Southlake Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
Are you drowning in debt? Are you unable to keep up with your bills? Are you being harassed by creditors? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we have successfully helped thousands of people file for bankruptcy. We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful and difficult decision. That's why we're here to help you every step of the way.
Our Southlake Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are dedicated to providing you with the compassionate and personalized legal representation you need to move forward with your life. We will work closely with you to determine if filing for bankruptcy is right for you and help you navigate the bankruptcy process.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation. In this type of bankruptcy, all non-exempt assets will be sold and the proceeds will be used to pay back creditors. The remaining debt will be discharged.
Chapter 7 is the simplest and fastest form of bankruptcy. In contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to retain their assets and repay their creditors over a period of time.
Here are some of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Debt Discharge: The primary benefit of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the discharge of most unsecured debts, including credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, and more. This means you are no longer legally obligated to repay these debts, providing you with a clean financial slate.
- Immediate Relief: Filing for Chapter 7 triggers an automatic stay, which halts all collection actions, including creditor harassment, lawsuits, wage garnishments, and repossessions. This gives you immediate relief from financial stress and allows you to regain control of your finances.
- Speedy Process: Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes a few months to complete, making it one of the fastest bankruptcy options. This means you can quickly move forward with your life and financial recovery.
- Protection of Exempt Assets: Most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can keep certain essential assets, called exempt property, such as your primary residence, vehicle, and personal belongings. The bankruptcy code allows you to protect these assets from being sold to repay creditors.
- Fresh Financial Start: Chapter 7 provides you with an opportunity for a fresh financial start, unburdened by overwhelming debt. It allows you to rebuild your credit and finances over time.
- No Repayment Plan: Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which requires a repayment plan, Chapter 7 does not involve a structured repayment schedule. You are not required to repay a portion of your debts over an extended period.
- No Income Limitations: There is no strict income limit to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, your eligibility may be determined by a means test that evaluates your income and expenses.
- Simplified Process: The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is generally more straightforward than Chapter 13. It doesn't involve a lengthy repayment plan, making it easier for individuals with limited income to navigate.
- Credit Rebuilding: While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit score, it provides a chance to rebuild your credit over time. Many people find that they can start improving their credit within a few years after the bankruptcy discharge.
- Relief from Co-Signer Liability: If someone co-signed a loan for you, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge your liability for the debt. However, the co-signer will still be responsible for the debt unless they also file for bankruptcy.
Many people who file for Chapter 7 do not have any non-exempt assets. They will not lose any of their property, and they will receive a discharge of their unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, medical bills, and personal loans.
Who Qualifies for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas?
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas, you must pass the means test. The means test compares your average monthly income over the past six months to the median income for a household of your size in Texas.
If your income is below the median, you generally qualify. If your income is above the median, you'll need to calculate your disposable income by subtracting certain expenses allowed by the bankruptcy code, such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. If your disposable income falls below a specific threshold, you may still be eligible for Chapter 7.
What are the Exemptions for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Exemptions play a crucial role in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process by defining what property an individual can retain, or exempt, from the liquidation process. In Texas, as in many other states, debtors have the option to choose between state and federal bankruptcy exemptions.
Here's a more detailed explanation of exemptions in Texas:
- Types of Property Protected: Exemptions are designed to safeguard specific types of property that are considered essential for maintaining a basic standard of living. These can include your home, vehicle, personal belongings, retirement accounts, and tools of your trade. The idea is to ensure that you can continue your life after bankruptcy with a fresh start.
- Homestead Exemption: One of the most significant exemptions in Texas is the homestead exemption. It allows you to protect your primary residence from being sold to repay creditors, provided the property meets certain criteria. In Texas, the homestead exemption can be quite generous, depending on whether you're in an urban or rural area.
- Motor Vehicle Exemption: Texas also has a motor vehicle exemption that protects a certain amount of equity in your car or other vehicles. This exemption allows you to keep your vehicle so that you can continue to commute to work and meet other essential needs.
- Personal Property Exemptions: Texas exempts a range of personal property, including clothing, furniture, home appliances, and other household items. The specific dollar amounts and types of property protected can vary, so it's essential to understand the exemptions applicable to your situation.
- Tools of the Trade: If you rely on specific tools or equipment for your livelihood, such as those used in your profession or trade, Texas law typically provides exemptions to protect these assets.
- Retirement Accounts: Many retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, are often exempt from liquidation. These exemptions encourage individuals to continue saving for their future, even after bankruptcy.
- Wildcard Exemption: Texas has a wildcard exemption that allows you to protect a certain amount of any property you choose. This can be particularly helpful if you have valuable items that don't fit neatly into other exemption categories.
Get the Help You Deserve Today
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, our Southlake Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can help you every step of the way. We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision. That's why we want to help you get through this difficult time as comfortably as possible.
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“Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”
Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.
“I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”
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This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.
“This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”
Direct Access To Your Attorney
Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
TransparencyHonesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
Personalized ApproachOur team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.