What Are The Steps To Filing A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Generally speaking, the initial process of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is, more or less, similar to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It doesnât get much more complicated until you reach the point at which you have to properly calculate what your monthly Chapter 13 payments will be based on a number of different factors.
S To File Bankruptcy In Texas
The easiest way to understand how you file for bankruptcy is to break it down into steps. Some of these steps may overlap, and some of them are scheduled by the court or happen automatically. However, when they are all finished your bankruptcy will be too, and youll be able to move forward free of all dischargeable debt.
Help For Arkansas Residents
Account Resolution Plans are providing a vital lifeline for Arkansas residents who are struggling to keep up with minimum payments, those who have fallen behind, or those who are being forced to use credit cards or personal loans to take care of personal or business expenses.
ARPs are available across a wide range of income levels. No credit approval is required.
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The Advantages Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Texas
Here are some potential benefits of even a straightforward Chapter 13 case, none of which are available under Chapter 7:
Go To Court To File Your Forms
Once youâve printed your bankruptcy forms, your credit counseling certificate and collected your filing fee , youâre ready to file your Texas bankruptcy case. There are four federal districts in Texas and all of them have several offices covering the Lone Star State.
Once you determine what district you live in, check out your filing options. Filers without a bankruptcy lawyer can either drop off their bankruptcy forms in person or mail it to the bankruptcy court. The coronavirus has caused some courts in the United States to change their methods, so be sure to check out your options before heading out. This is especially important if you’re trying to stop a foreclosure and have to get your case filed by a certain date.
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Bankruptcy And Noncustodial Parents
If youre a noncustodial parent who owes child support, bankruptcy does not waive your child support responsibilities. Learn if and how your case will change.
I filed for bankruptcy. Now what?
If you have filed for bankruptcy, it is important that you notify the Child Support Division immediately. The relationship between child support and bankruptcy is complex. Contacting our office can help you determine the next step regarding your child support case.
Do I still have to pay for child support?
Yes, you are required to continue paying child support despite being in bankruptcy. Your current payment obligations remain in effect. Any arrears or unpaid child support cannot be cleared because of bankruptcy.
Your bankruptcy may be affected if you stop paying your child support. The Office of the Attorney General is required to comply with federal bankruptcy laws and can use several methods to enforce child support responsibilities.
- Learn more in our Child Support Enforcement section.
Can I modify my child support?
You may be eligible to have your support lowered by the court.
To request a modification, you will need to show that you cannot meet your current obligation due to unemployment, reduced income, or a different change in circumstance.
- Learn more about modifying your child support.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms And Bring Them To Court
Once you have prepared your bankruptcy forms, you will need to print them out for the court.You must print them single-sided. The court wonât accept double-sided pages.
You will also need to sign the forms once they are printed.
Most bankruptcy courts require just 1 copy of the petition, but some courts like thebankruptcy court in Manhattanrequire 4 copies. So call your local bankruptcy court to find out how many copies you will need to bring.
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The Texas Homestead Exemption
Texas is one of a small handful of states which provide an unlimited homestead exemption for your home, meaning that it does not matter how much it is worth or how much equity you have in it. Most states have a maximum amount you can protect, and after that it could be sold to pay your creditors. Not in Texas. Theres no limit.
With Texas homestead exemptions, there are some acreage maximums10 acres in a city, town or village, 100 acres in the country . And federal bankruptcy law applies a maximum to amount of equity you can protect if you bought your Texas home less than 1215 days before filing the bankruptcy case.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report
A large component of how to come back from bankruptcy has to do with how long your credit is negatively impacted by bankruptcy, and this depends mainly on the type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for ten years, while Chapter 13, which involves a structured repayment plan, stays on your credit report for a shorter period of seven years.
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Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation Plan
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to propose a plan to repay most or all of your debt to your creditors over a 3-5 year period. Potential candidates for Chapter 13 include individuals and businesses with significant equity in assets and wage earners with disposable income who did not qualify for Chapter 7. You will qualify for Chapter 13 as long as your unsecured debt is less than $360,475 and secured debt is less than $1,081,400.
Chapter 13 can be used to:
- prevent a house foreclosure
Take A Debtor Education Course
Before the court will grant your bankruptcy discharge, you must complete a debtor education course from an approved provider. The purpose of this course is to help you learn how to manage your finances better and may include information about budgeting, interest rates, using credit cards and how you can begin to rebuild your credit for a successful financial future.
After the course is finished, youll file a form 423 and certificate showing that you completed the course. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must submit your certificate from this course no later than 45 days after the date of your meeting of creditors. You may even take the course before the meeting if you wish.
If you file for Chapter 13, you have until the date you make your last payment to submit your certificate from your debtor education course. However, taking the course early on can help you learn budgeting and money management skills that can benefit you throughout the repayment period.
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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help But Its Not The Only Strategy For Debtors
Most individuals who file for bankruptcy file a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. If you dont pass the means tests for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your other bankruptcy option is a Chapter 13 debt reorganization. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you create a debt reorganization plan to settle what you owe. But Chapter 13 has some advantages and disadvantages for debtors.
Will I Be Eligible To File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Texas
Thanks to the bankruptcy reforms of 2005, debtors seeking Chapter 7 protection must deal with the means test. The means test was put in place to make it more difficult to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy when debtors have the disposable income to repay some of their debts. As a result, those earning more than the median income in their state must pass the means test in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
For a single filer in Texas filing bankruptcy after May 1, 2020 their income must be less than $49,996 or they will have to analyze their disposable income under the means test. For a couple, that number is $65,708.
It is important to remember that the means test calculates median income based on household size, so if your household is larger than a single individual, your median income will be compared against a family with a similar headcount.
A good bankruptcy lawyer can walk you through the means test and help you determine whether you are eligible to file for Chapter 7.
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Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions: Among The Most Generous In The Country
Although Texas law allows residents to choose the federal bankruptcy exemptions, Texas bankruptcy exemptions are among the most generous in the country and it is rare for a debtor not to utilize their protections.
For example, the Texas homestead exemption allows debtors to protect an unlimited amount of value in their home provided the property does not exceed 10 acres in a city town or village or 100 acres elsewhere.
Explore Your Bankruptcy Options
At Leinart Law Firm, our overriding goal is to provide you with top-notch legal advice and help you obtain financial freedom. We utilize bankruptcy laws to help you stop collections, harassment, foreclosures, repossessions and wage garnishments. Our compassionate, competent team knows that the burden of insurmountable debt can be overwhelming. Were here to help you find relief, understand how to file for bankruptcy, guide you through the process and represent your interests at all bankruptcy proceedings.
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Filing Separately In Texas
When you file for an individual bankruptcy while married in Texas, more property will be at risk than in non-community property states. Thats because all community property that isnt exempted could possibly be seized to settle your debts. Your number of exemptions is limited, but filing jointly gives you twice the number of exemptions. This could allow you to keep more of your assets.
Learn The Steps For Discharging Your Debt In A Chapter 7 Filing
Struggling with debt can be overwhelming and frightening. Getting out from under it shouldnt be. In fact, it should be a relief and a fresh start. Rest assured, at The Law Offices of CherylS. Davis, P.C., I will guide you through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, which lets you discharge your debt and start from scratch. Because Chapter 7 bankruptcy is costly to creditors, thefiling is not taken lightly, and not everyone is eligible. But I will explain each step and answer all your questions if this filing is your best option for resolving your debt. You deserveto be fully informed, so you can confidently move forward. My firm maintains office locations in El Paso and the Dallas Metroplex area.
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Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Helps You File For Chapter 7 Relief
If you decide to proceed, I will file a petition with the bankruptcy court on your behalf. This includes all required financial data and forms, suchas:
- A complete list of your creditors and the amount you owe
- All sources and frequency of your income
- A full list of your property, both exempt and nonexempt
- A detailed list of your monthly living expenses.
The court will appoint a trustee an independent person who will administer your case. You must fully cooperate with the trustee.
The good news is that while your case proceeds, an automatic stay protects you from additional collection efforts.
What Is The Income Cut Off For Chapter 7
If your annual income, as calculated on line 12b, is less than $84,952, you may qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If its greater than $84,952, youll have to continue to Form 122A-2, which well review in the next section. It should be noted that every state has different median income calculations.
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What Property Is Exempt From Liquidation
One of the downsides of bankruptcy may be the loss of some property. However, Texas has a fairly extensive list of property that you can protect. Exempt property includes:
- Homestead of unlimited value, with some size restrictions
- Personal property of up to $50,000 in value including furnishings, food, clothing, life insurance, pensions and a limited amount of jewelry
I will ensure you understand what property and assets you can protect in a Chapter 7 filing.
What Is Arkansasdebtrelieforg
ArkansasDebtRelief.org is a free resource where residents may find help through free do-it-yourself tools. In addition, residents may request a free evaluation and savings analysis to find out which of their bills are eligible for assistance.
We’re here to help you. We’ve served over 200,000 Arkansas residents since 2009.
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Complete The Bankruptcy Forms
Some of the information required for the bankruptcy forms to be ready for filing Chapter 7 in Texas is general in nature. Where you live now and where you’ve lived in the last 3 years, who your employer is and how much youâve earned in the last couple of years, your monthly expenses, a list of your debts and a list of your assets. When listing your unsecured debts, make sure to include your student loans. Even though they’re not dischargeable, they still have to be listed.
Other information, like what Texas exemptions youâre claiming, is a little more technical. The benefit of working with a law firm or using Upsolveâs free online tool is that youâre able to fill out a more user-friendly questionnaire instead. Itâs important to carefully read and review each bankruptcy form to make sure you donât accidentally miss anything. Remember, youâre signing the forms under oath and penalty of perjury, and thatâs nothing to be messed with either!
An Overview Of The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally lasts 4-5 months. The following provides an overview of what you can expect throughout the process.
Before you file for Chapter 7, you must complete a creditors counseling course via phone or online. A certificate of completion must be filed with the court.
File Bankruptcy Petition
A Chapter 7 case begins with filing a petition with the bankruptcy court in the district in which you live. Attorney Sims can manage this process and ensure that all proper financial documents are included such as a schedule of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, a statement of financial affairs, etc.
Once you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect which immediately prevents any creditor from taking collection action against you.
341 Meeting of Creditors
30 days after your bankruptcy petition is filed, you must attend a creditors meeting conducted by the trustee. Your creditors are invited to appear but rarely do so. At this meeting, the trustee will ask you questions related to your bankruptcy documents under oath.
File Reaffirmation Agreement
If you wish to reaffirm certain secured debts such as your home or vehicle, you need to file a reaffirmation agreement 45 days after the creditors meeting. A reaffirmation agreement indicates your commitment to continuing making payments on these assets.
Financial Management Course
Receive Discharge of Debts
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Determine Whether You Need Help To File Bankruptcy In Texas
Did you know that some people file for bankruptcy without an attorney? Many people prefer using a bankruptcy lawyer given the complexity of filing bankruptcy, but it is possible to often file Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney. Filing Chapter 13 without an attorney may be much more challenging.
Means Testing In Texas
In Texas, you will need to undergo a means test. This will compare your income with the median household income in Texas, in relation to the size of your household. You will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 if your current income falls below the median income level. Should your income be above the median, you will be allowed to deduct payments and expenses from secured debts, in order to try and qualify.
In Texas the median income for a single person is currently set at $39,673. For a married couple with 1 child the median is $57,825. Consulting with a Texas bankruptcy attorney will help you to understand the different median levels that are available, and ensure that you are deducting all eligible expenses that will give you the best outcome.
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Information For Debtors Without Attorney Representation
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR DEBTORS WITHOUT ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION
Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes. We strongly recommend you watch the following videos and review written instructions under this link. This information will provide you with a better understanding of the bankruptcy process, the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and can assist you in determining if this is the best option for you.
Click here to view the Bankruptcy Basics videos.
Filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. Misunderstandings of the law or making mistakes in the process can affect your rights. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice.
The following is a list of ways your lawyer can help you with your case.
Pro se litigants are expected to follow the rules and procedures in federal courts and should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the local rules of the court in which the case is filed.
What is Required to File a Bankruptcy Case?
If requesting a permanent exemption from credit counseling, the following must be filed. BTXN 195 Request for Permanent Exemption From Credit Counseling
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