Filing for Bankruptcy? 4 Tips to Take to Heart

Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

If you’re struggling to pay off your debts and stay current on your bills, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy.

Although bankruptcy doesn’t erase all debts, it can remove the burden of some of your debts so that you can get a financial fresh start.

Bankruptcy is a complicated process, though, so you should know what to expect before you file.

Here are four tips to keep in mind if you’re planning to file for bankruptcy:

Filing for Bankruptcy? 4 Tips to Take to Heart

  1. Start Gathering Documents Immediately

    When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be required to provide many important financial documents. This includes bank statements, tax records, proof of income, collection letters, a mortgage statement, and any other papers that contain information about your financial situation. Make sure you have everything prepared well in advance so that there are no delays or mistakes.

  2. Work With a Bankruptcy Attorney

    If you can afford a lawyer, working with one will make the experience much easier. Filing for bankruptcy is a lengthy legal process, and your bankruptcy attorney will help you fill out the forms and gather the right documentation. They’ll tell you what to do and what not to do in regards to making payments while filing. You can also refer calls from collection agencies to your attorney.

  3. Don’t Make Major Financial Moves

    Your financial choices shortly before and during your bankruptcy will be watched closely. If your creditors think you’re trying to accrue more debt before bankruptcy, they may object to the bankruptcy discharge. If the court thinks you’re attempting to conceal assets, you may end up in serious legal trouble. Don’t acquire new debt, withdraw retirement funds, or transfer assets without consulting a bankruptcy attorney.

  4. Begin Your Credit Counseling Early

    In most cases, people who file for bankruptcy must complete a credit counseling course. These courses can be taken online, and you’re usually given several weeks to complete it. However, waiting until the last minute could delay your case. Filing for bankruptcy can be time-consuming, but make sure you find time to take the credit counseling course as early as possible. The cost for the course ranges from $20 to $100 depending on your location, but most cost around $25.

Bankruptcy is not an easy experience, but being prepared will reduce stress as you file. Make sure to stay organized and look one step ahead to reduce the delays and help the proceedings go smoothly. Most importantly, if you have any questions, speak with an attorney.

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