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Bankruptcy Overview

Houston Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy Basics and Frequent Questions

Filing bankruptcy grants you a safe haven from creditors with the automatic stay provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The automatic stay protects you from creditor harassment, repossessions and foreclosures, and wage garnishments. Contact us for more information about bankruptcy basics or read our Bankruptcy FAQ page.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

Depending on the type of debts that are troubling your business operations or personal finances, various alternatives to bankruptcy may be available. Examples of bankruptcy alternatives include home loan modifications and voluntary agreements with credit card companies.

Business Bankruptcy Under Chapter 11 or Chapter 7

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), more than 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years. If your business is experiencing serious debt problems, filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy may give you the time you need to save it. Businesses that file a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 bankruptcy — and negotiate with creditors to accept the plan — are typically allowed to operate under the supervision of the bankruptcy court. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition helps many businesses avoid foreclosure. At the end of the reorganization process, the court can grant full or partial relief from debts, leases and contracts so the business can make a fresh financial start.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is used to wind down a business that does not have sufficient prospects to reorganize under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is also called liquidation bankruptcy. For more information about Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy for businesses, contact us.

Personal Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Credit card companies are notorious for spreading myths about bankruptcy. One myth is that irresponsible consumers run up debt and then file bankruptcy. In fact, the vast majority of people who file bankruptcy do so because of an event that is outside of their control, such as job loss, divorce, or catastrophic illness or injury.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the simplest and surest form of debt relief for consumers, especially in "no asset" cases in which all the property you own is exempt from seizure by the bankruptcy trustee. Under the new bankruptcy laws, you must pass a means test to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt reorganization plan for individuals. Like a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for business, Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you time to catch up on your payments to keep the assets that are important to you such as your home and your car. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy also enables you to reduce the amount you have to pay unsecured creditors, such as credit card companies — sometimes to pennies on the dollar.

Debt Reorganization for Individuals Under Chapter 11

When debt levels are too high, an individual may no longer qualify for Chapter 13. In such cases, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available for individuals, even though it is most frequently used for business bankruptcy.

Free Consultation With a Houston Attorney About Bankruptcy Options for Businesses and Individuals

For more information about discharge of debt, such as credit card bills, call Houston bankruptcy lawyer Margaret McClure at 713-574-5426 or fill out the contact form to discuss your Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.