Area of Law:
If you face harassing phone calls and letters from your creditors, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy in Texas. Filing for bankruptcy in Texas has many benefits, including bankruptcy’s automatic stay. However, before you file for bankruptcy in Texas, contact an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney to discuss your case and whether filing for bankruptcy is your best option.
After you submit your bankruptcy petition to the clerk, bankruptcy’s automatic stay will go into effect. The automatic stay prevents creditors from contacting you directly. Instead, your creditors must communicate through your bankruptcy trustee or your Texas bankruptcy attorney. The clerk will notify all the creditors named in your bankrupty petition by mail. Violation of the automatic stay can result in serious consequences for the creditors. For example, if actual harm was caused by the violation, you may be entitled to damages. However, the creditor must knowingly violate the automatic stay. In other words, if the creditor did not receive notice that you filed for bankruptcy, the creditor will not be liable for any resulting harm.
Meeting of the Creditors
Between a month and 6 weeks after you file for bankruptcy in Texas, you will attend the meeting of the creditors, or the Section 341 meeting. The meeting of the creditors will take place at your bankruptcy trustee’s hearing room. The meeting is informal, and usually lasts about 15 minutes. The meeting is an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition and schedules, and your current financial situation. For example, the bankruptcy trustee may ask questions about your assets to try and determine whether additional assets exist that can be included as part of your bankruptcy estate.In addition, your creditors will receive notice of the meeting and may appear to question you as well. However, do not be too concerned about answering questions from a creditor, as few rarely appear at the meeting.
Depending on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas will determine when you receive a bankruptcy discharge. For example, most Chapter 7 petitioners receive notice of the bankruptcy discharge about 3 to 4 months after they file for bankruptcy. In contrast, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas, you will not receive a bankruptcy discharge until you complete your repayment plan, which can take 3 to 5 years. In addition, to receive a Chapter 13 discharge, you must make all payments in full and on time each month to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee for the entire length of your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Filing for bankruptcy in Texas is a big decision. Therefore, contact an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney or the bankruptcy court in Texas to answer any questions you may have about the process. For example, if you live in the Southern District of Texas, visit http://www.txs.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney, visit http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/FilingBankruptcyWithoutAttorney.aspx for additional information regarding how to file for bankruptcy on your own.