How To File Bankruptcy for Free in Texas – Upsolve

When you ’ ra comparing debt-relief alternatives, the cost of filing bankruptcy can be a concern. Attorney fees normally make up the biggest part of this cost. The good news program is that you don ’ t have to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy in Texas. This guide walks you through each tone of the chapter 7 bankruptcy process and what you can expect along the way .

Collect Your Texas Bankruptcy Documents

Whether you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, manipulation Upsolve ’ s free filing cock, or handle your bankruptcy on your own, your beginning dance step is gathering all the documents necessity to prepare your case. The bankruptcy forms you ’ ll file with the court tell the pronounce your fiscal report. In these forms, you must provide information about your income and live expenses. You must besides list all your debts, including the balance and the creditor ’ second name and mail address. You can get most of the information you ’ ll want from the following documents :

  • A holocene credit report from one or more of the major credit agency ( TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax ). If you ’ re using the Upsolve app, Upsolve will get a recognition report for you .
  • Bills, collection letters, history statements, and documents from debt-collection lawsuits.
  • Bank statements for all your check and savings accounts for the past six months or more .
  • Tax returns for the past two years .
  • Pay stubs or a printout from your employer showing your gross yield, all deductions ( such as taxes or insurance ), and your take-home pay up. If possible, try to gather this pay information for the past six months .

It ’ sulfur OK if you ’ re missing a few of these. But, at a minimal, you must have pay information for the past 60 days, your death two tax returns, and your most recent bank statement. These documents are required by the Bankruptcy Code and the Texas bankruptcy courts .

Take a Credit Counseling Course

Before you can file bankruptcy in any country, you must complete a credit counseling course from a state-approved supplier. This naturally covers the different types of debt relief available and explains the differences between chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The course is required for everyone, even if you ’ re filing with an lawyer. Most providers offer the course on-line, by phone, or both. One supplier, Money Management International, provides in-person citation rede courses at its Dallas and San Antonio locations. For now, though, the in-person option is suspended due to COVID-19. The price of the course normally ranges from $ 10 to $ 50. many providers will waive the course fee if you qualify based on your income. The course provider will send you a certificate when you complete the course. Keep it in a safe position since you must file the certificate with the woo when you submit the stay of your bankruptcy forms. The course certificate expires 180 days after it ’ mho issued. If you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate file bankruptcy within 180 days after you complete the credit counseling course, you must take it — and pay for it — again before you can file bankruptcy .

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

For a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you ’ ll primarily use the official bankruptcy forms provided by the U.S. Courts. These forms are federal forms, which means they ’ re the lapp in every submit. You can download these forms as fillable PDFs at no charge. There ’ mho besides an official instruction guide that may be helpful. You must download and complete each form individually. Be mindful that there are a batch of federal forms available, and not all of them apply to Chapter 7 cases. entirely download the forms you need then you don ’ metric ton consume time with unnecessary paperwork. If you ’ re using Upsolve ’ south app, you don ’ t need to find and download any forms. alternatively, you ’ ll answer a series of on-line questions. Upsolve will use the data in your answers to prepare the necessary forms for you. If you ’ rhenium working with a bankruptcy lawyer, you ’ ll normally fill out a detail questionnaire. Your lawyer ’ south office will use the information and documents you provide to complete your bankruptcy forms .

Get Your Filing Fee

The charge tip for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is $ 338. In most cases, you ’ ll pay the file tip to the court clerk at the same time you file your bankruptcy request, which is the complete located of forms you fill out. You may need to wait to file your case until you ’ re able to save up the wax file fee. sometimes, you need to file bankruptcy right away, even if you don ’ t have the wax file tip. For exemplar, if a creditor is garnishing your paycheck, you need the Bankruptcy Code ’ s automatic rifle stay protection to take effect immediately and stop the garnishment. In these situations, you can apply to pay the file tip in installments. installment payments can be bad, though, indeed use this as a stopping point recourse. If you miss one of your payments, the court can dismiss your bankruptcy case. Try to have the solid file fee when you file your forms if possible. If your family ’ randomness income is less than 150 % of the Texas poverty guidelines, you can file an application asking the court to waive your filing fee. Check the Texas Fee Waiver Eligibility postpone below to see if you qualify .

When you ’ re ready to file your case, print your completed bankruptcy forms on regular, letter-size ( 8.5 ten 11 inches ) white newspaper. Don ’ t print double-sided, consumption colored ink, or staple any of your forms in concert. If you downloaded the federal forms individually, you ’ ll have to print each mannequin as a separate text file. This can get a snatch confuse, so keep this checklist handy to make certain you have all the right forms in the correct arrange. Sign your forms using blue or black ink, in every place where a key signature is required. If you ’ re using Upsolve ’ s filing app, Upsolve will send you all your completed forms, in rate, in a single document, including dividers to flag each touch foliate .

File Your Forms With the Texas Bankruptcy Court

In Texas, the most challenge part of filing your bankruptcy forms might be figuring out where to file them. The Lone Star express is divided into four federal discriminative districts. The county you live in determines which district you ’ ll file in. Each zone is divided into separate divisions with separate court locations. You can read about these divisions in more contingent a little late in this guide. After you ’ ve determined which court localization will handle your event, check to see what filing options are available for that placement. In general terms, the four districts allow these file methods :

  • Eastern District: only lawyers may access the court ’ s official electronic file system, but the Eastern District has introduced a simplified electronic file choice for debtors filing pro se ( without an lawyer ). The motor hotel besides allows filing in person, by drop box, and by mail.
  • Northern District: The woo allows filing in person, by drop box, and by mail .
  • Western District: The court allows filing in person and by mail .
  • Southern District: The court allows filing in person and by chain mail .

In all districts, if you ’ rhenium filing by mail or drop box, be surely to include your filing tip payment ( or your application for a release or installments ) with your forms. All districts may have temp measures in identify during the COVID-19 pandemic .

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

When any new chapter 7 bankruptcy character is filed, the bankruptcy court mechanically assigns it to a bankruptcy regent. If you file your case in person, the court clerk will give you a notice telling you your trustee ’ sulfur identify and contact information when you file your forms. otherwise, the court will mail you this notice within a day or two after your case is filed. The trustee ’ sulfur speculate is to review your bankruptcy forms to be surely they ’ rhenium complete and to verify that the information in the forms is accurate. In detail, the regent must verify that your income and expense information is correct. The Bankruptcy Code requires you to send the trustee the take after documents to help them verify your data :

  • A bank instruction that includes the date you filed your bankruptcy case .
  • Pay information or wage stubs ( sometimes called “ pay advices ” ) for the 60 days before the go steady you filed your font .
  • Your two most recently filed federal income tax returns .

You must send these documents to your shell trustee at least seven days before your 341 meeting ( more about that a little late in this guidebook ). Your trustee may besides request extra documents. concisely after you file your font your trustee will normally send you a letter with a tilt of everything you should send and instructions for where to send it. Don ’ t file any of these documents with the court since they contain sensitive information .

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

Everyone who files bankruptcy must pass a debtor education course before the court will grant them a bankruptcy empty. This course, which is sometimes called a fiscal management class, is designed to help you make the most of your bracing begin after bankruptcy. It covers bright money management strategies, common fiscal pitfalls to avoid, and tips for saving money and improving your credit evaluation. You must take the course from a state-approved provider. Most providers offer the path by telephone, on-line, or both. You ’ ll get a certificate when you finish the course. Use the data on the certificate to complete Form 423, then file the form with the court. Some course providers will file the mannequin and certificate for you. You can take this course at any clock time after you file your bankruptcy case, but no later than 60 days after your 341 merging. If your form 423 international relations and security network ’ t filed within 60 days after your 341 merging, the court may close your case without a dismissal. Without a discharge, you ’ ll hush owe all your debts .

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Either when you file your bankruptcy forms or a few days later, you ’ ll receive a poster from the court with the date, time, and localization for your 341 meet. It ’ second normally on the same detect with your trustee ’ s information. This meet typically takes plaza 21-45 days after you file your bankruptcy case. normally, most 341 meetings are held in the bankruptcy courthouse, but they aren ’ thyroxine official hearings, and there ’ s not a judge. presently, all meetings are being held remotely due to COVID-19. This may change, though. At your 341 meet, you ’ ll converge with your trustee, confirm your identity, and take an oath that the information in your bankruptcy forms is on-key and correct to the best of your cognition. The meet is besides a opportunity for the regent to clear up any questions they might have about your case. It ’ sulfur called the 341 confluence because it ’ sulfur required by section 341 ( a ) of the Bankruptcy Code. It ’ sulfur sometimes besides called the merging of creditors. The court will send your creditors a notice about the meeting, but creditors rarely attend. You must show up to your meeting on meter. Federal law requires you to bring a valid government-issued photograph ID, like a driver ’ sulfur license, and proof of your Social Security number with you to the meet. It may besides help to bring a replicate of your bankruptcy forms with you in case the trustee has any questions. 341 meetings in chapter 7 cases normally take less than 10 minutes, although you may have to wait for your case to be called. After the meet, the court will normally grant your discharge within 60-90 days.

Dealing with Your Car

What happens to your car in chapter 7 depends on whether you own or lease it, whether it ’ sulfur paid for, and how much it ’ mho worth. If you ’ re in a lease, you can keep your car and continue with your unconstipated rent payments. This is called assuming the lease. You must be stream on the payments to assume your lease. If your payments aren ’ metric ton current or you want out of your rent, you can reject the lease. You ’ ll return the car, and you won ’ metric ton owe any more fees or payments. If you ’ re financing your fomite and you ’ rhenium current on your loanword payments, you can keep the car and cover to make the usual cable car loan payments. Your lender may ask you to sign a reassertion agreement promising to keep paying. If you ’ re not current, can ’ thyroxine afford your car note, or owe more than your car is worth, you can choose to surrender the cable car to the lender. You won ’ thyroxine owe any more payments. After bankruptcy, you can find a car that works with your budget. If your car is paid for, whether you can keep it depends on what it ’ s worth and your choice of exemptions ( more about exemptions late in this template ). If your car ’ second value, in its current condition, is higher than the available exemption limits, the trustee can sell the vehicle to pay some of your debts. If you choose union exemptions, you can apply a maximal of $ 17,900 to your cable car ( or cars ). If you choose state exemptions, the exemption measure is unlimited, but there are limits on how many vehicles you can protect .

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