If you are thinking about bankruptcy and haven't made a final decision about it yet, it's important that you know what is involved. If you are not a bankruptcy lawyer, you, more than likely, have not dealt much with bankruptcy law. Here are some quick tips to help you understand what you may go through.
Laws regarding bankruptcy vary by state, so you need to find a lawyer that can walk you through the entire process and help keep your rights protected. In several cases, you can keep your car and your home, but it's your attorney that will tell you what rights you have, what you can keep, and what you will need to surrender.
Do your research before choosing a bankruptcy lawyer. Take advantage of free consultations, and meet with several different lawyers before picking one to work with. Make sure that you choose an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about the local laws, the preferences of trustees, and has a good working relationship with local judges.
After your bankruptcy is finalized, you should begin re-building your credit by, obtaining copies of your credit reports. Your reports may show that you filed for bankruptcy, but it can take a lot of time for the credit bureaus to remove the original debt from your credit history. Check your reports over thoroughly, if there is debt showing that was discharged in a bankruptcy, you can contact the credit bureaus online, or in writing and request that the information be deleted.
Don't charge up your credit cards knowing you are going to file bankruptcy, if you have already started the process or made recent purchases for luxury items. While this type of purchasing is still part of your "�debt,' it is likely that you'll still be responsible for repaying the money for those items. In most cases, what you are attempting to do is obvious.
If you have financial issues due to something like a drinking, drug, or gambling problem, get help instead of immediately filing for bankruptcy. You will continue to have financial issues if you have serious problems with, spending lots of money on these items. Try getting into counseling as soon as you can, to better your situation.
Start taking calls from bill collectors. You may have been avoiding calls from bill collectors, but if you are filing bankruptcy you may need to speak to them. You need to have all of your debts laid out so that your lawyer can get to work involving them in your case. If you don't include a debt, it will not be discharged, and you will still have to pay it.
File at exactly the right time to maximize the effect of your bankruptcy. When it comes to filing for personal bankruptcy, timing is everything. There are times when you should file as soon as you can, but in some other situations it may be best to wait for the worst to be over. Discuss your specific situation with a bankruptcy lawyer to find out when would be your best time to file.
You can change your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments in certain situations. While your payment amount will be set up for 3 to 5 years, if there is a change in your situation, you may be able to amend it. A decrease in income, such as, a pay cut, or a sudden increase in expenses, such as, a medical condition, may allow you to amend your monthly payments. You may be able to reduce the payment accordingly, or in some cases, suspend your payment for a certain amount of time.
Do not cosign on any type of loan during or after your bankruptcy. Because you cannot file for bankruptcy again for many years, you will be on the hook for the debt if the person for whom you are cosigning is unable to meet his or her financial obligation. You must do whatever you can to keep your record clean.
Make sure that you fully understand the implications of declaring yourself bankrupt. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will find it difficult to secure any credit at all. While you may not see that consequence as a huge problem at the moment, if you wish to purchase a home in the future, or lease an automobile, you are probably going to need the credit.
You should now be better prepared for the plethora of decisions that you will face, if you have decided to go through with bankruptcy. Use all of the tips and advice that were included in this article, to help walk you through the long process of filing personal bankruptcy, the best way possible.