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The Basics

How does someone know if Bankruptcy the right decision? When a person falls behind in paying off debts and it appears that they will not be able to make payments as they come due, it is better for them to take action rather than let their financial situation deteriorate. What action is taken may be beneficial in future opportunities. Since each person and their circumstances are different, Family Attorney Texas recommends that we meet initially to discuss your specific situations, go through the interview process and answer any questions you may have before we move forward. For many people, the final decision made to financial problems is to declare bankruptcy, a legal proceeding in federal court that allows a person to be released from the obligation of paying some or all of their debts. If that is the case, we can certainly help you.

Bankruptcy may not always provide the complete solution. In most cases, bankruptcy does give a debtor a fresh start, but filing bankruptcy is not a panacea for all financial problems. Declaring bankruptcy can seriously damage a person's credit rating, making it difficult to establish credit or take out loans in the future. You must evaluate your position having all the facts, and then make an educated decision. Here at Family Attorney Texas, we will help you arrive at that place. Many people can and do work themselves out of even very serious debt without ever going near a bankruptcy court, so declaring bankruptcy should not be an automatic first step for someone experiencing financial problems.

Bankruptcy law in general provides for the development of a plan that allows a debtor, who is unable to pay his creditors, a way to resolve his debts through the division of his assets among his creditors. The plan is a supervised division, which allows the interests of all creditors to be treated with some measure of equality. There are some Bankruptcy proceedings, which allow a debtor to stay in business and use revenue generated to resolve his or her debts. In addition, another purpose of bankruptcy law is to allow certain debtors to free themselves (or to be discharged) of the financial obligations they have accumulated, after their assets are distributed, even if their debts have not been paid in full.

The origin of all Bankruptcy law is federal statutory law, which is contained in Title 11 of the United States Code. Congress passed the Bankruptcy Code under its Constitutional grant of authority to "establish... uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptcy throughout the United States." If you are interested in reading up on more of these Title 11 Codes, you may want to go to our U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8. At present, states may not regulate bankruptcy though they may pass laws that govern other aspects of the debtor-creditor relationship. Each state has current laws that apply specifically to all Bankruptcy cases.

All Bankruptcy proceedings are supervised by and litigated in the United States Bankruptcy Courts. These courts are a part of the District Courts of The United States. These United States Trustees were established by Congress to handle many of the supervisory and administrative duties of bankruptcy proceedings. Proceedings in bankruptcy courts are governed by the Bankruptcy Rules, which were promulgated by the Supreme Court under the authority of Congress.

General Types of Bankruptcy

There are several basic types of Bankruptcy proceedings. A filing under Chapter 7 is called liquidation. This is the most common type of bankruptcy proceeding. Liquidation involves the appointment of a trustee who collects the non-exempt property of the debtor, sells it and distributes the proceeds to the creditors. Other Bankruptcy proceedings under Chapters 11, 12, and 13 involve the rehabilitation of the debtor to allow him or her to use future earnings to pay off creditors. Under Chapter 7, 12, 13, and some 11 proceedings, a trustee is appointed to supervise the assets of the debtor. A bankruptcy proceeding can either be entered into voluntarily by a debtor or could also be initiated by creditors.

Once a bankruptcy proceeding is filed, creditors, for the most part, may not seek to collect their debts outside of the proceeding. The debtor is not allowed to transfer property that has been declared part of the estate subject to proceedings. In addition, certain pre-proceeding transfers of property, secured interests, and liens may be delayed or invalidated. Various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code also establish the priority of creditors' interests.

A recent decision by the Supreme Court has shifted this power towards the debtor. In Rousey v. Jacoway, (April 4th, 2005), the Court held that assets in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's) are protected under 11 U.S.C  522(d) and thus exempt from withdrawal from the bankruptcy estate. This decision has broad implications for the baby-boomer generation, providing millions of Americans nearing retirement with increased protection of their earnings.

Recent passage of the Bankruptcy Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in April 2005 has also resulted in major reforms in Bankruptcy law, outlining revised guidelines governing the dismissal or conversion of Chapter 7 liquidations to Chapter 11 or 13 proceedings. The law also expands the responsibilities of the United States Trustees Program to include supervision of random and targeted audits, certification of entities to provide credit counseling that individuals must receive before filing for bankruptcy, certification of entities that provide financial education to individuals before being discharged from debt, and greater oversight of small business Chapter 11 reorganization cases.

The most important thing you may need to know is that we are here to help you with this Bankruptcy process in conjunction with the current Texas Bankruptcy Code. That is why we are here. Rest assured, this list below is legal process in Texas, and once the process has begun, will take you to your desired goal. Please review this list, then pick up that phone and schedule that first meeting to discuss the best course of action for you and your family or business.

  • Bankruptcy Code
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Petition and Schedules
  • Stay
  • Creditors Meeting
  • Claims
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Petition
  • Stay
  • Plan
  • Creditors Meeting
  • Confirmation Hearing
  • Discharge
  • Advantages of Chapter 13 over Chapter 7

We would like an opportunity to speak with you personally about your specific situation.

Dallas Bar Association C.A.R.E. Tarrant County Bar Association Texas Family Law Foundation South Texas College of Law Texas Bar College

Dallas Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service Pro Bono Texas Avvo Client's Choice Award 2017

Contact Information:

Rita M. Boyd, Attorney
Law Office of Rita M. Boyd, P.C.
5057 Keller Springs Road
Suite 300
Addison TX 75001
Phone: 972-380-8000
Email: Email Rita
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*Rita M. Boyd is not certified by Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Rita Boyd invites you to contact her and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting Rita does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to her until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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