Filing bankruptcy is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever be faced with. Once you decide to move forward, it’s crucial that you know how to properly navigate the process to successfully achieve debt relief. Making certain mistakes could delay your case or prevent you from getting the fresh start you’re seeking. As such, bankruptcy lawyers generally recommend following the tips below to ensure a favorable outcome.
Be transparent with your bankruptcy lawyer.
A bankruptcy lawyer can offer valuable insight into the filing process and help you adhere to the correct procedures. However, they’ll only be able to provide effective representation if you’re completely forthcoming with them about your financial situation. Answer their questions honestly and inform them of all your debts and income, any inheritances you expect to receive, the property you’re entitled to after a divorce, and judgment benefits you’re owed. This will allow them to advise you accordingly.
Explore your filing options.
Debtors may choose to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depending on their unique circumstances. It’s best to go over each of these options thoroughly with your bankruptcy lawyer to determine what you qualify for and which will benefit you the most. Filing the wrong chapter can have unintended consequences or lead to a dismissal of your case.
Incur more debt before filing.
Typically, it’s required that you stop using all credit cards at least 90 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. If you max out your balances or take out a loan right before filing, the court may consider your petition to be in bad faith. If they believe you incurred more debt without any intention of paying it back, you could be charged with fraud and it’s likely your debts won’t be discharged.
Attempt to hide assets.
Everything you own must be disclosed when filing for bankruptcy. Many debtors are concerned about losing their assets and attempt to hide them in various ways. This can be viewed as fraud, make you subject to criminal penalties, and result in the court denying your case. Don’t try to sell or transfer your cars, home, or other property into someone else’s name or deposit money into your child’s bank account. In most cases, exemptions will allow you to keep most, if not all, of your equity and your property.
If you’re ready to regain control of your finances, turn to the bankruptcy lawyers at Watson Law Firm of Harrison for help. They’ll guide you through the bankruptcy process from beginning to end to ensure your proceedings go as smoothly as possible. Backed by more than 35 years of experience, they’ve represented countless Boone County, AR, residents in both Chapter 7 and 13 cases. Call (870) 704-4037 to schedule a consultation, or visit them online to learn more about their services.