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Galveston Legal Issues Blog

Bankruptcy comes with requirements for counseling and education

Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that doesn't come easily. It is also one that doesn't happen right away because of the need to meet certain requirements. One of the requirements that has to be met is that you need to have credit counseling and debtor education. These have to be done at specific points in the bankruptcy process in order for them to be valid.

You can't take these courses from anyone. In Texas, as well as most other states, only agencies who are approved by the U.S. Department of Justice's Trustee Program can provide these services. Make sure that you are only dealing with these because you are wasting your time and money with others.

You don't have to lose your house in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Getting in over your head with debt doesn't take much. An unexpected illness, death in the family or loss of a job could leave you a few weeks behind in income. That can easily snowball into a situation where you're facing creditor calls and unable to make payments on all of your obligations due to increased payment amounts, penalties, fees, fines and interest.

If your debt has grown out of control, you may find yourself considering bankruptcy. However, you're also probably worried about how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could affect your status as a homeowner. After all, the bankruptcy court has the power to liquidate some of your assets to repay creditors. If loss of your home is what's keeping you from seeking bankruptcy relief, there's great news. Texas has incredibly generous exemptions for homeowners.

Bankruptcy: What to know about filing to get out of debt

You were always good with money, but after a serious medical situation, you found yourself falling behind in debt. Now, you think there's no way out.

Fortunately, that isn't true. Bankruptcy is one option that could help you get back on track.

Important points to know about Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Some people who file for bankruptcy have assets that prevent them from being able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In some cases, individuals opt for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy so that they can hang on to some assets, which are exempt from the case.

There are many different things that people need to know when they are going to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. All of these are important because they can impact the suitability of the filing.

Scams that target people listed in foreclosure filings abound

The thought of losing your dream home because of foreclosure can be difficult to stomach. Many people who are in this position will grasp at straws to try to keep their home. The issue with this is that they might end up falling for a foreclosure scam that ends with them facing financial hardships and still losing the home.

Before you decide what to do about your foreclosure, you should learn about ways to spot these scams so that you can avoid them. Essentially, one of the best things you can do is to take the time to investigate any company or program you are considering.

How does Chapter 7 differ from Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

The decision to file bankruptcy is a big one, but it isn't going to be the last decision you have to make about the situation. Once you know that you need to do something about your finances and determine that bankruptcy is the answer, you will have to decide what type of bankruptcy to seek.

The type of bankruptcy you file has several impacts on what will happen from there. Typically, the two options that you will have as a consumer are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Here are some of the notable differences between the two:

5 ways filing bankruptcy can help you

When debt is overwhelming, the situation might make you feel like you don't have anywhere to turn. Most people who are drowning in debt do have the option to file for bankruptcy.

While bankruptcy is something that some people see as the easy way out, this isn't the case. Bankruptcy isn't defeat. It is simply realizing that you simply can't overcome your current financial situation and taking action to start anew. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, make sure you remember these benefits.

5 ways to reduce medical debts fast after surgery

You've just been through surgery, but it's not the pain bothering you. Instead, you're starting to wonder how you're going to pay for it. Surgeries are expensive, and your surgery was complicated. Even though you're young and have time to heal and recover, the bills could loom over you for a long time. Don't fret, though. There are ways to reduce medical debt before you even begin to repay them.

Small business owners: It's time to get serious about your taxes

You'd be surprised how many small business owners didn't pay a penny of their taxes last year. That doesn't mean they don't owe taxes. It just means they put off payment, or didn't have enough money because their businesses were so unprofitable.

Maybe you have a mobile dog trimming business and you cut the hair of a lot of poodles in 2016, but you were a few hundred poodles short of making it out of the red. Regardless your reason for getting behind, the IRS will not be lenient if it discovers you skipped paying your due. IRS garnishment and other serious consequences can happen to anyone who is in tax debt.

Don't do these 5 things before filing for bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy isn't just something that you decide to do one day and then -- POOF -- your debts are gone. In order to achieve the best outcome in a bankruptcy case, you should start preparing weeks, months or even years ahead of time.

Part of being prepared means knowing what NOT to do. Here are five of the most common mistakes people make before filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

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