If your debts are a problem, you may wonder if bankruptcy will help, and what you’ll have to give up to use it. A lot has been written about the downsides to filing for bankruptcy, but there are advantages of bankruptcy too. Find out how this powerful debt relief tool can help you close the book on past mistakes or misfortune and start a new chapter in your life.
The advantages of bankruptcy start as soon as the petition is filed. The filing of a bankruptcy case triggers an “automatic stay.” This stay means that by law you have the right to demand an immediate stop to all efforts to collect your debts. This automatic stay applies to:
This absolute relief from your creditors puts a hold on the calls, emails, and visits from creditors trying to collect on their debts. The advantages of bankruptcy gives you an opportunity to sort things out, so you can deal with your debts in the most favorable way allowed by the law.
Not everyone’s bankruptcy looks the same. It can be a tool for families considering selling personal items to pay bills, and for entrepreneurs whose investments didn’t pay off. No matter how you ended up behind on your debts, you can use bankruptcy to your advantage to discharge balances or restructure what you owe and get ahead of your payments.
If you choose to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can use federal or Texas bankruptcy exemptions to shield the assets that are important to you, and that you can afford, while shedding things you no longer want, or are beyond your means. There are exemptions that cover your:
The advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions is that, in many cases, all your assets will fit within their umbrella, making yours a “no asset” bankruptcy and giving you the benefits of discharge without the loss of your property.
You may also choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The advantage of a Chapter 13 payment plan for people and families with higher incomes, or more valuable property, is that you aren’t required to liquidate your assets. Instead, you and your bankruptcy lawyer can tailor the Chapter 13 payment plan to fit your budget. After three to five years of careful payments, you can keep what you own and walk away from what you owe.
Many Texas families spent sleepless nights or frantic days trying to find a way to make the minimum payments on their debts. They may fear the phone ringing or be worried that today will be the day the car is repossessed. You may feel like you are at the mercy of your creditors or the IRS, with little protection from the law, and just hoping for a good outcome.
Bankruptcy removes that uncertainty and puts you in control of your financial future. The work you do with your bankruptcy attorney will help you understand what you owe to whom, and plan for the payment or discharge of those debts. You will know which debts will be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy, and what to do to pay off your mortgage, student loans, or other nondischargeable balances. Armed with a budget and a payment plan (in Chapter 13 cases), you will know the steps to take to walk into bankruptcy and come out debt-free.
With the guidance of a good and experienced bankruptcy lawyer, you will know exactly how your bankruptcy case will unfold before you file the case. There will be no surprises, and no anxiety. Instead, you’ll have a plan, a budget, and a path to life without the weight of unpaid debt.
You don’t have to live with the weight of what you owe hanging over you. By working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can identify your debts, make a plan, and erase your debts. Bankruptcy doesn’t have to be a frightening last resort to solving your financial crisis. It can be a strategic tool to set you free from obligations you can’t afford and assets you don’t want. Speak with an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney, contact Patrick T. Williams, Attorney and CPA today to get started.