Dallas Bankruptcy Attorneys
Financial hardship can leave individual and commercial borrowers alike feeling without any real means of escaping their debt. Whether this debt is the result of unexpected medical expenses, the loss of a job, out-of-control credit, or a series of no- or low-profit quarters, many people are forced to consider bankruptcy as a means to regain control of their finances. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious financial decision that should never be taken lightly. It can have long-term consequences on your ability to borrow money, but can also free you from burdensome debts.
The process of filing for bankruptcy is full of nuanced decisions and important considerations. Our team at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., has extensive knowledge and experience with bankruptcy law and can help you take steps to improve your financial standing and protect your future. If you are considering bankruptcy and live anywhere in the Dallas or Fort Worth area, you should speak with one of the Dallas bankruptcy attorneys at the Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., to begin assessing the legal options available to you. Call (214) 317-4448 to learn more about how bankruptcy protection may be the right move to securing a debt-free financial future.
Filing for Bankruptcy in DFW
As you begin the process of managing your financial problems, there will be a number of options available to help you reduce or eliminate your debt. There are various forms of bankruptcy and each has its own requirements. Some allow you to keep some of your assets; others require you to liquidate them. Some bankruptcies even allow you to exempt some of your belongings to protect them from your creditors. These exemptions can include your car, keepsakes, heirlooms, and jewelry such as wedding rings. There are many categories of exemptions, but there are also limits concerning how much can be exempted under each category. The main goal of going through bankruptcy is to reduce the burdens of your debts while protecting as many of your assets as is reasonably possible.
All bankruptcies are unique, and your specific situation will require the help of someone who is well versed in the bankruptcy process. At Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., our Dallas bankruptcy attorneys can help you make the kind of informed financial decisions you will need to make in regards to the following:
In the simplest terms, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the liquidation of assets in order to settle outstanding debts with creditors. Unlike Chapter 11, which works best for corporate debt, this type of claim can be a good option for an individual debtor as well as for a business entity. Individuals can benefit from Chapter 7’s discharge clause: in certain cases, a debtor can discharge his debts, remove the responsibility for these outstanding amounts, and emerge from the process with a clean slate. However, this caveat does not exist for corporations. Rather than receive a discharge, the business entity is dissolved in order to repay the larger and more complex financial debts accrued in business operations.
In order to file for Chapter 7, you must qualify for it by passing what is called the Means Test. This test gets an overall view of your finances and compares them to certain averages to determine whether or not your net worth falls within the threshold that is allowed to file for Chapter 7. Our attorneys can help you figure out whether or not you can pass the Means Test and qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
It is important to note that certain debts cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Sometimes, these are the most burdensome debts such as student loans and fines owed to the government.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies, available only to individuals, offer debtors the opportunity to pay back debts over time without foreclosing their homes and with the option of creating a personalized repayment plan that allows for smaller individual payments over a longer period of time. Unlike with a Chapter 7 claim, individuals must eventually pay back their debts and remain current on their payments during the bankruptcy process. This being said, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals to focus on current payments rather than trying to catch up with outstanding and impending payments simultaneously. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a loan that allows individual debtors to reorganize, catch up on their debt, and get it under control.
As opposed to the asset liquidation plan of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cases filed under Chapter 11, much like Chapter 13, are a reorganization of corporate debts. While Chapter 13 is much simpler for those with smaller debts and less complex finances, individuals can file for Chapter 11 if they so choose. It is important to note that, as a reorganization of finances rather than debt forgiveness, Chapter 11 bankruptcy aims to protect the interests of both the business owners as well as those of the creditors and shareholders invested in the company. After the court confirms the terms of the Chapter 11 plan, which must be feasible, fair, and equally favorable to all parties, the company may continue operations and is legally bound to follow a strict repayment plan.
When an individual files for bankruptcy, it is often a decision made in the midst of extreme stress and sudden or swiftly accruing debts. Although corporate and personal bankruptcy follow the same national Bankruptcy Code, personal bankruptcy cases are characterized by smaller sums and less complex financial summaries (fewer assets, less property, fewer stock investments, absence of shareholders, etc.). Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common means through which individuals can either liquidate or refinance in order to escape extensive personal debt.
When a business files for bankruptcy, it is a decision that affects many people. The owners of the business are not the only ones affected. The financial stability of employees, creditors, shareholders, and other investors is also at risk when a business falls too deeply into debt. Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 are the most flexible and allow businesses to repay, restructure, and even cancel some debts when eligible.
Whatever the financial circumstances of your life happen to be, you need to remember not to give up hope; our Dallas/Fort Worth legal team will do everything we can to help you regain financial solvency. Recovering from debt may feel overwhelming now, but with a careful and well-executed bankruptcy plan, you can eventually return to a state of balanced finances.
Consult with a bankruptcy attorney in the Dallas/Fort Worth area
Despite its bad reputation, bankruptcy is a practical and effective resource for debt relief. Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to filing for bankruptcy. Your credit rating will suffer, making it more difficult for you to take out loans and increasing your interest rates. You will therefore have to rebuild your credit. Regardless, the benefits of getting out of debt oftentimes outweigh these consequences. The advice of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which course of action is best for your situation.
If you live in the Dallas or Fort Worth area and are considering bankruptcy, speak with a Dallas bankruptcy attorney of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. To discuss your circumstances with a member of our bankruptcy team, call our Dallas office at (214) 317-4448 today.