Hiring a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy attorneys in Texas understand bankruptcy laws, and they can help you stop harassing creditor calls. Bankruptcy attorneys in Texas can also review your financial situation to determine if can file either a Texas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Texas Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is not right for you, a bankruptcy lawyer in Texas can review alternatives to bankruptcy.
Filing a Texas Bankruptcy is a serious financial decision with long-term consequences and should not be made without first contacting a bankruptcy lawyer.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in TexasCan I file Chapter 13 in Texas
Not all debtors can file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas. Changes to the bankruptcy laws have made it more difficult to qualify for Chapter 7. Certain debtors, however, may be able to create a 3 to 5 year debt repayment plan which will allow them to restructure their debt and discharge it after completing their debt payments. Who can file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Texas? Most individuals, including the self-employed or those operating an unincorporated business, may file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as long as their unsecured debt is less than $360,475 and their secured debt is less than $1,081,400 (11 U.S.C. § 109(e)).
State and federal laws may allow certain assets to be excluded from the bankruptcy estate. Each state has determined whether bankruptcy filers may choose either the federal exemption list or the state exemption list. Under Texas bankruptcy law, you may choose either the Texas state exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. You cannot, however, choose from both lists.
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Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas allows the bankruptcy court to liquidate your non-exempt assets and sell them, using the proceeds from the sale to repay your creditors. All proceeds from the Texas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy liquidation are paid to the creditor in priority order, which is established through bankruptcy law. Chapter 7 in Texas is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy and is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships.
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Chapter 7 Means Testing In Texas
Determining whether you can qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas can be complicated, and you may need to consult with a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer. To determine if you can file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas you first must evaluate your median income. If it is below the average income, compared to other families of similar size in Texas, you generally can file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If your income is above other family incomes in Texas, additional Chapter 7 Bankruptcy "means testing" must be completed.
The Median income for Texas beginning March 15, 2011, for a single wage earner was $38,294. For a two person family it was $55,178 and for a family of three it was $56,445. For a family of four it was $65,477.
The next step in the means test is a bit more complicated. First you must calculate your disposable income by subtracting certain allowable expenses (from your income). If you determine that your projected disposable income for the next 5 years is less than $6,000 or $100 per month, you may qualify for a Texas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
If over the next 5 years your disposable income is more than $10,000, you may not be allowed to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There may be a question if your disposable income is estimated to be between $6,000 and $10,000, if so, additional calculations are required which will determine if your disposable income, over the next 5 years, is greater than 25% of your unsecured, non-priority debts. If it is, you may have to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Texas.
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Debts Not Discharged by Filing a Texas Bankruptcy
Filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Texas does not discharge all debts. Debts not discharged in your Texas bankruptcy must be paid or added to your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. Bankruptcy in Texas does not discharge the following debts:
- -Child support or spousal support payments
- -Debts for personal injuries (including driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol)
- -Student loans (exceptions may be made if you can prove that there would be an undue hardship if it was repaid)
- -Fines or penalties for any criminal offenses, including traffic fines
- -Income tax debts (from the past 3 years)
- -Debts omitted from the bankruptcy documents
Debts not discharged by filing a Texas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case (if the creditor challenges the discharge)
- -Debts incurred from larceny, breach of trust or embezzlement
- -Debts from the malicious or willful injury of another person or their property
- -Credit purchases of $1,150 or more for luxury goods or services within 60 days of filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas
- -Debts incurred from fraud
- -Debts owed from a divorce decree or settlement (may be discharged if the court determines the benefit you would receive by the discharge outweighs the detriment to your ex-spouse)
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Dischargeable Debts - as defined in our Bankruptcy Glossary
Bankruptcy Court - as defined in our Bankruptcy Glossary
Bankruptcy Judge - as defined in our Bankruptcy Glossary
Learn more about Texas Bankruptcy Laws:
- Bankruptcy in Arlington
- Bankruptcy in Austin
- Bankruptcy in Corpus Christi
- Bankruptcy in Dallas
- Bankruptcy in Fort Worth
- Bankruptcy in Houston
Need Help Filing Bankruptcy in Texas?
If you would like to learn more about how Bankruptcy can help improve your financial situation, please complete the form below. A local Texas Bankruptcy attorney will contact you and answer your questions for free. Don't wait -- Get Help Today!