J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization

At our west Houston bankruptcy law firm, we are seeing increasing numbers of people that have lost their jobs or lost income due to the recent slide in oil prices.

At first it was just a few personal bankruptcy clients coming in that were related to the oil & gas downturn, but now it seems to be every other case. Many of our clients that are coming in these days have been laid off or their jobs have been affected by reason of the recent problems in the "oil patch."

One man with a young family lost his high-paying job as an operations manager for an oil and gas company, only to start a small trucking business which never really got off the ground. He will have to file chapter 7 bankruptcy and give up his newly-built house and expensive truck and SUV which the family can no longer afford. But at least he will be able to get a fresh start without debt.

Another Houston resident in his 40's is a luxury car salesman, but has seen his all-commission income plummet since oil prices have gone to the basement. He may file a chapter 13 to partially pay his debt, but if sales don't pick up soon, he may have to instead file chapter 7 to get a clean slate.

A third man, a self-employed trucker and his wife, saw their income dive because they have far fewer loads of oilfield pipe and equipment to haul. They will try to hold onto their trucks by reorganizing under chapter 13, which will also give them a chance to catch up their delinquent house payments and pay some past due I.R.S. debt, while holding the creditors at bay. 

If you find yourself in debt trouble because of the oil & gas downturn and you live in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area or surrounding counties, give our office a call at 713-772-8037. You can make an appointment 24 hours a day, or if you are not ready for that yet, you can request one of our publications. Filing a chapter 7, 11, or 13 bankruptcy causes an "automatic stay" to go into effect, which immediately stops most collection actions against you including foreclosures, repossessions and lawsuits.

Have you lost your job recently in Houston or Texas because of the oil and gas downturn? Will you need to consider filing bankruptcy or you able to make adjustments and "weather the storm"? Please leave your comments or questions below.

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