As a Texan facing insurmountable financial problems, you may reach a juncture at which filing for bankruptcy is the only realistic course to take. One option available to you is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you have the ability to develop a repayment plan under the supervision of the court. Pursuant to such a plan, you are given 2 to 5 years to satisfy some or all of the obligations to your creditors. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the local rules of the Texas bankruptcy court govern a Chapter 13 case in the Lone Star State.
Determine which bankruptcy district in Texas you reside. Pursuant to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and local rules of the Texas bankruptcy court, you must file your case in the geographic district in which you reside. There are four individual bankruptcy districts in the state of Texas: the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western districts. The geographic boundaries of these districts can be found on the U.S. Courts website.
Obtain from the appropriate court clerk a petition form as well as the other basic paperwork needed to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in one of the four Texas districts. Each of the court clerks maintain a selection of required forms for debtors not represented by attorneys. You can obtain the petition and related forms from the clerks' offices in the brick and mortar world or from one of the four bankruptcy court websites.
Complete the petition form, together with the supporting documentation. The bankruptcy court clerk's office will also provide you with detailed guidelines to assist you in preparing the paperwork necessary to commence a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas. Additionally, the U.S. Courts website contains a section dedicated to preparing, filing and pursuing a bankruptcy case without an attorney.
File the completed Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition with the clerk of the court in the Texas bankruptcy district where you reside.
Pay the appropriate filing fee at the time you present your petition to the clerk. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Northern, Southern and Western districts in Texas is $274 as of 2010. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Eastern district of Texas is $235, also as of 2010. Keep in mind the filing fee is subject to change. The bankruptcy court clerk can provide current information on the filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case involves complicated legal principles and procedures. Therefore, consider retaining an attorney to represent your interests in such a case. The State Bar of Texas maintains a directory of attorneys in different practice areas, including bankruptcy law. Contact the organization at:
State Bar of Texas 1414 Colorado St. Austin, TX 78701 800-204-2222 512-427-1463 texasbar.com
- U.S. Bankruptcy Code
- "The Glannon Guide to Bankruptcy”; Nathalie Martin; 2006
- U.S. Courts: Georgraphic Districts of Bankruptcy Courts
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Filing for Bankruptcy without an Attorney
- U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Forms
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