The financial curveballs of life can hit you unexpectedly and prevent you from meeting your financial needs, paying bills, and other monthly expenses. When facing financial adversity, filing for bankruptcy may be one of the available options to achieve debt relief and get the financial fresh start you need. If you're contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Texas bankruptcy attorney for detailed guidance and to evaluate your available options.
Going through financial hardship can be a difficult situation. At Swindell Law Firm, I'm dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and advocacy to individuals and business owners in bankruptcy legal matters. I'm available to discuss your unique financial condition, review your bankruptcy options, and determine the ideal bankruptcy chapter for you. As your legal counsel, I will fight diligently to protect your rights and guide you through every phase of the Texas bankruptcy filing process.
My firm — Swindell Law Firm — proudly serves clients in Amarillo, and across the Texas panhandle, including Borger, Pampa, Hereford, and Dumas. Contact my office today to get started.
Bankruptcy is a tool designed to help individuals and businesses experiencing financial distress get debt relief. It is not anything to be ashamed of or to put off. When life's curveballs sideline you from meeting your financial obligations, filing for bankruptcy may be a viable option to remedy your financial situation and get the clean slate you’re looking for.
The most common bankruptcy options available for individuals and business owners in Texas include Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy or "liquidation" bankruptcy is designed to help individuals and business owners eliminate most of their unsecured debt. Upon filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee (an independent contractor appointed to oversee your bankruptcy case) will gather, evaluate, and sell all your non-exempt assets. In the State of Texas, Chapter 7 debtors are allowed to "exempt" most assets. In fact, in most cases, you are allowed to retain or keep all of your assets.
You are permitted to choose between Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions or Texas state exemptions. Which exemptions to use is often the most important decision prior to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So, it is important to choose an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy or "reorganization" bankruptcy is designed to provide business owners with sufficient time to reorganize their business operations, affairs, assets, and eventually repay their debt. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, the debtor (usually a business owner or business entity) will propose a repayment plan to pay back creditors while keeping the business afloat. Before the repayment plan can be confirmed, it must be approved by a Texas bankruptcy court and the creditors. Filing for Chapter 11 in Texas is often considered costly and time-consuming.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy or "wage earner's" bankruptcy is designed to help individuals who earn a reasonable income but are overwhelmed with debt. Under Chapter 13, the individual will be given a structured payment plan to repay the debt they owe. Thankfully, Chapter 13 allows you to restructure debt and hold on to your assets, including your home and vehicle if you are behind on your monthly payments. It can also allow you to pay back unpaid tax debt.
This repayment plan will be structured to be completed within three to five years. With this, you can repay part or all of your debt using your future earnings. It should be noted that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is only available to Texas residents with a "regular source of income", but that income can be in the form of disability or retirement benefits.
If you're considering filing for bankruptcy here in Texas, understanding the bankruptcy option that is right for you is crucial. Your assets, income, or type of business will determine the right bankruptcy chapter that best suits your financial situation. Here are some important things to note:
Chapter 7 wipes out most of your general unsecured debt, Chapter 11 is a business reorganization plan, and Chapter 13 still requires you to pay back part or all of your debts.
In a Chapter 7 filing, you can keep all of your exempt assets while the non-exempt ones will be sold. Conversely, under Chapter 13 and Chapter 11, none of your assets will be sold.
Chapter 13 is reserved for individuals who have a regular source of income while filing for Chapter 7 requires you to pass the bankruptcy means test.
Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 require proposing a payment plan to repay your creditors. In contrast, Chapter 7 doesn't require a repayment plan.
A trustee will be appointed to oversee your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. However, this is optional when filing for Chapter 11.
Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13, bankruptcies will have an impact on your credit report. Filing for any of these bankruptcy chapters can help rebuild your credit score gradually over time.
Every bankruptcy case is unique. To ensure that you are making informed decisions, you should consult with an experienced attorney to help review your case and examine your financial situation.
Filing for bankruptcy in Texas is quite common. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, there were 35,069 business and non‐business bankruptcy filings in Texas in 2019. These consumers didn't have to go through it alone, and neither should you. If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, working with a knowledgeable Texas bankruptcy attorney is your best option.
At Swindell Law Firm, I have the knowledge to assist and guide clients through complex bankruptcy procedures. As your attorney, I can assess your circumstances, explore your options, and determine the right bankruptcy chapter for your personal situation. I can also help craft a solution to protect your assets and ultimately build a stronger future. I will offer you the experienced legal guidance and strong representation you need throughout every phase of your bankruptcy process.
If you're going through financial adversity and thinking about filing for bankruptcy, contact my firm — Swindell Law Firm — today to schedule a free consultation. I can offer you the legal counsel, support, and assistance you need to make decisions in your situation. My firm serves clients in Amarillo, and the Texas panhandle, including Borger, Pampa, Hereford, and Dumas, Texas.