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Waco Texas Bankruptcy Law blog

Can you pass the Texas means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many working people are only a serious illness or car accident away from serious financial issues. The American economy depends in no small part on consumer debt. People often make major purchases on store credit or credit cards. So long as you can maintain those monthly payments, credit is a great way to connect with the things you need and want without waiting a long time to save up your money.

However, you do have to pay interest on those amounts. If you start to carry a high balance, you could find yourself struggling to make the minimum monthly payments. Missed payments could mean increased interest rates and all kinds of expensive fees. For those struggling with credit card and other unsecured debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a solution that offers a fresh financial start.

Medical debt can be wiped out in bankruptcy

Mountains of medical debt can bury even successful young professionals who are on fast-track career paths to success. Such was the case for a former Texas resident and her cancer-stricken spouse.

Back in 2007, she was working as an art director for a Houston television production company. Her fiancé was finishing up his doctoral studies in robotics at Rice University. The future appeared to be bright for the 20-something couple. Then, her fiancé was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma. This aggressive form of cancer attacks the body's endocrine cells and is difficult to treat.

Top tips for negotiating medical debt

Are you facing a large medical bill? Do you have reason to believe there are more of these to come in the weeks and months ahead? Are you beginning to wonder how you'll ever pay all the money you owe?

It's an unfortunate truth, but even if you have health insurance there is no guarantee you will never receive a large medical bill.

How debt can adversely affect your mental health

Dealing with rising debts and financial struggles is never a great situation in which to find yourself. However, it is important not to underestimate the way that financial stressors can affect your mental perspective. One of the most tempting things to do when faced with a pile of bills that you know you will not be able to pay is to bury your head in the sand. But unfortunately, this will only make the situation worse, and could lead more serious issues such as anxiety and depression.

As with any situation that is less than ideal, the least comfortable decision is usually the most important one. Often, this means that you must take immediate action. Financial issues are never solved on their own, and although you may believe that by ignoring the problem you are minimizing the pain, in reality the problems will accrue rapidly.

Student loan discharges: What you should do if you can't pay

As you may or may not know, student loans are not usually able to be discharged during bankruptcy. If you are struggling with student loan debt, bankruptcy is likely not the right solution for you.

What can you do instead to make it easier to get control over your debts? There are actually several things to try. Here are three.

3 benefits of foreclosure that you may not realize

Foreclosure is sometimes difficult to handle. You've built a life and family in your home. You don't want to lose it because of a temporary financial situation.

While facing a foreclosure is hard and does have an impact on your credit score, it doesn't have to be completely negative. Foreclosures have many benefits that could help you when you need to bring financial balance back into your life. Here are a few reasons why a foreclosure can help.

The risks of taking out payday loans can't be ignored

If you've been short on cash in the past, one of the things you might have done is sought out a payday loan. If you have the income coming in to pay off the loan, it can be a good way to help you get through a difficult time. However, payday loans are often dangerous and can get you into deep financial trouble if you're not careful.

Payday loans are simple, short-term loans. You receive cash on the terms that you'll repay the loan when you get your next paycheck. Essentially, you can use the loan to get your next paycheck early. You have to post-date a check, sign a contract and pay any applicable fees. Is it worth it, though?

These signs might mean it’s time for you to file bankruptcy

If you live in Waco and feel like there is no way you will be able to get your debt under control, keep in mind that you have options. For some people, debt counseling is enough to help them get back on track. However, many others require additional help, such as bankruptcy, in order to reorganize their finances and pay down their debt.

While many people think of bankruptcy as a sign of financial failure and ruin, the reality is that bankruptcy is an invaluable tool that can help you out of an endless cycle of debt. If any of the following scenarios apply to you, take it as a sign that it is time to file for bankruptcy.

Credit card debt: How it impacts Americans every day

Credit card debt is something that most Americans live with. In fact, the average U.S. household has a balance of around $15,654. Including mortgages, the average household owes around $131,431.

With that kind of debt, it's not surprising that some people turn to bankruptcy when their finances get out of control. Losing a job, suffering from a disability or other life changes can result in serious financial losses that damage your credit and impact your ability to live comfortably.

How much equity in your home is exempt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

One of the most frightening things about filing for bankruptcy is the potential for your assets to end up liquidated by the courts to pay your debts. For those with lower incomes, who pass the state means test, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can offer relief from unsecured debts, including credit card debt and medical debts. However, the courts will look at your assets to see if you have the ability to repay some of those debts before granting a discharge.

It's only natural to worry about how filing for bankruptcy could impact your home equity or status as a homeowner in the state of Texas. Certain assets are exempt from the liquidation process in bankruptcy. Thankfully, Texas has some of the most generous homestead exemption laws in the country. If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your interest in your home or ranch is protected to a certain degree 

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