Houston Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated and emotional time. It is worth remembering that the end result, a new beginning, will be worth it. Having a clean financial slate, being able to make a budget without worrying about mounting debt, rebuilding your credit, and living without the persistent stress of calling creditors is invaluable. A Houston bankruptcy lawyer can work with you to successfully have your debts discharged.
The process and timeline for debt discharge is different for each chapter. Chapter 7 discharges debts within a few months of filing; Chapter 13 discharges debts when you have finished your repayment plan. There are, however, certain types of debts which filing for bankruptcy cannot discharge. These are called non-dischargeable debts.
A qualified bankruptcy attorney can determine which of your debts qualify for discharge and which do not. In general, the following types of debts are not eligible for discharge:
- Child support debt and payments
- Alimony debt and payments
- Mortgages and other long term secured loans
- Debts that you do not list in the bankruptcy claim
- Most forms of federal, state, and municipal taxes
- Federal education loans/student loans
- Fraudulent debts
- Debts that you accrued paying off non-dischargeable debts
- Debts for personal injury claims resulting from willful or malicious injury
- Debts for personal injury or wrongful death claims resulting from a DUI accident
- Debts for court and jail costs and other criminal fines and fees
Although there are some secured debts that can be discharged, the creditor is legally allowed to collect the lien on the loan if it is discharged. Although you can voluntarily pay any discharged debts at any time, in order to keep a creditor from seizing a lien, you have to have the debt reaffirmed and continue to make payments on the loan.
If you are filing for bankruptcy, you know that sometimes life surprises you and you are not always prepared to handle it. There are bankruptcy laws to protect those with repayment plans for whom this happens. To qualify for a hardship discharge, which discharges all Chapter 7 dischargeable debts that are being repaid in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you must:
- Be unable to control your financial situation
- Not be at fault for your financial situation
- Have paid off your creditors a similar amount that you would have paid them in liquidated assets if you had initially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Be unable to modify your repayment plan
To learn more about discharging debt, contact a Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer at our offices.