If you’ve reached a point where you can no longer pay your debts, you need to file for bankruptcy protection. Postponing the process will only put you deeper in debt and extend your wait to be debt-free. Once you file for bankruptcy, collections attempts will cease and your creditors will stop contacting you. Here are some steps that will help you avoid mistakes once you file for bankruptcy protection.
File Your Taxes
If you think you’ll be filing for bankruptcy protection, it’s crucial that you file your taxes first. Your taxes are part of the way that the court will determine your ability to repay your debt. If you haven’t filed your taxes, you may end up being ordered to repay at least a portion of your debt. However, if you’ve filed your taxes every year, the court will have a clear picture of your finances, which will help the courts reach a fair and amicable decision in your bankruptcy request
Work With a Trustee
If you’re going to file for bankruptcy, be sure to work with a licensed insolvency trustee. The last thing you want to do is try to work through the details of a bankruptcy on your own. A trustee will help you understand the process and the options that are available to you. They’ll also sit down and help you put your documents together so that you have everything you’ll need when you file for bankruptcy protection.
File the Proper Paperwork
If you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy, ensure that you file all the proper paperwork, and that it’s filled out correctly. Mistakes on your paperwork, or failing to file the appropriate papers can delay your case. Not only that, but it can leave you owing debt that should have been discharged. This is particularly true if you fail to include all your debt in the application for bankruptcy. Debts can only be discharged if they’re included in the request for bankruptcy. Failure to include them could leave you owing debt, even after your bankruptcy is settled.
Respond to Creditor Notices
If you’re going to be filing for bankruptcy, make sure you respond to all creditor notices. You may think that you don’t need to respond to creditors since you’ll be filing for bankruptcy, but that’s simply not the case. Creditors won’t know you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy protection, unless you tell them. Unfortunately, that means your creditors could continue with collection efforts while you’re filing your paperwork. If that happens, your creditors may repossess property that you would have been allowed to keep through the bankruptcy.
Going through financial hardships can be one of the most frustrating and frightening times in a person’s life. One of the options that people have to save as much of their financial life as possible is to file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy comes with consequences, so just like anything else in life, filing for bankruptcy must be planned and timed carefully. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration before meeting with an attorney and filing official papers. To learn more about these factors, read on to learn when you should begin to declare bankruptcy.
After a Mortgage Renegotiation Attempt
One of the ways people attempt to save their homes from being foreclosed on is to file for bankruptcy. Although this is certainly a good route to take, it is always recommended for you to first attempt to renegotiate your mortgage with your lender. This is because once you have filed for bankruptcy, your lender is likely not going to want or be able to negotiate your mortgage.
After You Have Met With a Bankruptcy Attorney
Although you can technically file for bankruptcy on your own, it is never advised to do so. No matter the type of bankruptcy you are planning to file, it can be extremely difficult to go through the process alone. That is why you should always consult with a bankruptcy attorney first before declaring bankruptcy.
Before Promotions and Other Income Increases
If you are expecting a promotion at work or simply expecting to come into some additional money soon, it is important for you to file for bankruptcy before that occurs. That is because the courts are going to use what is called a “means test.” This is basically a look into your current income, which will then be used to determine the type of bankruptcy you are allowed to file. If your income is too high, you may only be allowed to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy wipes out only a certain amount of your debts, and the courts will demand that you pay a portion of it back.
After New Debts
Are you expecting new debts to come in? Things such as an upcoming medical surgery should be taken into consideration. If this is the case, you may want to wait until they have settled before you file for bankruptcy. This is because bankruptcy, such as chapter 7, only allows you to wipe out debts that were present when you began to file your papers.
Communicate With Your Attorney
As you can see from the information above, there are a number of factors that you should consider before filing for bankruptcy. If you are unsure of your current state of financial affairs, it is important to communicate with your attorney as they may be able to provide you with the best possible route for you to take.
When to File
You should file for bankruptcy when you have an overwhelming amount of debts to settle without any way to pay them. Talking to an attorney is your best bet. Be sure to be able to produce bank statements and other important documents for your attorney to proceed with your case. Be sure to do everything that your attorney asks of you. That way, your court proceedings will take a lot less time and you will get the compensation you deserve.