The changes to the bankruptcy law make it impossible for many people to file

Fact: Bankruptcy relief is available for those who need it and the bankruptcy filing rates are at roughly the level they were before the 2005 amendments. The bankruptcy amendments complicate the process and that is why you should strongly consider hiring an experienced lawyer to assist you.

Only deadbeats file bankruptcy

Fact: Most clients should have filed for bankruptcy months, or even years before they call. People generally file for bankruptcy due to personal financial devastation often related to divorce, illness, job loss, or business failure. Poor financial planning is a distant fifth. We have never seen anyone who filed for bankruptcy simply because they decided that they would prefer not to pay their debts. Most debtors would do anything to avoid filing bankruptcy, but they simply can’t catch-up due to high interest rates and late fees.

Understand that bankruptcy is often as difficult as you make it on yourself. There is no one at the bankruptcy court whose job it is to berate you or call you a loser. The legal process is fairly simple and virtually everyone you meet will be courteous and respectful.

People who file bankruptcy never get credit again

Fact: For many of our clients, filing for bankruptcy is the first step toward credit recovery. Often our clients begin the process with poor credit scores. But after you file for bankruptcy, you don’t owe anyone any money and you can’t get another bankruptcy discharge (for 8 Years),–you Are the Best Credit Risk in Town! Many creditors realize this fact and many of our clients receive offers for credit before their bankruptcy is even finished! If you have income, credit will be available to you despite your bankruptcy.

I make too much money to file for bankruptcy

Fact: Most bankruptcy clients are "above-median" debtors. Their cases are often more complicated but most will qualify for bankruptcy relief. But the individual facts of your case must be considered before a decision can be made.

It is best to hire a volume firm that files dozens of bankruptcy cases every month

Fact: Bankruptcy mills may do a competent job. But in our opinion, if you have contacted a law firm to provide legal services, and you have only spoken with a legal assistant or a very young lawyer, that firm is doing you a disservice. The same is true if you have been directed to a chapter 13 debt repayment plan when you might qualify for a simple chapter 7. Some cases are relatively simple and others are more complicated, but no two cases are the same. The specific facts of your case need to be addressed by an experienced lawyer who will to create custom solutions for your specific problem. At my firm, I do the legal work, personally and I will personally lead you through the process.

It is expensive to file for bankruptcy

Fact: We never charge for an initial consultation either by phone or in person. And the cost of the bankruptcy will always be a small fraction of the total bills you are discharging. After we personally discuss your possible case, we will quote you a “flat fee price” which will include all normal services in a bankruptcy case. Until specific details are known about your case, we can’t quote an accurate legal fee, but virtually every bankruptcy case will include the following costs:

Court filing fee

Credit Report

Credit Counseling

Debtor education

$306 - Chapter 7
$281 - Chapter 13

$35.00 single
$50.00 couple

Varies but usually around $49.00

$38 couple

You must attempt a debt repayment plan with a credit counselor before you file.

Fact: Under the current law, you must take a short "class" from an approved credit counseling service before bankruptcy. You do not (and usually should not) attempt a debt repayment plan without guidance. After the short class, you may file your bankruptcy case normally. While you may select your own approved counselor, if you contact our office we’ll arrange for you to use one of our approved vendors and we will include the cost in your “flat fee.” Most of the counseling can be done on the internet or by telephone and it should take about 90 minutes. It is literally impossible to fail. Treat the counseling like the “defensive driving” course you take if you get a traffic ticket. However, understand that your credit counselor probably attended a short training course. Your bankruptcy lawyer has 25 years of experience in hundreds of cases. Listen to your attorney not the counselor.

People who file bankruptcy lose their property

Fact: Most debtors do not lose any property. Texas has exceptionally generous exemptions. For that reason, the majority of all cases are “No Asset” cases. You are hiring a very experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Before you file, I will review all of your assets and let you know if there is a problem. But again, most people do not lose anything.

Banks and credit card companies have lost a lot of money due to bankruptcy filings

Fact: You don't need to feel sorry for the credit card companies. When the banks and credit card companies had financial problems in 2009, they got in the private planes and flew to Washington to demand billions in publicly-funded bailouts. For them, it was just good business. There is no reason you should think of it differently.

The simple fact is that credit card companies know and expect that people will do anything to avoid filing for bankruptcy including borrowing from relatives, putting second mortgages on their houses, or borrowing from retirement. Like drug dealers, credit card companies encourage you to do something which you should not because they make money on your misery.

Bankruptcy “costs” each American family an average of $400 a year

Fact: This assumes that if people paid their credit card bills, the credit card companies would lower their fees. Since they are making record profits while charging interest rates close to 30% that is clearly not true. Credit card companies charge as much as they legally can with no consideration for what is fair. In 2005, after the laws changed, the number of bankruptcy dropped dramatically. Credit card rates stayed the same or even increased.

Further, it assumes that people could and would pay their bills if they did not file bankruptcy. Credit card companies know that people who need to file bankruptcy do not have the ability to repay. If they did, they would. Even if they did not file bankruptcy they would not be able to pay their debts.

There is a minimum amount of debt required to file bankruptcy

Fact: Theoretically you could file bankruptcy even if you only have $500 in debt. But, since it costs much more than that to file, it doesn’t make sense. However, we have had clients with little or no income who have filed for amounts that would be very manageable for those with higher income. There is no minimum.

I only have to list the debt I want to get rid of on my bankruptcy.

Fact: All debt must be listed, but you can reaffirm debt such as your home, car(s) and other secured loans. You can also simply make voluntary payments to family or medical providers if you wish.

It is ok to charge up credit cards just before filing bankruptcy

Fact: Debt acquired after you realize you cannot repay may have to be paid back even if filing bankruptcy.

If you are married and file bankruptcy, your spouse must file too.

Fact: Many married debtors file alone and the spouse is not affected. Unless both are on the debt, a single filing makes more sense.