Deciding to file for bankruptcy is never easy, but it can be exactly the move you need to make to set yourself up for a more secure financial future. If you are considering filing ahead of the new year, when you submit the paperwork can impact what type of bankruptcy you are eligible for. Here’s what you should know before moving ahead.
How Timing Impacts Your Bankruptcy Options
The two most common types of private bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and 13. With Chapter 7, most of the debt is discharged within a matter of months. The drawback is that your assets may be liquidated to pay off creditors first. There are limits, set by each state, on how much you can earn to qualify for Chapter 7.
If your earnings exceed the limit, you can file for Chapter 13. With this model, you continue to pay off creditors following a more realistic plan for three to five years. The remainder of the debt is then discharged. While you have to wait longer for this, your assets are better protected.
To determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7, your financial history, covering the last six full months before the date of filing, is reviewed. Any money received, from cash gifts to your salary, is included.
What You Can Do to Enjoy the Holidays
To enjoy the holidays amid bankruptcy proceedings, create a budget to prioritize your needs. Maybe you can forgo the annual trip to the movie theater but keep your Christmas tree. You can also save money by organizing a “secret Santa” gift exchange instead of purchasing presents for everyone.
Consider hiring an attorney to handle the bankruptcy filing. They can review your case, determine your eligibility, and complete the paperwork. This takes away from your stress and lets you focus on enjoying time with family and friends.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, trust The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh in Ava, MO, to guide you through the process. They bring more than 20 years of experience to the table and have helped countless families regain their financial footing over the holidays. Find out more about his bankruptcy work online, or call (417) 683-2987 to schedule a consultation.