Bankruptcy is a legal process allowing an individual or business to have some or all of their debt absolved. It is almost always considered as a last resort because it can have some negative long-term consequences which must be considered, even if you ultimately decide that they are outweighed by the benefits. Since it's a product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Texas will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Hidalgo County, Texas will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Hidalgo County, Texas
There are 2 common types of consumer bankruptcies in Hidalgo County, Texas: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of some of a debtor's assets. It requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property to be sold to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of property that most people own, however, is exempt. This normally includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the qualifying property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some types of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Hidalgo County, Texas. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Hidalgo County, Texas
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Hidalgo County, Texas differs substantially from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your case. Chapter 13 does not excuse any debt, but it creates a new payment plan that should give the debtor some breathing room. Usually, all of the debts are consolidated into 1 periodic payment. While this might make it take longer to pay off the debt, if the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, the plan should be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Hidalgo County, Texas
Which Bankruptcy type to file under depends heavily on the facts of each particular case. If you have a steady stream of income (enough to make a payment plan manageable), and a large amount of non-exempt property that you don't want to part with, Chapter 13 may be best for you. If you don't have a steady income or large amounts of non-exempt property, you may be better off filing for Chapter 7.
Whatever your situation, you should speak with a local Hidalgo County, Texas bankruptcy attorney. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your options and their likely outcomes, which will help you make a more educated decision.