Texas Bankruptcy

//Texas Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy because of the coronavirus

Over the last month, over 22 million Americans filed for unemployment because of the shelter in place orders that have been put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many small businesses have been absolutely crushed by the forced closure, and those that were able to pivot and provide modified services are still hurting due to the drastically reduced demand. If people aren’t leaving their homes, they’re simply not buying.

The number of jobless Americans is expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate. A research paper released in late March by the St. Louis Federal Reserve estimated that we could hit an unemployment rate as high as 32% – that’s about 47 million Americans.

That’s an almost mind-boggling number of people who won’t be able to pay their mortgage, rent, or other bills – let alone buy groceries and other essentials. It’s been estimated that over half of Americans have already lost some income due to the lockdown.

Federal, state, and local governments are working hard to provide financial safety nets – the Payroll Protection Program was rolled out and quickly depleted. Mortgage lenders and automotive finance companies are deferring payments, and if you meet the requirements, you’ll receive a federal stimulus check. Unfortunately, for the millions out of work, the government stimulus check simply won’t be enough to keep them afloat.

What should you do if you’ve been laid off?

Your first step should be looking at your budget. Figure out what you can do to save money immediately. Talk to your creditors, most will try to assist you if you’ve been laid off during the pandemic. Most mortgage, car, and credit card payments can be deferred. Student loans can be deferred as well. Many cities across the country have prohibited utility shut-offs – but skipping utility bills could lead to massive debt later down the road.

Once you’ve spoken to your creditors, you’ll have a better picture of your financial obligations. If you’ve got enough in savings, that might be enough to get you through the lockdown – but you’ll need to pay attention to how much you need to spend on essentials. You might be able to last longer by deferring non-essential bills and paying your minimum amount on others.

If you’re already at the point where the money has run out, or will run out in the near future, give us a call at 214-760-7777 – we’re happy to talk through your financial picture and let you know what your options are. It’s a free, no-pressure consultation – we’re not going to force you to file for bankruptcy, and in fact, might advise against it if there are better options on the table.

What will COVID bankruptcy look like?

If bankruptcy is inevitable, you’ll end up filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to wipe out your debts permanently, with no obligation to ever pay them back. Chapter 7 is best for individuals who aren’t able to pay back a significant portion (or all) of their debt. Typically, this is best when there’s a massive amount of credit card debt or a huge medical debt.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more of a reorganization of your debts. If you’ve got a regular income stream and have simply fallen behind, Chapter 13 is a better option. A plan is created to repay all (or most) of your debt with installment payments.

For both types of bankruptcy, you’d typically have to meet with an attorney and then go to court to get a judge to approve your case. During the COVID lockdown, everything can be done online. We can do everything over the phone or through virtual meetings, and the courts are allowing cases to be filed virutally so social distancing can still be observed.

If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed due to the coronavirus and you’re falling behind on bills, call us at 214-760-7777 – we’re here to help! Even if bankruptcy isn’t right for your situation, we’ll help point you in the right direction to help with your finances and plan for your future.

How to choose the right bankruptcy lawyer

how to choose the right bankruptcy lawyerIf you’re struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy, the biggest question in your mind is probably “Which bankruptcy lawyer should I go to?” It’s one of the most important decisions to make – filing bankruptcy will have a significant impact on your life. Bankruptcy law is very complex, with many twists and turns, and traps for the unwary. If you need to file bankruptcy, choosing the right lawyer is critical.

The simple truth is that a more experienced attorney will do a better job, which means getting you the most benefit from filing and avoiding the mistakes that someone less experienced is bound to make.

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Recent Testimonials for Rubin & Associates

testimonialsWe can talk all day long about our experience helping local Dallas residents get a fresh start through bankruptcy, but sometimes our clients say it better than we do.

Here are a few of the notes and emails we’ve received from recent clients:


God Bless You –

Thank all of you for being there to see me through it, from day one until the last day.

Thank you, thank you!

– Barbara


Mark,

I wanted to thank you for taking time to meet with me in person on Tuesday 4/5. I now have a better understanding of the issues with my case. It was important to me to be able to do this, and I can’t thank you enough. Even though I’m aware that the Chapter 13 was the right decision for me, I still have some anxiety about the unknown. You answered all my questions and broadened my understanding of how these things work. It can be very complicated for a lay-person, and I appreciate your plain English.

I’m glad I have you representing me!

Thanks again,

Joey


Thank you so much… PRAISE GOD and Mark Rubin and Associates!!! A HUGE SPECIAL THANK YOU TO KELLI JOHNSON – now it bought me time… I’ve got connection to guy/friend who does home equity loans for those that are challenged. Says he should be able to get it done for me for 50-60k. I’d pay off bankruptcy stuff with it – what do I need to start doing or do is my next question? THANKS AGAIN MY ANGEL KELLI

Craig

What Happens With a Dismissed Bankruptcy?

Dismissed bankruptcy case - Dallas bankruptcy attorneyThere are several reasons that a bankruptcy case can be dismissed. The Bankruptcy Code allows most dismissed cases to be re-filed at any time, and most importantly – the debts that were included in the original case are not barred from discharge.

It’s important to note – once a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the automatic stay ends immediately, which means creditors are allowed to renew their collection attempts. Any liens or transactions avoided by the bankruptcy case are also reinstated.

It’s important to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your corner to help navigate the complicated waters of bankruptcy law. We always help our clients understand every aspect of their bankruptcy case, including what happens if their case is dismissed.

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2014 Dallas Bankruptcy Cases

Dallas bankruptcy attorneyIf you’re struggling with overwhelming debt, you’re not alone. Thousands of Dallas area residents have filed for bankruptcy so far this year.

According to court records, 3,866 bankruptcy cases have been filed in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division between January 1, 2014 and the beginning of August. The Fort Worth Division has seen 3,267 bankruptcy cases filed, and the Sherman Division has seen 1,705. We include the Sherman Division in the numbers because our office in Frisco allows us to assist clients who live further north.

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Eliminating Tax Debt With Bankruptcy

Taxes and BankruptcyIt’s tax day, and that means many Americans are finding out that they owe even more money, thanks to the IRS. We always get questions at this time of year about how filing for bankruptcy will affect a family finances. In our last blog post, we discussed what can happen with any potential tax refunds during bankruptcy, and this time, we’re going to discuss how filing will affect a tax debt.

Even though the government tightened bankruptcy laws back in 2005, you still have the ability to relieve a tax burden. It’s important to meet with a qualified bankruptcy attorney first, so you can walk through the details of your situation and fully understand the possible tax implications or relieve you might receive.

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What happens to your tax refund in bankruptcy?

The people who file for bankruptcy during tax season always ask us what happens to their tax refund. Does they still get it, or is it lost?

tax return and bankruptcy - Dallas bankruptcy attorneyMost of the time, if you’re in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re able to protect your tax refund. Unfortunately for those in Chapter 13,  saving your refund isn’t as likely.

Tax refunds and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your tax refund is considered an asset – whether you’re received it or not. Just like your other assets, if your tax refund is “exempt,” it can’t be touched by the trustee. The amount of your refund that’s exempt will very from state to state, depending on the state allowed amounts. You might even be able to use the wildcard exemption (which can be used to protect any asset) if your state doesn’t have laws regarding the exemption of tax refunds.

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By | March 25th, 2014|Bankruptcy, Texas Bankruptcy|Comments Off on What happens to your tax refund in bankruptcy?

The Benefits of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy benefitsFiling for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is arguably the best plan for eliminating debt. It can wash away certain types of debt for good, cleanse you of your stress and financial worries, and free up income for your family. Best of all, it can give you a fresh start to rebuild your credit.

Here’s a more complete list of what Chapter 7 can do for you:

  • Eliminate certain types of debt permanently
  • Get rid of debt stress and worry
  • Keep and protect property you want to keep
  • Get out from under debt on property you are willing to say goodbye to
  • Stop lawsuits, creditor harassment and garnishments
  • Free up income for your family
  • Get into a position to earn more money and save
  • Let you start to rebuild your credit

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By | June 19th, 2012|Bankruptcy, Texas Bankruptcy|Comments Off on The Benefits of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Fact or Fiction? If I file for bankruptcy in Texas, everyone will know.

Many people won’t even consider filing for bankruptcy because they fear that everyone they know will find out. It’s a valid concern, too. No one wants the whole world to know his or her private affairs.

That’s where we have good news. If you file for bankruptcy in Texas, the whole world won’t automatically know. (more…)

By | March 14th, 2012|Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Myths, Bankruptcy Statistics, Texas Bankruptcy|Comments Off on Fact or Fiction? If I file for bankruptcy in Texas, everyone will know.