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.

Contact the firm for the help you deserve through the bankruptcy process!

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