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Houston Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Houston Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers

It’s tough to overcome mounting debt, especially when facing financial hardship. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by creditor calls and payback obstacles, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the answer. It offers a clear path forward for those who qualify, and Keeling Law Firm can handle everything on your behalf.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and How Can It Help You File?

Chapter 7 is the part of the Federal bankruptcy law designed for people in financial difficulties who do not have the ability to repay their existing debts, such as credit cards and payday loans. If you live near Houston or Dallas, filing Chapter 7 with Keeling Law can help you get a fresh start by wiping out your debts and allowing you to get on with your life. Everyone’s situation is different. Keeling Law Firm's Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can determine whether Chapter 7 is right for you.

Chapter 7 is a bankruptcy type that can quickly clear away dischargeable debt. Also called a liquidation or straight bankruptcy, it is often referred to as a fresh start. The filing person or family retains exempt assets and often surrenders assets that are not exempt under state or federal law. While most debts can be discharged in Chapter 7, certain debts cannot be discharged, such as child support, some federal tax liabilities, and most guaranteed student loans.

There are no drawn-out repayment plans, and you get to keep exempt assets and possessions. Under federal or state law, most family possessions can be protected. This bankruptcy aims to help people get back on their feet.

Why File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

For many, the phrase “Chapter 7 bankruptcy” carries a negative connotation and has no upsides. It can be highly beneficial, as it provides the relief needed to regain control of your financial life.

Halts Collection Efforts

Upon filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, an “automatic stay” goes into effect as a matter of law. As a result, all debt collection efforts must stop. This includes calls, letters, garnishments, and lawsuits. Repossessions, evictions, and foreclosures are also temporarily halted. 

No Longer Liable For Certain Debts

Once the bankruptcy process ends, you will not have to make payments on many types of debts ever again. Also, creditors are permanently banned from attempting to collect on them. Every situation is unique, but common discharged debts include credit cards, rent, utilities, medical bills, and personal loans. 

Retains Certain Assets

It’s common to think bankruptcies involve losing everything you have, but that’s not the case with Chapter 7. It allows you to keep many assets, including work items, furnishings, clothing, and retirement accounts. Your house and vehicle are also protected, but any mortgage or lien would still be owed. Collectibles, non-retirement investments, and vacation homes are less likely to be exempt.

You Can Surrender Assets You Cannot Afford

If you cannot afford your mortgage, car lien, boat lien, timeshare, or similar obligation, you would have the option of surrendering the property and discharging the debt.

Safeguards Future Income

Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help, you can rest easy knowing future earnings are safe. Once you file, creditors can’t attempt to garnish wages to collect the money you owe. 

Preserves Credit And Banking Access

Despite filing for bankruptcy, you’ll still have the opportunity to open bank accounts and lines of credit. The bankruptcy discharge can be a starting point for taking control of your budget, establishing a savings plan, and rebuilding your credit.

Considerations To Keep in Mind

Chapter 7 bankruptcy might appear to be the perfect solution for financial troubles, but it’s not ideal for everyone.  It’s essential to see the whole picture before filing. Keeling Law Firm strives to identify potential paths forward, enabling clients to make informed, sound decisions. 

You May Lose Assets 

The bankruptcy court requires you to turn over nonexempt property and assets to repay your creditors. Examples include luxury items, vacation homes, and non-retirement investments, among others. This might sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The skilled attorneys at Keeling Law Firm find all the exemptions you’re entitled to and can identify nonexempt assets before filing to help you decide whether to file Chapter 7.

Not All Debts Are Wiped Away

There’s no magic wand when it comes to monies owed. While many debts are dischargeable with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, others are not. Typical ones are student loans, certain taxes, alimony, child support, and debts arising from fraudulent conduct.

You’re On The Clock

Once you begin the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, you can’t file again for eight years. It’s important to decide whether it would be a better financial decision to file immediately. With decades of bankruptcy experience, Keeling Law Firm can help you with your decision.

Who’s Eligible to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? 

Although the form required to file Chapter 7 is readily available online, Chapter 7 isn’t open to everyone. Consumer filers are subject to a “means test” to determine whether the filer qualifies for Chapter 7. The means test is based on income, secured debt, tax obligations, and other federal standards.

To decide whether you’re eligible, the court will dive deep into your finances and determine whether your monthly income is less than the median of a same-sized household in your state. If that’s the case, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In most cases, a credit counseling course from an accredited agency is required. 

Other qualification requirements may apply, including prior bankruptcy history. For eligibility, you can’t have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy during the past six years or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy during the past eight years.

Trusted Houston Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Although it’s often a last resort, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be your lifeline when struggling with debt. Filing is a complex process. Fully understanding all limitations and potential paths forward is even more challenging. 

Since 1986, Keeling Law Firm has helped people and businesses overcome debt problems. If you’re struggling with debt, please reach out to us. Our Houston Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can assess your situation and give you straight answers. If Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best path forward, we’re happy to file on your behalf and represent you throughout the process. With us in your corner, your debts could be discharged quickly.

For a free consultation with one of our Houston Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers, questions regarding filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Houston, and an evaluation of your situation, call us today at 713-686-2222, or fill out the form to the right.