It takes time to do anything worthwhile, but when it comes to filing for bankruptcy, time is money. If you want to discharge debts, you may fear losing assets. They’ll take your home and car, you’ll be unable to get a new mortgage or loan, and your bank account will quickly shrink, right? Even worse, how can you pay  a lawyer when money is the problem?

If you file in Fort Worth, Texas, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an effective way to discharge debts, to save time and money, and to keep your assets. You need not fear losing your car; in the majority of Texas Chapter 7 bankruptcies the filers lose nothing. You will have a hard time getting a new mortgage or loan immediately, but if you start rebuilding your credit it won’t be long before you can. And if you hire the right Fort Worth bankruptcy lawyer, you won’t be overcharged.

So how do you start?

The First Step
Should you file? And what about Chapter 13 bankruptcy? The first step is deciding if you can file.  You may not be eligible, for one, but you also might have some better alternatives. There are options other than Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as filing Chapter 13. In some cases, you may not even have to file bankruptcy at all. But bankruptcy can effectively solve many debt problems in a matter of months.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding, where a court appointed trustee will be selling your assets to pay back debt. They sell your stuff? Yes, by law they can. As stated earlier, the great majority of filers lose absolutely nothing. If you are about to lose your home or car, you can set up a separate plan with the trustee to start paying on it; this is perfectly legal and very common.

What debts can you discharge?

The most common debts in Texas and in the whole country are medical, credit, and mortgage debts. A recent study highlighted how, surprisingly, credit cards are not the main problem. Medical debts are the most common reason for filing bankruptcy in the country. This means more people file for help not because of cards of plastic or homes, but for rooms at hospitals and expensive medications. It makes sense: millions of U.S citizens have no health insurance. It’s unfortunate, but you can discharge tens of thousands of debt you simply cannot afford by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Are you eligible?
Unfortunately, while most Fort Worth residents are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the same residents may not be eligible for Chapter 7. It’s because you make too much money in most cases. With Chapter 13, unless you have hundreds of thousands in debt, you are eligible. If you make more than the median Texas income for 2010, you are not eligible for Chapter 7.

1 Person – Annual Income Less Than $38,801
Family of 2 – Annual Income of Less than $55,660
Family of 3 – Annual Income of Less Than $59,011
Family of 4 – Annual Income of Less than $66,145
Add $7,500 in most cases per any additional family members.

Is Chapter 13 better?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is less common because it means you’ll be paying off on debts, not eliminating them. It’s benefits include many of the same as Chapter 7, though it’s better if you fear foreclosure. It’s different, not better or worse.

You should consult with a Forth Worth bankruptcy lawyer before you make any big decisions. Most will be affordable, give you a free consultation, and clearly show you their experience.