It is better to file bankruptcy before your license is taken away.

The automatic stay takes effect immediately when you file (there are exceptions especially for repeat filings) and entitles you to get your driver's license back in some but not all circumstances. The circumstances when you have the right under bankruptcy law to get your license back are generally when it is suspended because of non-payment of a debt rather than in the legitimate exercise of the state's police power. Under their police power the state can suspend your license if it is for a reason other than non-payment of a debt. Note that under the 2005 amendments, they can suspend your driver's license for non-payment of child or spousal support even if you file for bankruptcy.

Common reasons to file bankruptcy in order to get your driver's license back are if you have had it suspended because of an unpaid judgment from an accident where you did not have insurance. Note that in Texas you could have this suspension even if you have not been sued. As long as the case does not involve death or bodily injury caused only by illegal operation of a vehicle by reason of alcohol or drugs, there is seldom much resistance from DPS on these suspensions. Simple property damage even under those circumstances is not a problem.

Another reason may be that you have unpaid surcharges. Note I am have been in litigation with DPS over the dischargeability of surcharges in Chapter 7, which they fight vigorously, so if you have surcharges you may want to file Chapter 13 at least for the time being unless you want to be part of a test case. Please contact me if you owe surcharges for more information. Note that even if you are in Chapter 7, I may be able to stop the suspension pending the completion of your bankruptcy so that you have time to plan for the surcharges.

If you want to be considered for filing the same day as your appointment, it is important that you finish your credit counseling including the final telephone component at least the day before your appointment. Click here to make an appointment. Additionally, you should also have completed the online intake form fully including the gross income figures for the last 6 months before the current month. Emergency filings have risks and should not be undertaken lightly. It is important that we have as much information as possible available before we file.

“At the end of the seventh year you are to cancel the debts of those who owe you money.”
Deuteronomy 15:1

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