The sheer volume of information available on the topic of personal bankruptcy can leave those contemplating filing a petition, feeling overwhelmed and without hope. However, by taking some time to separate relevant facts from unnecessary discussion, it is possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of how bankruptcy protection can help you. By using the tips and ideas in this article, you will have what it takes to proceed confidently toward a fresh financial start.
Stay positive. It can be really hard to stay positive when you are filing for bankruptcy, but a positive outlook can make everything seem to run more smoothly. Being angry and upset will not change the reality of the situation, so try to make the most of things. You will, at least, be able to feel better.
Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time, since this will contribute to 35 percent of what is on your credit report. This looks good if you are trying to rebuild your credit after you have had to file for bankruptcy. Making on-time payments will increase your credit score.
If you can, keep some of your debt out of your bankruptcy. Work on paying down this debt yourself, or especially if you can negotiate a lower rate or new payment terms. This will help to preserve your credit rating, to some extent, because bankruptcy itself will do a number on your score.
A great tip for filers of personal bankruptcy is to thoroughly prepare for the initial meeting with the bankruptcy attorney. By assembling every piece of relevant financial documentation, including mortgage documents, auto finance agreements, credit card statements, tax records and bank statements, you can be certain that your bankruptcy petition and supporting documentation includes all information required for a comprehensive filing.
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.
Bankruptcy laws vary from state to state. Play it safe and hire an attorney that works in your own state to be sure that the correct laws are followed. Some lawyers are better than others, so be sure to select one that is qualified to handle your case. It could make a big difference in how smoothly things go and the end result.
Look at all of the options. Although bankruptcy can be highly damaging to your credit score when you file, it may actually help you in the future. It will remain on your credit report for ten years, but if filing for bankruptcy helps you overcome your debt now, it will be better for your credit score than making late credit card and loan payments for the rest of your life.
Gambling losses are another thing that must be listed on your application for bankruptcy. Any monies lost twelve months prior to filing must be disclosed. Failure to disclose could cause you to face perjury charges. If you are found guilty, you could face time in jail and dismissal of your petition.
Do not assume that declaring bankruptcy will leave you homeless, or without transportation. Depending on how your bankruptcy is set up, you may be able to stay in your home or keep your automobile, so long as you continue to make payments on your car loan or your mortgage.
Make sure to comply with the educational requirements for bankruptcy. You have to meet with an approved credit counselor within the six months before you file. You have to take an approved financial management course. If you don’t take these courses in time, the court will dismiss your bankruptcy.
Prior to filing for personal bankruptcy, take care to not make withdrawals from your retirement accounts, IRA’s, or 401k’s. You may think you are doing the right thing to free up money, but often these types of accounts are protected from any bankruptcy proceedings. If you withdrawal the money, you may be opening it up to any bankruptcy action.
Try to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather, than Chapter 7 if you can possibly do so. Chapter 13 is less detrimental to your credit because, you pay some of your debts back via a structured repayment plan rather than liquidating assets. In addition, you don’t risk losing property in a Chapter 13 case.
Do not allow future creditors to charge you ridiculously high interest rates due to a past bankruptcy. If it has been more than two years since the bankruptcy and you have been doing well since you filed, then you are eligible to receive a loan at whatever the going interest rate is at the time.
When selecting a lawyer for personal bankruptcy, do not be afraid to ask questions. Bring a written list to your first consultation so that none of your questions go unanswered. It can be intimidating to speak to an attorney, and having a list will ascertain that you don’t forget to ask certain questions.
You trust your lawyer, but it is your responsibility to educate yourself as well. The complexities of bankruptcy law will be familiar to your lawyer. However, you will be better able to work for your own advantages if you have some basic understanding of what is happening. It might feel nice to leave everything to your attorney in the short run, but doing so could have long-term financial consequences.
In recent years, the topic of personal bankruptcy has taken on increased significance, as a result of the financial crisis. An incredible amount of discussion and debate has centered around how, when and why an individual consumer might consider filing a bankruptcy petition. Investing the time necessary to sift through the noise and educate yourself about the process can be the smartest financial decision you can make. Apply the concepts in this article to your circumstances, and you may be able to begin anew with a clean financial slate.