The Bankruptcy Process
Helping You Get a Fresh Financial Start
No one should have to live with stress caused by severe financial problems.
If you have substantial debts that you cannot repay, filing for
bankruptcy can give you the fresh financial start you need. After you file, you can
hold your head up again and move forward with a clean financial slate.
The Maida Law Firm, P.C. provides important information to help you with
bankruptcy questions that you may have. Filing a
Chapter 7 or
Chapter 13 may protect your home and property from repossession and foreclosure;
however, each of these chapters will apply in different ways depending
on your circumstances. Regardless, we want you to be familiar with the
general bankruptcy process.
Initial Bankruptcy Process
Bankruptcy can stop collections and creditors immediately, but the process does take
a while before you receive a discharge. The firm's experience and
compassion will help you through this process. Generally, the initial
bankruptcy process involves the following:
- Initial consultation
- Means testing
- Credit counseling
- Disclosure of assets & debts
- Production of documents
- Filing petition
- Creditors' meeting
- Debt discharge
Your initial consultation with the Maida Law Firm, P.C. in Beaumont is
free. We also have an office in Houston, available by appointment only,
where you can take advantage of a complimentary consultation. This consultation
allows you to inform the attorneys about your financial situation. The
bankruptcy attorneys will evaluate your case and provide you the necessary
information to begin the process. The cost of your bankruptcy will be
discussed during your
free case evaluation.
How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost in Texas?
The cost of bankruptcy depends on which chapter you file and the complexity
of your financial situation. Maida Law Firm, P.C. does not quote fees
because each potential client's bankruptcy case is different, and
the firm wants to tailor its services specifically to your needs.
Beyond the attorney's fees required to file bankruptcy, you will be
required to pay the following court-required filing fee:
- Chapter 7: $306
- Chapter 13: $218
Means Testing and Credit Counseling
Since 2005, the means test has become the primary method of determining
whether consumer bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 should be presumed
abusive. The bankruptcy attorneys will assist you in your means test determination
during your evaluation to help you decide which bankruptcy chapter is
your best option. Remember that even though you qualify for Chapter 7,
you may have enough income to file a Chapter 13. The firm can help you
evaluate your options. You are required to pay for and attend a court-approved
credit-counseling course before you file for bankruptcy. The price for
these courses can range from $20 to $30. You may take it in the firm's
office if you do not have Internet access.
Full Disclosure of Assets and Debts
In order to take advantage of the federal bankruptcy laws, you must completely
disclose all your assets and debts. Your assets consist of real property,
such as your home, and personal property such as cars, stocks, recreational
vehicles, financial accounts, and other personal possessions. Debts include
mortgages, loans, student loans, credit cards, and domestic support obligations.
The attorneys will assist you in filling out the required information
concerning your assets and debts. You can rest assured that the bankruptcy
attorneys will help you every step of the way.
When your assets and debts are fully disclosed, the attorneys will help
maximize the amount of property that is exempt and help you achieve a
maximum discharge of debt allowed under the bankruptcy code. Failure to
fully disclose your assets and debts may affect the outcome of your bankruptcy
case and expose you to criminal prosecution.
Disclosing your assets and liabilities also requires documentation to support
your claims. This documentation is collected before your case is filed.
The firm's attorneys can help you identify what documents you will
need to collect by providing a thorough checklist. In addition, you must
produce your previous four years of tax returns. If you do not have these
records with you, the attorneys have the IRS contact information you need
to obtain the necessary transcripts.
Filing Your Petition in Beaumont or Houston
With all of your documentation, the Maida Law Firm, P.C. can prepare your
bankruptcy petition and other required documents. The attorneys review
the petition with you in the office and ensure that everything listed
is true and accurate. When a bankruptcy petition is satisfactory, it is
filed and the bankruptcy proceeding before the court will begin.
This proceeding is a standard meeting that occurs 30-45 days after your
case is filed. A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your case and reviews
your petition for fraud, proper exemptions, and any irregularities. Creditors
or creditors' attorneys are allowed to appear at the meeting and ask
questions if they desire. Lawyers from the firm can attend the meeting
with you and guide you through any questions that are asked by the trustee.
This initial bankruptcy process information is intended to provide you
with some summary information so that you know what to initially expect
when you file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies have some
differences and additional steps in the processes. The attorneys will
inform you of these differences during your consultation.
Free Initial Consultation – Call Now!
The Houston and Beaumont bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial consultation
to discuss your financial situation and answer your questions about debt
relief. Whether you are interested in Chapter 7 debt liquidation or Chapter
13 reorganization, the firm can help.