Skip to navigation
Laptop and pen


Jan. 16, 2019

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Helps Consumers get a Fresh Financial Start

When people with low incomes cannot pay their debts, they get frequent calls and letters from bill collectors and are under constant stress from financial uncertainty. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides people with debts they cannot pay a way to start over financially.

Debts that can be wiped clean by Chapter 7 bankruptcy include unsecured debts and may include the following:

  • Medical Bills

  • Credit card debt

  • Business debt

  • Lawsuit judgments and claims

  • Personal loans

  • Private student loans

Specific rules apply about when and how to discharge some of these debts, such as federal taxes and court judgments. Debts that Chapter 7 does not eliminate may include the following:

  • Recent taxes

  • Alimony payments

  • Child support payments

  • Court fines and criminal restitution

  • Debts incurred after filing for bankruptcy

Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consult an experienced Texas bankruptcy lawyer who understands the nuances of which debts can and cannot be eliminated.

Your Bankruptcy Attorney can Determine if You Qualify for Chapter 7 in Texas

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your calculated monthly income should be less than the Texas state average (median) income. If your monthly income is higher than the median, a means test is then used to check if you would have enough money left over to pay some debts after deducting all allowable.

In addition to the means test, to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must not have had any proceedings with the bankruptcy court within 180 days before you file. You must also get credit counseling from an approved agency within 180 days before filing.

If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney can check if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a viable alternative. But if you do qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to create, gather and file the following documents with the bankruptcy court:

It usually takes from 60 – 90 days to complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you accurately gather the financial information, disclosures and filings required to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas.

You may Need to Sell Some Assets and Property if You File Chapter 7 in Texas

Federal bankruptcy law has specific rules about which property and assets can be used to pay creditors. The law allows you to choose whether to use federal or state property exemption guidelines. Fortunately, Texas has some very generous exemptions. You can compare Federal and Texas exemptions here.

Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney at Oliva Law to see if Chapter 7 is Right for You

Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas. If you live in Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, Corpus Christi, or anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley, contact us today for skilled legal guidance.