both past and current, as well as a list of your assets and obligations and a statement of your financial affairs. These papers and others - along with a filing fee - must be submitted to a bankruptcy court in order to begin the process. Our legal team can help you know which documents you will need to collect.
Do I qualify for an automatic stay?
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will be into place in order to protect you from aggressive debt collection methods on the part of your creditors. These methods could include freezing your bank account, shutting off your utilities, and / or garnishing your wages. In almost every case, bankruptcy puts a hold on these actions.
Can I file for bankruptcy without an attorney?
Yes, it is possible to file for bankruptcy "pro se" - however, this process is extremely difficult and complicated. There is a reason why most people choose to file with the assistance of a legal professional who can help them protect their assets and ensure that all of the necessary forms are properly filed. Because the bankruptcy court will not be able to give you advice or help you complete any paperwork, it is important to have experienced legal counsel in your corner to look out for your interests throughout the process.
Should I file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
There are various advantages to each chapter. If you pass the means test - proving that your debt is substantial and you are unable to repay it - you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows you to discharge most of your debts. Even if you are not eligible for Chapter 7, you will almost certainly qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows you to discharge some debts and repay others via a manageable monthly plan over 3 to 5 years. Some people who qualify for Chapter 7 still opt to file under Chapter 13, finding that it is a better solution to their situation. Learn more about Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13.
How many times am I allowed to declare bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 may be filed at any time, but you can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a period of 6 years from the date you last filed. If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible to apply, call our firm. We can explain how these deadlines and laws affect you.
What debts will bankruptcy not discharge?
Some debts cannot be discharged even in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These debts include child support and spousal support payments, some taxes, court-ordered fines, student loans, and any debts incurred because of deceit and / or harmful intent on the part of the debtor. Call us to learn more about which of your debts can be discharged.
Can an employer fire me or refuse to hire me because I filed bankruptcy?
No. United States bankruptcy laws protect you from being discriminated against due to filing for bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. § 525 says that both government and private employers cannot refuse your application or discharge you because of a bankruptcy that you filed and / or a discharged loan that you did not pay.
Do you have more questions about bankruptcy? By consulting and retaining our firm, you can gain our insight into your unique situation and learn options for available debt relief. Call our firm today to learn answers to your specific questions.