CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
To set up a free consultation, please call us (806) 331-3130 or you can call our 24-hour debt information hotline at (806) 331-4LAW (331-4529).
Many people believe that they will lose property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This rarely happens in consumer cases. Most if not all of a typical debtor's assets can be protected and legally exempted from forced liquidation in bankruptcy, allowing the debtor to keep their property while obtaining a discharge from oppressive debts. Bankruptcy laws allow an individual to protect specific property by using either the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the various state exemptions. Under both Texas and Federal law, most debtors can fully exempt and protect their assets from liquidation in bankruptcy, including the following property:
HOUSE: house and/or mobile home and real estate used as debtor’s homestead
CAR: One car per debtor; under Texas law, one motor vehicle per licensed driver in the household
RETIREMENT: Tax Deferred/ERISA qualified retirement such as pensions, 401(k) plans, IRAs
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS: Most furniture, appliances, and electronic items
TOOLS-OF-TRADE: Most tools, equipment, and specialty machinery essential to a trade or occupation.
(This list is by no means exclusive. Certain jurisdictional time limits, acreage limitations on land, and monetary limitations on value may apply under both state and federal law.)
For more information about how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you and your family obtain financial freedom, peace of mind, and a chance at a new beginning, please contact the BLACKWELL LAW FIRM L.L.P. for a free consultation at (806) 331-3130.(Texas Residents Only)
If find yourself falling further and further behind on your bills, drowning in a sea of debt, you are not alone. In 2003, national consumer debt totaled over 1.9 Trillion dollars and was rising at 4% per year! The average American consumer currently has over $4,000 in credit card debt, and growing.
Currently, the minimum monthly payment charged by most credit card companies is based on 2% to 3% of the outstanding balance. The average interest rate on credit card debt according to the Federal Reserve for 2003 was 12.75%. By paying only the minimum amount each month at the average rate of 12.75%, it would take a debtor 18 years to pay off a $4,000 credit card balance. The total amount that the debtor would pay over this period of time would exceed $21,500!
Many Americans are experiencing hard financial times. Last year over one million bankruptcy cases were filed. This represents one out of every 68 American households and one out of approximately every 100 Texas households. Financial insolvency is not an insolated problem. With rising debt comes rising delinquencies. Black's Law Dictionary, sixth edition, defines "insolvency" as the inability or lack of means to pay debts. Under bankruptcy law, insolvency is also defined as not being able to pay debts as they fall due. For most people, this means that there isn't enough money to take care of their basic needs and the needs of their family, and still repay creditors. In 2003, the Federal reserve reported that the average American spent almost 13% of their take home income servicing consumer debt. As the cost of heath care, insurance, gasoline, etc continues to rise, people often find themselves falling further and further behind. Bankruptcy is a way for honest but insolvent people to obtain relief from overwhelming debts problems.
Bankruptcy is a tough issue for most people to discuss. People are often ashamed or afraid to admit that they are experiencing financial problems. An illness, a loss of employment, a divorce – all can lead to financial difficulties. Fortunately Help is available! Under Title 11 of the United States Code, Chapter 7, an individual can obtain a legal discharge from most obligations and a fresh financial start.