If you and your family have found yourselves buried in financial debt, one of the first things that come to mind is filing personal bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing may seem like a life preserver, but it has its drawbacks. Continue reading to learn more about filing personal bankruptcy, and to see if it makes sense for you.
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy, be certain not to transfer any of your belongings or valuables to another person. This includes taking your name off of joint bank accounts or other financial assets. The court will be looking for anything of value in order to repay creditors, and you will be asked under oath whether you have left anything out. If you do not tell the truth, you may be charged with perjury and could possibly spend time in jail. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
Many people think that they can save a lot of money by filing bankruptcy themselves and trying to handle their case without the aid of an attorney. This isn’t wise for several reasons. There are up to 50 pages of paperwork to fill out, filings and laws that you may not know about. An attorney will know how to handle your case and will surely save you money by negotiating with your creditors.
Do your homework. Filing for personal bankruptcy is a big decision. Do not file without first understanding all of the benefits, as well as risks, that are associated with filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will not eliminate all debts. Understand that debts related to child support, alimony, student loans and taxes cannot be discharged by filing for bankruptcy.
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy in the near future, don’t charge up your credit cards thinking that you won’t have to pay back the debt. In many states, there are rules about how much debt and what kind, may be discharged in a bankruptcy. For instance, if you make purchases for luxury items, such as an expensive new TV, within 6 months prior to filing, you may be obligated to pay that amount back. On the other hand, if you used your credit card to purchase groceries, or other necessities, the rules may be different. Be sure to ask your attorney for advice.
Keep a close eye on your case to ensure all of the information is correct when you use an attorney’s services to avoid problems. While an attorney can help you with paperwork, because they have multiple clients, it is possible for the attorney to send incorrect information to the courts. Double check everything needed to avoid delays and reduce the possibility of losing your case.
As you can probably see, there are quite a few things to think about before deciding on a bankruptcy filing. Assess your personal financial situation and the types of debts you have, because not all types of debt are able to be discharged. With a little bit of homework, you can find out whether personal bankruptcy is the right solution for you.