Bankruptcy FAQ

Answers From a Grapevine Bankruptcy Lawyer

Have you considered filing for bankruptcy? Are you facing foreclosure, a car repossession, a credit card lawsuit, a judgment or eviction? If so, you probably have questions about the process ahead.

If so, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dallas Ft. Worth bankruptcy attorney Lauren Powell. Lauren is Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy through the American Board of Certification – an honor and achievement held by a handful of attorneys nationwide. Certification recognizes Lauren’s knowledge and experience in consumer bankruptcy. Lauren is happy to discuss your options with you, so that you can make an informed decision.

Chapter 7 v. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When people think about filing for bankruptcy, people typically think about Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a bankruptcy that allows, in most instances, the discharge of unsecured debts, and potentially other debts. In order to qualify to file Chapter 7, you must meet certain income requirements, among other requirements. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes about four months, from start to finish.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization plan that requires a partial or full repayment of your debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to catch up mortgage payments, car payments, pay taxes, and catch up child support or other like payments. The amount you are required to repay on your unsecured debts is based primarily on your budget.

Choosing which chapter of bankruptcy to file is a complicated process that should involve careful analysis of your income, expenses, and debts, as well as other factors.

What Property Can I Keep When I File Bankruptcy?

The answer to this question is complicated and depends on many factors, but the general answer is that in Chapter 7, you can keep your personal property such as clothing, furniture, jewelry, etc., as long as its worth is under a certain limit, and your house and car as long as you are current on the payments on those, as well as other property. In Chapter 13, there is no limit to the amount of property you can keep.

Who is Eligible to File for Bankruptcy?

Typically, anyone who is struggling with debt would be eligible to file for bankruptcy; however, not everyone will qualify to file under Chapter 7. To do so, you would need to prove that your current monthly income is less than the median income for a household of your size in Texas and/or that you do not have enough disposable income to repay your creditors — which would be determined by taking the means test. If you do not pass, you can still file under Chapter 13. To do so, you must have some sort of regular income, which can include Social Security, unemployment, etc.

Can I File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy More Than Once?

The short answer is yes; however, it is important to understand that certain restrictions will apply when you file more than once. The answer may also be different if your case was dismissed rather than discharged. If you previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you wouldn’t be able to seek a second discharge of debt until at least eight years have passed (for a Chapter 7 filing) or six years for a Chapter 13 filing. If you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you would need to wait at least four years to file under Chapter 7. If your prior bankruptcy was dismissed, you may be able to file again immediately.

Still Have Questions? Set Up a Free Confidential Consultation Today

If you still have questions about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, do not hesitate to get in touch with a Dallas and Fort Worth bankruptcy lawyer at Powell Law Offices, P.C. We have been representing individuals and families throughout Texas for more than a decade, so you can trust that we have the experience and legal knowledge to assist you in working toward a debt-free future. Call now!

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