Bankruptcy In Texas
The simple truth is that when people are stretched to their limits financially, they will struggle to live their best lives. Financial struggles cause untold problems in all aspects of life, negatively impacting everything from the ability to work to family relations to many other relationships.
When you have exhausted all of your financial options and seem to have no other answers to deal with your many problems, it may be possible that filing bankruptcy could offer you the relief you so desperately need. Filing bankruptcy, however, can be an extremely challenging and confusing process for most average people and you should not try to file on your own so you can have the best chance of successfully resolving all of your issues.
“At The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, we recognize that
each case is uniquely different.”
Houston Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering filing bankruptcy in the greater Houston area, you should not hesitate to contact The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, as soon as possible. We will work closely with you and help guide you through the complicated bankruptcy process so you can have your case resolved as quickly as possible and move on with your life.
Call 281-973-0431 right now or contact us online to set up your free consultation so we can review your case and help you understand all of your options. Our firm represents clients in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County.
Bankruptcy In Texas Overview
Congress is authorized to enact uniform laws on bankruptcies under Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution. The Bankruptcy Code is codified in title 11 of the United States Code and is the uniform federal law governing all bankruptcy cases. The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (otherwise known as the Bankruptcy Rules) and local rules of each bankruptcy court govern all procedural aspects of bankruptcy cases.
When it comes to filing bankruptcy, the person who handles your case is known as the trustee. The bankruptcy trustee is often a person who is appointed by the bankruptcy court to act on behalf of your creditors. The trustee will be the person who reviews your bankruptcy petition, and in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, will also oversee the terms of your repayment plan.
The one time that a debtor will be required to appear in court for a bankruptcy filing is the meeting of the creditors, also known as a “341 meeting” because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to attend such meetings so creditors can ask debtors about their debts and property. As it turns out, many creditors do not even appear for the meeting of the creditors, but you should still prepare for such a possibility.
Some of the most common reasons that people file bankruptcy in Texas include, but are not limited to:
● Credit card debt
● Home foreclosure
● Tax problems
● Difficulty paying monthly bills
Many people are hesitant to file for bankruptcy because they fear that they will lose everything they own, but that is often not the case. Many different items in a person’s estate can be considered exempt property, which allows debtors to keep some of the items most important to them.
Not everybody can file for the same chapter of bankruptcy, and numerous factors will impact the specific chapter for which you can file. For example, it will be important to determine how much of your debt is secured as opposed to unsecured.
The biggest benefit of filing bankruptcy for most people will be the enactment of the automatic stay, which immediately stops foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment and creditor harassment. The automatic stay takes effect as soon as you file bankruptcy and lasts throughout your bankruptcy process, after which it will no longer will be needed once your case has been discharged.
It is also important to understand that there are some debts that bankruptcy will not be able to eliminate. Even if you file bankruptcy in Houston, you will still be accountable for such debt as:
● Student loans
● Court-ordered child support
● Court-ordered alimony
● Federal tax liens for taxes owed to the United States government
● Government or court fines or penalties
● Reaffirmed debt
When you file for bankruptcy, you will likely have to take some kind of credit counseling course before filing. Credit counseling is typically required before a person can have their bankruptcy petition discharged. Credit counseling is intended to help people understand whether they really need to file for bankruptcy, and you will also have to take a post-bankruptcy debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy.
The major drawback of filing for bankruptcy can be the effect that filing will have on your credit. A bankruptcy is obviously a major negative mark on your credit report, and it can make it very difficult for a person to obtain a mortgage or even credit cards in some cases.
Many debtors, however, are immediately besieged by offers from credit card companies because the companies know that the debtors are not going to be able to file bankruptcy again for several years. If you are filing for bankruptcy, you should tread very carefully with accepting any new credit card offers because you do not want to repeat any of the same mistakes that led to you filing for bankruptcy in the first place.
“Don’t Be Afraid Of Bankruptcy In Texas”
Chapters Of Bankruptcy
The two most common bankruptcy chapters for individuals are generally Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is also known as a straight bankruptcy, as all debts are discharged. Chapter 13 involves a debtor entering a repayment plan in which they repay all or a portion of their debts.
Chapter 7 is considered a liquidation case, and a debtor will need to pass the bankruptcy means test. The means test takes into account all of a debtor’s income, expenses and other debts to determine whether they are able to pay back some of their debts. Many Chapter 7 cases are considered “no-asset cases” because the debtors have little to no nonexempt property subject to liquidation. When a person cannot pass the means test to file for Chapter 7, they can still be able to file for Chapter 13. With Chapter 13, a debtor will propose a repayment plan that typically lasts between three to five years to repay some or all of their debts.
The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can be very important to people who are seeking to maintain ownership of major possessions such as homes. A debtor may be able to strip a second mortgage in Chapter 13 when they would otherwise lose a home in Chapter 7. Chapter 13 can be especially useful when there is a foreclosure sale scheduled for your home. It is also a common chapter for people dealing with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues, people struggling with vehicle loans, or people who are recently divorced and are deemed to have enough money to file for Chapter 13.
Other chapters of bankruptcy include Chapter 9, which exclusively provides for reorganization of municipalities. Chapter 11 is also a reorganization bankruptcy, and is usually limited to businesses or individuals with significant assets or income. Chapter 12 is a debt restructuring bankruptcy reserved for family farmers and family fishermen. Chapter 15 allows foreign individuals or companies to file for bankruptcy in the United States when there are assets in more than one country.
Texas Bankruptcy Resources
Bankruptcy Court | Southern District of Texas – The Houston Division is in the United States District and Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Visit this website to view bankruptcy court notices, forms and filing fees, bankruptcy local and federal rules, general orders, complex chapter 11 cases, and judges’ procedures and schedules. You can also find Bankruptcy Electronic Case Filing (ECF) information, bankruptcy basics and the bankruptcy fraud hotline. In addition to Houston, the Southern District has court locations in Galveston, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville.
Bankruptcy | United States Courts – All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the United States Bankruptcy Code, and this website provides an overview of the federal rules relating to bankruptcy. You can learn more about bankruptcy fees, bankruptcy forms and Chapter 7 fee waiver procedures. The bankruptcy basics section also provides a glossary and an overview of each chapter of bankruptcy as well as information about the process, discharge, and Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA).
Contact A Bankruptcy Lawyer In Houston, TX
Are you thinking about filing bankruptcy in Houston or a surrounding area of Texas? Do not wait to get in touch with The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, today. We can help make sure that you are able to successfully get the relief that you need.
You can call 281-973-0431 or contact us online to receive a free, no obligation consultation that will allow us to discuss all of your options with you and help you make the most informed choice possible. The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, understands how frightening bankruptcy can be for most people, and we work closely with you throughout the entire process so you never feel that you are on your own.