Some people in Texas may be carrying a significant amount of credit card debt. By the end of 2017, Americans collectively added the most debt to their credit cards since before the recession of 2007. In all, total credit card debt is more than $1 trillion.
When Texas residents file for bankruptcy, they will be given an automatic stay from creditor collection actions. This may enable them to keep their vehicle while a bankruptcy case is ongoing. However, it may be necessary to pay any outstanding balance owed and keep up with current payments. Those who wish to purchase a vehicle while their case is pending may be able to do so with trustee and court approval.
Texas residents in their late 30s through their early 50s are more likely to have medical debt than any other generation. On average, Generation X owes more than $19,000 in medical debt compared to millennials, who owe $11,622 and baby boomers, who owe an average of just over $2,400. One in five people younger than 65 who have health insurance struggle to keep up with medical costs.
Generally speaking, Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives debtors the right to modify their mortgages by dividing the debt into a secured portion that is equivalent to the value of the property if it were to be sold today and a portion that is considered unsecure. However, this bifurcation usually occurs with properties that are not the primary residence of the creditor, such as a second home or an investment property. For example, a person living in Texas and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might have to forego their summer home but not their primary home.
Many Houston residents are struggling with high debt levels. In many cases, these folks may want to do the right thing and meet their obligations to creditors. For those who are employed and have retirement accounts, borrowing from a 401(k) may be a tempting debt management strategy.
Some people in Texas who are struggling with debt might be able to use a 401(k) hardship withdrawal. Only certain types of 401(k) plans allow this type of withdrawal, and it can be used only for specific types of expenses. 401(k) hardship withdrawals can be used for funeral or burial expenses, payments that prevent foreclosure or eviction, repairs for some types of home damage, a new primary residence or medical bills.
Many families in Texas struggle with credit card debt. Across the U.S., Americans owe about $905 billion in credit card debt. That works out to around $15,654 per household. While this seems like a lot, other debts are even worse. The total amounts owed on mortgages, car loans and student loans are in the trillions.
Many people living in Texas struggle to pay their bills. While some financial difficulties are temporary, other individuals and families find it impossible to catch up. In these cases, bankruptcy may be an appropriate option.
Texas residents and others who file for bankruptcy may believe that they have no chance of buying a home. However, this is not necessarily the case. For many, the biggest obstacle standing in their way of home ownership is time. In some cases, a person may need to wait four years after the date that their case is resolved before they can buy a home. A minimum two-year wait is imposed by Fannie Mae while a minimum one-year wait is imposed by the FHA.
Older Americans in Texas and throughout the country are filing for bankruptcy more often than they have in past years. Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 comprise 8 percent of all bankruptcy filings. This is an increase of 1 percent since 2008, and many people in this age group are filing because of medical debt. In addition to higher health care costs, a lack of financial literacy may also play a role in whether an older person files for bankruptcy.