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What Is an Automatic Stay in a Texas Bankruptcy?

April 30th, 2020 at 1:24 am

TX bankruptcy lawyer, Texas chapter 13 lawyer, Texas chapter 7 lawyer, For most people, filing for bankruptcy is a last resort. It can be easy to dig yourself into a pit of debt that you are unable to climb out of. Once the bills start becoming due, it can feel like an ocean wave washing over you, with you struggling to stay above water. Not paying your bills can cause creditors to resort to collections actions, such as wage garnishment and repossession. Once you file for bankruptcy, however, all of those collections actions must stop. This is what is known as the automatic stay.

Understanding the Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is a provision in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that temporarily halts collections attempts from all creditors. The automatic stay goes into effect immediately after you file for bankruptcy and prevents any and all creditors from contacting you about debts you may have with them. The automatic stay does not last forever. As soon as your bankruptcy case is finished, the automatic stay is lifted.

What Can the Automatic Stay Prevent?

The automatic stay is meant to stop creditors from performing a variety of collections activities while you are going through with your bankruptcy. This was meant to help keep things fair among creditors, to prevent one creditor from settling their debts over another, but it also helps the person filing for the bankruptcy. Here are a few things the automatic stay can prevent from happening:

  • Foreclosure or eviction: The automatic stay prevents the completion of a foreclosure on your home or eviction from a place you rent. However, the automatic stay does not prevent foreclosure or eviction from happening. Your creditor can file a petition for the foreclosure to proceed, and mortgage debt is not discharged with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving you still responsible after the bankruptcy is over.
  • Wage garnishments: If you have had creditors garnish your wages, they are not permitted to do so during the time that the bankruptcy case is open. You should be receiving your full wages once the automatic stay is in place, as long as the garnishment is not for secured debt.
  • Repossessions: The automatic stay can also help prevent repossessions from happening on property that you do not fully owe yet, such as vehicles. Auto debt is also not discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcies, which is why you must work out a repayment plan with your lender. As soon as the bankruptcy is over, your lender can repossess your vehicle if you have not worked out a repayment plan.

Our San Antonio, TX Bankruptcy Attorney is Here to Help

In some situations, creditors can be aggressive and intrusive into your life. If you have filed for bankruptcy, you should not be experiencing any collections actions against you. If you have creditors who are still trying to collect, you should speak with a skilled Boerne, TX bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you through your bankruptcy case. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 210-342-3400.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/automaticstay.asp

https://upsolve.org/learn/what-is-automatic-stay-bankruptcy/

Top Things You Should Know About Declaring Bankruptcy

March 12th, 2020 at 3:11 am

TX bankrupcty lawyers, TX chapter 7 lawyersBeing in debt can feel like you are drowning, especially if you are so far into debt that you do not see a way out. Whatever the reason for the extreme amount of debt, there are options that you can consider to help with the debt. For many people, bankruptcy can be the right option to relieve them of most, or even all of their debt. However, filing for bankruptcy is not easy and can actually be quite complicated and confusing. Each bankruptcy case is different, so it is not always simple for you to know what to expect after you declare bankruptcy. Here are a few things you should know if you are considering filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Does Not Happen Overnight

Some people think of bankruptcy as being similar to small claims court where you usually receive your disposition the same day you attend court. This is not the case. The bankruptcy process is complex and typically lasts at least a few months if you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the case is open and ongoing for three to five years, the duration of your repayment plan.

Not Everyone Qualifies for Bankruptcy

Not just anyone can get a bankruptcy. Especially for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are certain requirements that you must meet, such as being below a certain income level and passing the means test. The means test is a way of determining your monthly income and expenses to figure out how much disposable income you have each month.

If You Do Qualify, Not All Debts Are Eligible to Be Discharged

Another misconception that people have is that they will be completely free of debt once they have filed for bankruptcy. This depends on a couple of things. First, it depends on the type of bankruptcy you file and second, it depends on the type of debt you have. Most unsecured debt will be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as credit card debt. However, student loan debt, federal, state and local taxes, alimony and child support debt cannot be discharged or forgiven in bankruptcy.

Your Bankruptcy Will Affect Your Credit

Though bankruptcy can have a huge effect on your life, perhaps one of the most prominent effects is what bankruptcy does to your credit. After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is finished, it will be reported on your credit report and will stay there for up to 10 years. Most creditors will shy away from loaning money to someone with bankruptcy, so it may be hard for you to open a credit card, take out a mortgage or buy a car.

A New Braunfels, TX Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

If you are unsure of whether or not bankruptcy is right for you, you should talk with a skilled San Antonio, TX bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you understand all of your options available to you to manage your debts. We can also help you make the right decision about what is best for you and your family’s situation. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 210-342-3400.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/top-things-to-know-about-bankruptcy-316198

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/credit/bankruptcy/what-to-expect-when-filing-for-bankruptcy/

 

Lowering Payments on a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

January 31st, 2020 at 10:56 am

chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, TX chapter 13 lawyerFor many people, filing for bankruptcy is a fresh start in life. If you have filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are still technically paying off your debts, just in a manner that is more manageable for you. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy consolidates all of your debt and creates a repayment plan that lasts for three to five years, depending on your situation. Your monthly payment amount is more than just taking the amount of debt to be repaid and dividing by the number of months you are required to pay. The amount that you are ordered to pay each month is the result of a formula that takes into account your income, assets, debts, and expenses. For some people, this number is a manageable payment. For others, it can be a burden or become one because of a variety of situations.

Qualifying for a Modification

Not everyone can qualify to get their Chapter 13 repayment plan modified. The courts will not entertain a request to modify your plan just because — you have to have a legitimate reason/need for the modification. The most common reason modifications are granted to Chapter 13 repayment plans is because of changed circumstances. These circumstances must be significant enough to severely limit your ability to meet the terms of your current repayment plan. Examples of a significant change in circumstances include:

  • A loss of income
  • A decrease in income
  • An increase in expenses
  • Medical issues
  • Unexpected emergencies

Modification Process

If you want to try to get your Chapter 13 payments lowered, you should first get in touch with your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you fill out the appropriate forms and guide you throughout the process. Your attorney will prepare a motion to modify after confirmation and file it with the court. The court will then review the motion and schedule a hearing that you must attend. At the hearing, you will present your reasons why you need to modify the terms of your repayment plan and return a verdict.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Modification Attorney Today

At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you throughout your bankruptcy process, from start to finish. We understand how beneficial a bankruptcy can be for many people and how it can provide you with a fresh start to life. Our skilled Kerrville, TX Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can help you modify your bankruptcy terms if need be. The bankruptcy process can be confusing and you do not have to go it alone — call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-13-bankruptcy-basics

 

What Does a Bankruptcy Trustee Do?

September 16th, 2019 at 4:40 pm

trusteeThe most common types of bankruptcies that are filed in the United States are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. There are many differences between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, mainly in the way that the debts are handled. While these two types of bankruptcies differ greatly in many aspects, they do have one thing in common — they both utilize a bankruptcy trustee.

If you have thought about getting a bankruptcy or you have done research about getting one, you have probably come across the term — but do you know what a bankruptcy trustee is? It is important to understand the role of the trustee if you are getting a bankruptcy or considering one.

What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

A bankruptcy trustee is a person who works on a bankruptcy case to act as the middleman between the debtor and the creditors. The trustee is not an employee of the bankruptcy court, but rather an independent contractor who is hired to prevent the court itself from having to collect and/or distribute property. Trustees are also responsible for reviewing all financial information that is submitted by the debtor to ensure it is accurate and true.

Trustees in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, your non-exempt assets are liquidated or sold so that you can repay as much of your debt as possible before the rest of it is discharged. A trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is responsible for determining which of your assets are non-exempt and using the money from those to repay your debtors.

Trustees in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you reorganize your debts so that you can come up with a three- to five-year repayment plan to pay back all or most of your debts. In this type of bankruptcy, your trustee is responsible for overseeing the repayment plan. He or she will collect your payment each month and distribute it to your debtors.

Questions About the Bankruptcy Process? A San Antonio, TX Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is a serious one. Your credit score will be affected and the bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for a number of years. Ultimately, the bankruptcy trustee can affect your bankruptcy case for the good or the better, which is why it is important to understand their role in your bankruptcy case. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you should talk with a knowledgeable Boerne, TX bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help make sure your bankruptcy process is smooth and as stress-free as possible. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bankruptcy-trustee.asp

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/bankruptcy-trustee/

https://www.thebalance.com/who-is-a-bankruptcy-trustee-316199

Qualifying for Bankruptcy in Texas

August 14th, 2019 at 10:22 am

Texas bankruptcy lawyer, TX chapter 7 attorney, A bankruptcy can help by allowing you to discharge your debts and no longer be legally responsible for repaying those debts, giving you the chance to start over. This blank slate comes with a price, however. Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit score and can make it harder to get future loans or credit cards. Nevertheless, for many people who are in financial trouble, there is no other way to remedy the situation but to file for bankruptcy. There are two types of bankruptcies that are commonly filed by individuals in the United States — Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy has its own way of helping those who are in insurmountable debt, with Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharging most or all of your debts and Chapter 13 reorganizing your debts into more manageable monthly payments. Qualification requirements also vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you choose to go with.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The idea behind a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you do not have enough income to repay all of the debts that you owe. As such, most of your debts are discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In 2005, bankruptcy laws changed to add income limits to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The past six months of your income will be used to determine whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy along with the number of people in your household. Generally, the income limits are as follows:

  • Single person: $40,389
  • 2-Person Household: $54,762
  • 3-Person Household: $59,276
  • 4-Person Household: $65,932
  • Add $7,500 for each additional person over four household members

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Qualifying for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is slightly different. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to reorganize your debts and make affordable monthly payments over three or five years. Because you are still technically paying all or most of your debts, you must prove that you have regular income and a sufficient amount to pay those debts. Next, your debts must not be above the thresholds. Unsecured debts, such as credit cards and personal loans, must be below $394,725. Secured debts, such as a mortgage or auto loan, cannot be more than $1,184,200.

Unsure if You Qualify for Bankruptcy? Contact a San Antonio, TX Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Financial troubles are never easy to deal with, especially when you have to deal with a bankruptcy. If you believe that bankruptcy is the best course of action for your financial issues, your next move is to determine which type of bankruptcy you qualify for. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you determine which type of bankruptcy is right for your particular case. With help from a Boerne, TX bankruptcy lawyer, you can be sure that you are receiving helpful and accurate advice. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/bankruptcy-chapter-7-vs-chapter-13/

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/what-is-chapter-13-bankruptcy/

 

What to Expect at a 341 Meeting of Creditors

July 19th, 2019 at 6:49 pm

TX bankruptcy lawyer, TX chapter 7 attorney Once you have made the decision to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, prepared and filled out all required paperwork and filed that paperwork, you will have to attend a meeting. This meeting is referred to as a 341 meeting of creditors and will take place at a time, place, and location that is determined by the bankruptcy court and will include your bankruptcy trustee and creditors. This can be a nerve-wracking time for you because the trustee will ask you a series of questions about your application to ensure you are not trying to commit bankruptcy fraud and to discover whether or not you have nonexempt assets that could be sold to repay all or part of your debts.

During the Meeting

Prior to the 341 meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy trustee will have already reviewed your paperwork and financial records. During the meeting, the trustee will ask you a series of questions to gather more information about your case. By federal law, during the meeting, the trustee is required to ensure that you are aware of:

  • The consequences of filing for bankruptcy, such as the impact it will have on your credit history
  • Your ability to file for bankruptcy through different means, such as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • The effect that receiving a discharge of your debts through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have
  • The effect of reaffirming a debt

The trustee will also ask you questions about why you are filing for bankruptcy, your monthly income and expenses, assets, debts, marital status and any dependents you might have. They will also want to know about any other financial obligations you may have, such as child support or spousal maintenance. The trustee will want to make sure that you do not have any assets that are not exempt that could be used to repay all or part of your debts. You will also have to attest, under oath, that all of the information that you have provided is true.

A Schertz, TX Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

If you are thinking about filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are certain requirements you must meet and procedures you must take. Help from a knowledgeable New Braunfels, TX Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can be extremely helpful throughout the bankruptcy process. At the Law Office of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you prepare for your creditor meeting and we will also accompany you to the meeting to ensure your rights are protected. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/341-meeting.asp

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/341

The Role of a Bankruptcy Trustee

May 17th, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Texas bankruptcy attorneyComing to the decision that your best option is to file for bankruptcy is not easy. You may have taken weeks, if not months to realize that your best option is bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process can be confusing because of all of the legalities and people involved with the process. When you file for bankruptcy, the United States Trustee Program will assign you a bankruptcy trustee who will be responsible for overseeing your case. The trustee is one of the most important people in your case, so it is crucial that you understand the role of the trustee and the impact the trustee can have on your case.

What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

The role of a trustee was created to prevent the creditors and courts from having to be the ones responsible for collecting and distributing the property of those who file for bankruptcy. Trustees are independent contractors who are not employees of the bankruptcy court, but they must answer to the court and cannot take any kind of action until the court approves it. The trustee will evaluate and make recommendations pertaining to the demands of different debtors involved in the specific bankruptcy case they are assigned to.

Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee

The role of a trustee differs based on the type of case they are assigned to. Most bankruptcy cases will be assigned a trustee, except for Chapter 11 reorganization plans and Chapter 9 municipality cases.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your trustee is responsible for a couple of different things. First, it is the trustee’s job to make sure your bankruptcy claim is legitimate and not fraudulent. Your trustee will also be the person who determines whether or not you have any non-exempt assets. If you do, the trustee will also manage the sale of your assets and oversee the distribution of the proceeds to your creditors.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustees

The role of a trustee in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is slightly different because the types of bankruptcies differ from each other. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy deals with a repayment plan, which your trustee will be responsible for overseeing. Your trustee will be your liaison between you and your debtors, making sure you have an affordable repayment plan, collecting your payments and distributing them to your debtors.

Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney Today

One of the many aspects of a bankruptcy is the trustee, which is a crucial piece to the puzzle. Your trustee will make sure you have a reasonable bankruptcy plan, but sometimes you also need extra help. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you should talk with an experienced Kerrville, TX bankruptcy attorney. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we will help you determine whether or not bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/bankruptcy-trustee/

https://www.thebalance.com/who-is-a-bankruptcy-trustee-316199

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bankruptcy-trustee.asp

Can Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lead to a More Financially Stable Life?

October 15th, 2014 at 7:40 am

Chapter 13 bankruptcy Texas, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerMany individuals and business owners wrongly attach a negative connotation to the word “bankruptcy.” While it is true that those who choose to file bankruptcy may be facing dire financial situations, the process should not be viewed as an inherently bad decision. Instead, debtors should view bankruptcy as an opportunity to develop a financial plan that leads to financial stability.

Though large companies are required by law to hire a bankruptcy attorney, individuals have the choice of filing alone. While there are standard laws in place for the bankruptcy process, every case is different. For this reason, it is often wise to hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to review the case and identify the best approach to filing.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Provides a Path to Financial Freedom

Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs from other chapters as it allows the debtor to restructure the debt they owe rather than liquidating assets. After submitting the initial petition to file for bankruptcy, the debtor, court, and trustee will develop a practical and comprehensive payment plan.

An important part of the bankruptcy process is what is referred to as “debtor education.” This is a special program that all applicants must attend. It not only covers some financial basics, but it also explores alternatives to bankruptcy, which may be helpful if the plan does not work out for the debtor.

While there are several reasons a person can end up with high amounts of debt, some debt is purely accidental and the result of not understanding how debt and credit work. Credit counseling and debtor education aim to remedy this issue.

The benefits of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy extend beyond education. For example, according to the U.S. Courts website, filers may not face foreclosure of their homes.

If bankruptcy seems like a viable option for your financial situation, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. As an experienced San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy attorney, Mr. McGhee has helped clients over the past 20 years regain control of their finances. Call our law firm today at 210-342-3400.

 

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