How to File for Bankruptcy in Texas
The process of filing for bankruptcy in Texas requires debtors to follow federal rules and guidelines. In addition, it can be helpful to learn about the local rules and procedures that apply in the state of Texas. The most common form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for debts to be discharged through the court. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another popular option. This form of bankruptcy allows a debtor to pay off debts using a structured payment plan through the court. There are also several other forms of bankruptcy that may be applicable in some situations. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is an option that's available to farmers and fishermen. Another option that is on the table is Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy is open to debtors with large debt amounts or business-related debts.
Key Things to Know About Filing for Bankruptcy in Texas
Every person filing for bankruptcy will need to submit a means test to the court. A means test requires a debtor to supply detailed and accurate information regarding assets, income, liabilities and more. A means test is actually what is used to determine if a person is eligible to file for bankruptcy and the form of bankruptcy that is appropriate.
The bankruptcy process formally begins when a debtor files a petition with the court. The filing of a petition triggers an automatic stay. An automatic stay is important because it prevents creditors from attempting to collect debts or contact a debtor for any reason. One thing that is important to know is that debtors must actually take steps before filing a petition with the court. A credit counseling course must be completed during the six months leading up to filing for bankruptcy. This course must be taken through a provider that is approved in the state of Texas. A list of approved providers can be accessed here. This is not the only course that's required. It's also necessary for a debtor to complete a debtor education course once a bankruptcy filing is in process. The list of approved providers for this course can be found here. Another key requirement for debtors during the bankruptcy process is attendance at something called a meeting of creditors. This is a mandatory meeting that provides creditors with an opportunity to prove that a debtor possesses nonexempt assets that may need to be forfeited. In addition, creditors are given the opportunity to object to the terms of a payment plan that has been set up as part of a Chapter 13 case.
The Specifics of Filing for Bankruptcy in Texas
The bankruptcy court in Texas is divided between the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas has locations in Beaumont, Plano and Tyler. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas has locations in Austin, El Paso and San Antonio. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas has locations in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, Lubbock, San Angelo and Wichita Falls. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has locations in Brownsville, Houston, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Galveston and McAllen. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas is $310. A full list of all fees a person can expect when filing for bankruptcy in Texas can be found here. Examples of the forms that are needed when filing for bankruptcy in Texas can be found here.