Bankruptcy may be an effective option to eliminate debts or make them more manageable for people in Texas. Individuals typically file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While Chapter 7 is sometimes called liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is often referred to as wage-earners or repayment bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee approves and supervises repayment of debts on a plan that lasts between three and five years.
People in Texas who are dealing with crippling debt may wonder about the rules for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes having a regular income that will allow the person to pay creditors back on a payment plan each month. Furthermore, the filer cannot have more than the maximum allowable unsecured and secured debt.
It takes longer for people in some states to pay off their credit card debts than it takes for people in others. Texas is one of the states where people carry the highest balances on their cards, but it's not among the worst when it comes to payoff time. The length of time it takes a person to pay off his or her credit card debt is sometimes called the credit card burden.
Bankruptcy is something that affects all age groups. Even senior citizens, who many people assume are more financially stable given a long working life and safety nets such as retirement accounts and savings, are vulnerable to the effects of overwhelming credit card debt.
Debts owed by consumers in Texas and across the U.S. are expected to hit $4 trillion by the end of 2018, but the chief economist from LendingTree says it's not a reason to worry. While total consumer debt is a big number, he said, the economy is more stable and income is also increasing. Through September 2018, American consumer debt totaled $3.93 trillion, $1 trillion of which was from credit cards. The other $2.93 trillion was from things like auto loans and student loans.