Many Texans who are struggling with debt make too much to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As a result, these individuals may need to turn to Chapter 13 bankruptcy to find debt relief. This type of bankruptcy allows an individual to eliminate some debts after successfully adhering to a payment plan for a specified period of time. But how does a bankruptcy court determine how much a Chapter 13 filer must repay under his or her bankruptcy plan?
To start, a court will look at the debtor's assets. The value of nonexempt property serves as a starting point, or minimum, that must be repaid under the bankruptcy plan. Therefore, the valuation of property becomes critically important. Valuing property too high may set a debtor up for a failed bankruptcy.
There are many exemptions that may apply to a Texas bankruptcy. Land, with some limitations, can be considered exempt, and so, too, may a homestead. Additionally, many insurance and pension plans are exempt. Even farming equipment and other tools of one's trade may qualify for a bankruptcy exemption. The list is pretty long, which means that those who are considering bankruptcy as a debt relief option should discuss the matter with their attorney before proceeding. Otherwise, they may set themselves up for failure.
Bankruptcy can be a scary thing to consider, especially for those who pride themselves on repaying their debts. By pursuing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, though, Texans can achieve both a sense of pride in their ability to repay some debts through a repayment plan and a sense of relief by shedding debt. There's no shame in taking this route, either. In fact, thousands of Texans choose to do so every year. Those who do so successfully are able to achieve the fresh financial start that they oftentimes dream of for years.