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Reclaiming Your Texas Driver’s License through Bankruptcy

April 12th, 2018 at 11:34 pm

Texas bankruptcy attorneyCreditors can take the issue of unresolved debt to court and have a judge issue a judgment against the debtor. In most states, judgments do not severely impact the life of a debtor thanks to existing exemptions that protect against losing homes and other possessions. However, in Texas, an unpaid judgement authorizes loss of driving privileges by suspending a driver’s license. The suspension goes on often indefinitely until there is a proof of repayment, or until the issuance of an automatic stay. Such a blow to one’s independence can wreak havoc on any life. Fortunately, reclaiming your license is one of the many surprising benefits of filing for bankruptcy.

How The Loss of Driving Privileges Turns Into A Catastrophe

Although for some the loss of legal driving privileges is a slight inconvenience, the set back is devastating for many others. Having driving abilities is not just about getting to work on time, it is also family availability and other daily life requirements. Furthermore, many employers require a valid driver’s license to maintain employment, such as in positions requiring travel. The next steps are up to the employer. Sometimes, an employer can choose to relocate an employee to an area that does not necessitate a license (or the handling of money, since financial instability creates a liability for many business operations). If termination of employment is the ultimate decision, the loss of income may affect the following payments:

  • Mortgage or rent;
  • Insurance;
  • Groceries; and
  • Electricity.

Get Your Driver’s License Back

If financial difficulty resulted in the loss of your driver’s license, losing your job only compounds the issue further. Fortunately, bankruptcy can enable you to get your license back. Filing for bankruptcy puts an automatic stay in place, which prevents creditors from pursuing all attempts to collect on debt, enabling the filer to reinstate the license without having to satisfy the obligation. Doing so in a timely manner can prevent job loss and the potential accompanying snowball effect the loss of income can have on bills.

Ask an Attorney

If you lost your license as a result of the inability to pay a bill, the last thing you likely want to happen is to experience a job loss on top of it all. Explore the option of bankruptcy with a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we understand how frightening and embarrassing the thought of bankruptcy is, but we also know that waiting can make matters worse. Discover your options today by calling 210-342-3400 for your free and confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.govcollect.org/files/Texas_Debt_Collection.pdf

https://www.hrbartender.com/2012/recruiting/ask-hr-bartender-losing-your-drivers-license-can-impact-your-career/

 

Career Athletes and Bankruptcy

March 11th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Olympics, Olympic Rings, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer, career athletes, bankruptcy, financeThe 2014 Winter Olympics has just wrapped up and all eyes were on the incredible athletes from all around the world who have spent their life training for the big event. Although the Olympics is a celebration of all their hard work, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of time, energy, and financing that goes into preparing an athlete. Whether it’s the Olympics or professional sports, there’s a lot of hard work to get to the top. Some athletes struggle financially before or after their sports career, many even filing for bankruptcy.

The list of professional athletes who have gone bankrupt is longer than you might think. There are several reasons why they get there, but a primary one is poor financial planning or a series of hardships that threw them off course. Especially for younger athletes, not knowing how to properly manage their money can be a challenge too great, leading them to financial struggle mere years after their wealth accumulates.

According to a 2009 study, NFL retirees have a higher average income than men in similar age brackets of the general population. When that study broke down by age, however, younger athletes had higher numbers of sports stars with income close to or below the poverty level. A quick rise to fame can be difficult for younger athletes. Celebrating their big payoff after years of hard work and investment might mean financial difficulty and bankruptcy down the road as a result of poor financial planning.

Financial problems can affect individuals of all income levels and backgrounds. When you’re buried too deep and feeling like you’ll never be able to get on top of your situation, bankruptcy can be there to help. Bankruptcy can give you the fresh start you need. If you’d like to discuss your options, contact a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today.

A New Baby Could be a Good Time for Financial Fresh-Start

November 4th, 2013 at 11:01 am

texas-bankruptcy-fresh-startThere are usually all kinds of planning and important decisions to be made when a couple has a new baby on the way.  And many of those plans are expensive ones.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it costs a middle-income family almost a quarter of a million dollars to raise that child from infancy to age 18 – and that’s excluding college tuition.

The UDSA’s new report breaks down as follows:

  • Families earning between $60,640 and $105,000 (pretax) will spend $241,080.
  • Families earning less than $60,640 will spend $173,490.
  • Families earning more than $105,000 will spend $399,780.

The report cites the two largest expenses as housing (33 percent) and child care/education (23 percent).  The third-highest expense is food (18 percent). Although parents may be tempted to overspend in other areas, none of these three categories are arbitrary ones.

For parents already struggling with significant debt, the increase costs may be overwhelming. For example, before baby, both parents are working full-time yet still unable to keep up with debt obligations every month. After the baby is born, a good portion of that net income is drastically reduced and paid for daycare tuition.

According to a study done by the Center for American Progress, in 2010, among families with children 44.8 percent were headed by two working parents and another 26.1 percent were headed by a single working parent. A good quality, licensed daycare can cost more per year than college tuition.

This may just be the time to consider whether or not filing for bankruptcy protection may be the best option in being able to handle all the new and unforeseen expenses that arrive along with the new baby. Contact an experienced San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy lawyer today to find out what your options are and why this may be the best financial decision for you and your new family.

What Does an IRS Tax Levy Mean in Texas?

October 30th, 2013 at 10:19 am

san-antonio-irs-tax-levySince the economy has taken a turn for the worse, the IRS has be relatively aggressive in coming after income tax debt. If you are being contacted by the IRS about existing tax debt and you are feeling overwhelmed with your finances, you need the advice of a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney.

The IRS can use levies to pay your taxes if you do not make payments or arrangements for payments to cover a tax debt. The IRS can take and sell any type of personal property that you own or have interest in. This includes the cash loan value of your life insurance policy, commissions, your wages, bank accounts, licenses, rental income, dividends, and retirement accounts. The IRS may also seize and sell property such as houses, boats or cars.

The tax levy can be completed after the IRS assessed the tax and provided you with a Notice and Demand for Payment, you refused to pay the tax or ignored the notice, and you received a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing.” Generally, you will receive this last piece of information about 30 days before the levy. Taxes are extremely complicated and contacting the IRS may not clear up your questions. This is a sign to reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer.

If you are being contacted by the IRS about an impending levy, now is the time to act. The automatic stay provision of bankruptcy will stall all attempts by creditors to collect on a debt. Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop the attempt to levy you as a result of an outstanding tax debt.

You should only work with a professional who understands the challenges of an IRS tax levy. If you’re ready to talk about bankruptcy and your opportunity to get a fresh start in life, contact an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney today.

Insured Patients and Bankruptcy

October 8th, 2013 at 8:54 am

Many people assume most bankruptcy filings are due to out-of-control spending habits or poor money management.  However, according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, one of the biggest reasons people file for bankruptcy is unpaid medical bills.

More surprising is that many who file for bankruptcy due to medical bills have health insurance.  So even with the expansion of health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, there will still be people struggling under the weight of medical bills.  Understanding the expenses related to health insurance can help you be financially prepared.

 

Monthly Premiums

Unless you have an employer covering your full monthly premium, most people will have to pay at least part of this to have health insurance.  The amount you’ll pay for your monthly premium has many variables, including the amounts set for your deductible, co-payments and co-insurance.

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of money you must pay before the health insurance company will begin paying benefits. Deductibles range considerably depending on your plan. Many people try to save on their monthly health care premiums by selecting plans with high deductibles.  This can be an effective strategy but a high deductible can be a real challenge if you ever need to pay it.

Co-Payments and Co-Insurance

Once your deductible is met, you may have co-payments and co-insurance to pay.  A co-payment is a specific dollar amount you may be required to pay each time you visit the doctor.  A co-insurance is a percentage of the covered service you may be required to pay.

Lifetime Maximum

Sadly, a serious illness or injury can deplete your health insurance completely, as many health insurance plans have a lifetime maximum.  This means that once your insurer has paid out a specific dollar amount, you no longer have benefits from that company.

What Can I Do?

You should discuss your financial concerns with your doctor.  While you do not want to compromise the quality of your care, sometimes good options are available that are less expensive.  And do not be afraid to shop around.  Look for cheaper prescription drugs and cheaper diagnostic tests.  Finally, discuss payment plans with your doctor’s office.

If you find yourself with mounting medical bills you cannot pay, bankruptcy may be the best option for you.  Contact an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney today.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

August 20th, 2013 at 10:23 am

LucyWhen someone files for personal bankruptcy, they typically file for either Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13, a payment plan is set up for the debtor to pay back all of the debts, whereas, under Chapter 7, the debts are forgiven.

When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, these are some important steps to take early on:

The person in debt (debtor) must file a bankruptcy petition with the court, along with a list of assets and liabilities, a list of income and expenditures, a financial affair statement and a list of all current leases

  • Once the petition has been filed, debtors must also have tax documents available to hand over to the case trustee
  • If the majority of the debts are consumer debts, the debtor must also file a certificate of credit, a copy of a debt repayment plan from credit counseling if there is one, evidence of payment from employers and any interest in qualified education or tuition accounts

The court then charges the debtor the following fees, which must be paid immediately unless permission is granted otherwise by the court. If these fees are not paid, the case may be dismissed.

  • $245 case filing fee
  • $46 administrative fee
  • $15 trustee surcharge

Information needed to complete all of the necessary forms for the petition, includes:

  • A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of the money due to them
  • The debtor’s income, including the amount, source, and frequency
  • A list of all of the debtor’s properties
  • All monthly expenses such as food, shelter, utilities, transportation, medications, taxes and clothing

Determine possible exemptions in the case. States have specific assets that can be exempt from a case, or a debtor can choose what he or she wishes to be exempt from the case. It is important to determine this early on with an attorney.

Although there are many additional steps that must be taken to file for bankruptcy, these are a few that are very important to get the ball rolling. For additional help, contact a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney. Attorney Chance M. McGhee can help you file and get your debts taken care of today.

Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act saves bankruptcy case

July 15th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Lucy (Dropbox)While proving whether the defendant broke the law is all that must be done in most court cases, it is not always that simple. Sometimes, judges must rely on past cases to determine the outcome of a current court case, and that is exactly what had to be done in Texas not long ago in bankruptcy court.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas heard Carroll v. Faroogi in February and agreed with a U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s decision that an individual has standing to pursue an action against a franchise or under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).

The case was about an unsuccessful sale of a Salad Bowl franchise. The CEO (who is also president, chairman and CFO) of the franchise company contacted a potential buyer of his franchise and the buyer, then signed a thirty-day option contract and paid $25,000 to the CEO for the franchise fee. The buyer, unfortunately, was unable to line up suitable financing to complete the purchase and demanded that the CEO refund him his initial $25,000 fee.

After being asked for the money to be returned, the CEO filed for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the buyer filed an opposing case within the bankruptcy case, against the CEO. The bankruptcy court decided against the CEO, stating that he violated the DTPA, and awarded the buyer a judgment for $88,000. The court also decided that the debt was non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, meaning that it could not be included in the payment plan created under bankruptcy.

In the appeals court, the CEO did not challenge the bankruptcy court’s decision that he violated the DTPA, but that the buyer had standing under the statute. The CEO specifically argued that the buyer was not a consumer under the DTPA because he entered into an option contract which was neither a good nor a service based on the Texas statute. The district court, however, rejected the argument, stating that “a franchise may be a good or service under the DTPA.”

Texas law also directed the courts to examine a party’s main objective in the transaction between buyer and seller to determine whether the party is considered a consumer. Since the district court found that the buyer’s purpose was to purchase the franchise, not at option agreement, it concluded that the buyer was, in fact, a consumer and had standing to bring a DTPA claim against the CEO.

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy like this CEO did? If so, be sure to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to catch any loopholes that this CEO did not see. Chance M. McGhee and attorneys can help you with your bankruptcy filing in San Antonio, Tex. today.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help Stop Foreclosure

June 5th, 2013 at 10:17 am

The FDIC provides some troubling statistics about foreclosures. One out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon. Every three months, 250,000 homeowners enter foreclosure. One child in every classroom in America is at risk of losing his/her home because their parents are unable to pay their mortgage.

chapter 13 bankruptcy        Kerry may 15There are ways, however, to avoid foreclosure and work towards saving your home, even for a homeowner who has fallen so far behind that the mortgage lender has scheduled an auction. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop that foreclosure sale. When you file for bankruptcy, there is an automatic stay put into place that prohibits most creditors from continuing collection activities. This stay includes foreclosure sales.

Chapter 13 also allows you to cure the mortgage default and catch up with your loan. Many times, when a homeowner gets behind on their mortgage payments, the lender either won’t do a loan modification with the homeowner, or offers a repayment plan that is too high for the homeowner to keep up with, resulting in the foreclosure sale.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts over a three to five year period. For example, let’s look at a homeowner who is paying $1500 per month for their mortgage and they owe an arrearage of $15,000. Chapter 13 will spread that $15,000 over sixty months (five years) at $250 per month, meaning the homeowner will now be sending the mortgage company $1750 per month ($1500 for current mortgage, $250 for arrearage). If the court approves that payment plan, the mortgage company has to accept it. They cannot decline and foreclose.

If you are facing foreclosure, contact a knowledgeable Texas bankruptcy attorney to help save your family’s home. Email us today in San Antonio for a consultation. We can answer any questions you may have about how a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help save your home from foreclosure.

 

Image courtesy of photostock/Freedigitalphotos

 

Social Security Benefits to be Protected in Bankruptcy

April 29th, 2013 at 11:03 am

When it comes to bankruptcy in America, there is rarely an occasion that it is coupled with good news. However, there is a cause for a sigh of relief for millions of consumers.

San Antonio bankruptcy attorney      (Theresa)The Ninth Court of Circuit Appeals has protected Social Security benefits from creditors that seek to retrieve any penny they can from bankrupt consumers. Most people who are bankrupt are already facing financial hardships which are not made any easier when faced with a fixed income. Many of these people are disabled or elderly. The court has determined that Social Security income would not be used or considered in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Bankruptcy attorneys all over the country are applauding this latest court decision. What this means to you, the consumer, is that when faced with the decision to file bankruptcy, you do not have to worry about losing your fixed income nor having it compromised by having it considered when determining the best bankruptcy plan for your situation.

No one wants to have to file bankruptcy and for most people, it is a last resort decision. This is the last hope before losing your home or maybe even your vehicle. This will also make it easier to recover from this bankruptcy and back on the right financial track.

If you have questions regarding the best bankruptcy program for your situation or the process itself, an empathetic and qualified Texas bankruptcy attorney can answer those questions. Your attorney will also provide the best advice to rebuild your credit as well as remaining in good standing once you are out from the enormous weight of being in debt. Contact us today!

Bankruptcy Filings Dropped in February, But Remain High Overall

April 5th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

StaciFebruary 2013 showed a 16 percent decrease in South-Central Texas bankruptcy filings over February 2012, but when measured on a month-over-month basis, filings remain up 41 percent. The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that in the San Antonio division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas last month, there were 288 bankruptcy filings, as opposed to 343 filings in February, 2012.

In terms of the types of bankruptcy actions being filed, the number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings has dramatically decreased. Only 105 Chapter 7 bankruptcies were filed in February, 2013, which is only two thirds of the 158 bankruptcies that were filed in the same time period last year. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an eligible debtor can liquidate many debts altogether, thus giving him or her a fresh financial start. Although some debts are not eligible for discharge through Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, some debtors will be able to discharge all of their debts, depending on their specific financial situations.

On the other hand, the number of Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings was essentially the same from February 2013 as compared to February 2012 – 176 filings as opposed to 180 filings last year. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, individuals can reorganize their debts, typically over a three to five-year period of time. If the debtor successfully makes payments according to the plan, any remaining balances on those eligible debts are forgiven, or discharged. This type of bankruptcy proceeding allows debtors to pay off all or at least a portion of their debts, while still getting the debt relief that they need.

A qualified San Antonio bankruptcy attorney can be instrumental in determining the best course of action for your financial situation. Call or email our office today and learn how bankruptcy can benefit you and your family.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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