Get a Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Liquidation Proceedings | Chapter 13 Debtor Reorganization
Whether you’ve lost your job, suffered a serious injury or illness that’s led to considerable medical expenses, gone through a divorce, or otherwise run into financial trouble, the stress can make every day a challenge. American bankruptcy law is intended to give you a second chance by helping you get your finances in order.
At The Legal Café, in downtown Fort Worth near the courthouse, we can help connect you with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Complete our online form or visit us at 114 Main Street.
Your Bankruptcy Options
When you’re looking for personal bankruptcy relief, you typically will file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.
Chapter 7 – With a Chapter 7 filing, you can permanently discharge certain debts in exchange for transferring some of your property to be sold by the bankruptcy court/trustee to pay off your creditors. Some debts may not be discharged, such as child support payments. Other debts are extremely difficult to discharge, including most tax arrearages and student loan payments. However, most unsecured debts, such as credit card payments and medical bills, may be fully discharged. In addition, some of your property will be exempt from the bankruptcy sale. There are exemptions under both state and federal laws—you must choose one or the other, but cannot mix and match between the two.
To file under Chapter 7, you must qualify by submitting to a “means test.” The means test looks at your disposable income and resources to determine whether you have the ability to repay your creditors in full over a 3-to-5 year period. If you fail the means test, you may not file under Chapter 7 but must turn to Chapter 13.
- Chapter 13 – Known as debtor’s reorganization, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing lets you negotiate new payment arrangements with your creditors. As a general rule, the new agreements extend for a 3-to-5 year period. Once you file your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to work with your attorney to put together a “reorganization plan,” which must be approved by your creditors and the court.
Contact a proven bankruptcy lawyer through The Legal Café. Fill out our online form or stop by the Café to start the process.
The Benefits of Filing a Bankruptcy Petition
In addition to allowing you to discharge or reorganize your debts, a bankruptcy filing triggers the automatic stay in bankruptcy. The automatic stay, which goes into effect immediately upon the filing of your petition, prohibits your creditors from calling, writing, or taking any legal action to collect a debt from you outside of the bankruptcy proceedings. A creditor who attempts to do so may face sanctions from the court. The automatic stay prevents a creditor from garnishing your wages. Furthermore, the stay remains in effect after your bankruptcy is complete, provided you honor your commitments in the bankruptcy proceeding.
Find an Experienced Personal Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Submit our online form or come to The Legal Café to connect with a lawyer who can help you get a fresh start in bankruptcy.