If you are thinking about bankruptcy and haven’t made a final decision about it yet, it’s important that you know what is involved. If you are not a bankruptcy lawyer, you, more than likely, have not dealt much with bankruptcy law. Here are some quick tips to help you understand what you may go through.
If you’ve considered the pros and cons involved with choosing bankruptcy, and you feel that this is the only option you have left, be sure to consider all the personal bankruptcy laws. Don’t just sit back for the ride; be sure to work together with your lawyer so that you can get the best outcome possible.
You are going to get found out and get in trouble if you don’t disclose all your assets, so be totally honest from the beginning. Whomever you plan to use should know a lot about the finances that you have, both the good and the bad. Don’t hold anything back and formulate a smart strategy to deal with the reality you are facing.
Prescreen any bankruptcy lawyer before hiring one. Because bankruptcy is an every-growing area of law that attracts new lawyers all the time, you are likely to encounter many new lawyers who do not have much experience. You can check any bankruptcy lawyer’s credentials online and see if they have any disciplinary actions on their record for improper filings or practices. You are also likely to find client ratings. In the matter of choosing a lawyer, one with experience and a positive record is always best.
When you do meet with a lawyer make sure that they answer all of your questions and that they do not charge you for consultation alone. You can meet with a few lawyers before deciding on one. Most lawyers provide a free initial consultation. Make a decision when all your concerns and questions have been addressed well by one lawyer in particular. You do not have to give them your decision right after the consultation. You can take your time and check out several attorneys before making your final selection.
Hire a lawyer if you plan on filing for bankruptcy. You might not understand all of the various aspects to filing for bankruptcy. A personal bankruptcy attorney can help and guide you along through the bankruptcy process.
Remember that certain kinds of debt won’t be discharged even after you have filed for bankruptcy. If you have outstanding student loans, owe child or spousal support, a divorce settlement agreement, or unpaid taxes, you will still be liable for these debts. Also, if you forget to list certain debts on your court documents, you won’t be able to add them in the future.
Consider seeking advice in an online forum before you make any permanent decisions regarding personal bankruptcy. From there, you will see many people who long ago went through what you are now facing. It can give you a great perspective to help avoid making their same mistakes, and learning their lessons without first suffering those consequences.
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, you may want to look into other options. Remember, when you file for bankruptcy, you are greatly hurting your credit score, which in turn, can prohibit you from buying a house, car, and other big purchases. Consider safer, alternative methods first, such as consumer credit counseling.
The best thing you can do when filing for bankruptcy is to hire an attorney. In addition to providing you a free consultation, an attorney takes care of handling all the necessary paperwork in the appropriate time frame and deals with creditors for you throughout the process. An attorney just makes the whole process easier. Even though they can be expensive, bankruptcy lawyers are invaluable during the bankruptcy process.
Do not hide assets while you are preparing to go through a bankruptcy. It may be tempting to take a home and/or other property and place it in a spouse’s name, but if you get caught doing that you will face charges for fraud. The penalties being jail time and/or fines.
When you file for bankruptcy, remember to include all credit and debit accounts. You should even include those credit cards that do not have a balance. Some people leave these out because they wish to keep these accounts open. In addition, you need to include all the information about any auto loans that you may have.
If you are over the age of 55 and filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. In fact, this age bracket is the most likely to file. Luckily, retirement savings held in retirement accounts and IRAs are not in danger of being depleted in bankruptcy filings under one million dollars.
A better understanding of what happens during bankruptcy is a good idea before you decide to file. By knowing what to expect, you can make a better decision about what choice is right for you. Hopefully, the tips laid out here can help you understand the process better, so that you know what to do.