Bankruptcy & Debt Restructuring
Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I can stop foreclosure, wage garnishment, repossession, those harassing phone calls and threatening letters from creditors, stop credit card payments, help you with IRS and back taxes, lawsuits and judgments. Everybody deserves a second chance!
If you are having financial difficulties, you are not alone. Over one million people per year file for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy gives you a financial ‘fresh start’. I am a north Dallas, Texas bankruptcy attorney that practices consumer and business bankruptcy, handles credit card lawsuits and will help you reorganize debt if you choose not to seek protection under Bankruptcy. I will help you eliminate, reduce or restructure your debt.
You may reorganize or discharge your financial obligations through bankruptcy or a debt restructure and payment plan. Under Chapter 13 (reorganization), you ‘reorganize’ your debt so that you pay back some, but usually not all of your creditors. This filing protects your home from foreclosure, or may help you keep a personal vehicle, equipment or tools used in a trade from being from being repossessed. Useful in situations where negotiations with your mortgage or auto lender have fallen apart, as well as long-term planning. Under Chapter 7, you may ‘discharge’ your debts through liquidation of nonexempt assets, however, this does not prevent foreclosure or repossession, but will only ‘slow down’ a secured creditor that wants relief. Exempt assets are protected, such as household furnishings, clothing, jewelry in most instances, auto for each driver in family, annuities and assets in a qualified retirement plan, such as IRA or 401k. Restructuring your debt without using bankruptcy involves diplomacy and negotiation. I can help you prioritize your obligations and work with your creditors to reduce and sometimes eliminate your debt. Restructuring often requires developing a payment plan to discharge obligations over a period of time that is negotiable.
CHAPTER 13 – I review your assets and liabilities to see how to reduce, reorganize or sometimes eliminate your debt, while helping you retain those home, auto or business equipment assets that you wish to keep. Chapter 13 usually requires you to pay only the percentage of credit cards and other unsecured debt that an individual or family can afford. Chapter 13 most likely will not require you to repay your entire debt. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you modify personal property loans whereby you ‘cram down’ the amount owed on an auto to the Blue Book value of that asset. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you pay less money per month than through a Chapter 7, by eliminating interest on unsecured debt, and because of this ability to modify various types of secured loans in a Chapter 13. Chapter 13 allows you to put arrearages on your house mortgage or car loan, plus a fraction of your unsecured debt into a Plan whereby you pay back those arrearages over three to five years.
CHAPTER 7 – I analyze your financial status, to determine whether you ‘qualify’ to file for Chapter 7 protection. Used to discharge unsecured debt, such as credit card, promissory notes, pending lawsuits, and most assessed taxes older than three years, it is not very helpful if you are behind on mortgage or auto payments, or on any other secured debt (title to auto, deed to real estate property), unless you are willing to surrender that asset back to the lender. If you do so, that debt becomes unsecured, and you may discharge any deficiency between what is owed after the lender resells the personal or real property. Chapter 7 cases are streamlined under the Code so that you are in and out within 120 days from filing.
RESTRUCTURING DEBT & PAYMENT PLANS
Debt restructure can be accomplished both in and out of Bankruptcy. Chapter 13 restructures your debt and provides you a Plan whereby you repay debt over 3-5 years. In some situations, however, I can help you renegotiate your debt obligations with your lender. A useful tool especially when you have only a few obligations, such as credit cards or a judgment, I will work with your creditor to reach an accord and satisfaction of that debt to be put into a payment plan that you can live with.
BANKRUPTCY AND FAMILY LAW
There are conflicts of law between Bankruptcy and Family law cases, because bankruptcy falls under Federal jurisdiction, and Family law issues fall under State of Texas jurisdiction. My law practice often involves cases with issues in each area. I understand and appreciate the legal details necessary to effectively represent you in either situation, and to help you streamline your case so it is most cost effective for you. Should you want to divorce while in Bankruptcy, I can obtain a “Lift Stay” so that you can proceed. If you are seeking enforcement or modification of a prior court order or attempting to divorce a spouse that seeks bankruptcy protection, I can help keep that Family law case moving forward by working with the bankruptcy court to ensure you do not commit any ‘Automatic Stay” violations.
BANKRUPTCY AND PROBATE
Bankruptcy filers may encounter the death of a family member, resulting in an unforeseen inheritance. I can help your family avoid that possibility through effective Estate Planning, by protecting family assets from creditors through creation of a Trust, before a death occurs. In cases where a death occurs where no Estate Planning has occurred, I will work directly with the Bankruptcy Trustee to minimize any distribution of your inheritance to creditors.
I am admitted to the Northern District and Eastern District Bankruptcy Courts of Texas, and have practiced in the Western District and Southern District Bankruptcy Courts of Texas.