If you’re interested in filing joint bankruptcy, it’s time to call an experienced attorney. Why? Joint bankruptcy is different from traditional bankruptcy, and has different laws. This post, however, is a very good start on learning the basics.

What is Texas joint bankruptcy?
In Texas, the laws are a bit different as it is in each state, namely via consideration of eligibility. Depending on your family size, if you want to file under Chapter 7 you must meet eligibility requirements. If not, you can file Chapter 13. We’ll go over both in this piece.

Here are the current median incomes for Texas.
1 person – $38,801
2 Person Family – $55,660
3 Person Family – $59,011
4 Person Family – $66, 145
If you have a larger family, the rates increase.

What is Chapter 7 joint bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding where you discharge debts. That means, on paper, you will be eliminating the majority of your debts –such as credit card, mortgage, and medical bills — and getting a fresh start. For joint bankruptcy, filing together can save you some time and money. If you file together, all your joint debts are eliminated. However, if you choose not to file with your spouse, you can. The spouse will still be responsible for his or her debts in this instance.

Filing jointly is a very simple process an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney can help with. Not only can you save time and eliminate debts, but the filing fee, which is $299, will only occur once (small, but it’s money). You can also save time on paperwork.

If on the other hand you are recently divorced, you may want to go it alone and let the former spouse handle his or her debts separately. This can be problematic if the divorce and financial considerations are not resolved.

If you want to file joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must first meet federal eligibility requirements, which allow most everyone to file unless you have hundreds of thousands in debt (in that case, you definitely need to contact a lawyer for some expert help). Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge debts, but if for example you just lost your job and the spouse is paying the majority of bills, it can be considered to buy you extra time to find more work.

What are the advantages of each bankruptcy?

Advantages of Chapter 7
-Discharge the majority of your debts.
-You have the option to file jointly or individually.

Advantages of Chapter 13

-You can rework your bills so you can afford them.
-You can file together and  stop a home foreclosure.

There are disadvantages to filing bankruptcy in the first place, such as being on your record for up to 10 years. Also, if you or your spouse is fine and needs no bankruptcy, jointly filing will be on the credit report.

In the end, filing Texas joint bankruptcy requires the expertise of an experienced attorney who can go over the details of your case and offer advice.