If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you are probably already overwhelmed at all the things you need to do and all the information you need to provide. However, the good news is that you are laying a strong foundation for your future financial life. Here are a few tips to help you get through your bankruptcy.
Watch your lawyer fill out your paperwork carefully. They, most likely, have multiple cases going on at the same time and may not be able to keep up with every detail of your case. Be sure to carefully read all of that paperwork, in order to make sure that everything is filled out correctly.
Don't use a credit card to pay off your taxes before filing for bankruptcy. In most states, you will still owe money to the IRS and have to take care of the interest of your credit cards. If the tax can be discharged, so can the debt. Therefore, you have no reason for use of a credit card, if the amount is to be discharged in due process of the bankruptcy.
If you have late payments on credit accounts or accounts that have been sent to collections, you are probably already aware of how insistent creditors can be. After you have filed for bankruptcy, you no longer need to endure the threatening and continuous phone calls from creditors and collection agencies. All you must do is refer them to your attorney who will confirm the bankruptcy for them. After this, it is illegal for creditors to harass you in any way.
After your bankruptcy has been discharged, or finalized, a good way to begin re-building your credit is to obtain a pre-paid credit card. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-10/bankruptcy-isn-t-for-everyone-maybe-it-should-be of card is usually available at your local bank. The card is secured by the amount of money you load onto it. You can not charge more than what you have loaded onto the card, so over-spending shouldn't be a problem. It works like a regular credit card, with monthly statements and payments. After you have kept this card in good standing for a period of time, you may be able to have it switched into a regular, revolving credit card.
Meet with many different attorneys before making any decision on one. To do this, you must start looking well in advance of when you need to file. If you wait until the last minute, you will not have the time to find an attorney that will give you good advice, and one that is easy to work with.
After your bankruptcy is finalized, you should begin re-building your credit by, obtaining copies of your credit reports. Your reports may show that you filed for bankruptcy, but it can take a lot of time for the credit bureaus to remove the original debt from your credit history. Check your reports over thoroughly, if there is debt showing that was discharged in a bankruptcy, you can contact the credit bureaus online, or in writing and request that the information be deleted.
Before you make a final decision to file for bankruptcy, look into all the options that are available to help your financial situation. If you are buried under credit card debt, it can help to check out a debt-consolidation, or home-equity loan if you qualify. You can also try negotiating smaller payments on your debt until, your finances are better in control. Bankruptcy is always an option, but if you can alleviate your problems in another way, you will be able to avoid a major hit to your credit history.
File bankruptcy before time runs out to avoid harsh penalties. If you wait too long to file, you may be forced to pay fees through garnishments taken from your bank accounts, foreclosure or even through wages. Early filing can also help prevent extensive reviews of your bankruptcy filing qualifications that may disqualify you.
Shop around for a bankruptcy lawyer. Make use of free consultations, if a law firm offers them. Be sure to check out the attorney's track record. For other kinds of bankruptcy advisers, do the same and be sure they're licensed if your state requires it. Don't ever pay debt negotiation firms any cash up-front and be sure you can pay based on the result. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-11/shooting-victims-hold-majority-on-remington-bankruptcy-panel hire someone who doesn't have good references or makes you feel uncomfortable.
Take it one day at a time. It can be overwhelming to find all of your financial papers, put things in order and manage your feelings at the same time. Do what you can do and don't give yourself additional stress. Take it easy on yourself, even if no one else seems to.
Protect your wages to live on. Bankruptcy is an important way to do just that. If you owe enough money that creditors are threatening to file lawsuits against you, it's time to seek legal counsel. If a creditor sues you, they can obtain their money by garnishing your wages, taking a large chunk of change from your paychecks. This can put you in even more debt and make your situation worse. Filing bankruptcy will put a stop to any lawsuits and protect the money you need to survive. If the situation becomes dire, you can also ask for an emergency filing, so you don't have to wait a couple of weeks for the attorney to compile all the information he or she needs.
Don't make the mistake of hesitating to file for bankruptcy because you think you won't be able to file again and may need to save it for a worse financial situation. The laws vary from state to state, but you may file again after a certain period, usually two to eight years, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed. Of course, you won't want to file again, but in case of job loss or a major illness, the opportunity is there if you need it.
Do not try to pay off family and friends before filing. There are very strict rules, in effect, that place prohibitions on paying off specific debtors within 90 days before filing. The time beforehand for paying off family members is one year prior to filing for bankruptcy. These payoffs can cause a dismissal for your petition.
Before filing for bankruptcy, talk with your creditors and see if there is anything that can be done to reduce the amount of your debt. Most creditors will work with you because they want you to pay them back their money. If you actually file for bankruptcy, they will lose their money.
If you act early enough, you may be able to take advantage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, instead of Chapter 7. Chapter 7 is the traditional "liquidation" bankruptcy, which will involve selling off your assets. In contrast, Chapter 13 is a repayment bankruptcy. You will have to pay off a portion of your debt, but you can hang onto your property.
If you are trying to avoid ruining your credit by filing for bankruptcy, you should consult a credit counselor before you are in too deep. Research the internet to find a reputable credit counseling company. When you find a good company, they will help find ways to reduce expenses, work on a manageable budget, and pay-off all you debt without filing bankruptcy.
Do not make the assumption that every dollar of debt will be disscharged in a Chapter 7 case. Secured debt obligations may require you to reaffirm them with the creditor, and other debts may not be dischargeable at all. Child support and alimony, for example, is not affected by Chapter 7.
Now that you have been provided with some useful information about personal bankruptcy, carefully weigh your options. Making this decision is going to impact your life for several years. If you have considered all of the other options, carefully follow the correct steps to file for personal bankruptcy and prepare for what changes it will bring.