If you are struggling to pay off your out-of-control debts, or even facing foreclosure or repossession, filing for bankruptcy might be the best option for you. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will immediately stop creditors from pursuing debt collection, which will give you a little more peace of mind. This protection from bill collectors will continue at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law.
Every American has the right to retain legal representation for their bankruptcy case. The experienced Plano bankruptcy lawyers at Rubin & Associates can help you choose the type of bankruptcy that is best for your individual financial situation.
Rubin & Associates has served Plano residents for decades
The lawyers at Rubin & Associates help clients from all over the Dallas area, but our offices in Frisco and North Dallas are conveniently located to help Plano residents get the successful outcome they need. If you are struggling with debt, call our office today to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at 214-760-7777 – there is no fee for your initial consultation.
Here are the types of bankruptcy our firm can help you with
The most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In most cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are simpler and faster. A Chapter 7 case typically erases your debts completely. Eligibility will be determined by the amount of your debt and the amount of income you bring in.
For situations where someone earns regular income that exceeds the eligibility requirements of Chapter 7, they can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 case, you make monthly payments to creditors while retaining your assets.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Plano
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a “discharge,” which eliminates certain types of unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills.
There are a few exemptions for Chapter 7 cases, including:
- Certain retirement accounts (pension, IRA, 401(k)) and similar funds where access is restricted for retirement
- Prepaid college tuition accounts
- The cash value of life insurance
- $1,000.00 for each debtor for personal property, including bank accounts
- $1,000.00 per debtor towards the value of an automobile (to the extent it is not secured)
Of course, you must make on-time payments to any liens or mortgages for an automobile or homestead real property to keep those assets.
The process of filing Chapter 7
You may be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have debts in excess of exempt property values and if you satisfy the income eligibility requirements known as the “means test.” This means test considers:
- How many dependents you have
- Your geographical residence
- Non-filing spouses
The means test provides certain allowances for housing, transportation, food, insurance, and other necessary items. Ultimately, it determines if you can afford to pay for at least some of your unsecured debts over time after all of your financial factors are considered.
If you do have the means to pay, you are required to file under a different chapter, typically Chapter 13.
How filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help
Your debts are liquidated by the court-appointed trustee. Any assets that are not secured by a lien or mortgage (and are not exempt from liquidation) are sold to raise money to pay your creditors.
Creditors who file valid proof of claim receive a pro-rata distribution of the liquidation proceeds. In many instances, your trustee will allow you to retain possession of these assets, as long as you pay the value to the trustee in a short time frame.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy also provides immediate relief since an “automatic stay” occurs as soon as your case is filed. This prohibits any of your creditors from any and all debt collection efforts, including initiating or continuing any legal actions against you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Plano
Instead of eliminating debt like a Chapter 7 case, Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes your debts, which allows you to retain your assets while making monthly payments to your creditors (typically for three to five years).
If your regular income exceeds the income eligibility requirements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll need to file for Chapter 13.
Our clients typically file a bankruptcy Chapter 13 when they wish to retain their home but need a period of time to catch up on missed mortgage payments. Chapter 13 is also an option if you have assets you wish to keep and not be the subject of a Chapter 7 liquidation. You may also want to file for Chapter 13 if you owe income taxes but need a period of time to pay.
The process of filing Chapter 13
After our firm files your petition seeking relief under Chapter 13, you must promptly file a plan of proposed payments to:
- Maintain certain debts like your mortgage and car loan
- Catch up on any back payments on these debts
- Make provisions to pay part of, if not all, unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills
Once the bankruptcy court approves your plan, your creditors are legally required to accept the terms of your payment plan. If the court rejects the initial plan, you are given the opportunity to amend the plan to meet the objections and concerns of creditors and the court.
Your payments are made to your Chapter 13 trustee, not directly to your creditors. The trustee then pays the creditors.
How filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to eliminate or reduce a second mortgage or other mortgages or liens on a principal residence that were recorded after a first mortgage, depending on the valuation of the home, the amount owed, and other factors, such as whether you have a security interest in assets other than your residence.
Secured claims on motor vehicles may be reduced to the value of the vehicle, depending on whether the loan for the vehicle was incurred in excess of 910 days preceding the filing of your petition.
What our bankruptcy attorneys in Plano can do for you
After reading about what’s involved with each type of bankruptcy, filing for bankruptcy might seem overwhelming, but our experienced attorneys are here to help. Rubin & Associates has over 25 years of experience in personal bankruptcy cases, helping people in Plano and the DFW area get a fresh start free of unmanageable debt.
If you choose to file for bankruptcy, our team will:
- Help you figure out which type of bankruptcy is best for your situation
- Make sure that your bankruptcy application is filled out correctly and turned in on time
- Represent you in all legal proceedings
- Protect your money and other assets
- Help collect and list all aged accounts, debts, lines of credit, promissory notes, and other related debts
- Stop all debt collection actions
We have helped hundreds of Plano residents handle both simple and complex debt situations. Unlike other local bankruptcy firms, we truly care about our clients – you are not just another number to us. Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, our team will help guide you through the process and be with you every step of the way.
We are available to prospective bankruptcy clients in Plano and the surrounding area
When you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are already stressed out about money. Finding a local bankruptcy attorney should not add to that stress. Call our office today, and one of our attorneys will discuss your finances and if bankruptcy is your best option, they will walk you through the process.
You have nothing to lose by taking advantage of our complimentary, no-obligation consultation – call Rubin & Associates today at 214-760-7777.