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If I Have Overdue Medical Bills, Can I File for Bankruptcy?

July 27th, 2020 at 11:42 am

TX bankrutpcy attorney, TX chapter 7 lawyerThe U.S. has some of the highest medical costs in the world, leaving many patients who visit the emergency room or go to the hospital financially destitute. Even those who have health insurance may find that their coverage is not enough to fully cover their necessary medical treatments. No one can predict the manifestation of serious illnesses or accidental injuries, but you rarely have a valid choice, leaving you to choose between unwanted debt or suffer the possibly fatal consequences. If you find yourself overwhelmed with medical debt, you do have legal options to help you payback the costs overtime or relieve yourself of the costs altogether. Filing for bankruptcy may be your last resort, but it may also be your only chance of moving forward.

“Medical Bankruptcy”

Those whose debt is solely made up of pastdue medical bills may believe that they can file for “medical bankruptcy” and avoid their other assets getting involved in the process. There is no type of bankruptcy known as medical bankruptcy; however, medical bills are a common reason that people file for bankruptcy. Medical debt falls under the same category, known as unsecured debt, as credit card debt, personal loans, old utility bills, and borrowed money from family or friends. Since bankruptcy cases must be equally fair for both the debtor and creditor, you must list all of your debts, personal property, and real estate within your bankruptcy case. There are two ways that most people file for bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, both of which have a large impact on your credit score.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the more desired option since it discharges or forgives all of your debts, not requiring you to pay them back. Any medical debt that you have accumulated can be included in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim. The process typically only takes four to six months to complete and grants immediate relief to those filing for this type of bankruptcy. There are a few types of debt that cannot be discharged, such as income taxes and past-due child support or alimony payments. While Chapter 7 is often the most desirable option, since you will not need to pay the debt back, there are strict eligibility requirements. If your household income is lower than the state median income, you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This type of bankruptcy extends your timeline for paying back your debts, creating a three to five year payment plan for debtors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the common option for those who have a steady income, allowing them to pay off their debts while still having disposable income. The amount owed is dependent upon your debt amount and your income. Depending on your situation, your amount owed could be reduced and you may have your remaining debt discharged at the end of your payment plan. Any missed payments can lead to the seizing of your assets.

Contact a New Braunfels Bankruptcy Attorney

As you can see, there are a number of factors that can contribute to your ability to file for bankruptcy and which type of bankruptcy is best for your situation. It is always advised to speak with a well-seasoned attorney who understands your state’s policies regarding filing for bankruptcy. The Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee has over 20 years of experience assisting Texans overcome their debt difficulties, including those that consist of significant medical costs. Contact our Boerne bankruptcy lawyer at 210-342-3400 to discuss the details of your case during your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/what-to-know-about-filing-medical-bankruptcy-4159606

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/medical-debt-in-bankruptcies

https://upsolve.org/learn/get-rid-of-medical-bills-in-bankruptcy/

 

What Are the Risks of Working with a Debt Settlement Company to Resolve My Debt?

July 13th, 2020 at 10:46 pm

TX bankrutpcy lawyer, Texas debt attorney, The words “filing for bankruptcy” can be enough to send those struggling financially into a full-blown anxiety attack. You may be thinking about the dramatic television depictions of bankruptcy, with peoples’ belongings being publicly advertised for sale and everyone becoming aware of their financial destitute. Because of these dramatizations, many will seek alternative options for paying off their massive credit card debts. No one wants to find themselves in the situation where bankruptcy is their only option; however, these alternatives can be more harmful to your credit than properly filing for bankruptcy. Debt settlement companies are a commonly advertised substitute, but the promises are often too good to be true.

What Is a Debt Settlement Company?

A debt settlement program is one sponsored by a for-profit company with the promise that they will work with your demanding creditors to negotiate a viable settlement for you to resolve your past-due payments. This settlement will be a lump-sum amount that is less than your total debt owed. Since it is unrealistic that you would have this money on hand, you will be asked to set aside a fixed amount every month into a savings account. Once the sum totals the settlement that they negotiated, you will pay the settlement amount. These companies or programs often tell their clients to halt their monthly payments to their creditors as they gather their settlement funds in their savings account.

The Risk You Take

As is the case with any financial decision, it is critical that you are fully informed of the potential risks that you may face if you decide this is the route that you would like to take.

  1. Unrealistic Expectations: These companies have terms and conditions required of their clients, including a time period that they must continue to set aside funds. Many of these programs require money to be deposited into their savings account, consistently, for 36 months or more. This can be a difficult requirement to meet since your financial situation can greatly change over three years. It is important to read these fine print details before signing up because you may end up dropping out for failure to meet them, leaving you in the same financial spot as you were when you signed up for the program.
  2. Empty Promises: There is no guarantee that their negotiations will stick. Many creditors may not agree to their negotiations, and after three years of saving, you may still owe the full amount. Debt settlement programs also tend to negotiate smaller debts first, allowing your larger debts to continue racking up interest and fees that you will need to pay later on.
  3. Faulty Advice: As previously mentioned, many of these programs encourage their clients to stop all payments to their creditors as they save on the side. This can have a negative impact on their credit score and have you accruing a high amount in late fees and other penalties.

Call a New Braunfels Bankruptcy Alternatives Lawyer

Unfortunately, some companies offering debt settlement programs fill their clients with empty promises. These programs may charge fees before any of your debts are settled and improperly advise you on your communication with your creditors, leaving your credit score in shambles. Before making any decisions regarding how you intend on paying your creditors, you should speak with an experienced attorney. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, our bankruptcy lawyer advises his clients on how to make up for their debts, providing them with information about bankruptcy and valid alternatives. We work tirelessly to help our clients move forward from their financial burdens while steering clear of scams and empty promises. For help determining your path of recovery, contact our San Antonio bankruptcy attorney at 210-342-3400 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0145-settling-credit-card-debt

 

 

What Are the Laws for Filing Multiple Bankruptcies?

October 17th, 2019 at 3:27 pm

TX bankrutpcy lawyer, TX chapter 7 attorney, Texas bankrutpcy lawyer, Most Americans have some sort of debt, with one of the most common forms of debt being credit card debt. Most of the time, debt is manageable if you are able to budget your money, but sometimes life happens and debt can become overwhelming. In cases such as those, bankruptcy is often your best option. Filing for bankruptcy can allow you to manage your debt in affordable payments or even discharge your debt, allowing you to wipe your slate clean.

Unfortunately, sometimes your first bankruptcy is not your last bankruptcy. If you find yourself drowning in unmanageable debt again, you may wonder if it is possible to file for bankruptcy again. Technically, the answer is yes, but there are a few stipulations you should know about.

Filing for Bankruptcy More Than Once

You can file for bankruptcy as many times as you want to file. There are no rules about how many times you can file for bankruptcy, but there are rules as to how often you can receive a discharge of your debs. The time between discharges is based on the type of bankruptcy you filed before, whether or not you received a discharge in that bankruptcy and the type of bankruptcy you are trying to file. The waiting periods between bankruptcy discharges are as follows:

  • Chapter 7 to Chapter 7: You can receive a discharge after eight years.
  • Chapter 7 to Chapter 13: You can receive a discharge after four years.
  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 13: You can receive a discharge after two years.
  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 7: You can receive a discharge after six years.

It is worth it to note that if you previously filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and are currently trying to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to obtain a discharge sooner if you paid back your debtors in full or you paid at least 70 percent of your debt back and your new bankruptcy filing is in good faith.

Do You Have Questions About Bankruptcy? A San Antonio, TX Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

Nobody files for bankruptcy with the intention of filing for bankruptcy more than once in their lifetime, but sometimes life happens and you have no other choice. If you have previously filed for bankruptcy and you think you might want to file again, you should talk with a knowledgeable New Braunfels, TX bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we understand that sometimes the only option for debt relief is a bankruptcy, even if you have filed for bankruptcy before. Let us help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is your best option. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://upsolve.org/learn/how-often-can-you-file-bankruptcy/

https://www.thebalance.com/if-i-filed-bankruptcy-before-how-soon-can-i-file-again-316173

Can My Texas Bankruptcy Discharge Be Denied?

June 28th, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Texas bankruptcy attorney, Texas chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 13 lawyer One of the last things that happens in the bankruptcy process is having your debts officially discharged, or forgiven. In other words, a discharge is the official release that you get when you are no longer personally liable for specific debts after you file for bankruptcy. A discharge requires all creditors to permanently stop any collection action against discharged debts, including legal action and phone calls or letters sent to your home. Discharge is the main goal of most people who file for bankruptcy, but is there is a possibility that your discharge could be denied?

Reasons for a Discharge Denial

Most of the time, a person who files for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will have his or her case end with a discharge. In some cases, however, you can receive a denial for your discharge, which can be both stressful and debilitating to some. Here are a few reasons why your discharge may be denied:

  • You tried to hide property. If you own certain property that is considered by the courts to be non-essential, such as multiple real estate holdings, multiple vehicles or other financial assets, you could be required to liquidate those to help pay some of your debt. If you are not honest about your property, your bankruptcy discharge could be denied.
  • You lied. In a bankruptcy, you are required to be honest and transparent on your bankruptcy forms and during any court hearings or meetings. You have to be truthful about your income, your assets and anything else having to do with your ability to pay your debts. If not, you could be denied a discharge of your debts.
  • You did not disclose a prior bankruptcy case. On your bankruptcy forms, you will be asked if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. You are required to be truthful about this question. If you received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within the past eight years or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge within the past six years, you may be denied an additional discharge.

Contact a Knowledgeable Boerne, TX Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

A discharge is what you expect to receive when you file for bankruptcy — it is the whole reason for filing in the first place. If you spend time and money to go through the bankruptcy process only to be denied a discharge, it can be frustrating, but a New Braunfels, TX bankruptcy attorney can help make sure this does not happen. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we will help you throughout the bankruptcy process and ensure your case goes smoothly to obtain a discharge of your debts. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/can-your-bankruptcy-discharge-be-denied-316324

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-lose-your-bankruptcy-discharge-316312

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

Types of Debt in Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

February 8th, 2019 at 11:01 pm

TX bankruptcy lawyerThere is more than one type of bankruptcy, although Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies are the most common. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your attorney and a team of other professionals are able to help you develop a repayment plan to pay back your debts. The repayment plan lasts for three to five years, depending on a variety of circumstances. Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be beneficial to individuals because it allows you to keep certain assets, such as your vehicle or your home. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, certain debts must be repaid before other debts.

Priority Debts

Priority debts are exactly what they sound like — priority over other debts. These debts must be included in any repayment plan you enter and the plan must make sure that your priority debts are paid off first and in full. Typically priority debts include:

  • Past-due child support;
  • Past-due spousal support;
  • Unpaid taxes; or
  • Unpaid wages that you owe employees within the past six months.

Secured Debts

Debts that can be secured by certain property are called secured debts. These types of debts are called secured debts because they can be attached to specific property. If you fail to repay the debts as agreed, the creditor can take back the property. The most common examples of secured debts include:

  • Home loans or mortgages; or
  • Car loans.

Unsecured Debts

Unsecured debts are basically all other debts that you may have. Unsecured debt has no property that can be attached to it, so there is nothing that the creditor can repossess if you do not pay. Common examples of unsecured debt include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Credit card debt;
  • Personal loans;
  • Utility bills; and
  • Business loans.

A Texas Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

United States bankruptcy law is extremely complex and is best handled by a professional. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we have dealt with over 20 years worth of bankruptcy cases and we know the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process. Our skilled New Braunfels Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help you sort out your finances and come up with a repayment plan that works for you. To get started reviewing your case, call our office at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

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

 

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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