Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas -How it Works
HOW CHAPTER 7 WORKS
A chapter 7 bankruptcy case in Texas begins by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court in the district where the individual lives or where the business debtor has its principal place of business or its principal assets. The debtor is required to file schedules of assets and liabilities, including current income and expenses, and a statement of financial affairs. A husband and wife may file a joint petition, or a spouse may file individually. Joint petitioners pay only one filing fee.
Filing a petition “automatically stays” most creditor actions against the debtor and the debtor’s property. This stay arises by operation of law and requires no judicial action. While the stay is in effect, creditors cannot initiate or continue lawsuits, repossessions, or wage garnishments.
One schedule led by individual debtors lists “exempt” property. Federal bankruptcy law provides that an individual [vs. business] debtor can protect certain assets from creditor claims because this property is exempt under federal bankruptcy law or the laws of the debtor’s state. Married couples may only claim one set of exemptions.
A bankruptcy trustee is appointed when the case is filed. The trustee’s duties are to examine and verify the accuracy of the debtor’s bankruptcy papers and to identify assets which are not exempt. The trustee sells the non-exempt assets which have value and distributes the net proceeds to the creditors. If an asset has a loan against it, the debtor can keep the asset if the equity is exempt.
A “meeting of creditors” is held about 30 days after the petition is filed. The debtor must attend the meeting, and if a husband and wife filed jointly, both must attend. You must bring a government issued picture I.D. and your social security card to the meeting. Creditors may appear and ask questions regarding the debtor’s financial affairs and property, but creditors rarely attend. The bankruptcy trustee conducts the meeting, and the debtor must cooperate and provide the records the trustee requests. Otherwise, the debtor could be denied a discharge.
The bankruptcy court clerk issues the discharge, usually a few days after 60 days has elapsed from the first date set for the creditors meeting. A copy of the discharge is mailed to the debtor and all the creditors listed in the debtor’s schedules.
Need debt relief? Contemplating filing for bankruptcy in Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area? Contact the DFW Bankruptcy attorney, Andrew Nichols today!
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– DFW area Bankruptcy Attorney servicing Dallas , Fort Worth, Richardson, Garland, Plano, TX and the surrounding areas. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney / Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney / Debt Relief Attorney