Bankruptcy is a natural part of our debt and credit practice, in which we represent both debtors and creditors on all types of debt, both in and out of bankruptcy. Mr. Peckham is certified in Consumer Bankruptcy by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Debtor representation in bankruptcy:
Bankruptcy is as an option for our clients when other means do not offer the client the best solution.
We file Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and less frequently, Chapter 11 bankruptcies, for debtor clients. Although we do not file chapter 13s, we recommend chapter 13 debtor counsel to our clients when our review indicates that a chapter 13 is the client's best option.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Generally, a chapter 7 bankruptcy can be completed in about four months. Once filed, the chapter 7 stops most creditor contact, allows you to keep exempt property, and discharges, or gets rid of , your unsecured debt. Secured debt can be treated in several ways, depending on the equity in the asset and your ability to pay for it. It may be best to let the collateral go back to the creditor and discharge the debt, or keep it and continue to pay for it, or even pay its value if less than the debt amount, and be released from the debt.
"Exempt property” is the property you can keep even though you have filed chapter 7. Exemptions vary, depending on whether you choose federal or state exemption law. In most cases, the debtor keeps all of his or her property.
Chapter 7 can be used to discharge credit card debt, judgments, business debt, bank notes, car loans, repossession and foreclosure debts, some debts owed to governments, some tax debts, some liens, and some student loan debt. Chapter 7 can stop harassing creditor contact - phone calls, suits, letters, contacts to relatives, and negative reporting on credit reports.
Chapter 7 helps heal your credit report, by zeroing out unpaid/charged-off debts, such that your credit score rebounds. It allows you to stop looking backward, worrying about the phone, dodging suit process servers and collectors. It allows you to get on with your life no longer saddled with debts you have no ability to pay. Chapter 7 allows you more favorable income tax treatment relating to the discharge of debt than non-bankruptcy solutions usually allow.
Some debts are not dischargeable, and you must fully disclose these types of debt to your attorney to get complete advise about the ability to get rid of the debt. Some tax debts (payroll taxes in part, sales taxes, and some income taxes) and debts incurred through fraud, embezzlement, intentional acts that cause damage, certain student loans, and debts based on false financial statements, may not be dischargeable depending on the facts. Each case has to be carefully screened for these type debts.
Some debts you can keep even though you file bankruptcy--mortgage debt, car debt, other secured debt, and other debt--although in some instances you must reaffirm the debt in order to keep the asset that secures the debt.
The biggest mistakes many debtors make include:
- waiting too long to talk to an attorney, and finding out that creditor actions the debtor wants to stop can’t be stopped in time, or can be stopped only at a higher cost;
- trying to pay the debts in full, causing the debtor to exhaust exempted savings and other assets, and still then having to file bankruptcy;
- making bad deals with creditors, defaulting, and wasting the money you paid;
- letting a judgment be entered, and suffering when the creditor seizes the debtor's assets and garnishes the debtor's bank account, or in some cases, the detor's wages;
- waiting too long to file bankruptcy, before or after a credit or seizure of assets, when filing sooner could have prevented or erased the seizure and returned the asset to the debtor,
- paying relatives back on notes within one year before filing bankruptcy.
Each client’s financial situation is different. You need to know your rights, file a bankruptcy at the right time, and receive the relief the Bankruptcy Code provides you. We have helped clients obtain bankruptcy relief for over 30 years.
Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy
In chapters 7, 13 and 11 cases, we file claims for clients, protect their lease, ownership, and debt/lien position, and obtain relief from the bankruptcy stay to obtain control of collateral.
We file objections to exempt property claimed, objection as to discharge of a debt, and defend against trustee and debtor actions against creditor claims, and collateral.
We provide defense in fraudulent transfer, preference, and trustee’s sale free and clear of lien litigation.
We represent creditors in general litigation in many types of bankruptcy proceedings.
We are a debt relief law firm. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.