When considering which Fort Worth bankruptcy attorneys you want to hire to help you with your bankruptcy case, you want to take into account that bankruptcy laws changed fairly recently. Experienced and competent Fort Worth bankruptcy attorneys know how federal bankruptcy laws changed back in 2005. While you can do all the things in a bankruptcy case now that you could before 2005, it has become at least a little bit more difficult for both those seeking to file bankruptcy and for Fort Worth bankruptcy attorneys.
One area of bankruptcy law that has changed is in filing for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. Sometimes called straight bankruptcy, chapter 7 personal bankruptcy sees a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court helping you to liquidate your nonexempt personal property to help pay back your creditors. It is the quickest method of bankruptcy and, usually, you receive a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within months.
Under the new federal bankruptcy laws passed in 2005, it has to become harder to become eligible for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. Now to become eligible for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, you have to take a means test to determine how much disposable income you have. Your average monthly income must equal or be less than the average monthly income for the state in which you are filing for you to be able to file for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy.
For those who are ineligible for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, chapter 13 personal bankruptcy remains an option. Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy reorganizes your debts into a three to five year repayment plan. While it takes years for you to receive a chapter 13 personal bankruptcy discharge, you do get to keep most of your nonexempt personal property.
At any point in your bankruptcy case, as long as you are eligible for both and have not switched over once already, you can switch from chapter 7 to chapter 13 or from chapter 13 to chapter 7.