Filing for personal bankruptcy may seem like the best way to deal with a mountain of debt. However, if the debt is due to uncontrolled spending, the problem will not go away, just because of a bankruptcy filing. Continue reading for some insights on personal bankruptcy to help educate yourself on what this legal tool can and cannot do.
If you have had to file for bankruptcy, you should assess the reasons why to make sure that you do not end up in that situation again. For example, if it was for paying too many bills late, you can set up automatic payments so you will not have that problem in the future.
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.
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 credit card 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.
A useful tip for those thinking about using personal bankruptcy as a way out of their financial difficulties is to exercise great care when choosing an attorney. By selecting a practitioner who specializes in bankruptcy and who has handled a large number of such cases, it is possible to ensure the very best outcome and the greatest likelihood of forging a positive financial future.
Do not jump the gun, and file for bankruptcy too early. Filing at the wrong time could leave you with more debt than you had before. It also means that you will not be able to file against those debts. All debt must be listed on your initial application for it to be included.
You need to educate yourself on the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves the elimination of all of your debt. Your former ties with creditors will cease to exist. Chapter 13, on the other hand, involves a five year payment period before any remaining debts are cancelled. Look into both types of bankruptcy before deciding which one would suit your particular needs.
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.
Shop around for a bankruptcy lawyer. Make use of free consultations, if a law firm offers them. Be sure to check out the attorney's track record. For other kinds of bankruptcy advisers, do the same and be sure they're licensed if your state requires it. Don't ever pay debt negotiation firms any cash up-front and be sure you can pay based on the result. Don't hire someone who doesn't have good references or makes you feel uncomfortable.
Be safe and hire an attorney for help. There are many websites these days that claim to walk you through the process of filing bankruptcy on your own. It is cheaper than using an attorney to get you through this time, but it leaves a lot of room for error. This is not something that you want to take chances on.
A great personal bankruptcy tip is to consider what kind of bankruptcy you'd like to go for. In general, chapter 13 is much better because it doesn't taint your credit report. It allows you to hold on to most of your belongings. Chapter 7 is much more extreme to file for.
See what your options are. Just because you stop receiving bills when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, doesn't mean you are off the hook for paying them. Although you don't have to pay every bill if you cannot afford to, it is especially important to keep up with payments for any possessions you hope to keep, like your home and auto.
Clean up your credit record after ten years. When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it remains on your credit report for ten years. However, the credit bureaus are not required to remove the information. In order to get rid of the bankruptcy record, write a letter to the credit reporting agencies, along with a copy of your discharge notice. Follow this up with a phone call to make sure that they have removed the bankruptcy record.
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.
Look into Chapter 12 bankruptcy if you are a family farmer. The purpose of this chapter is to reorganize the farming business so that it can remain operative. Chapter 12 bankruptcy can be filed by single-owner farms or partnerships. Be aware that there is a ceiling on the amount of debt for these filings.
Reading the tips in this article, you ,hopefully feel more able to handle the bankruptcy process, so that you can move forward in your life. Take control of your life once again, and make decisions that are well-informed. This way, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel, much quicker.