Personal Bankruptcy: Do I Have Any Choices?

Everyone is suffering from the bad economy. When the economy tanks, many people lose jobs and accumulate debt. Debts usually end in bankruptcy which isn’t good. If you, a friend, or a loved one is in financial trouble, this article could help decide if bankruptcy is the right option.

If you are truly faced with bankruptcy, avoid blowing your savings or retirement money, trying to pay off debts. Unless there are no other options, your retirement funds should never be touched. Though you may need to use a bit of your savings, try hard to maintain some of your reserves so that you have some degree of flexibility going forward.

Don’t hesitate to give your attorney a heads-up about something she has missed. Chances are that you may have forgotten to tell them about certain specifics that may be important to your filing. Speak up, because it is your future on the line.

Try to find a bankruptcy attorney who is personally recommended, rather than off the Internet, or out of the yellow pages. There are way too many people ready to take advantage of financially-strapped individuals, so you must ascertain that your attorney can be trusted.

If you are planning to file for bankruptcy, be sure to learn what types of assets you will be able to keep and which can be seized. The Bankruptcy Code provides a listing of the various asset types that are not included in the bankruptcy process. You need to compare this list to the assets you own so that you are not surprised when certain assets are seized. Failure to do this could cause some ugly surprises down the road when you discover that your valuables must be seized.

Be brutally honest when you file for bankruptcy, as hiding assets or liabilities, will only come back to haunt you. When you file make sure whoever is handling the process is fully aware of each and every financial detail. Keeping secrets or trying to outsmart everyone is not a wise move.

Do not despair, as it’s not the end of the world. Filing for bankruptcy may allow you to get back property, such as an auto, jewelry, or electronics, that you may have had repossessed. If you have property repossessed less than ninety days prior to filing your bankruptcy, you may be able to get it back. Get help from your lawyer to file a petition so you can get your items back.

Find a bankruptcy attorney who offers free consultations, and ask lots of questions. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, and you should take advantage of the chance to interview multiple practitioners. Do not make any final decisions until every question you have has been answered. You don’t need to decide what to do right away. Consulting with several attorneys will also help you find someone you trust.

Since it is possible to obtain a free consultation from the majority of bankruptcy lawyers, meet with a few of them prior to choosing one. Be certain that the person you meet with is really a lawyer. Avoid meeting with paralegals or legal assistants because they cannot give you legal advice. Look for a lawyer who you can relate to.

Always protect your house. It isn’t inevitable that you will lose your house when you file for bankruptcy. If your home has significantly depreciated in value or you’ve taken a second mortgage, it may be possible to retain possession of your home. It can be worthwhile to understand the homestead exemption law to see if you qualify to keep living in your home under the financial threshold requirements.

Spend time with loved ones. Bankruptcy can take a toll on you. Not only is the process long, but it can be stressful, and many people feel ashamed when they do it. Avoidance of friends of family during the process is not uncommon. Self-imposed isolation can make you feel worse about it and can cause depression. Spend time with your family, talk about your problems and find things that relax you.

If you are worried about your car being repossessed, consult your attorney about trying to get the monthly payment lowered. Filing under Chapter 7 is usually a good way to lower your payments. You must have bought the car 910 or more days before you filed, the loan must have a high interest rate, and you have to have a secure and steady working history in order for that to work.

Make sure you consider implications of bankruptcy before filing for Chapter 7. When filing Chapter 7, you are not legally responsible for the debts in your name. Although filing for bankruptcy excludes your from financial responsibility, co-signers will still be expected to pay the loan amount in full.

Take action when the time is right. When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, your timing is important. In some cases, it is better to file immediately, while other situations benefit from trying to get certain finances in better shape before filing. Discuss your particular situation with your bankruptcy attorney to determine the best time to file.

Know the bankruptcy code backwards and forwards before filing. For instance, you are not allowed to move assets from your name to someone else’s for a year before you file. Additionally, it is against the law for any filer to boost up the debt amount they carry on any credit cards just before filing.

The economy is showing signs of recovery, but unemployment and underemployment are still high. If you lack a steady job, you still may be able to prevent the need for a bankruptcy filing. Hopefully, after reading this article, you picked up on a few of the things that will help you avoid filing for bankruptcy. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope for you, good luck.

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