If I File Bankruptcy Can I Keep My Home?
Yes. If you are current on your mortgage and file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (liquidation) the Texas Homestead Exemption allows you to keep your homestead. There are some acreage limitations – 10 acres in a city, town, or village, and 100 acres in the country (200 acres for a family). There are some exceptions to this depending on when you purchased the homestead.
If you are not current on your mortgage but wish to keep your house, filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will allow you to make up your late payments over a 3 – 5 year period. A Chapter 13 will also STOP any foreclosure action taken by your mortgage company.
I’m Married Does My Spouse Also Have to File?
No, your spouse does not have to join you in filing bankruptcy.
In many cases, it makes sense for both spouses to file bankruptcy. Such as when both of you have too much debt or are both on the loans you wish to have discharged. In these situations, filing together releases both of you from the debt and saves you money on filing fees and attorney’s fees.
In other cases, there is no good reason for the spouse to file bankruptcy and in these cases, the spouse is not required to join in the bankruptcy.
Each situation is unique and you should consult with a lawyer when making this decision.
Will I Still Have to Pay Child Support?
Yes, there are certain debts that by law cannot be discharged (forgiven) through bankruptcy. Child support is one of these debts.
Other debts that cannot be discharged are:
- Alimony/Spousal maintenance
- Property liens
- Certain types of tax debt
- Some student loan debt
- Restitution, fines and court costs
- Debt related to fraud
- Personal Injury judgements from
- DWI related injuries
There may be exceptions in certain cases. That is why it is helpful to review your situation with a lawyer.
Can Creditors Keep Harassing Me After I File Bankruptcy?
No. Once you file bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court issues a Federal Court order informing all your creditors to stop all contact with you. If the creditor fails to do this, they could be fined.
If I File Bankruptcy, I Will Never Get Credit Again, Right?
This is false. Depending on your situation, filing bankruptcy may be the best thing that could happen to your credit report. Bankruptcy gets rid of debts you can’t afford making you look more attractive to lenders.
I Heard it is Really Hard to File Bankruptcy?
Representing yourself in a lawsuit, bankruptcy or otherwise, can be hard but it doesn’t have to be. By hiring the right attorney, you can better protect your belongings and make the process simpler.