Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer
Lawyer counsels distressed debtors in Kaufman and Rockwall counties
Various unexpected events could push you into a financial hole from which there is no feasible escape. Even if you were previously comfortable, a job loss, medical crisis or family transition can change things very quickly. At Jenny C. Parks, PC in Kemp, I am a Texas bankruptcy attorney who has experience helping clients tackle all forms of debt-related concerns, including credit card debt, foreclosures, unpaid student loans, taxes and vehicle loans. Across Kaufman and Rockwall counties, my firm can help you take advantage of the legal measures created to relieve your burden.
Understanding bankruptcy in Texas
Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that offers many different ways to help you overcome your financial challenges, such as:
- Halting debt collection efforts
- Discharging most, if not all, of your unsecured debts
- Preventing the loss of your home to foreclosure
- Putting a stop to auto repossession and wage garnishment
I will take the time to learn about your situation and needs and identify the best way to help you move forward with a clean slate and a fresh start.
Types of bankruptcy
What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
If you are eligible for a Chapter 7 debt discharge, you can be free of unsecured debts such as credit card balances and unpaid medical expenses once the process is complete.
What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Sometimes called the “wage earner’s plan,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is well suited to people who are bringing in income, but have financial obligations that they cannot meet without changes to their payment terms.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best course of action, but I can also negotiate with your creditors to remove damaging information and negotiate a payment plan, if that is in your best interests.
The process for filing bankruptcy
Regardless of the type of bankruptcy you seek, the process starts by filing documents with the court. You must include information about your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Filers who satisfy the means test can pursue a Chapter 7 debt discharge while those seeking Chapter 13 protection submit their proposed repayment plan. Once the filing is accepted, a trustee is appointed and the court issues an automatic stay, stopping all collection efforts and penalties for nonpayment. Usually, one meeting will be convened by the trustee so that the creditors can state their claims. From there, the court finalizes the bankruptcy order, which discharges a Chapter 7 filer’s nonexempt debts and starts the repayment plan schedule under Chapter 13.
The impact of bankruptcy on your credit
Getting your credit rating back on track after a bankruptcy can be a challenge, but many people are surprised at how quickly their borrowing ability rebounds if they take certain steps. It is important to contact a qualified debt relief attorney to help you, because many debt relief agencies lack the legal knowledge and experience necessary to overcome hurdles that stand in the way of restoring your credit.
Three credit management strategies that will put you on the right path are:
- Challenge inaccurate information — If inaccurate information exists on your credit record, challenge each incorrect item directly with the credit reporting agencies. It is their job to verify disputed information within a reasonable timeframe, or delete it from your credit report.
- Negotiate remaining debt — Certain debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. Regardless of your situation or ability to pay, do not dodge your creditors. I have decades of experience negotiating on behalf of people struggling with debt and can work to negotiate a fair one-time payment or a longer repayment plan.
- Build good credit — Once your current debt has been negotiated, you need to begin to build good credit. You need to prove that you have the ability to pay your debts and any new obligations in a timely manner.
Remember that creditors actually want to work with you. You just need to show them that you are capable of paying them back and committed to doing so.
Debt that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy
Not every type of debt can be discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Laws prevent most people from eliminating student loan debt, unpaid taxes, past due child support and other obligations. There are also secured debts such as home mortgages and car loans. Lenders in these cases have the ability to recover the property that secured the loan, even if the borrower has sought Chapter 7 protection. In situations where someone is earning an income and wants to hold on to their secured assets, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be preferable.
Contact a determined Texas bankruptcy lawyer to set up a consultation
Jenny C. Parks, PC in Kemp advocates for Texas clients in all types of bankruptcy matters. My firm serves Kaufman and Rockwall counties, and you can schedule a consultation by calling 972-427-8888 or contacting my firm online.