Bankruptcy Lawyer Arlington, TX
If you’re in need of a bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX trusts, contact Brandy Austin Law Firm. If you have to file for bankruptcy, we understand that it can be a stressful and challenging experience. For the average person, it’s not a straightforward process to go through. Bankruptcy is proceeding in federal court in which a person who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by the bankruptcy code under federal law. Filing bankruptcy stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you immediately and at least until your debts are processed according to the law. A lawyer familiar with the bankruptcy process can provide a deeper explanation for what to expect, and can ensure that you go through it smoothly. To learn about how bankruptcy can affect you and your finances, it may be helpful to contact a lawyer for a full discussion of your legal options.
Can Filing For Bankruptcy Help?
Bankruptcy often makes it possible to eliminate the legal obligation to pay most debts. This is referred to as a “discharge” of debts. Talk to a top bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX has to offer. Among many things, bankruptcy can (1) stop foreclosure on your house; (2) stop repossession of a car or other property, or make the creditor return property, even after it has been repossessed; (3) end wage garnishment, harassment by debt collection agencies; and (4) give you the opportunity to challenge the claims of creditors who you believe have committed fraud or who are trying to collect more than you really owe. It is a good idea to discuss all of your options with a bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX trusts.
Depending on your circumstances, bankruptcy can be an effective way to establish yourself in a better financial position. Bankruptcy allows some debts to be cleared, enabling you to better take care of your payments in other areas. You can improve your financial literacy by tracking your spending habits and learning new ways to control your money and debt. There may be strategies you can implement to organize your budgets more effectively. Sometimes, bankruptcy will result in more positive outcomes in the long run. Bankruptcy is different from case to case, so a lawyer will be able to provide a more detailed evaluation.
Bankruptcy cannot cure every financial issue. It is not always the right step for every individual or family. It is usually not possible to eliminate certain rights of “secured” creditors in bankruptcy cases. A creditor is considered “secured” if he has taken a mortgage or other lien on actual property as collateral for a loan. Examples include car loans and home mortgages. You can make secured creditors take payments over time in certain bankruptcy cases and bankruptcy may eliminate your obligation to pay any additional money on the debt if you do decide to give back the property. Conversely you generally cannot keep secured property unless you continue to pay the debt. Be sure to consider your financial situation carefully when assessing whether bankruptcy is right for you. There are several requirements you have to meet before filing. A seasoned bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX counts on can guide you through the process.
Other types of debts that are not discharged in bankruptcy are certain types of debts highlighted by bankruptcy law for special treatment, such as child support, spousal maintenance, most student loans, court restitution, criminal fines, and most taxes.
Types Of Bankruptcy
There are several different forms of bankruptcy, which are referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Each category has a set of requirements and regulations that the bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX are extremely knowledgeable about.
When it comes to filing for individual bankruptcy, the two most common choices are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each of these offer pros and cons and the skilled bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX clients work with from our firm can help you determine which chapter best fits your particular financial situation.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, can help provide you with a fresh start. Under this agreement most unsecured debts are discharged, meaning they are completely wiped out. However, with this negotiation some of your property may be liquidated (sold) to pay down your debt. There is property, nevertheless, that is classified as exempt, such as your clothes, car and household furnishings. The bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX offer the ability to work with you, to determine which debts will be discharged and which will not be exempt.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you must pass the means test outlined under the Bankruptcy Code. This test takes a look at your average monthly income over the prior six months against what the median income is for others with similar households in your state. If your median income is below your state’s average, then you may qualify for Chapter 7. If it is not, then you would not qualify and may need to consider filing under Chapter 13. For example, currently in Texas, the median income for a single person is $46,709. If you are a single person and your median income is less than that amount, you can file for Chapter 7. Our bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX respects can assist you in determining your median income. They can also look at any other factors that may affect your eligibility.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is another form of reorganization and typically referred to as a wage earner’s plan. With this type of bankruptcy, you are able to keep your property and pay off all or part of your debts over a three- to five-year period. Many homeowners who are facing foreclosure file for Chapter 13 and are able to keep their homes.
Since Chapter 13 requires you to pay off your debts, you are required to show that you will have a reliable and regular source of income in order for your bankruptcy petition to be approved by the court.
Petitioners of Chapter 13 are required to submit proof of their income from the prior six months in order to show they will have the funds necessary to be able to meet their new debt obligations. In addition to employment wages, the court will also accept business income, pensions, disability benefits, Social Security benefits, child support, and spousal support as proof. Our firm’s bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX locals depend on can help you determine what your sources of income are that the court will approve.
Before your petition can be filed, the law requires that you receive credit counseling from an organization approved by the United States Trustee’s office. Along with your petition, you are required to include a repayment plan. The plan must provide specific details on how you will pay off each of your debts. Priority debts – such as child support and taxes – are required to be paid off in full. The regular payments for any secured debts you have – such as your mortgage or vehicle loan – must also be included in the plan, along with repayment for the past due amounts you owe. If after making these payments you will still have disposable income left over, then you must show how you will pay off your unsecured debts using those funds.
Your plan will need to show how these debts will be paid over a period of three to five years using your current income. If this is a type of bankruptcy that you believe will work best for your situation consult with the bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX can provide to learn more.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is used by businesses and individuals whose debts are very large. This form of bankruptcy leads to reorganizing the payment plan and pay the creditors over time. This allows the individual to keep its business alive.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is set aside for family farmers and family fishermen. It is a rather new addition to the bankruptcy laws and allows those families to restructure their finances to avoid liquidation or foreclosure.
It is important to meet with an attorney to discuss different options and develop a clear path for you to follow. Learn more about Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than Once?
A Fresh Start
If you need a fresh start financially or some direction to help you become financially successful, contacting the bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX, at Brandy Austin Law Firm will help make difference in your life. Bankruptcy can be a difficult decision to make but with the assistance of the dedicated bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX recommends, the choice can be easier to make.
Why To Hire A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX residents hire from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can make the process more painless than doing it on your own. When a person files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer, the process can overwhelm them and cause significant delays.
Though there are many good bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington TX, many people choose self-representation. If a person is familiar with all applicable laws and has a straightforward bankruptcy case, they may not need an attorney. At the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC we understand this. It’s why we offer potential clients a free, no-obligation case review. This is an opportunity to see if one of our Arlington TX bankruptcy lawyers can be of benefit to you.
What to Watch Out For If You File For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
If you choose to not work with any bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX consumers recommend, you may run into one or more of the following:
You don’t need to file for bankruptcy
There are public programs and consumer assistance groups that exist to reduce the numbers of bankruptcies that are filed every year. Some of the programs are free while others are low cost. See what is available in your area by searching the phone book or looking online.
You file under the wrong chapter for bankruptcy
There are two main choices: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. One of the advantages of hiring bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX community members rely on, is that the lawyer will know which chapter best suits your circumstances. You might qualify for one, but not the other. Depending on whether your home is headed for foreclosure, your income amount, and your assets, one chapter may be more appropriate than the other.
You don’t file the correct documents, you don’t fill them out correctly, or you don’t file all of them
The forms you need to submit must be filled out in full, correctly, and on time. Experienced bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX small business owners and individuals rely on are thoroughly familiar with the documentation. Our attorneys at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC have helped thousands of consumers file bankruptcy.
You do not fulfill the credit counseling or financial management course as necessary or comply with the requirements
By not filing the proper certification, your bankruptcy petition may be dismissed and you will not receive the discharge that you wanted. A bankruptcy attorney can explain in detail what your legal obligations are, and in what timeframe they must be completed. Our attorneys guide clients through the bankruptcy process step by step.
Though you may be able to file bankruptcy without an attorney, the risks might outweigh the savings. Take advantage of a free consultation to find out how we can help you, just as we have for many of our past clients. Contact us today at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to speak with one of our bankruptcy lawyers Arlington TX is proud to call their own.
How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?
A top bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX trusts can give you in-depth information on how bankruptcy affects your credit. There is no clear-cut answer to this question, since bankruptcy affects credit differently from person to person. Lenders may be hesitant to approve you, and if they do decide to approve you, their terms might not align with your personal preferences. The fact that you’ve filed a bankruptcy can appear on your credit record for ten years from the date your case was filed, but because bankruptcy wipes out your old debts, you are likely to be in a better position to pay your current bills, and you may be able to get new credit. Your credit score will improve but it does take some time before you see a considerable improvement. Generally, your credit score will improve significantly within 18 to 24 months after your bankruptcy discharge.
If you decide to file bankruptcy with a bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX trusts, remember that debts discharged in your bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report, but will have a ZERO balance, meaning you do not owe anything on the debt. This doesn’t always happen. Debts reported incorrectly as having a balance owed will negatively affect your credit score. It may make it more difficult or costly to get credit. Always double check to make sure your reported information is accurate. Regularly checking your credit report after your bankruptcy discharge and filing a dispute with credit reporting agencies if this information is not correct may prevent issues. If you information that you’re not sure is correct, raise any concerns you have with a lawyer. If you don’t frequently check your credit report, it may cause you to miss errors that may take some time to resolve. Contact us and we can help get the information corrected if it continues to be incorrectly reported. There are consequences under the law for creditors who report debts incorrectly to the credit reporting agencies, and who attempt to collect discharged debts.
What A Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Do For You
Having worked with many clients, we understand that filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. However, it can solve many debt issues you may be struggling with. With bankruptcy, it is possible for you to receive a fresh start.
Throughout the bankruptcy process, an experienced and skilled lawyer can provide you with sound legal advice. A lawyer helping you with bankruptcy can spare you the energy and time it might take to properly and thoroughly examine your case. They are committed to guide you throughout your case, and may represent you in hearings if necessary. Bankruptcy involves a lot of paperwork that a lawyer can assist you with. With their knowledge of filing procedures, they can prevent you from submitting inaccurate or incomplete information. They can help you make sure that each step of the process is done right. Hiring an attorney can help you to stay on top of your financial goals, and point out any areas of difficulty that require additional attention.
Benefits Of Filing Bankruptcy
If you are drowning in debt, you have likely already thought about filing for bankruptcy. However, you might be afraid that bankruptcy can tarnish your credit and reputation. While bankruptcy isn’t something to take lightly, it does come with the following benefits:
It Can Wipe Out Your Debt
One of the most attractive benefits of bankruptcy is that it can wipe out your unsecured debt, including medical bills, car payments and credit cards. You will not have to lie awake at night worrying about all the debt you owe. You can put all that debt behind you and get a financial fresh start.
Your Creditors Will Stop Calling
When you are late on your bills, you may receive several phone calls a day from creditors. This can get frustrating and lead to stress. Many creditors can be relentless in their collection activity and will also call any references you may have put down in your original application. This can be embarrassing.
Luckily, from the moment your bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX respects file a petition for bankruptcy, these creditors are not allowed to contact you or your family anymore.
You May Keep Your Home
Some people refrain from filing for bankruptcy because they are afraid of losing their home. The good news is that your home is exempt from liquidation, as long as your liquidation stake is within the designated amount. As mentioned above, many homeowners facing foreclosure have discovered that filing for bankruptcy actually helped them save their home.
You May Keep Your Vehicle
Just like a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can stop a foreclosure on your home, it can also stop your vehicle from being repossessed. You may even be able to reduce the amount of your loan via the cramdown method. When you purchase a vehicle, it immediately begins to depreciate in value.
For example, say you purchased a $20,000 car three years ago and financed that amount. But now, because of depreciation, that vehicle is only worth $10,000. If the finance company repossessed the vehicle and sold it, they would only receive $10,000. This is referred to as the secured amount.
Yet, you still owe $15,000 on the car loan. A Chapter 13 filing may allow you to cramdown the loan balance amount to $10,000 because that is what the secured amount is.
You Do Not Have to Tell Anyone
If you are embarrassed about filing for bankruptcy, you do not have to let any of your family, friends, or co-workers know. You and your bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX relies on are the only people who have to know about your bankruptcy.
Reasons to Hire Bankruptcy Lawyers in Arlington, TX
Although it is possible to file for bankruptcy on your own, it is not recommended. Hiring bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX can cost more money, but the following benefits make it worth the cost:
Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help You with the Paperwork
Before filing for bankruptcy, many people do not realize how complicated the paperwork can get. If you do not have a legal background, you may not understand all the terms, and you may make mistakes that might slow down the entire process. Bankruptcy lawyers Arlington, TX counts on may help you complete this paperwork accurately and in a timely manner.
Bankruptcy Lawyers Have Knowledge and Experience
Skilled Arlington bankruptcy lawyers have handled many bankruptcy cases in the past and know the ins and outs of the entire process. They can walk you through every step and prevent you from making big mistakes, such as not disclosing some of your assets.
Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Speed Up the Process
It is likely that you want to get your bankruptcy over as quickly as possible so that you can put the past behind you. Experienced bankruptcy lawyers may move the process along in a timely and efficient manner.
The Objective of Bankruptcy Lawyers In Arlington, TX
When you contact Arlington TX bankruptcy lawyers, they will likely want to know what you intend to file bankruptcy for. Generally, this is because there are two primary types of bankruptcy: commercial and consumer. Commercial attorneys file bankruptcy for a business, and consumer or individual attorneys assist in the filing for individuals.
When looking for bankruptcy lawyers, Arlington TX residents turn to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to help protect a business or individual from creditors and debt collectors. Once your claim is filed, our lawyers may also assist in the restructuring of a business, the clearing of loans, and the organization of practical payment plans.
Do You Need To Reach Out To Bankruptcy Lawyers In Arlington TX?
Bankruptcy is a serious matter that should probably be analyzed with the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re debating whether or not to contact a skilled bankruptcy lawyers, consider some of the most common signs:
- You’re Unable To Pay Your Bills
- You Receive Ongoing Calls From Creditors And Debt Collectors
- Your Current Debt Is Piling Up, And You Have No Idea How You’ll Pay It
- You Have No Steady Cash Flow Or Income
- You Are At Risk Of Losing Your House, Car, Or Other Possessions
- You Feel Emotionally Lost Or Scared Because Of The Financial Strain
When you decide to file for personal bankruptcy, you may or may not be obligated to pay back your debt overtime. You might also be required to sign over certain personal assets in return for a fresh financial start. Due to the intricacies of these legal filings, it is usually beneficial to consult with bankruptcy lawyers.
Do I Need A Lawyer To File Bankruptcy?
As an individual, you are not required to have a lawyer assist in the filing. Given the complicated procedures and ensuing legal processes that typically surround bankruptcy procedures, it may be worth utilizing a lawyer who is able to protect your rights as a debtor.
What To Expect When Filing For Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy will likely be a bit nerve-racking. You will probably have a number of worries when it comes to how you will make out during the process. You may be worried about what assets you will have to liquidate, which ones you will get to retain, the impact it will have on your credit score, and what your future will look like following bankruptcy. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we hope to help ease your mind by discussing common worries and clarifying steps in the process so that you are prepared prior to the start of proceedings. The following outlines some of the important steps to bankruptcy:
- Before you can file for bankruptcy, you will first need to qualify by showing the following evidence.
- You will need to pass a means test.
- If it is determined that you are capable of paying off your debt, it may make sense to file for Chapter 13, which offers a repayment option.
- If you filed for bankruptcy in the last 8 years, you will not be able to file for bankruptcy again.
You will have to attend debt/credit counseling within prior to filing for bankruptcy. The credit counselor will come up with a plan to help you repay your debts. Even if the plan is impossible for you to repay or follow through with, you will still be required to do this.
From start to finish, filing for bankruptcy will take anywhere from 4-6 months. You will be responsible for paying for filing fees when you file for bankruptcy with the court system. At this point, contacting bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX will likely be important.
Once you have officially filed for bankruptcy, the automatic stay period will begin. This will stop collections from contacting you through bankruptcy proceedings. A trustee will be appointed by the court and will determine which property will need to be liquidated in order to pay off your creditors. In some situations, your attorney may be able to negotiate property that you are hoping to retain.
A meeting with your creditors will be scheduled. This is known as a “341 Meeting.” You and your bankruptcy lawyer will be required to attend. At this meeting, you will be under oath. Your creditors will be able to ask you questions regarding your bankruptcy. This meeting can be nerve-racking but is usually fairly short and considered standard procedure.
The trustee will review all information. A decision will be determined regarding whether or not you are eligible for bankruptcy. Following this, your debts will be discharged and your case will be closed shortly after.
A bankruptcy lawyer is there to offer legal guidance throughout this complex process. He or she may represent you during bankruptcy hearings, file documents in a timely matter, and help you to achieve your financial goals. Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC has vast experience with bankruptcy claims and is well-versed in federal laws and local procedures. If you feel bankruptcy may be the best solution to your financial crises, our firm may be able to help. Our legal professionals are standing by to support you during this troubling time. During an initial consultation, we can review the details of your case and strategize a course of action that works for you.
The Benefits Of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy For Businesses
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a type of reorganization bankruptcy that is available to both individuals and business entities, although it is predominantly utilized by businesses. It is important to understand some of the ways that businesses can benefit for filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. For more information or answers to specific questions regarding your case, call Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today to speak with one of our bankruptcy lawyers in Arlington, TX.
The Protections Of The Automatic Stay
The most immediate benefit enjoyed by businesses that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is provided by the automatic stay, an injunction that becomes active the moment that a party files for bankruptcy. As one of our Arlington, TX bankruptcy lawyers can explain, the automatic stay prevents creditors from pursuing any type of collection activity, including sending letters, making phone calls, and, importantly, repossessing or foreclosing on property.
Chapter 11 Provides for Continuity of Operation
Unlike Chapter 7, which involves a business ceasing operation and the liquidation of assets, Chapter 11 allows a business to continue to operate. The debtor generally retains control of the day-to-day operation of the company as a “debtor-in-possession,” which means that the business does not have to be concerned about the loss of goodwill, name recognition, or an existing customer base that could occur if the business was forced to stop operating.
An Opportunity to Adjust Interest Rates and Cancel Certain Contracts
Another significant benefit afforded to businesses that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the opportunity to “cramdown” certain interest rates on loans. In addition, debtors may also cancel certain long-term contracts with terms that are to be performed in the future if the debtor deems them to be unprofitable.
A Debtor Can Catch Up on Accelerated Obligations
In some cases, where a debtor defaults on a financial obligation such as a loan, lease, or mortgage, the creditor accelerates the obligation and demands the entire amount of the debt be paid at once. When a business is in Chapter 11, it can often cancel any acceleration of a debt, cure the default, and continue paying on the debt as it did prior to the default.
Preservation As A “Going Concern”
Chapter 11 allows a business to be treated as a going concern, which means that it is expected to function without the threat of liquidation in the next 12 months. This designation is critical for a business to be able to incur debts and defer payment into the future.
What is Bankruptcy and How Does It Work in Arlington, TX?
Bankruptcy in Arlington, Texas is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses struggling with overwhelming debt to either eliminate their debts (in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy) or reorganize and repay them over time (in the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy). This process is governed by federal law, and cases are filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, which includes Arlington. Filing for bankruptcy can provide debt relief and a fresh financial start, but it also has significant credit implications. It’s important to understand which assets might be exempt from liquidation under Texas law, and how bankruptcy can affect your financial future.
What Are the Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Arlington, TX?
In Arlington, TX, the two most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, involves the sale of non-exempt assets to pay off debts, and typically leads to the discharge of most unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. It’s a quicker process but has stricter eligibility requirements based on income. Chapter 13, on the other hand, is more like a debt reorganization, allowing debtors to keep their property and repay debts over a 3-5 year period, based on a court-approved repayment plan. This option is often suitable for those with regular income who can handle a structured repayment plan.
What Debts Are Dischargeable in a Bankruptcy Case in Arlington, TX?
In Arlington, Texas, not all debts can be discharged through bankruptcy. Generally, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can eliminate unsecured debts like credit card debts, medical bills, and personal loans. However, certain types of debts are typically not dischargeable, including most tax debts, child support, alimony, student loans (unless proving undue hardship), and debts incurred through fraud. It’s essential to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand which of your debts can be discharged and how filing for bankruptcy will impact your specific financial situation.
How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score in Arlington, TX?
Filing for bankruptcy in Arlington, TX will have a significant negative impact on your credit score. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays for up to 7 years. This can make it more challenging to obtain credit, secure housing, or sometimes find employment. However, the impact diminishes over time, especially if you engage in good financial practices post-bankruptcy, like making timely payments and reducing your debt load. It’s important to weigh the short-term impact on your credit against the long-term relief from overwhelming debt.
Can I Keep My Home and Car if I File for Bankruptcy in Arlington, TX?
Whether you can keep your home and car when filing for bankruptcy in Arlington depends on several factors, including the type of bankruptcy you file and your specific financial situation. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Texas law allows for certain exemptions that can protect your home and vehicle, as long as you’re current on payments and the equity in these assets doesn’t exceed certain limits. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’re more likely to keep your property as long as you adhere to the repayment plan. It’s crucial to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand how your assets will be affected based on the specifics of your case and Texas exemption laws.
Schedule a FREE Consultation with a Bankruptcy Lawyer Arlington TX Trusts
Call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. As an experienced bankruptcy lawyer Arlington TX believes in, we provide legal services for a diverse clientele in the areas and counties surrounding Arlington, Texas, including Dallas, Tarrant, Johnson, Navarro, and Ellis counties.