Kerrville Attorney Well Versed in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Decisive help for consumers struggling with overwhelming debt
In the Texas Hill Country, people are rightly proud to be hard-working and self-reliant. But ironically, for many consumers saddled with too much debt, a can-do attitude can prevent them from taking decisive steps to get a fresh start. At the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C., we admire your determination, but believe realism should govern your actions. If you have more debt than you can possibly hope to pay, the law does not require you to live as a slave to your creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a compassionate process written into law to help honest but unfortunate consumers wipe the slate clean and start over. During my more than 35 years of legal experience, I have helped numerous debtors in the Kerrville area discharge crushing liabilities, so they can breathe a little easier and provide better for their families. If you are a candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I am ready to help you.
The basics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kerrville, Texas
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to eligible individuals and married couples. To qualify, you must pass a “means test” by demonstrating that your income is below the median annual income for a household of your size. You also have to take an approved Credit Counseling Debtor Education course before you can file for Chapter 7.
Chapter 7 is also known as dissolution bankruptcy. After you file, the bankruptcy trustee takes your non-exempt property and sells it to partially repay your creditors, before discharging your remaining eligible debt. Here are a few important points you need to know about the process.
Filing triggers an immediate “automatic stay.” This means the court issues an order to your creditors, prohibiting them from contacting you to collect on your debts.
Texas exemptions are among the most generous in the country. An exemption is a particular asset that is excluded from the bankruptcy estate. You get to keep it, with no obligation to use the exempt asset to repay a debt. You are allowed to use either state exemptions or federal exemptions. Most Texans who file Chapter 7 choose the generous Texas exemptions, which include:
- Homestead — The Texas exemption is unlimited, so you can keep a home of any value, although an acreage limit may apply based on your location. This exemption is available as long as you have lived in the state for at least 40 months.
- Personal property — You can exempt your personal property up to $50,000 in value for an individual and $100,000 for a couple filing jointly.
- Automobile — You can exempt the entire value of one motor vehicle per licensed driver in your household.
- Firearms — A filer can exempt a maximum of two firearms.
- Pensions — Your retirement benefits are fully exempt.
- Insurance — Life insurance policies with cash value are exempt if the beneficiaries are the filer’s dependents. Insurance benefits are also protected.
- Wages — Your current wages are exempt.
Not all consumer debts are dischargeable through bankruptcy. Eligible debt includes unsecured personal loans, credit card balances, and medical bills. Non-dischargeable debts include:
- Alimony and child support
- Certain types of taxes
- Most student loans
- Any debt run up with the intention of discharging it through bankruptcy
When done right, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually a quick process, lasting only a few months. But mistakes, which often result from inexperienced management of a case, can be very costly. Ensuring that you take advantage of all your Texas exemptions and discharge as much of your debt as possible requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced with the process. I work diligently on your behalf to get you the full benefit of the law and enable you to start the next phase of your life from a secure position.
Contact an experienced Kerrville attorney for a free consultation on your bankruptcy case
At the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C., I am determined to fight for my clients’ rights in bankruptcy. To get the full benefit of a discharge of debt through Chapter 7, take advantage of a free consultation in my Kerrville office. Call 844-337-5819 or contact me online to schedule an appointment.