FAQs

FAQs2018-08-21T20:46:34+00:00
Do You Offer Payment Plans?2018-06-28T15:51:27+00:00

The short answer is:  Yes we do offer payment plans!  The Court rules for this can be complex.  So we have to understand your situation in full before we can give you the details on a payment plan.  Contact our office for a free one-on-one consultation with an attorney to get an idea of a how a payment plan would work in your case.  We can also give you an idea over the phone if you want information before committing to the free consultation.

How Much is a Chapter 7?2018-06-28T15:57:25+00:00

First things first:  The Court charges a $335 filing fee for filing a Chapter 7.

Our Cost:  We are required to run a credit report for you which runs $33 for a single filer and $66 for a joint filing

Attorney Fees:  We typically charge anywhere from $1100 to $1800 for the attorney fee portion of the case.

Thus the overall cost is around $1500 to $2,200 depending on how the complexity of your case.

We will be happy to give you an idea on price if you give us a call.  The overall price would be set after the initial consultation.

How Much is Chapter 13?2018-08-19T15:50:46+00:00

First things first:  The Court charges a $310 filing fee for filing a Chapter 13.

Our Cost:  We are required to run a credit report for you which runs $33 for a single filer and $66 for a joint filing

Attorney Fees:  Attorney fees are set by the Court.  The current fee set in this jurisdiction is $3500.  Thus every attorney in town charges the same $3500 fee.  The only difference is how much money they take up front.  In most circumstances we take about $500 down to file the case.  Of that $500 we only get a little over $100 as the remaining amount goes towards the cost above.

I would caution you to not be fooled by gimmick pricing that states $0 down Bankruptcy.  No one will file your case for $0 down.  That is a reference to the amount of attorney fees they take down.  Everyone charges for your Court cost to file a case.  I would also caution you hiring someone who relies on bait and switch pricing like that to get you in the door.  We don’t operate that way and are up front with you from the start.

The attorney fee is paid through your Chapter 13 plan payments and not directly from you.  I encourage you to read more about this on the other sections of our site!

Will I Keep My House?2018-06-28T16:34:23+00:00

YES!

There is a lot of misinformation out there and/or quite frankly myths that have been worked into our culture about the ability to keep ones home and the filing for Bankruptcy.  What you have to understand about Bankruptcy is that there is a policy objective of the law.  The policy is to give you a fresh start.  As part of this fresh start there have been what are called “exemptions” codified which allow people to keep certain items.  In Texas, we have an unlimited homestead exemption.   You can read the code section directly from the State of Texas here

You need to of course keep making your mortgage payments.  The lien holder can always enforce the secured lien if you don’t pay your mortgage.

 

How Long Is It On My Credit?2018-06-28T17:07:10+00:00

How Long?

A Chapter will be on your credit for 10 years from the date of filing.

What Does This Mean?

People assume that this means they will be ruined for 10 years or somehow won’t be able to get new credit.  This is another myth worked into our culture.  It is actually easy to get credit right after your Bankruptcy case is finished.  Why?  Because now you are actually a good risk.  Creditors know that you don’t owe anybody else any money.  So if you don’t owe anybody then they are not competing with other creditors for payment.  They won’t start you off with large lines of credit (10k to 20k).  However, you can get a credit card pretty easily right after the case for 1k to 2k most of the time.  After that credit lines start increasing.

 

What Will Happen to My Score?2018-06-28T17:06:37+00:00

Most people who come to see me already have bad credit.  So a Chapter 7 really doesn’t hurt you in terms of score.  In fact, in can be the easiest way to rebuild as there is a Court Order issued saying that you do not owe money anymore.  Another way to look it at is this:  if you don’t file then you may be in situation where you perpetually have bad credit and if you do file then you can at least start the rebuilding process.

The Numbers?

Most people have a 650 score after 1 year.

Most people have a 700 score after 2 years.

  • These numbers are not guaranteed but are typical.  If you use your new credit responsibly then your score will go up and go up quickly.

Lending tree has great unbiased article discussing this HERE 

Can I Keep My Car?2018-06-28T18:24:24+00:00

YES!

As long as you pay for your car you can keep it.  The policy objective of Bankruptcy is to give people a fresh start.  If you lost your car then how would people get to work and support their families?

In fact keeping your car and reaffirming it inside the Bankruptcy will actually help build your credit after your case is finished.

Why Should I Do a Chapter 13?2018-06-28T17:28:24+00:00

A Chapter 13 is good for the following situations:

House arrears:  If you are behind on your home then the Chapter 13 allows you to put your arrears into a plan that allows you to pay back that amount over a period of up to 60 months.

Car:  If you are behind on your car or are unhappy with the terms then you put your car into the plan to restructure the debt

  • We can lower a high interest car loan
  • We can cram down the value of your car if the car loan is older than 2/12 years old.  With a cram down you only pay what the car is worth and not what you owe.

IRS:  Chapter 13 allows you to pay back IRS debt at zero interest and zero penalties

Chapter 7 not available:  Not everyone is eligible for a Chapter 7.  If you are not then your Chapter 13 Plan Payment can offer a significant savings over your current credit payments.

 

What If I Need A New Loan While In Chapter 13?2018-06-28T17:39:59+00:00

A Chapter last 5 years an sometimes a client will need a new loan.  The most common example is for a car.  You will can and will get approved for a a new car loan while in Chapter 13.  There is a process for approval with the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for approval.  However, it is pretty straight forward.  The trustee just wants to make sure you not getting a car that is beyond your means.

You can even get approved for a mortgage while in a Chapter 13!

You cannot take out unsecured debt in a Chapter 13:  So no credit cards.

I’m Up For Foreclosure — Will Chapter 13 Help?2018-06-28T17:44:25+00:00

YES!

Filing a case before the foreclosure will halt the sale.  You then can permanently hold off on the foreclosure by putting together a plan with accounts for your arrears (what you are behind).  You will be responsible for your ongoing mortgage payments AFTER you file the case.  When you exit the case you will be completely current as the Plan will provide for your arrears while you have been making the regular monthly mortgage payments.

What If I Miss A Plan Payment?2018-08-15T18:16:14+00:00

Sometimes an emergency happens and you can’t make a plan payment.

The Court nor the Trustee will dismiss your case if you miss a plan payment.  A motion to dismiss your case is generated if you become 90 days or more behind on your plan payments.   Please note this is a motion to dismiss and NOT a dismissal of your case.

If you do miss a payment then try to catch up on your own the subsequent months.  If you can’t then we can file for a modification of your Plan to catch you up on the missed payments over a long time frame.  We can even do a modification of your plan if the trustee files for a motion to dismiss.  This modification will remove your case from the dismissal docket and the dismissal be be withdrawn permanently so long you make those modified plan payments.

How Long Is The Process?2018-08-21T21:19:46+00:00

The time period between Chapter 7 filing and discharge and closure is about 90 to 100 days in most cases.

You are responsible for attending one meeting (not in front of a judge) which will happen about 30 days after you initially file the case.  The main purpose of the meeting is to determine whether or not there are non exempt assets for distribution to your creditors.  The vast majority of cases are considered no asset cases.  However, feel free to read more about exemptions on the other portion of our site.

 

What Is A Reaffirmation Agreement?2018-08-21T21:16:36+00:00

A reaffirmation agreement is used for secured debt.  They are mainly used for the mortgage and car loans.  It means that despite the Bankruptcy, this particular piece of personal liability will go on as normal.

The reaffirmation agreement is a separate document signed by both the lender and yourself after the case is filed.  Generally the lender will send us the reaffirmation agreement with the terms of your loan.  We will then fill out the income and expense info from your Bankruptcy schedules.  Next, we send the document to you to sign.   After that, you return it to your office.  Finally, we return it the lender for filing with the Court.

The reaffirmation agreement will help your score after the Bankruptcy as it is an account that is reported as current even after the case (So long as you make the payments).  It is a good mechanism to rebuild your credit after the Bankruptcy is finished.