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.
Make sure that you know which,or your assets you will lose when you declare yourself bankrupt. While filing for bankruptcy may seem like a great way to clear the slate and start again with your finances, you need to understand that most of your assets will be seized during the process.
Be aware that most bankruptcy lawyers will offer a free consultation. Take advantage of that and meet with several of them. If it’s handled in 15 minutes or less, if you meet with the assistant instead of the lawyer, or if you’re pressured to sign up immediately in person or by phone, go somewhere else.
Educate yourself about the bankruptcy process. You can increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process by conversing with a bankruptcy attorney or by carrying out independent research on the internet. Whichever method you chose to increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process, it is vital that you comprehend how filing for bankruptcy will affect yourself, your family and your creditors.
Be prepared to complete some mandatory courses. When you file for bankruptcy, the court will require that you successfully complete two mandatory courses, a credit counseling course and a debtor education course. Both of these courses can be completed online for a nominal fee, and while they are not too difficult, it is important that you are prepared for them.
If you filed for bankruptcy, and now would like to restore your credit, be careful on how you do this. There are some legitimate companies out there that do want to help, and will. However, there are also very many companies that are just waiting to take advantage of people who are in a tough situation. So do your research very carefully, when trying to hire one of these companies.
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.
Bankruptcy can get expensive, especially since you are considering it because you have no money! There are attorney fees, filing fees and other fees to consider. When interviewing prospective bankruptcy attorneys, try to find one who is willing to set up a payment schedule for his fees. There are some who will do this. Some will require some sort of collateral to guarantee payment. Before you agree to this, be sure the terms are clear and how re-payment will be made so that you don’t risk losing something valuable.
Pay as much attention as possible to the information in your required education classes. Remember that your goal is to avoid having to file for bankruptcy again in the future. If you learn better financial management skills, you’ll be able to use your bankruptcy as an opportunity to start over.
Make sure that filing for personal bankruptcy is the only option available to you. Some people are able to fix their debt with credit counseling. This is a decision that will make a large impact on your everyday life, so don’t just hastily jump into filing for bankruptcy, know what you are doing!
Be honest with yourself; however, honesty in filing is also paramount. You must not try to hide side income or assets that you do not want the courts assessing. This will fail and leave you in a position of having a denied petition from the court. In addition, you can lose your rights to re-file on the debts you petitioned at the time.
Many times people feel forced into filing for bankruptcy. They do not know that debt settlements are available. If your debt is much greater than your income, you could be a candidate for a debt settlement. Many times credit counselors can negotiate with banks and credit card companies to reduce the amount you owe, so that you do not have to file bankruptcy.
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.