Bankruptcy is not in any way a quick fix for making poor financial decisions in the past. It is a decision that will affect your financial well-being for, at least, the next ten years. As such, the decision should not be taken lightly. Use the following tips to plan for the process and decide if it is truly, the only solution to your situation.
Don’t let bill collectors convince you that you are ineligible for bankruptcy. Debt collectors do not want you to file bankruptcy under any circumstances because it means that they will not get the money you owe them, so they will always tell you that you do not qualify when given the chance. The only way to truly know if you qualify is to do some research or speak with a bankruptcy attorney.
Work with a reputable credit counseling agency. If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, work with a credit counseling agency that has the approval of the US Trustee’s Office. They will provide a 90 minute mandatory counseling session, after which they will determine if you qualify for a Debt Management Plan. They will also issue you with a certificate that allows you to file for bankruptcy.
Before you meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, make a complete list of all of your assets. Any assets that are not listed in your bankruptcy case can be seized to pay for your debts. Your lawyer needs to see a list of every asset you own to properly advise you on which type of bankruptcy is best for your unique situation, as well as, to protect as many of your assets, as possible.
Be fully educated about the rules of bankruptcy. If the courts were to find that you have disregarded any of the rules in place, your petition could be dismissed. Laws prohibit picking and choosing some debts to pay off prior to filing for bankruptcy. Family members cannot be paid off within one year of filing and creditors are limited to ninety days.
Personal bankruptcy should be a last resort if you’re in insolvency. This is due to the fact that it will take years for the bankruptcy to work off your credit report and new law changes make it harder to escape paying the debts off. In other words, you could have bankruptcy on your credit report and still be paying off several of your debts.
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.
Many people do not know that student loans are not dischargeable debt under bankruptcy laws. Do not go into your bankruptcy thinking that your student loans will be discharged, because only in cases of extreme hardship are they considered. If the job you received from pursuing your degree will never allow you to pay off your debt, you may have a chance, but it is highly unlikely.
When you meet with your lawyer, bring along all of your financial records. Your lawyer will want to see loan documents from your car and house. They will also want to see your credit card bills and any other financial documents you have that show you are in debt. You will also need to bring any documents showing your assets.
If you are thinking that bankruptcy might be something you have to do, keep in mind that there are free resources online that you can review that do not cost anything more than time. The federal government’s justice department website has a number of educational resources that can answer many questions for you. This saves you time and money with a lawyer.
Be prepared to see your name in the news when you file bankruptcy. While the story isn’t going to make front-page headlines unless you are a very prominent or famous figure, all bankruptcy cases are public record. As such, they are often reported in a section of local newspapers. The good part is that not everyone reads that part.
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.
Read through the tips listed here as many times as it is necessary to fully understand what you need to know about bankruptcy. You should feel much more educated than you were prior to finding this article, making you better equipped to handle the magnitude of the decision you are facing.