If you are facing financial difficulties and considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering how to navigate the Dallas bankruptcy court system. In this blog post, I will share some tips and resources that can help you understand the process and make informed decisions.
First, you need to determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, where you sell your non-exempt assets to pay off your debts. Chapter 13 is also known as reorganization bankruptcy, where you propose a repayment plan to pay off some or all of your debts over a period of three to five years.
The type of bankruptcy you choose depends on several factors, such as your income, assets, debts, and goals. You can use online tools such as the Means Test Calculator (https://www.legalconsumer.com/bankruptcy/means-test/) to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You can also consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on the best option for your situation.
Second, you need to file your bankruptcy petition and other required documents with the Dallas bankruptcy court. The Dallas bankruptcy court is located at 1100 Commerce Street, Room 1254, Dallas, TX 75242. You can find more information about the court on its website (https://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/). You can also access online forms and instructions on how to file your bankruptcy case on the website.
Filing for bankruptcy involves a lot of paperwork and fees. You will need to provide information about your income, expenses, assets, debts, creditors, and other financial matters. You will also need to pay a filing fee of $338 for Chapter 7 or $313 for Chapter 13. If you cannot afford the fee, you can request a fee waiver or installment payments from the court.
Third, you need to complete a credit counseling course and a debtor education course from an approved agency. These courses are designed to help you understand your financial situation, manage your money better, and avoid future debt problems. You can find a list of approved agencies on the U.S. Trustee Program website (https://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm).
You must complete the credit counseling course before you file your bankruptcy petition and obtain a certificate of completion. You must complete the debtor education course after you file your bankruptcy petition and before you receive your discharge order. You must file both certificates with the court as proof of completion.
Fourth, you need to attend a meeting of creditors (also known as a 341 meeting) and any other hearings required by the court. The meeting of creditors is a mandatory meeting where you meet with a trustee appointed by the court and any creditors who choose to attend. The trustee will ask you questions about your bankruptcy papers and financial situation. The creditors may also ask you questions or challenge your claims.
The meeting of creditors usually takes place about a month after you file your bankruptcy petition. You will receive a notice from the court with the date, time, and location of the meeting. You must attend the meeting and bring your identification and social security card. The meetings are now held over the phone. When you file your case you will receive telephone instructions on how to dial into the meeting.
Depending on your case, you may also have to attend other hearings before the court or the trustee. For example, if you file for Chapter 13, you will have to attend a confirmation hearing where the court approves or rejects your repayment plan. You will receive notices from the court or the trustee about any hearings that apply to your case.
Fifth, you need to wait for your discharge order from the court. A discharge order is a document that releases you from your legal obligation to pay your dischargeable debts. Dischargeable debts are debts that can be eliminated by bankruptcy, such as credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, etc.
The timing of your discharge order depends on which type of bankruptcy you file for. If you file for Chapter 7, you will typically receive your discharge order about four months after you file your bankruptcy petition. If you file for Chapter 13, you will typically receive your discharge order after you complete all payments under your repayment plan.