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Fort Worth Texas Bankruptcy Legal Blog

One mistake can turn dead debt into zombie debt

Most debts have an expiration date. If that statement surprises you, you may be among the many in Texas that debt collectors take advantage of by trying to collect a debt that has already reached its time limit. Time-barred debt includes any debt that is too old for a creditor to collect through the courts. In other words, after a certain time passes without receiving a payment from the borrower, the creditor loses the right to sue for payment.

This does not mean a creditor may not pursue you for payment, and make no mistake, many will. However, it does mean they cannot threaten you with a lawsuit. Additionally, some lawmakers want to change the rules to require debt collectors to inform you when they are trying to collect on a time-barred debt.

How to use your tax refund to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy (part 2)

So you're considering bankruptcy, but you also have a tax refund coming. Your refund probably isn't enough to keep you afloat long-term. Still, you don't want to jeopardize it. Chances are, if bankruptcy is on the table, you need every cent you can get.

In part one of this series, we explained the basics of bankruptcy exemptions - that is, property you get to keep in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, tax refunds aren't among them. You might be able to keep your refund if you claim a wildcard exemption at the federal level, which allows you to hold onto any property up to a certain dollar limit. But that would require giving up the generous state-level exemptions, which in Texas are very friendly to debtors.

How to use your tax refund to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy (part 1)

It's tax season, and that means many people are looking forward to receiving a tax refund. You may have already pocketed yours through an advance loan on your refund. When you're struggling to make ends meet, any amount of money can make a big impact.

But what if you're considering bankruptcy? You should be aware of how tax refunds are handled in Chapter 7 bankruptcies (the most common type of consumer bankruptcy) so you don't end up losing your refund. Through careful planning, you can use your refund to the greatest advantage possible rather than surrendering it to bankruptcy.

Are you one of many Texas residents considering bankruptcy?

There are certain words in the English language that are typically associated with negative stigmas. Bankruptcy is one of those words. How much do you know about it? The first question to ask yourself is whether you really know anything about it, as in actual facts, or you simply have heard some things from others, most of which were negative. Have you heard, for instance, that filing for bankruptcy in Texas means you are entering financial ruin?

Maybe people told you that you'll never be able to restore financial stability or get a loan if you seek this form of debt relief. You might have also heard that filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 becomes part of your credit history and will always be on your financial record. If this is the type of information you have received regarding bankruptcy, then you have been misguided.

Resolving to get debt free in the new year?

If 2019 presented you with many challenges, you may be happy to see it go. The end of one year often provides promises for better opportunities in the coming year. However, if you are bringing a mountain of debt with you into 2020, you are probably not too optimistic that your situation will improve just because you turn the page on the calendar.

Perhaps you are like many in Texas who make resolutions at the beginning of each new year. Resolutions for getting control of your finances may be on your list again this year. You may already know that it won't be easy, but there are steps you can take to get yourself on the right track.

How to know if your debt is a problem

Debt isn't always a bad thing. Not many people can own a home without going into debt. Many entrepreneurs take out lines of credit to start their businesses. Student loans allow people to obtain an education that opens new opportunities for their futures. However, it is very easy to allow debt to become a burden.

You may think your debt is under control because you can make all your payments on time. However, you may have constructed a house of cards that could topple when the first unexpected expense comes along. In other words, you may not realize how dangerously close to financial crisis you are living.

Sudden job loss can come with difficult repercussions

Some events in life can seemingly come out of nowhere. You may have believed that you were on the fast track in your career and anticipated a promotion at any moment. You did everything you could to be a model employee. Unfortunately, when your boss asked to see you, it was to let you go rather than promote you.

You may have felt shocked at first and questioned what you did wrong. In the end, the company may have let you go for one of any number of reasons other than your performance, including simply having to lay off employees due to budgetary issues. Still, whatever the reason, you felt blindsided by your sudden unemployment.

One of the first steps in the consumer bankruptcy process

Are you overrun by medical bills? Are you hopelessly behind on your credit card payments? Have you received notice of foreclosure on your home? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you understand the mental and emotional toll that a difficult financial situation can have on a person's life. For you, bankruptcy could be a smart choice that may allow you to have a better future.

If you are thinking about bankruptcy, do you know which chapter is the best for your situation, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13? The means test is the first step in the bankruptcy process, and the results will help you understand which one is the best option for you. You might want to learn more about the means test and the differences between the two types of consumer bankruptcy.

Unexpected medical bills are leaving many Americans in debt

When you need surgery or end up in a Texas emergency room for necessary treatment, you may be wondering how much it will cost you. You may also think that because you have insurance that you won't be left with many medical bills. Unfortunately, you may find yourself dealing with unexpected medical debt.

Surprise medical bills are one of the leading causes of debt. Many people who thought they had coverage for a procedure they needed often find themselves getting unexpected medical bills in their mailboxes weeks later. This catches people off guard, and many patients are unable to pay these bills. The issue of unexpected medical debt is so serious that Congress is considering legislation to ease the burden on overwhelmed consumers. 

Understanding the automatic stay in bankruptcy

Perhaps you've traveled a long road to find the right debt relief option to help you with your financial struggles. If you are like most Fort Worth residents, you tried other options before reaching the conclusion that bankruptcy would provide you with the best outcome.

Perhaps you heard that an automatic stay goes into effect once you file your petition. You need to know what this does and does not do for you as your case progresses.

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Steele Law Firm, PLLC
3629 Lovell Ave, Ste. 100
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Phone: 682-990-9372
Fax: 866-292-2348
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