Michael Scott declared bankruptcy in The Office by simply shouting, “I declare bankruptcy,” but that’s not how it’s done in real life. If you’re filing for bankruptcy in Arlington, Texas, there’s a process you must follow.
Types of Bankruptcies
Individuals or married couples generally file for one of two types of bankruptcy. The decision may come down to a mandated means test, which considers your monthly income, the type and amount of debt incurred and other aspects of your financial condition. Here are the basics:
· Chapter 7- If you have little in the way of property or assets, Chapter 7 bankruptcy makes the most sense. The process is relatively quick, and debts are discharged, allowing you to make a fresh start. However, if you have property that is considered non-exempt under Texas law, a bankruptcy Trustee may sell it to pay off some of your debt.
· Chapter 13- This type of bankruptcy allows a person or married couple to reorganize their debts. The entire process may take several years. Between three to five years, the debtor must pay a Chapter 13 trustee a predetermined amount each month. Those funds are used to pay off creditors who have filed claims with the bankruptcy court. People who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy status might be able to file under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is also especially beneficial for those who have fallen behind on mortgage and/or auto loans, as the monthly payment will go towards your past due amount. The filing of a Bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure of your home and/or repossession of your vehicle. If you owe back taxes to the IRS, Chapter 13 is your best option.
You may have heard of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but that is generally reserved for businesses or those with a massive amount of debt combined with considerable assets. If you are a farmer or fisherman, you may consider filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy.
To determine the appropriate Chapter of Bankruptcy to file, you need to consult with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney.
Filing the Petition
Once you have decided which type of bankruptcy to file, an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney can proceed with the filing your petition. In Tarrant County, the Texas North District Bankruptcy Court handles these petitions. Expect to appear once in person to speak with a bankruptcy trustee. To file for bankruptcy through the Texas North District Bankruptcy Court, you must have lived in Texas for a minimum of 91 days out of the past six months, or 180 days. If you have moved here recently and do not meet this requirement, consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney to discuss your options.
Expect to pay Attorney fees in addition to those for filing your petition. These include:
– Mandatory pre-filing credit counseling
– Mandatory debtor education debt management course
– Court Filing Fees
Most Bankruptcy Attorneys use a flat fee the filing of a Bankruptcy.
Contact an Arlington, Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you or a loved one are facing severe debt issues and considering filing bankruptcy, contact the experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Machi & Associates, P.C. Call us today at (817) 335-8880 or contact us online.