Are Immigration Lawyers Value for Money?
An immigration visa application might be a life-changing event. Getting your application right has such a huge implication that it may be wise to consider getting the help of a professional. U.S. Immigration law can be very difficult to fully understand as a layperson. It is so easy to make a mistake that can cause your application to be rejected.
It’s Easy to Make Mistakes
According to the Tennessee Bar Association, immigration law is the second most complex area of law (Federal Tax Being the first). The situation is made worse by several factors, which include:
- Constant changes to immigration law. Changes are almost an annual event.
- The Immigration Service continually revising its procedures, with forms, fees, and instructions changing so fast that it is difficult to keep up and find authoritative instructions.
- The fact that the changes are so rapid that the government is finding it hard to keep up with up-to-date forms and instructions, Some staff are unable to provide accurate advice, as they have not yet received training on the changes.
- The confusing nature of some of the forms.
Consequences of Mistakes
Every year visa applicants make mistakes that cause complications or rejections. Often correcting these mistakes costs a lot more money than hiring an immigration lawyer to assist them at the start of the process.
- It is so easy to waste money on expensive application fees for visas that an individual is not eligible.
- Visa applications are time-consuming at the best of times. Submitting applications incorrectly completed or missing supporting documentation can lengthen these already lengthy processes.
Immigration Is Stressful
Visa applications and other forms of immigration issues are a recognized cause of stress according to the American Psychiatric Association. Trying to handle applying for a visa without professional assistance can only make it harder.
Why Use an Immigration Lawyer?
In today’s digital world where forms and information are available easily online, you may wonder if hiring an immigration professional is worth the cost. Government fees for visas have been steadily increasing and this may make some cost-cutting seem sensible. Indeed, in some very simple cases, it may be possible to handle the work yourself, although simple immigration cases are fewer than you might think.
The reality, however, is that the high cost of government fees and the personal costs if you get an application wrong makes it even more worthwhile getting professional help. Not getting a visa not only is costly financially but can cause loss of opportunities, and possible separation from loved ones
An immigration lawyer can assist you by evaluating the likelihood that you will succeed with a visa application, saving you unnecessary fees. He can assist you in completing the correct application form, and advising you on required documentation. Finally, he can help prepare you for your immigration interview.
Clearly, there is a vast range of different immigration issues and visa types to consider. For a straightforward tourist visa application, quite probably there is no need for an educated person to employ a lawyer. However, as cases get more complex, the balance between the apparent savings of doing everything yourself, and employing a professional begins to sway towards the immigration lawyer.
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When Can Your Visa be Denied in the US?
Many people want to visit and/or live in the US for many reasons, such as exploring and taking advantage of opportunities. The US grants 675,000+ permanent immigrant visas yearly across several visa categories. Many more people enter the US annually as spouses, parents, and children.
However, like most countries, you need a visa to gain entry into the US. Over 4 million visas are denied for various reasons. Here are the top reasons for being denied a US visa.
1. Wrong Visa Application
There are several types of US visas ranging from work visas to student visas, tourist visas, media visas, domestic employee visas, and more. Each of these visas has special requirements. If you apply for the wrong visa without double-checking, your application is bound to be denied. All requirements of a particular visa must be met. You shouldn’t make any pre-assumptions on eligibility just because you qualify for a certain type of visa.
2. Incorrect/Insufficient Information
If you apply for the correct visa but provide insufficient or incorrect information, your application will also be denied. Visa application forms must be fully and accurately completed and supporting documentation provided. Immigration and related agencies use information provided in applications to verify, identify and do other checks. If some information is missing or inaccurate, your application can be denied or prolonged.
3. Providing Too Much Information
You should offer just enough information when applying for a visa. Applicants are usually asked questions during interviews. You should give well-thought-out responses that are brief and concise. You shouldn’t divulge irrelevant details that aren’t directly related to the questions you are asked. What’s more, you shouldn’t volunteer unsolicited information. Providing too much information can result in more questions than raise suspicious that wouldn’t have otherwise existed.
4. Being Overly Confident
You should not exhibit arrogance or related behavior like over-confidence. Overly assertive applicants can be assumed to be presumptuous or “know-it-all” which usually works against someone looking to be assisted.
5. Poor Communication
You could also be denied a US visa because of the language barrier. Some accents, dialects, or unfamiliar lingo can cause confusion. If you don’t know how to speak and write basic English or you can’t understand what’s being communicated, ask for an interpreter. Alternatively, ask for clarification to avoid misinterpreting or misunderstanding significant communication.
6. Poor Conduct When Sitting for an Interview
If you become disrespectful to the person conducting your visa application interview, your application can also be denied even if you did everything else correctly. You should be courteous towards the interviewer. It’s also advisable to submit to the office the interviewer represents. Being passive, rude, aggressive, showing lack of seriousness, among other related conduct, can disqualify you even if an interview is tiresome.
Generally, filling out a visa application form perfectly and submitting all supporting documents doesn’t guarantee a US visa. You must communicate effectively and carry yourself respectfully. You should also be courteous and avoid giving too much information.
To boost your chances of success and avoid being part of the millions of people who are denied US visas yearly, talk to an immigration lawyer before applying for a US visa. The best immigration lawyers have free initial consultations that could save you from wasting time and resources.
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Unfortunately, the path to obtaining US residency sometimes involves overcoming a few challenges. To discover some of the issues that you may come across when you apply for a Green Card, simply continue reading. So that you’ll know the exact steps that you’ll be able to take to rectify your issue in order to expedite your residency application.
Diffculties That May Occur When Applying For A Green Card
- You May Not Be Eligible For The Green Card You Chose
It pays to check the eligibility requirements of each different type of residency visa to ensure your eligibility. For example, many individuals believe that a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or first cousin will be able to sponsor their card. When in fact, the only family members who can sponsor you are your parents, siblings, or long-term partner. Even if you dating a US resident or citizen you may not be eligible for a card, as you have to either be married to a US citizen or resident or engaged to one, in order for your partner to be able to sponsor your petition. If you are not eligible for your first choice of Green Card, it’s well worth exploring your other options such as applying for a diversity lottery.
- You May Need To Provide Extra Evidence
It always pays to include additional evidence to support your petition when you first submit your application to the USCIS. As if the USCIS or the US consulate or embassy that processes your petition has any doubt about the legitimacy of your application, they will contact you in order to provide additional evidence to support your case.
If you are applying for permanent residency through a fiancé or spouse, it’s a great idea to include pieces of evidence that will convince the authorities processing your application that you’re in a legitimate, stable, and committed relationship. For example, it’s a great idea to show photos that span a long period of time, that prove that your relationship has stood the test of time. Or you may want to include letters of reference from individuals who know you both as a couple and have spent extensive time with the two of you as a couple.
As another example, if you are applying for a Green Card through a work position, you may want to include a copy of your college transcripts and formal qualification in order to prove that you are well qualified for the position that you have been offered. As your petition will only be approved if the authorities are certain that you are well qualified for your position and that your position could not be easily filled by a current US resident or citizen.
- Your Sponsor May Not Be Eligible To Sponsor Your Green Card
Another difficulty that may arise is that you may find out that your sponsor may be ineligible to sponsor your petition. For example, if your sponsor is a family member such as a husband or wife, they may not be able to prove that they have enough income in order to meet the minimum threshold to sponsor your residency visa.
So, if you want to increase your chances of having your Green Card granted so that you’ll be able to move to the United States to start a new life, it’s well worth talking to a lawyer in order to easily be able to work around any challenges that may arise.
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While many individuals around the globe who want to live and work in the United States are content to remain in the US as permanent residents, there are benefits that only US citizens are provided which makes it well worth becoming a full US citizen. To discover some of these key benefits, simply continue reading.
Benefits Of Obtaining US Citizenship
- Protection Against Deportation Threats
Many individuals are unaware that while you can still be deported from the United States if you are a legal permanent resident and hold a green card, you can’t be deported from the US once you have pledged allegiance to the United States and have become a fully-fledged citizen. So, if you want to ensure that you will never be removed from the United States, even if you obtain a green card as soon as you are eligible to apply for citizenship, you should file your citizenship application through the USCIS.
Typically, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship 90 days before you have held your green card for 5 years. Do keep in mind that if you have spent over a year outside of the US in the past five years, you will have to wait longer until you’re eligible for citizenship.
- Ability To Vote
While you’ll never be able to run for presidency, once you are a full US citizen you will be able to legally vote in all local and federal elections. So, if you want to have your say on how the country should be run and want to help shape the future of the United States, it’s well worth aiming to obtain US citizenship.
- Ability To Apply For Government Jobs
Only US citizens are able to apply for government jobs. So if you like the idea of applying for a government job, especially as government jobs tend to have a lot of perks such as health insurance, it’s also a wise idea to talk to a lawyer about the path to becoming a US citizen.
- Ability To Hold Dual Citizenship
If you still want to keep the benefits of your current citizenship, you may be able to hold dual citizenship which will give you the rights, protection, and benefits of the citizenship of two countries.
- Ability To Study In The US Cheaply
You may not be aware that it’s approximately 80% cheaper to study in the United States if you are a domestic student, not an international student. So even if you already have a degree if you want to pursue postgraduate study opportunities in the United States, you should become a US citizen.
- Your Children Can Become Citizens
If you want to provide your children with the best possible opportunities in life, by becoming a citizen your dependent children under the age of 18 will also have the right to become US citizens.
If you are in the process of applying for permanent residency or have held a green card for several years, it’s well worth planning your route to obtaining US citizenship now. If you require guidance, make sure to contact an experience immigration lawyer.
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Can an Asylum Applicant Get a Green Card?
It is not possible to apply for a Green Card until you are in the U.S for a year continuously. Only then you are able to change your status from being an “Asylee” to one of “Lawful permanent Resident” and obtain a Green Card. this one-year period referred to, only begins once your asylee status is granted. It is important to remember each year, only 10,000 adjustments between Asylee of Lawfully Permanent Resident are granted, so it is essential that you get your application in promptly.
Can an Asylee Get a Green Card by Marriage?
Being unable to apply for a Green Card by yourself does not mean other options do not exist for asylees. One such option is to get a Green Card through marriage. This route to a Green Card is simpler than taking the Asylum route. In applying for Asylum, the burden of proof is quite heavy. You must convince the authorities you have a genuine fear of persecution under certain grounds. Even when you are granted asylum, you still have 12 months to wait before the Green Card application can go in. During that year, changes in the situation within your home country can cause your position to be reconsidered. This might lead to your Green Card being denied.
The Green Card through marriage method is far simpler. It is only necessary to prove you embarked on a genuine (good-faith) marriage to a U.S. citizen. Adjusting your status can then be done easily. The main criteria is that the marriage should not be one of convenience and designed to facilitate a Green Card.
Things to Consider Regarding Marriage
If you have already applied for asylum or are already on the list for removal, suddenly applying for a Green Card through marriage can look suspicious. The immigration officials will not be easy to convince that the marriage is genuine, and not simply arranged to circumvent the immigration system. You will need to convince the immigration officer before he will allow the Green Card.
Showing that a long-term relationship existed before the marriage it will be more believable. Several factors may raise some red flags about the marriage. These might include:
- Significant age difference
- Not sharing a language
- Being unable to demonstrate a relationship until after an asylum claim was lodged
It is better not to withdraw your asylum application until you are granted a Green Card through marriage. It may be better to ask the Asylum office to put your asylum application on hold while you wait for the result of your Green Card application.
There may be other employment-related visas that are a possibility. Maybe study visas are also one option to consider. It is essential that by pursuing other directions you do not weaken your asylum status.
With applications of this complexity, it is wise to seek the services of an experienced immigration lawyer. he may be able to advise you of better ways to handle your situation.
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If you are interested in learning about the process that you’ll be made to go through if you ever receive a deportation notice, you’ve certainly come to the right place. As if you continue reading, you’ll discover exactly what process you’ll be made to follow. Which will help you properly prepare your defense for your scheduled immigration hearing.
What Happens If You Receive A Deportation Notice?
- You Will Be Ordered To Attend A Hearing
If you are ordered to attend a scheduled deportation hearing you will receive what is known as an NTA a Notice To Appear. Which will feature the charges which have been laid against you. If you are a US resident, the main reason why you may receive an NTA is for violating an immigration law. You may be handed an NTA, or it may be mailed to your last known address. In some instances, your NTA may be sent directly to your lawyer. It’s worth noting that there must be at least 10 days between receiving your NTA and the date of your first immigration court hearing. If you don’t already have a lawyer, it’s a wise idea to hire the services of an experienced immigration attorney.
- Preliminary Hearing
At your preliminary hearing, the judge will ensure that you fully understand all of the charges that have been made against you. After which point in time, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself and to refute the charges against you. If you have hired an immigration lawyer, they will be able to present any evidence which you may have to dispute the serious charges that have been made against you. It’s important to note that the judge won’t make a decision on whether or not to issue you with a deportation order until you have attended your second and final immigration hearing.
- Final Hearing
Between your preliminary hearing and your final hearing you’ll have an opportunity to find additional evidence to support your case. For example, if you believe that it would be dangerous to be deported to your country of origin, you may want to call an individual who has a wealth of knowledge about the current political climate in your original country, to back up the claims which you or your immigration lawyer have made. Remember that no new evidence will be permitted after your final hearing has taken place, even if you decide to appeal the judge’s decision. For this reason make sure that you go into your final hearing with a strong plan, which your attorney can help you put together.
The judge presiding over your case may rule against you. In this case, you will be handed a deportation notice, which will list out the conditions of your scheduled deportation.
If you do not get the result that you’re hoping for, you can lodge an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Which will also push out the date of your deportation, so that you’ll be able to stay in the United States, until a final decision has been made.
If you were curious as to what happens if you are sent an NTA or Notice To Appear for breaking an immigration law, you now have a clear idea of the process that you’ll be made to follow.
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Average Time an Immigration Appeal Case Takes
The average time an immigration appeal takes is of great interest to the parties involved. After a court makes a decision in an immigration case, an immigrant can decide to appeal the decision. For example, if a court decides to depart an immigrant because of particular reasons, pursuing an appeal can save the immigrant from deportation. The important question is how long an immigration appeal case takes to come to completion. It’s worth noting that an appeal case is a process that doesn’t have a standard time. The amount of time it takes to complete an immigration appeal case depends on various factors. For an immigrant, knowing the average time of the case is significant. It gives one peace of mind during the wait.
So How Long Does An Appeal Case Take?
On average, an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals takes between 6 to 12 months to get completed. The time can be longer than the above-mentioned time for various reasons.
Factors Contributing To a Longer Appeal Case
The time it takes to finalize an immigration appeal case can take longer than one year. The longer it takes to come to completion, the longer it takes before an immigrant knows the next move. It can be an anxious process for the parties involved especially the immigrant at the center of the case.
One of the reasons why an appeal case can take longer than usual is the complexity of the case. If a case has a complexities, it might take longer to look at the issues presented before the Board of Immigration appeals. Deportation appeals are not easy cases. The rules and procedures involved in such cases can be challenging depending on the facts of the case. Critical examination of the issues of an immigration case can take time because of the complexities involved. Certainly, this results to a longer time before the final determination.
Another major reason for delay before the final determination of an immigration appeal case is if the board has other pending appeal cases. If you file your case after other appeals, you’ll have to wait until the pending cases are determined for yours to follow. This could end up taking more than the average time.
How Long It Takes To Request an Immigration Appeal
An immigration appeal should be filed within 30 calendar days of an immigration judge’s decision. The appeal is filed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The board should receive the appeal notice within the 30 days. Since they are calendar days, weekends and holidays are included in the count. But, if the deadline of the 30-day period happens to be a weekend or holiday, the due date moves to the next business day. In order to be on the safe side, it’s prudent to ensure you file the notice of appeal early enough.
So, the average time it takes to conclude an immigration appeal is 6 months to 1 year. However, this depends on the complexity of the case and whether there are pending cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
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Life is not easy and there will be times when you will be struggling with your finances and to make your ends meet. If you want to end those everyday struggles of trying to cope up with depleting finances and mounting bills, filing for bankruptcy is the best option. There are millions of people in the United States who are filing for bankruptcy every year in an attempt to ease out the burden on them. The State of Texas is no exception and there are thousands of people who are seeking help or are trying to file for bankruptcy. Often such people are not aware of the options they have.
In this piece, we will walk you through one of the best options of filing for bankruptcy, i.e – filing for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7.
Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7 – How does it look like?
When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 the case will simply help you with the following:
Offers protection to your possessions and to you from all your creditors straight away.
- Makes it possible for you to file for bankruptcy and yet hold on to everything you have.
- Gives you a choice to either retain or surrender any assets that you have as collateral.
- Legally writes off and discharges all your unsecured debts such as personal loans, credit card debts etc.
To be eligible to file for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 your household income must be below the median income of Texas in households of similar sizes. If, however, your income exceeds the median income you will have to pass the means test that are mentioned under the terms of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which takes into consideration your income as well as all your expenses.
What is the process?
Here’s how Chapter 7 Bankruptcy works once files:
- How the protection works?
As soon as you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy all collection efforts by the creditors are immediately stopped. This includes all kind of collection attempts such as lawsuits, phone calls, lawsuits, collection letters, repossessions, income tax leins, so on and so forth. Apart from that if the creditors continue to make collection attempts legally they can be punished by a bankruptcy court.
Apart from criminal fines, criminal proceedings, child support dues, and matters related to domestic relationships, everything else is covered under Chapter 7. Simply put all actions and collection attempts against you by the creditors is immediately stopped as soon as Chapter 7 is Filed.
- Allows you to Keep your chosen property
Under Chapter 7 you can choose to either surrender or keep your collateral against your debt. The collateral you surrender against any debt means you can stop making the payment for such a debt. You can surrender the collateral and get rid of the debt or keep it and enter into a reaffirmation agreement to keep paying the debt.
- Everything you own is exempted
Under this Bankruptcy everything that you have is totally exempted and protected from your creditors. In Texas you can choose the exemptions either based on State Laws or Federal laws. You can choose between the two laws and everything that you have is straight away exempted and you can keep all of it.
To conclude and to summarize, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is great in terms of offering you some much needed peace of mind and protection from the harassment and the collection activities of your creditors. The process and the documentation may get a little difficult and it is always recommended to seek professional help to help you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the State of Texas.
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Life After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You’ve successfully filed for Chapter-7 bankruptcy in Texas. What’s Next?
Filing for bankruptcy isn’t an end. Chapter-7 should give you a new start on your finances. Once you get the pressures of creditors out of the way, you can analyze how you go there and purpose to never find yourself with debt problems ever again. Generally, individuals who successfully file for Chapter 7 should reduce their expenses and start paying bills on time.
Preparing a Budget
Begin by preparing a budget. With an actual concrete plan of how you wish to spend your money, you reduce your likelihood of facing financial problems again. There are countless tools online for budgeting. If you can’t find a good tool, use a non-profit credit counseling agency or other institutions that offer professional financial advice for free.
The goal of budgeting is to ensure you spend your income in the best way possible. A budget will also ensure you meet expenses/bills on time and enjoy benefits like improving your credit score in the process.
Get a Credit-builder Loan
If you operate within the confines of your budget for some time, you can take out a loan specifically for building your credit score. Remember, while Chapter-7 gets rid of some of the most pressing debt, your credit score takes a hit in the process. A credit-builder loan is important for repairing credit.
You can borrow a few hundred dollars and place the money in your savings account or anywhere else where it will earn some interest but be inaccessible to you. Meet all repayment obligations monthly for the entire term of the loan.
Credit-builder loans are taken purely to build a person’s credit. While you may incur some costs, the goal is to boost your credit score and make it possible to get regular loans again at a good interest rate.
Get Secured Credit Cards
You can use secured credit cards alongside credit-builder loans to fasten your credit-building process. You can get a credit card even if you have bad credit. There are many credit unions, banks, and other financial institutions operating in Texas that overlook traditional credit checks.
Provided you have the means to pay, you can secure credit tools like credit cards that are great for boosting your credit score. However, you must use the cards sparingly and make all your repayments religiously. The goal is establishing a positive payment pattern that slowly boosts your credit history and score over time. Building your score is a simple as using your card to pay recurrent expenses like phone bills and gym membership. However, you must be careful to avoid high fees and impulse buying that are bound to get you into debt problems.
Summary: Life After Bankruptcy
Chapter-7 isn’t the end of life. You can learn from your past financial mistakes and rebuild a better future. Since bankruptcy damages your credit score, the goal should be rebuilding credit and never spending more than you can afford. A budget and the right credit cards and credit builder loans will help you do just that. What’s more, you should consider talking to a bankruptcy attorney.
Seeking Help from A Seasoned Bankruptcy Attorney
The best bankruptcy attorney in Texas won’t just help you secure Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He/she can also help you recover. For instance, bankruptcy lawyers know exactly how to find and correct mistakes in your credit history that are unfairly affecting your score. They can also suggest quicker, safer, and better avenues for living life after bankruptcy.
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When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas or any other US state, you must meet several requirements. Below are the eligibility requirements you should focus on;
Individuals with secured and unsecured debt can file for Chapter-13 bankruptcy provided their debt is within certain levels. From April 2019, individuals filing for Chapter 13 a secured debt that doesn’t exceed $1,257,850. Unsecured debt shouldn’t exceed $419,275. These limits apply for three years (up to April 2022).
Secured debt is debt that is taken with collateral i.e., a car or house. If you fail to pay, the collateral is taken. Unsecured debt includes debt like medical bills or credit card bills. If your debt (secured or unsecured) surpasses the above limits, you can consider other types of bankruptcies like
Chapter 11. However, talk to a seasoned Texas bankruptcy attorney first!
You also need a steady income to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter-13 requires a person to have some form of income that must be verified in a bankruptcy court. Since Chapter-13 doesn’t expunge debt but restructure debt into manageable repayments, you must have some income. What’s more, the income must meet certain requirements i.e., be adequate and stable. Low and/or irregular income may not meet a bankruptcy court’s income threshold for Chapter-13 bankruptcy.
Chapter-13 bankruptcy isn’t for businesses or companies. The bankruptcy is meant for individuals alone. However, there are exceptions. For instance, business-related debt held by a person can qualify. For instance, a sole proprietor can file for Chapter 13.
To file for Chapter-13 based on personal responsibility for debt in any standing, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer.
Besides meeting the above requirements, individuals must also file some documents. The official bankruptcy documents must be filed before a bankruptcy court in Texas or any other state confirms a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.
Generally, you need up-to-date tax documentation, proof that your debt falls within the debt limits for filing Chapter-13 bankruptcy, and proof of income needed to meet the new debt repayment plan. You should also be an individual (and not an entity or business) with documentation to prove the same.
When providing tax documentation, the tax filing must be current. You need proof that your state and federal income tax filings are up-to-date. If your tax matters aren’t current, you can postpone proceedings. However, you must provide current tax filings, otherwise, your case will be rejected.
The income documentation is meant to ascertain that you have some money left over after meeting basic expenses to pay for your restructured debt comfortably. Most importantly, your current income must be able to settle the debt in question in 3-5 years. Income can be from many sources, the most notable being salary or regular wages and income from self-employment.
However, other income sources also count i.e., commission from sales, social security benefits, royalties, rent, child support, alimony received, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, and proceeds from selling assets/property.
Summary: Chapter 13 Eligibility
If you meet the debt, income, entity, and paperwork requirements, you can qualify for Chapter-13. However, there’s much more to Chapter-13 eligibility.
Consider speaking to a seasoned bankruptcy attorney in Texas before you file. There may be better Chapter 13 alternatives you can consider! The best bankruptcy lawyers have FREE initial consultation sessions that you can take advantage of to ensure you don’t miss anything.
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Round Rock All You Need To Know
Round Rock was named for a large round rock that marked a convenient low-water crossing point for Brushy Creek. The town was initially named Brush Creek but given its current name in 1854. The Chisholm Trail passed through the town. This is why there is a street named Chisholm Trail parallel to I-35 today. Chisholm Crossing Park is where the historic cattle trail crosses the namesake creek. The town became a bedroom community of Austin with the construction of Interstate 35. It became a “super suburb” or independent city in its own right when Dell relocated here in the 1990s. This fueled the growth of Georgetown to the north and led many Austin residents to commute to the town if they didn’t decide to move here.
Round Rock, Texas has received a number of distinctions. It has been named among the fastest growing cities in Texas with a population of over 50,000. It had a population of 100,000 in 2010 and 135,000 in 2020. It was the thirteenth fastest growing city of its size according to 2020 census data. Why has the city been growing this fast? It is mostly due to the presence of Dell Technologies. That high-tech employer employs roughly 16,000 people by itself. Then there are the suppliers located in the area, the Premium Outlet Mall and a number of local employers.
It has been named one of the most livable cities in the United States. That is because it has a very low crime rate for a city over 100,000. This is why Niche.com named it the fifth safest city in the nation. It has one of the lowest property taxes in the central Texas region, too. It has a lower than average sales tax rate on consumer goods, because it gets so much money on computers and peripherals sold online and shipped from Dell’s facility. Thrillist named it one of the nation’s coolest suburbs. LendEDU named it the third best place to raise a family. SmartAsset named it eighth on their list of best places to live the American dream.
The city received an average walk score of 24. The most walkable neighborhoods are Mesa Park, Chisholm Valley South and Greenhill. Chisholm Valley South received a walk score of 52 and bike score of 42. Mesa Park is almost the opposite. It has a walk score of 46 and bike score of 52. The city has an average bike score of 36.
The original downtown area sits at the intersection of McNeil Road and Interstate 35. Highway 79 is just north of downtown. The city straddles the Balcones Escarpment. That fault line separates rich blackland prairie from the rocky hills that give Texas Hill Country its name.
Round Rock is a twenty minute drive north of downtown Austin up Interstate 35. The north Austin suburb is separated from Austin by Texas State Highway 45. Pflugerville is to the south, while Hutto is to the east.
Highway 1 which runs parallel to I-35 passes through this Austin suburb, as well. Route 45 runs east-west through the town and connects it with other north Austin suburbs. Jollyville is located to the west. Pflugerville is located to the southeast; that’s the home of Typhoon Texas Waterpark Austin. Hutto is directly west.
The largest park in the city is Old Settlers Park. That’s at the northeast corner of the city. The Play for All Abilities Park is in the Ashton Oaks neighborhood.
Round Rock has annexed a lot of land over the years, creating a patchwork of incorporated areas. For example, there is a moderately large subdivision along Farm to Market Road 1431 that is part of Round Rock. Yet the neighboring Southwest Williamson County Regional Park and surrounding subdivisions are not. The Chandler Creek subdivision and other neighborhoods within the MUD district are not inside of the city limits. This means they don’t pay Round Rock taxes. Yet you’re close to the Round Rock Premium Outlet Malls.
There is a Texas State University campus and Austin Community College campus in Round Rock. The Texas A&M Medical School is located in this north Austin suburb. However, you’ll have to go to the Dallas-Fort Worth area if you want to go to Texas A&M’s law school. The UT Austin campus is twenty miles to the south.