Jane M. McLaughlin
Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer 14015 Southwest Freeway Suite 14 Sugar Land, TX 77469 281-242-7084
 
 
 
 

FAQs


Houston Bankruptcy - Frequently Asked Questions
 


 

 

 

 


 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  1. I am several months behind on my mortgage payments and the mortgage company has threatened to foreclose on my home.  Can anything be done to save my home?
  2. I have not made my car payment in a few months and the finance company says it will repossess my car if I don't them everything now.  I need my car to go to work.  Is there anything I can do to stop them?
  3. What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
  4. I have a lot of credit card debt and my creditors keep calling me.  How can a bankruptcy help me?
  5. If I file bankruptcy will I have to appear in court?
  6. What if someone has co-signed a loan for me and I file bankruptcy?
  7. How does a bankruptcy affect my credit rating?
  8. How much does it cost to file bankruptcy?

 

 

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

 

I  am several months behind on my mortgage payments and the mortgage company has threatened to foreclose on my home.  Can anything be done to save my home?

If you are unable to work out a payment plan directly with your mortgage company, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to save your home.  Once a bankruptcy is filed, your creditors must stop all collection activity against you, including foreclosure proceedings.  The past due amounts you owe the mortgage company will be paid through the Bankruptcy Trustee (the person assigned by the court to administer your bankruptcy).  While you are in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must still make your regular monthly mortgage payments and keep current with your payments to the Trustee to prevent the mortgage company from being allowed to go forward with foreclosure.


 

I have not made my car payments for a few months and the finance company says it will repossess my car if I don't pay now.  I need my car to go to work.  Is there anything I can do to stop them?

If you are unable to work out a payment plan directly with your lender, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to keep your car.  Once a bankruptcy is filed, your creditors must stop all collection activity against you, including repossession.  You can pay for your car two ways in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy depending on your individual circumstances, including how much you owe on the car and its market value.  1) you can pay for the entire amount you owe on the car through the bankruptcy; or 2) you can pay only for the past due amount through the bankruptcy.  If you pay only the past due amount through the bankruptcy, you must continue to pay your regular monthly car note to the lender. 


 

What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed to obtain a discharge (you will no longer be responsible for payment) of an obligation to pay unsecured debt when a debtor is not in jeopardy of losing secured property such as a house or car.  A Chapter 13 is typically filed by a person with regular income when they get behind in their house, car or other secured obligations.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy unsecured creditors are paid a percentage of the debt they are owed depending on the circumstances of the individual debtor.


 

I have a lot of credit card debt and my creditors keep calling me.  How can a bankruptcy help me?

If you qualify, credit card debt would be dischargeable (you will no longer be responsible for payment) in a bankruptcy.  Under certain circumstances you may be required to repay a portion of your unsecured debt in a Chapter 13 plan.  Once you file a bankruptcy, your creditors must stop all collection activity against you, including telephone calls and letters.  If collection activity persists notify your lawyer immediately.


 

If I file bankruptcy will I have to appear in court?

All bankruptcies require that you attend a creditor's meeting, where the Trustee (the person appointed to administer your bankruptcy) will review the documents provided when the bankruptcy is filed.  Occasionally one of your creditors will attend this meeting.  Your lawyer will attend with you.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is also a confirmation hearing, where the judge will sign the plan you propose to repay your creditors.  You will only have to attend that hearing if your attorney tells you to.


 

What if someone has co-signed a loan for me and I file bankruptcy?

If the loan was unsecured (no property was pledged to make sure you repay the loan), then even if you obtain a discharge, the co-signer will be responsible for payment.  If the loan was for secured property (house, car, furniture) no action will be taken against the co-signer as long as the payments are made.


 
 

How does a bankruptcy affect my credit rating?

A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.  Each creditor has its own system of evaluating your creditworthiness for future credit

 


 

How much does it cost to file bankruptcy?

Filing fees, paid to the court, are $310.00 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and $335.00 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Payment plans are available for the attorney's fees. 

 


 
HOUSTON BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY                                                                                  HOUSTON BANKRUPTCY LAWYER