Yes, the bankruptcy laws did go through a major change in October 2005. However, no matter what you have been told, bankruptcy protection is still available for everyone. The change added some more requirements, but none of them were designed to prevent you from getting the fresh start that you deserve. If you need to file; you still can.
Yes, there are additional requirements and a new means test that you have to “pass” to qualify. Nonetheless, most people are still discharging all of their debt just like they were under the old laws. In fact, even the government acknowledges that the new laws affect only about 3% of all filers. And even those 3% can still file a repayment plan. Even with new income restrictions, it is very likely that you will still qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Almost everyone that files bankruptcy keeps all of his or her stuff. In Texas, you generally can protect your house, vehicles, clothing and wages from being taken. In rare instances, someone has more property than the State or Federal laws allow them to protect, but even then, a repayment plan will allow you to still keep all of your property.
The State of Texas has some of the best bankruptcy exemption laws in the nation. For most people, this means no matter how much equity you have in their house, you can protect all of it. Like many things, this protection is subject to certain exclusions, but a good bankruptcy attorney will discuss this with you.
No matter what you may have heard, it is possible to file bankruptcy more than once; even multiple times in certain circumstances. If you need debt relief, do not hesitate to call an attorney because someone told you couldn’t file again. Most likely you can file again by using the court guided repayment plan.
Contrary to the news media and so-called experts, bankruptcy does NOT ruin your credit nor does it prevent you from getting credit again. In fact, a recent study showed that nearly 80% of the people filing bankruptcy receive a credit solicitation immediately after filing. Plenty of bankruptcy filers get credit cards and car loans immediately after filing. Granted you may not get the best interest rate available, but a steady job and your new debt-free status means you can qualify for a car loan. The main thing you need to know is that bankruptcy does not prevent you from getting credit, rather it makes the credit you get more expensive.
There are plenty of people that buy houses after filing for bankruptcy. If you qualify for a FHA loan, you can begin looking for a house two years after filing bankruptcy. For medical debt bankruptcies, it may be even as little as one year. As noted above, you may not qualify for the best interest rate available. But with a little effort and a desire to buy a house, you can do it.
The majority of people that file bankruptcy do so as a result of things that cannot be controlled. In our experience, most people file bankruptcy because of a loss of job, a divorce or a major medical event. Some people unfortunately have more than one of these causes. Rarely do we meet someone who just cannot budget his or her bills. More likely your situation is a result of something that you had no control over. So don’t beat yourself up. Instead, be proactive and start taking steps now to eliminate your debt and get a fresh start on life.
Unless you owe your employer money, your company isn’t going to know that you filed bankruptcy. In some repayment plans, your employer will assist you by taking the payment out of your check, but other than that, your employer will not receive notice.
Even with all the new changes and requirements to the bankruptcy law, filing for bankruptcy is still affordable. Granted, the changes caused many attorneys to raise their fees. However, when you consider the cost of trying to pay for and service your debt over the next few years, we think you will agree that the flat fee you pay to have your case filed is extremely fair. There is no cost to meet with us to go over your case. We will quote you a competitive fee and we will set up a payment plan for you.