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What you should know about meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer

Many of our clients say that they think about contacting us for weeks, months or even years before finally picking up the phone or filling out our contact form online. That's because meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer can feel very intimidating. However, it doesn't have to be.

Here are a few things that you should know about meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer for the first time, which will probably put your mind at ease.

1. You don't have to be ready to decide if bankruptcy is right for you.

When you call a bankruptcy lawyer, you don't have to have your mind made up that you are going to file. In fact, you should wait until you talk to a lawyer about your options before you make a decision.

The lawyer you speak with can give you more information about what the legal process is like, and then he or she can give you advice about if it makes sense for your situation.

Is Bankruptcy Worth It?

One of the major concerns for people facing the possibility of bankruptcy is the cost of actually filing for bankruptcy and paying an attorney for this process. As they are overwhelmed by piling debt and creditors calling, the thought of paying an attorney only contributes to the stress.

When you fully understand the relief that bankruptcy will provide, however, it is easier to understand why it is worth the investment and how it may be more financially doable than you had thought.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while considering bankruptcy:

Will I Lose My Car If I File Bankruptcy

One of the most common questions many people ask when facing the possibility of bankruptcy is: can I keep my car? A car is necessary for most people to keep their job and remain independent. Some people also have an emotional attachment to their vehicle and would rather avoid bankruptcy than lose their car or truck.

As the bills pile up, however, and they are faced with repossession and bankruptcy, they must make a difficult decision. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

If I file for bankruptcy, is my credit ruined forever?

Bankruptcy, by itself, does not ruin a person's credit forever. In fact, many people are surprised to find out that their credit can actually be rebuilt much faster and easier after they finally file for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy will fall off your record after a set number of years (depending on the type of bankruptcy you file). Even before then, however, you can be taking active steps to rebuild your score. Rather than spending your time, resources and energy trying to crawl out from under debt, digging yourself deeper into credit problems, you are now free to work on repairing the damage that's been done.

Here are a few tips for turning your credit score around, starting today:

Can private student loans be discharged in bankruptcy?

Generally speaking, it is very difficult to get any type of student loans discharged in bankruptcy, which is unfortunate considering that millions of Americans are burdened by this kind of debt.

Borrowers who are overwhelmed by private student loan debt must prove that paying back the debt causes them an "undue hardship" in order for the loans to be forgiven in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Proving that student loans cause an undue hardship is not an easy task, but it is something that an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help with.

It's worth noting that borrowers who have private student loans from for-profit trade schools may be more likely to have their debts discharged after many for-profit schools have been accused of predatory lending practices.

However, even people who took out loans to finance their higher education at other types of schools may be eligible for bankruptcy forgiveness if they can meet the requirements.

How to avoid breaking the bank this holiday season

If you are like most Texas residents, your spending increases dramatically during the holiday season. With the combination of great sales, gifting and parties, the holidays can throw off anyone's budget. However, they don't have to.

Consider following a few of these tips developed from Investopedia in order to keep your holiday spending in check:

Make a budget and check it twice.

Many people overspend during the holidays because they don't have a budget in place. Plan in advance how much you can afford to spend from now to New Year's and stick to it. Remember that you can trade non-essential items like eating out or your daily coffee in order to set aside more funds for gifts.

How foreclosure works in Texas

Most people do not have a couple hundred thousand dollars laying around, so when they want to buy a home, they must rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan that is provided by the lender in exchange for the homebuyer's promise to keep making loan payments.

The catch with mortgage loans is that the homeowner doesn't actually own the home, the mortgage lender does. That means if the homeowner stops making monthly mortgage payments, as promised, the lender has the right to repossess the home. This process is known as foreclosure.

The four biggest myths about filing for bankruptcy

Most people have heard about bankruptcy, but few actually understand what it means. This has led to numerous myths being passed around about the bankruptcy process and how it affects people who file. Today we are going to tackle four of the most common myths that our firm hears.

Myth No 1: Filing for bankruptcy ruins credit scores.

It's important to know that while a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for 10 years, that does not mean that you will have poor credit during that entire time. Your credit, or your ability to borrow, will likely increase after filing for bankruptcy because you will no longer be struggling to pay bills that you cannot afford.

For the most part, you have control over building up your credit after bankruptcy, and it can often be repaired within a few years of the date your debts are discharged.

Mediating unexpected medical bills under new Texas law

Waking up in an emergency room and finding out that you've been in an accident can be a shock. Getting the medical bill for the care you have received can be just as shocking -- even if you have health insurance.

Medical bills have added insult to injury for many patients who were unknowingly treated by physicians who are outside of their insurance carriers' networks, sometimes at hospitals that were within their networks.

Undoubtedly, this is an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and Texas residents told state lawmakers their stories. In response, the legislature passed a law that makes it possible to challenge the bills through mediation.

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