Helene Bergman

Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer and Bankruptcy Filing Information

Houston Family Lawyer and Divorce Information



Bankruptcy Information


Bankruptcy can stop foreclosure, as well repossession, eviction, or a court lawsuit, because when you file the bankruptcy paperwork, the federal law puts an "automatic stay" on you and everything around you, with a very few exceptions. That  stay keeps all creditors from moving forward with any actions against you or anything around you.


A "stay" is basically a security blanket that is thrown on you and your property.


Be careful when talking to creditors, as they often promise and threaten things that cannot be done.  Mortgage companies may say that filing a bankruptcy will not stop the sale/foreclosure from going forward. Many creditors will say anything in an effort to collect the bill, or worse, take the item from you.


Things purchased on credit may be classified as secured or unsecured items.


Secured are those items that were financed, such as your house, mobile home, vehicles, big appliances, and computers. In some cases, real estate taxes, Homeowners Association (HOA) dues and some federal income, or employee taxes can become secured debt.


Unsecured items often include small purchases, such as clothes, shoes, small appliances, etc. are all unsecured debt.


Creditors may call all day and night, to your home and work.  They may try to intimidate you and threaten to put you in jail.  Most of these tactics are illegal.


Bankruptcy could be the answer.  Call 832.379.4400 now for a consultation that is free, and we can discuss all of the options that you have.


In some cases, a one time settlement is a good choice, while others may just require a mortgage loan modification,  There are a variety of ways the Bergman Law Firm can wipe out bills, give you a "fresh start" and secure your bright financial future.


Payment of student loans and criminal penalties are other areas that can resolved within the bankruptcy process.


If you are less than a month away from foreclosure, or three months behind on your vehicle, there may not be enough time to make a choice. Bankruptcy filing, is the cheapest, simplest way.  If your home is sold or your vehicle repossessed, it is practically impossible to undo what happened.  Make an appointment before it is too late.


You MUST file before the foreclosure happens, even if the paperwork is the bare minimum that you need to stop all foreclosure actions.


There are two chapters that most consumer, non-business or corporations file. These are called a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 filing. The Chapter 7 filing is mainly used for unsecured debt, such as medical bills, credit cards, payday loans, or department store credit cards.  A Chapter 13 filing is better used for secured payments that are behind, such as your house, a vehicle, or taxes,  


So what happens after you file? It is better to have all the paperwork done before you file for bankruptcy.  However, if you filed the "emergency" papers, there will be only two weeks to complete paperwork, supply bank statements, tax returns, and paycheck stubs then file it with the Court.  Do not worry, Helene will be with you and make sure that everything is done. Several weeks after the papers are filed with the Bankruptcy Court, there will be a "creditor's meeting" known as the Section 341 Meeting. It is rare that any creditors appear at this meeting. It is not in the courtroom and the judge will not be there. The trustee appointed will be there to ask you some questions. Your attorney will be with you at the meeting to help with any questions that arise during the meeting.


Depending on whether you chose to file a Chapter 7, or a Chapter 13, there are a few more steps that must be taken to complete the bankruptcy.


At the Bergman Law Firm, we will help you set up a method of paying some secured creditors in a Chapter 7 if you want to keep the item. In a Chapter 13, we will design a plan that is based on your budget and the things that you want to keep.  Once that is completed, filed, and approved by the trustee and the Court, you are almost done. You receive a discharge in a Chapter 7, of most if not all of your bills in about 4 months. In a Chapter 13, you will have between 3 and 5 years to pay back what you have chosen to keep, like the mortgage, or back vehicle payments. Most of the time, the unsecured debt is wiped out, then you will receive your discharge and it is over.


Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, but your credit score should immediately begin to go up.

Ready to start on the road to financial recovery? Just call at 832.379.4400 for your first appointment.  "The longest journey starts with a single step."

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