Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Dallas, TX If you are interested in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first determine if you qualify by taking the means test, which will determine whether your income is low enough for you to file under Chapter 7 — rather than Chapter In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, your bankruptcy trustee will turn certain types of your property into cash (or “liquidate”), and that cash will then flow to your creditors to pay off your debts. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you wipe out your debts and get a “Fresh Start”. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation where the trustee collects all of your assets and sells any assets which are not exempt. (see Texas Exemptions) The trustee sells the assets and pays you, the debtor, any amount exempted. The net proceeds of the liquidation are then distributed to your creditors with a commission taken by the .
The Means Test has two steps:. Your monthly income is compared to the median income for a Texas family the same size as yours. If all the families in Texas that were the same size as you were lined up by how much money each family makes per month, the median monthly income would be what the family in the middle of the line makes.
If you make the same or less money than that family in the middle of the line, you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy — no Step 2 for you. If make more than the family in the middle of the line, you have to move on to Step 2 of the test. This is an extreme simplification of the means test.
To find out how the test applies to your particular case, we at The Wright Firm highly recommend you speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. The best way to figure out if Chapter 7 is right for you is to speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. We will be happy to help you assess your financial situation and discuss your legal rights and options. Just for a quick reference, Chapter 7 may be an option for you if you:.
Before you file for bankruptcy, you must receive a Credit Counseling Briefing from a certified credit counseling agency. This applies whether you are filing under Chapter 7 or At your counseling briefing, you will learn about financial management, how to do a budget analysis, and discuss with your counselor alternatives to filing bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy attorney can recommend a counseling provider for you. The court or the bankruptcy trustee mails a notice to all the creditors you have listed to notify them that you have filed for bankruptcy.
This is another very good reason to fully disclose all of your creditors and debts. Should a creditor continue to call you — tell them they must speak to your attorney.
Be sure to tell your bankruptcy attorney if you have any on-going lawsuits or wage garnishments, so that he or she may call these creditors immediately. Do not attempt to conceal your property, destroy any financial records, violate any court order or make any last minute high-dollar charges on your credit cards before you file.
Please note: you may only file for bankruptcy one in 8 years! If you have received a discharge in a Chapter 7 case previously, you only have the right to receive another Chapter 7 discharge if you new case is filed at least eight years after the first case was filed.
However, even during the eight-year waiting period, you may still be able to obtain relief in a Chapter Exemptions are determined by the state where you have been domiciled. The key time period is the days 2 years immediately before the date you file your petition.
If you have lived in the same state for the last 2 years before filing, that will be your domicile for exemptions. If you have lived in more than one state in those days 2 years , then your exemptions will be determined by the state where your domicile has been located for the days about 6 months immediately before the days 2 years before you filed or where you lived for the majority of the 6 months.
If you have not lived in Texas for the last two years you need to tell your attorney immediately. Both the Federal Government and the State of Texas have defined exempt assets.
After examining your situation, you and your attorney will choose between the two options. Generally, the options are:. Note: Personal property may not be converted from non-exempt to exempt in an effort to defraud creditors. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help eliminate unsecured debts, secured debts are generally not separated from the assets that secure them. However, if you want to keep your car or another asset that serves as security for a debt you may be able to negotiate a reaffirmation agreement with your creditors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
By reaffirming a debt, you agree to continue making payments in exchange for the right to keep your property. Before getting your bankruptcy discharge, you must complete an approved Debtor Education Course: a personal financial management course required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of Taking a Debtor Education course after filing bankruptcy is a bit like taking Defensive Driving after getting a speeding ticket.
The purpose is to teach you how to avoid making the mistakes that got you in trouble, and how to do things better the next time around. Your bankruptcy attorney can refer you to an approved financial management course in your area. Your cost is divided into two categories. Two, attorney fees vary with the complexity of your case.
The decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. We at the Wright Firm highly recommend you seek the advice of a local bankruptcy attorney before you make the decision to file. Your attorney will need you to be honest and candid, and he or she should do the same for you. After filing, the creditors are temporarily prohibited from taking any action. The business has 4 to 18 months to come up with a plan of restructuring. After that, the creditors can propose their own plan of reorganization.
A plan is a contract between the debtor and creditor on how the business will operate to pay off its financial obligations. This is for those who can afford to pay their debts but unable to pay immediately. You can use this to prevent foreclose of your house, update missed mortgage payments, pay back taxes, and keep valuable non-exempt property. If you follow your payment plan, all of your dischargeable debt will be released at the end of the plan.
This is generally used by individuals who want to keep secured assets such as a home or car. It allows them to make up for their overdue payments over time and reinstate the original agreement.
While you can proceed to file for bankruptcy alone, availing the services of an experienced lawyer will be a great help to you because the bankruptcy laws can be quite complicated and costly. We, at Allmand Law Firm, PLLC , are well versed in bankruptcy cases and will keep you informed of everything you need such as the types of bankruptcy options and the chapter that best fits your situation.
We may also help with impending foreclosures and other proceedings even after bankruptcy. Call us now for a free legal consultation.