Finding a way out of debt is a worrisome struggle. While you won’t end up in debtors prison for failing to pay your debts, dodging phone calls and lawsuits may prove to be a kind of prison of its own. There are several reasons that a person can end up in financial trouble. Job loss, medical issues, divorce, and unexpected expenses are just a few examples of how anyone can end up in a financial bind. However, even with a good payment history, controlled debt can easily turn into uncontrolled debt. As was the case for Carlson Law Firm client Louise Houser.
Houser—like so many others who file for bankruptcy—had a great payment history. However, a divorce left her saddled with a tremendous amount of old debt totaling approximately $37,000. In addition, she had a growing uncertainty about how she was going to pay it. Her debt included:
- Medical debt from a previous battle with thyroid cancer
- Credit card debt
- Vehicle repossession
“I knew I couldn’t pay it,” she said. “And I knew that I wanted to do things such as purchase a house and a new car in the future.”
Between the age and amount of her debt, she knew that it was going to hinder her ability to move forward with her life. She also knew that there was no way to get out of the debt on her own, so she began to weigh her options.
“I just needed a reset button,” she said.
Houser began looking for bankruptcy attorneys to guide and represent her through the process.
“I have used The Carlson Law Firm for two previous rear-end accidents and decided to give the firm a call for my bankruptcy as well,” Houser said. “I went with Vicki Carlson because I knew her from winning the Best of the Best Bankruptcy Attorney in Waco.”
Once she knew she was in good hands, she began preparing for her Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcy lawyers operate in a different way than other attorneys. For example, if you’re in a car accident, you give a personal injury lawyer your accident report and allow the attorney to do most of the heavy lifting. Bankruptcy, on the other hand, requires the client to supply virtually all of the information needed for the filing. To prepare for the filing, Houser had to supply proof of past income, all debts owed, projected living expense budgets and intentions in regards to secured debts.
In addition to gathering paperwork to provide to her attorney, she had to take a two-hour online credit counseling course. Once Carlson filed the case, Houser had to attend a one-time meeting of creditors at the Federal Courthouse in Waco. Houser’s bankruptcy was discharged 63 days after that meeting. This meant that she was no longer on the hook for any of her debts.
“After it was over, I was extremely comfortable with my decision and felt tremendous relief because I knew it was the right decision for me,” Houser said. “There is a misconception that you lose everything in a bankruptcy which is not true. You do not lose anything you don’t want to lose. Another misconception is that it ruins your credit. Although my credit score dropped, I was able to start rebuilding my credit immediately.”
Our client learned that bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world like so many people believe. Her bankruptcy provided her the opportunity to regain control of her finances. Since filing bankruptcy, our client has been able to raise her credit score 100 points already. She plans to start house hunting next year with her new husband.
Now that she has come out on the other side of bankruptcy, she has some words of advice for those considering filing.
“You will get bombarded with mail from car dealerships, loan companies, and credit cards,” she warns. “But be conservative and wise in your selection of who you want to use to start rebuilding your credit. Do not get caught up with all those offers and end up right back where you started!”
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
There is no substitute for professional experience when it comes to personal bankruptcy. Our knowledgeable and experienced personal bankruptcy lawyer can help you with a chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. A Carlson Law Firm bankruptcy attorney is ready to review your situation to create a plan to ensure that your bankruptcy is effectively executed and works for everyone involved.
Whether you are looking to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy or you simply aren’t sure what you can do about your financial situation, our Texas bankruptcy attorneys can help.