When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to discharge all or some of your debt or to save your home from foreclosure, it initiates an “automatic stay.” This is an injunction that requires all collection agencies and creditors to stop their collection activities and all attempts to contact you. This means they can no longer call you, e-mail you, or send collection letters to your home when attempting to collect a debt from you.
How Do You Get an Automatic Stay?
As the name implies, an automatic stay is granted the moment your Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. bankruptcy lawyer files bankruptcy on your behalf. At this point, the bankruptcy court notifies your creditors about the filing and demands that they cease all communication attempts. Furthermore, they will collect certain information from them such the amount of the debt you owe, the date the indebtedness occurred, and other information relevant to your case.
How Can an Automatic Stay Benefit You?
When creditors are constantly calling you on your phone, e-mailing you, or sending letters to your home, taking back the control of your finances can be a daunting task. Although any creditor can petition a bankruptcy court to lift the stay, it can still buy you some time to get caught up on your monthly mortgage and/or vehicle payments before you are foreclosed on or your vehicle(s) get repossessed.
If you’re a renter and have fallen behind on your rent, your landlord or property manager can ask the court to lift the stay so they can evict you. However, they cannot evict you if you manage to get caught up on your rent during that time frame. Regardless of the circumstances, you should contact Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. immediately and speak with a bankruptcy attorney or foreclosure attorney.
We Can Protect Your Rights
Even if you haven’t filed bankruptcy, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act guarantees your right against harassment by creditors. According to the law, creditors cannot:
- contact you at your work if you’re not allowed to receive phone calls
- contact you before 8am or later than 9pm
- make misleading representations when attempting to collect a debt
- threaten to contact the police and have you arrested
- use obscene or profane language when talking to you
We know that your situation is difficult and with the financial crunch, not just you but your whole family undergoes the stress. It is good to consult with a lawyer that has extensive experience in similar cases. If you’re overwhelmed with debt and considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. today at 713-278-0800 for a FREE Consultation.
When Texas residents get to the point where they’re facing the possible foreclosure of their home, they contact Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. for legal advice in the matter. For most individuals, their home is the largest investment they will make during their lifetime. We understand how facing foreclosure can be an extremely stressful and worrisome situation. You’re probably wondering whether you’ll be able to keep your home or be forced to leave.
Is It Possible for You to Keep Your Home Despite Foreclosure?
One thing is certain. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney or foreclosure attorney can definitely help. When filing for bankruptcy, one of the benefits is the automatic stay. This court-ordered injunction starts the moment Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. files your case, whether you’ve filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will stop the foreclosure process immediately once our attorney has filed your case and the lender is notified of your filing. Thus, you get a chance to protect your property.
Furthermore, this will stop all creditors from attempting to collect from you as well. A creditor has the right to petition the court to lift the stay but only after a hearing has been held regarding the matter. If the court believes that you won’t be able to afford your home, it’s possible that they will lift the automatic stay and the lender will be allowed to proceed with the foreclosure action.
Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Proceedings
If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the property that you want protected from creditors must be identified and retained by the filer. If you can use a Texas exemption, you’ll be able to keep your home. Fortunately, Texas law permits a homestead exemption that will protect the equity in your home provided it meets the acreage requirements under state law. However, even though you can wipe out your unsecured debts, you will still have to make your mortgage payments on time until the loan is paid in full. However, you need to consult with a lawyer to understand your situation and the legal solutions that are available to you.
With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are allowed to repay your debts over 3 to 5 years through an income-based repayment plan. This includes the past due payments on your mortgage, thereby enabling you to keep your home. With this bankruptcy, you can pay off all past due amounts over a 3 to 5-year period rather than paying a lump sum up front. To learn more about stopping foreclosure, contact Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. today at 713-278-0800 for a FREE Consultation.
The definition of “foreclosure” is the legal process wherein a lender tries to recover the balance owed on a defaulted home loan by assuming ownership and auctioning off or selling the property. In other words, the lender holds the mortgage loan and when it isn’t paid, the borrower loses the property. At that point, the lender sells the home in order to recoup the outstanding balance on the loan. Thus, the borrower stands to lose one of the most important investment that he or she has made.
What most homeowners don’t realize is that they could still be liable for the outstanding balance even after the home has been sold. If you or your family is facing foreclosure, the law firm can help. As your foreclosure defense legal team, we’ll help you protect is your biggest investment by stopping any lender’s attempt to take your property and auction it off or sell it.
Why Do Lenders Foreclose on a Person’s Property?
Keep in mind that your lender cannot foreclose on your property without following Texas law. Any time a home loan payment is not made on time, the lender considers this a delinquency and will typically assess a late fee after the payment is 15 days late. On the 16th day, they’ll send a notice to the borrower. According to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, a mortgage loan is in default status once it is 30 days past due.
Once the loan is 60 days past due, the lender will not accept any partial payments and may, at that point, require the borrower to pay the loan balance in full prior to starting the foreclosure process. In most of the cases that a foreclosure attorney has handled, the process didn’t start until the payment was 90 days past due. In other words, once the borrower has missed 3 payments on their home loan, the lender will file a public notice of foreclosure on the property.
How Can Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer or Foreclosure Lawyer Help?
A bankruptcy lawyer or foreclosure defense lawyer from the Alva Wesley Thomas & Associates law firm may be able to help you save your property, especially if the foreclosure process is in its early stages. Once a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy has been filed, an automatic stay is applied and the lender must put the process on hold. We can help you get the requisite legal assistance. Thus, if you or a loved one is facing foreclosure, don’t delay. Call Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. today and let’s discuss your case by calling 713-278-0800.
One of the commonly asked questions that the Alva Wesley Thomas & Associates bankruptcy lawyers answer is “How does filing bankruptcy affect my credit score?” Clients often wonder if it will drop significantly or will there just be a slight decrease. Interestingly enough, your credit score may not crash and burn like you fear. Here is what you need to know about the impact of bankruptcy on your credit score.
Your Pre-Bankruptcy Credit
If you owe a lot to a number of different creditors, it’s a safe bet that they’ve been reporting your negative activity to one or all US credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). If so, this could mean that your credit score has already dropped significantly. Furthermore, if you owe back taxes to the Federal Government or the IRS has placed a lien on your property, this could complicate the issue. Don’t be alarmed as bankruptcy lawyers can still help. They are used to dealing with creditors and financial agencies while you are not. Thus, having a good lawyer to represent your rights becomes important.
Your Post-Bankruptcy Credit
Once you’ve filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect and creditors cannot make any attempts to contact you by e-mail, letter, or phone call. If you file Chapter 7, all non-exempt assets must be liquidated in order to satisfy any outstanding debts. If there is any remaining debt, it will be discharged.
With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have to repay your debts with an income-based 3 to 5 year repayment plan. Additionally, it will take 10 years for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be dismissed off your credit history whereas a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is dismissed after 7 years.
The Impact to Your Credit Score
In most cases, Alva Wesley Thomas & Associates’ clients do notice a drop in their credit scores after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Depending on the they type of bankruptcy you filed, the type of debt you owed, and other relevant factors, the decrease in your credit score could be slight or substantial. However, as you start making new on-time payments that will be reported to the 3 different credit bureaus, your credit score should begin to increase. Conversely, clients whose scores were low to begin with may notice an increase in theirs after filing bankruptcy.
If you’re one of millions of Americans who are struggling to pay their creditors, talking to a bankruptcy attorney or foreclosure attorney may be the best solution. For a FREE Consultation, call Alva Wesley-Thomas & Associates P.C. today at 713-278-0800.