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.
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.
Find out the real reason you are filing for bankruptcy. What happened in your life that brought you to this place? What do you need to do to make sure that you can move on? What actions do you need to take before you can be sure that this will never happen again?
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.
If you are trying to rebuild credit after filing for bankruptcy, you should apply for secured credit cards. These can help you establish credit, but you have to make sure that they are one of the companies that report to the major credit bureaus, since all of them do not.
An important tip regarding personal bankruptcy is, gaining an understanding of what sorts of debts can, and cannot be included in a discharge. By realizing that some obligations are not considered dischargeable under the bankruptcy code, it is possible to make a wiser, more informed choice when it comes to making the decision to file a petition.
Seek advice from a debt consultant before you file for bankruptcy. Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not something that you should do without first seeking advice from a financial expert. This is because filing for bankruptcy will seriously hinder your ability to secure credit in the coming years.
Before meeting with a lawyer, start compiling all of the documentation and paperwork you will need to provide an accurate picture of your finances. Gather six months’ worth of pay stubs, bank statements, bills and credit card statements. Create a list of property and assets that you own. Having this entire information ready from the beginning can save you trouble when it’s time to file.
Know what debts can be forgiven. You may hear that you have to pay a certain debt, and that it cannot be discharged, but that information will usually be coming from a bill collector. Student loans and child support and a few other debts cannot be discharged, but most others can.
Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure that you sort out your taxes. When you file, the bankruptcy trustee will need to see your tax return from last year and possibly even your tax return from two years ago. If you have these documents ready, your bankruptcy attorney will be able to ensure that the whole bankruptcy process is carried out as quickly as possible.
If you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but realize that you are unable to meet your payment obligations, you may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. To qualify for the conversion, you must never have converted your bankruptcy before and also undergo a financial evaluation. The laws surrounding this process are always changing, so be sure to talk with an attorney who can help you navigate this process.
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.