Arlington, TX Bankruptcy Lawyers
FAQs about Assets and Debts in Bankruptcy
As an Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer can tell you, bankruptcy can be a path for many individuals who are facing overwhelming financial challenges and debt. There are various types of bankruptcy filings and people may only qualify for one type. It’s important to meet with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer who can help you make informed decisions.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is when a person declares him or herself unable to make payments to creditors. In some cases, this person will meet with a judge who can determine a practical payment schedule, or has the power to clear a percentage of the outstanding debts.
If you are unsure of whether or not it may be beneficial for you to file bankruptcy, consult with a knowledgeable Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer who can explain your options based on your unique circumstances. Many law firms offer a free consultation for new clients, which can be a great way to seek guidance from a trusted legal professional.
What happens to assets if bankruptcy is filed?
It depends on which type of bankruptcy was filed. For a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the individual must provide a list of all current debts and property. There are limits to how much property someone can have while eliminating his or her debts. Under chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be eligible to keep the majority of your current property.
What happens if for chapter 7 bankruptcy, not all property or assets are listed?
It is required by law that assets and property are entirely disclosed. The fraud division of the FBI, auditors of the IRS and office of United States Trustees examine the bankruptcy filings. It is very likely that if assets are not disclosed, they will eventually be discovered. It is considered a federal crime or felony to commit fraudulent bankruptcy.
Can a business declare bankruptcy?
Businesses can declare bankruptcy too, but this means the business will likely close or will operate with a reduction of debt payments. Many business owners choose to consult with an Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer for advice before declaring bankruptcy.
How can a business owner avoid personal bankruptcy?
It’s possible that by incorporating your business your personal assets can be protected from a bankruptcy action. A corporation might offer additional protection, over sole proprietorship. In this way creditors can only seek the company’s assets because the corporation is a separate entity from the business owner. However, this is a general guideline and it may be in your best interest to talk to an Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer before making any major business decisions.
Is it required to file for bankruptcy if a person is in debt?
No, if a person is able to pay off bills within the required time frame, it is best to continue doing so. But, if your debts are substantially more than your income and assets, bankruptcy may be the most useful option. A bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX offers can provide you with the guidance you need.
Who will become aware of a person’s bankruptcy status?
Bankruptcy filings and court records are public. However, not all of a person’s information is shared. Friends, family, and coworkers will likely never find out about bankruptcy unless the person who filed tells them directly. A bankruptcy lawyer in Arlington TX can help you with this process.
If you are facing financial problems and are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, consider speaking with an Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. Filing for bankruptcy can seem like a scary proposition, but it may be the opportunity you need to gain a fresh financial start.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a system of federal laws that allows an individual or business to get relief from debts, allowing them to make a new financial start. These laws were created to help the honest but unfortunate debtor begin a new future without the pressure from creditors trying to collect pre-existing debts. If you have been toiling with finances, it is important to meet with an experienced Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer that can help guide you on the options.
When trying to decide if you should file for bankruptcy, you should contact a professional lawyer that is able to help. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer from Arlington, TX may suggest that before filing for bankruptcy you should:
- Get your finances in order;
- Speak to your lawyer to find out which debts won’t be forgiven; and
- Assess what would be affected if you do file for bankruptcy.
Types of Bankruptcy
An experienced Arlington bankruptcy lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. may explain that the most common types of bankruptcy are called chapter 7 and chapter 13:
This type of bankruptcy liquidates all of your nonexempt assets to help pay off as much debt as possible. Some common reasons for choosing this route is because of unemployment, large medical expenses, overextended credit, and marital problems. Once your assets are sold, the money is then distributed to creditors such as banks and credit card companies. It is important to speak with a trusted Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer before choosing this option because it is not right for everyone. Nearly all of the individual’s assets are taken and sold to help pay off the debt, if you own a company, a house, or any other assets you want to keep, chapter 7 may not be the most appropriate choice. However, chapter 7 does offer a quick fresh start for many people.
This form of bankruptcy is able to reorganize your debt using a repayment plan. Typically, this plan is useful for those wanting to keep property or other assets. When the repayment plan is organized individuals have a three to five-year period to pay off their debts. If the debtor has consistent annual income, chapter 13 offers a grace period. Any debt remaining at the end of the grace period is discharged.
In either case, contacting an Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you decide which bankruptcy chapter is suitable for your situation.
What Are the Benefits to Filing for Bankruptcy?
Many people who file for bankruptcy are embarrassed and uncomfortable to go through the process. The truth is that bankruptcy is more common than you may realize. According to data collected by the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office (JDAO), there are approximately 800,000 personal bankruptcy filings each year in this country. Approximately 500,000 people file Chapter 7 and 300,000 people file Chapter 13.
Rather than being embarrassed, bankruptcy filers should think of filling as a new beginning. The constant barrage of phone calls and letters from creditors looking for money will end, and you can begin anew.
At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting clients with those new beginnings. When you meet with one of the Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers from our firm, he or she will carefully go over your situation and decide which option is more beneficial for your situation. Your attorney will explain the pros and cons of each type and what the result will be for you. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation to find out how we can help.
Rebuild Your Credit
People who file for bankruptcy usually have a low credit score due to the amount of debt they may have and the number of late payments to creditors. Although a bankruptcy will sit on your credit report for between seven to 10 years (determined by the type of bankruptcy you file), many filers find that they are able to obtain credit shortly after their bankruptcy is completed. Credit card companies will send filers offers to apply for their card and even mortgage companies are willing to work with a bankruptcy filer within a year or so.
Having your debt discharged lets you start with a clean slate and allows you to reestablish credit. Staying in the same situation, always struggling, will just keep adding late payments to your credit report and never let you rebuild.
One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that even though credit card companies may be ready to give you credit, you want to make sure that you do not get caught up in the credit trap, charging for luxury items and quickly finding yourself back in debt again. Financial advisors often advise people who have filed for bankruptcy to not purchase an item unless they pay for it in cash, as long as it does not interfere with you paying for any other financial obligations.
When to File
Unfortunately, many people who find themselves struggling with financial difficulties wait and wait before taking any action. Maybe it is because they hope that something will happen that will turn things around. Or they may just not want to face the overwhelming issues that need to be dealt with. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that you do have options that can solve these difficulties. The sooner you meet with a bankruptcy attorney, the sooner you can begin rebuilding your credit and start feeling positive about finances again.
If you need a new start with your finances or some guidance, you should consider contacting an experienced bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX residents can trust. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you get to a state of financial peace and have a fresh start. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy consider contact one of our compassionate Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers.
Seasoned Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers understand that when a person is struggling with mounting financial expenses and uncontrollable debt, the stress and strain can be overwhelming. The lawyers from the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC have helped countless clients, enabling them to start fresh and rebuild their financial standing anew. If you are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet and you are being inundated with calls and notices from debt collectors, it may be time to speak with one of our bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, Texas.
Things happen. Life happens. Sometimes we get behind in paying a bill or two. No one is perfect 100 percent of the time. All too easily we can fall into the slippery slope of debt, which for many is becoming increasingly difficult to climb out of. When does a minor slip-up cross over into the realm of impossibilities? When is the right time, if ever, to file for bankruptcy? While missing a payment here and there is forgivable, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, catching up may be just out of reach and bankruptcy could be the only option. If you believe this is the case for you, speak with Arlington, Texas bankruptcy lawyers now.
It is not very likely that you will find anyone eagerly anticipating filing for bankruptcy. Generally, it is due to a loss of a job, a medical emergency, or simply ignoring financial problems until it is too late. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, one of the best and easiest methods of determining if this is the right path is to sit down and create a monthly balance of all of the funds coming into the household and all of the monthly expenses. Subtract the total expenses from the total income and that will give you an idea of your disposable income. If that number is at or below zero (or really even coming close to zero) bankruptcy may be the best option for your situation. Other determining factors include:
- Receiving collection calls at home and/or work.
- Failing to pay house payments.
- Lawsuits being filed against you for non-payment.
- Paying credit card payments using other credit cards.
- Your car is in danger of being repossessed.
- Your wages are being garnished.
These are all extremely serious cases of financial troubles. If you simply ignore the situation, there is a very small chance that these situations will resolve themselves. The best option is to face the problem head-on and explore various options for your financial future.
As Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers may attest, there is no “one size fits all” bankruptcy solution. Each client has their own set of circumstances that need to be addressed. There are different types of bankruptcies and your lawyer may help determine which one is the right one for you:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: With this type of bankruptcy, the majority of unsecured debt will be discharged. This is commonly used because it offers debtors a fresh start. In short, items can be sold to repay debt, but most debt it written off without repayment. There is a required means test that a person must pass in order to file. In most circumstances, a person who earns a high wage would not qualify for Chapter 7. Under the law, you are allowed to keep certain property, which is called exempt property. This can include your vehicle, clothing, furniture, appliances, pensions, etc. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee may sell nonexempt property to pay off debt. Examples of nonexempt property include expensive jewelry, collections, a second vehicle, vacation home, etc. The average Chapter 7 takes three to four months to process.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: With this type of bankruptcy, you pay back your debt under a repayment plan. It is used often due to the fees that can be paid off over time. It is more of a debt adjustment, in which debtors will still make payments, but the payment terms will be revised. This repayment plan lasts between three to five years, depending on a person’s income. At the end of the repayment plan, any debt that is still left will be discharged. There is no means test for a Chapter 13 filing; however, the person does have to have steady income in order to meet the monthly repayment plan payment. If you are facing foreclosure on your home, a Chapter 13 can stop the foreclosure and the back-mortgage due can be incorporated into the repayment plan.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: This is used for businesses and individuals with unusually high debt. It is considered to be more of a reorganization than starting over.
This type of bankruptcy is for businesses and corporations that are facing financial difficulties. It is similar to Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy in that the company is allowed to come up with a reorganization plan to pay their creditors. Chapter 11 often saves companies from going out of business.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: This bankruptcy is fairly new and is designed specifically for fishermen and farmers. It is similar to Chapter 13 with the establishment of a repayment plan, but offers more options when it comes to cramdowns (the option of reducing the principal and interest when you are upside down on a loan) and lien stripping (getting rid of a second mortgage or home equity loan through bankruptcy).
Contact Arlington, TX Bankruptcy Lawyers You Can Trust
If you are struggling financially and think it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy, contact one of the dedicated Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers at the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. Each one of our bankruptcy lawyers has extensive knowledge regarding the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and may sit down and discuss your options with you. With the right legal counsel, you can have a guide through this often-stressful process. If you need a compassionate attorney who can advise you and walk you through your situation, we are here to help. Call one of our Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers today.
Important Information Regarding Bankruptcy
When you struggle financially, you may be wondering what kinds of options you have. You could be willing to take out loans, refinance your home, or even get a second or third job. Unfortunately, not all money situations can be fixed with one of these options and you may be left wondering if filing for bankruptcy is your best choice. The Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. want you to know you do not have to make this choice alone.
In addition to how emotionally taxing this can be, you may not understand the ins and outs of bankruptcy, meaning you may not choose the best option for you and you may take longer to file because of the different nuances between types of bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX are happy to help so that we can make this transition smoother and simpler for you. Call our office to schedule an appointment now.
When might you consider filing for bankruptcy?
You may have done a little research but still are not sure if now is the time to file for bankruptcy. We have helped many clients go over their finances, such as their spending and saving habits, and determine if filing is the right action to take. Below, we list a few ways we would determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
- Some of your property (like a car) was repossessed
- You constantly struggle to pay your bills on time/have not paid bills on time
- Your home is being foreclosed on/the lender is threatening to foreclose
- You are having difficulty paying alimony or child support
It is common for many people to owe some type of money throughout their lives. For example, if you have certain debt–like student loans or a mortgage–this does not necessarily mean you are overwhelmed with debt and need to file for bankruptcy. These are common debts. However, if you are unable to make any payments on rent, mortgage, your car, etc., then it may be time to file for bankruptcy.
What does bankruptcy do?
Bankruptcy is not necessarily the answer to all of your financial problems, but it can help to eliminate or reorganize your debt so that you can begin paying things off. Additionally, this can be helpful because it helps avoid creditor harassment as you are trying to figure out the best way to manage your debt. For the most part, you will likely hear little to nothing from creditors unless they go to court about your debt.
As you look into bankruptcy, you and your bankruptcy attorney will likely be deciding whether you should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which can help with debts like medical bills and credit cards or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can help those who earn a higher income and have the ability to use their assets to pay off some of their debt.
Contact One of Our Bankruptcy Lawyers in Arlington, TX Today
The team at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. wants you to know you are not alone in dealing with your debt and we can help you file for the right kind of bankruptcy. Schedule your appointment with one of our Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers to find out how we can help.
Best Arlington, TX Bankruptcy Lawyer
An Arlington, Texas Lawyer for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When you are facing copious amounts of debt, and are unable to resolve it in an effective, timely, and practical manner, you should consult one of the best Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers to find out what options may be available to you.
Whether you’re feeling like there is no way out of your financial hardship or you just need a fresh start – financially – the best Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer can listen to your situation, examine the applicable circumstances, and explain to you the best solutions that may be available. Time is money. The longer you wait to resolve your debt, the more in-debt you could become.
Even if you feel that you should ignore your debt, or believe that new laws will be passed; thus, the debt will resolve itself, this is not a good idea. It is possible for creditors to file a lawsuit against you, your wages could be garnished, and your personal belongings could be taken from you. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we help men and women get out of their debt. No matter why you have gotten into debt in the first place, a bankruptcy lawyer Arlington, TX residents trust can advise you on your situation. There is no judgment against you and no biased feelings. We understand how burdensome debt is and are ready to help you find relief. If you would like to know whether or not filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option, please call Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.
A Lawyer for Debt Relief
As one of the best Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers, we have been representing individuals and businesses from all backgrounds, and of a broad range of ages. As your chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, you can feel confident in knowing we:
- Take your personal interests seriously
- Will do our best to protect your interests
- Seek to get you into a more stable financial situation
- Will not treat you as another number
- Provide you with personal support
- Will be honest with what you might expect
- Review the bankruptcy process with you
- Offer reasonable legal fees
- May arrange a payment plan
- Can talk to you during a consultation
Your future can be impacted by your financial situation. By addressing the problem now, you can move into your future with a feeling of ease in knowing things will be getting brighter.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as debt liquidation. This process enables a debtor (you) to sell non exempt property and use those proceeds to pay your debts. The property will be seized and valued; after, it will be sold by liquidators. As soon as your debts have been paid, either in full or in part, they will be discharged.
In general, by having the best Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer help you, the debts can be reduced to a certain amount of money that is less than the original amount owed. Before you can go through this process, a means test must be taken and passed. The means test will evaluate your financial standing and determines your current amount of disposable income. Typically, the less money you have, the more likely you will be able to qualify for Chapter 7.
The Benefits of Chapter 7
- You can avoid lawsuits
- You can keep your future income
- There are no debt limitations
- There is no repayment plans
- Creditors cannot contact you anymore
- Unsecured debts might be discharged
Get a Fresh Start, Call Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC
Bankruptcy cases are often rife with challenges and unique circumstances. You should have the best Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyer on your side. Call Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, now.