Important Dos And Do Nots When Filing Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a good solution for those that find they cannot pay their bills due to a large amount of debt. However, the process is not as simple as it may seem at first. There are many steps you should take, and some you should avoid, to give you the best chance of discharging your debt.
The Do’s of Filing Bankruptcy
There are some things to keep in mind when filing bankruptcy. The most important things to do are as follows:
- Speak to a lawyer: You will find there are many people that will offer their help when you are filing bankruptcy, but they do not all have the legal expertise the process requires. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer before you file, and they will provide the sound advice you need.
- Prepare for meeting with your lawyer: Your attorney will need a lot of information about your finances, income, debt, savings accounts, and more. Bring this information with you when you meet with your lawyer, as well as your federal income tax return.
- Remain honest throughout the process: When signing the bankruptcy petition, you must declare the information you provided within it is true and accurate. If you are dishonest and the court or bankruptcy trustee learns of it, you may not have your debt discharged or worse, you may be charged with fraud.
The Do Not’s of Filing Bankruptcy
Just as there are important things you should do when filing bankruptcy, there are also some things you should not do. These include:
- Do not take on more debt: If you rack up a lot of debt just before filing, the court may assume that you took it on irresponsibly, knowing you would not have to pay it back. A judge may decide you are still responsible for that debt, or may deny your bankruptcy altogether.
- Do not hide property: Again, it is critical that you remain honest, and that means providing full disclosure about your assets as well as your debts. Hiding property may be considered fraud by the court, and will hurt your case.
- Do not increase your income: It may seem logical to get another job or work more hours in order to try and pay your debt, but it could actually hurt your bankruptcy case. You may not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you may end up repaying more if you file Chapter 13.
- Do not borrow to repay credit card debt: If you borrow from your 401K, you may trigger unnecessary tax consequences and if you borrow against your home, you may lose it. For the moment, focus on getting your credit card debt discharged, not paying it back.
Call Our Bankruptcy Lawyers in Orlando Before Filing
The bankruptcy process is not always as straightforward as it seems, and one small mistake could result in a forfeiture of the relief you need. At Anderson & Ferrin, our Orlando bankruptcy lawyers will help you prepare for the process, and guide you through it, so you have the best chance of getting your debt discharged. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.