If you’re struggling to make ends meet, filing bankruptcy may seem like a last resort. However, trying to resolve the situation on your own first could end up threatening your family’s financial security even more. For example, some people cash in their retirement savings to pay off debt. Since such accounts are usually protected from creditors, though—and draining them will only serve to jeopardize your financial future once you retire—discharging applicable debts may be a much smarter move. In other words, it’s wise to call a bankruptcy attorney sooner rather than later to discuss various debt relief strategies. And when you do, here’s what you should ask.
3 Questions to Ask a Bankruptcy Attorney Right Away
1. How Should I Prepare For Filing?
The financial transactions you make in the months leading up to bankruptcy could impact the proceedings. For example, if you spend more than $1,150 on luxury goods or services within 60 days of filing, such debts may not be dischargeable. Likewise, if you prioritize paying back some creditors but not others, the trustee can recover such payments and redistribute them among all lenders. Therefore, it’s crucial to start preparing for the proceedings months in advance. Thankfully, a bankruptcy attorney can explain exactly what you should—and should not—do.
2. What Will Happen After Applicable Debts Are Discharged?
Make sure you understand all the ramifications of discharging debt before filing your petition. For example, are you prepared to take steps to rebuild your credit slowly but surely? And, are you okay with not financing any major purchases like real estate and vehicles for at least a year or two after filing?
3. Should I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 discharges applicable debts immediately, while Chapter 13 essentially reorganizes them, thereby requiring the petitioner to implement a three- to five-year repayment plan. During your first meeting, a lawyer can evaluate your financial situation to determine which you might qualify for. If you happen to be eligible for both, make sure to discuss the pros and cons of each before choosing one.
If you can barely make the minimum monthly payments on all the accounts you owe, turn to the Law Office of James B. Mallory III to explore your debt relief options. Located in Statesville, NC, this firm is led by a seasoned bankruptcy attorney who has nearly three decades of experience in the legal field. A federally recognized debt relief agency, they’re proud to help clients regain their financial footing. To request an initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney on their team, call (704) 872-1911 or reach out online.