No one wants to file bankruptcy. Yet, if you find yourself in dire financial straits, you may have no other choice but to do so. This process can be stressful, because you could face the prospect of parting with valuable assets. But this is often not the case in Texas. And you may find that the advantages of filing bankruptcy could outweigh its drawbacks.
You can keep your property
If your finances are spiraling and you don’t file bankruptcy, you could lose your house or cars for nonpayment. But no matter whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you have ways to keep these possessions. Doing so is easier if you file Chapter 13, since these items become part of your repayment plan. Yet, if you file Chapter 7 in Texas, you may retain ownership of your home if you’re current on mortgage payments and your property’s total area is under 10 acres (or 100 acres in rural areas). Keep in mind that you must have lived in Texas for at least 40 months for this exemption to apply. And Texas also allows the exemption of one motor vehicle during Chapter 7, no matter its value.
You receive an automatic stay
When you file bankruptcy, you will receive an automatic stay that halts most creditor action against you. Once this stay goes into effect, creditors must stop harassing you about any payments you owe. And it also halts any action that creditors were ready to take to repossess your property or garnish your wages. Automatic stays do not last forever – they end after your bankruptcy proceedings for any debts not discharged. Furthermore, if you plan on keeping property, you must affirm your intentions within 30 days of your filing. After you do so, creditors can come after you again. But this period could make a difference in your ability to retain ownership over your assets. And it could save you, too, from losing crucial services if you are in arrears to their providers.
You can start over financially
Many people consider bankruptcy tantamount to financial ruin. But filing could provide you significant relief. For one, you have the weight of debt off your shoulders or a plan to pay it off. Furthermore, filing can help you understand the steps you must take to avoid similar hardship again. Learning good financial habits will make life easier as you rebuild your credit and shed your bankruptcy from your record.