The decision to file bankruptcy is difficult, but sometimes unavoidable. The best way to approach the situation is with an education about the process. In the following article you can pick up some handy advice based on the experiences of other people who have had to deal with the bankruptcy process.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will have to do your best to build your credit all over again. Do not be tempted to allow your credit account to have nothing on it, so it will appear to be fresh. This will send a bad signal to anyone who is looking at it.
A critical tip in filing personal bankruptcy is to steer clear of making payments to creditors, in advance of filing a petition, in an attempt to satisfy individual debts in full outside of bankruptcy court. Payments to family members and creditors made within defined periods of time prior to a bankruptcy filing can be voided and can jeopardize the chances of receiving a discharge of all debts in the case.
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.
Ask friends and family for moral support. They may not be able to lend you money, but you should be able to tell them about your hardships and to lean on them. It can be hard to talk about money with the people close to you. You will likely find that they are much more supportive than you expect.
Do not feel embarrassed or guilty about filling for bankruptcy. Many people fear that they will be treated as second class citizens after they declare themselves bankrupt. However, this is not the case. The option to ‘declare yourself bankrupt’ was developed by the government to enable assistance to be given to people who find themselves overwhelmed with debt and in need of a fresh start. Last year, over 1.4 million people filed bankruptcy and the majority of them are now living a happy, debt-free life. So, there is no need for you to be afraid of bankruptcy stigma.
Be fully educated about the rules of bankruptcy. If the courts were to find that you have disregarded any of the rules in place, your petition could be dismissed. Laws prohibit picking and choosing some debts to pay off prior to filing for bankruptcy. Family members cannot be paid off within one year of filing and creditors are limited to ninety days.
Do some research. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 will eliminate the majority of your debt while Chapter 13 restructures it to give you time to pay it off. Each one has different rules on what assets you are allowed to keep. So, ask a lot of questions before you decide which one is the best fit for your situation.
Once you determined that you want to file for bankruptcy, it is important that you figure out which kind is best for you to file. For instance, with Chapter 7 most of your debts will be relieved, and you can keep certain aspects. With Chapter 13 your debt gets reconstructed, and you are given a certain amount of time to pay it off.
Explore all of the options available to you before you file for bankruptcy. Filling for bankruptcy can have some serious future implications. For instance, getting a mortgage application approved when you have previously been bankrupt will be tough to say the least. Therefore, you should thoroughly investigate all of the alternatives to bankruptcy. Perhaps you could borrow money from a family member or consolidate some of your debts.
Don’t wait too long to file bankruptcy if, you have to go that route. Many debtors spend years trying to deal with debt before they file. You can get free consultations with some attorneys, to find out about bankruptcy and your rights. They can suggest the best time to file, and may provide services like credit management.
If you are getting sued and filing for bankruptcy, you may need to buy some time for the summary judgment to come through. If this is the case, pay a filing fee to buy some time. Mail a letter to the opposing side stating “I dispute the validity of this debt.” That will buy you more time.
Many people look at bankruptcy as an opportunity to get out of paying off their debts and a good way to start over. But, keep in mind that bankruptcy is a serious decision, and one that should be carefully considered. Bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit for seven to ten years, and even if you think you can get by without good credit, there are hidden uses for good credit you may not know about. Insurance companies, landlords and even prospective employers usually do a credit check before doing business with you!
Don’t make the mistake of hesitating to file for bankruptcy because you think you won’t be able to file again and may need to save it for a worse financial situation. The laws vary from state to state, but you may file again after a certain period, usually two to eight years, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed. Of course, you won’t want to file again, but in case of job loss or a major illness, the opportunity is there if you need it.
Before you even consider filing for bankruptcy, familiarize yourself with the laws surrounding this process. For example, it is forbidden for an individual to transfer any assets away from the name of the filer within the twelve months preceding filing. Also, the filer can not increase their debt before filing.
While no one wants to go through bankruptcy, at times it cannot be avoided. Now that you have read this article, you have been exposed to some ideas, insights and advice from those who have gone down this road before. Learning from people who traveled down this road before can make your journey less stressful.