The option to file for personal bankruptcy can be a tough decision to make, especially, as it will impact your life for years to come. Know exactly what you’re getting into and what it means to file bankruptcy! Use the tips from this article to help you to understand the hows and whys of filing personal bankruptcy.
In any personal bankruptcy filing, it is essential to make certain to list all elements of your financial life in your petition and other paperwork. Failing to include all income sources or omitting individual debts and accounts can lead to substantial problems down the road that can limit the dischargeability of some of your most substantial obligations.
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy, you do not need to lose your home, car or other items that you have loans for. If you wish to keep them, however, you must make the payments on a timely basis in order to avoid repossession. If the payments are too much to handle, your bankruptcy attorney may be able to arrange for an evaluation of your loan and negotiate a lower monthly payment. In the case of a home, you may look into a loan modification or refinance to reduce your payment amount.
Remember you still have to pay taxes on your debts. A lot of people don’t realize that even if their debts are discharged in the bankruptcy, they are still responsible to the IRS. The IRS usually does not allow complete forgiveness, although payment plans are common. Make sure to find out what is covered and what is not.
Before resorting to bankruptcy, contact your creditors in a good-faith effort to renegotiate your payment terms, or interest rate. If you get in touch with them early enough, they may be willing to waive fees or negotiate a new payment schedule. If they are it means they are more likely to receive the money that you owe.
Prescreen any bankruptcy lawyer before hiring one. Because bankruptcy is an every-growing area of law that attracts new lawyers all the time, you are likely to encounter many new lawyers who do not have much experience. You can check any bankruptcy lawyer’s credentials online and see if they have any disciplinary actions on their record for improper filings or practices. You are also likely to find client ratings. In the matter of choosing a lawyer, one with experience and a positive record is always best.
If you choose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, be sure that the amount of your monthly payments is within your reach. If you set a payment that is more than you can afford, you may face a court order of liquidation of all of your assets. You will lose everything by falling behind on payments.
As you have read in the article above, there are quite a few steps involved in filing for personal bankruptcy, but also carries a lot of responsibility. This option should be used as a last resort and you should understand the consequences of making such a tough decision. Don’t be too hasty to file and keep the tips in mind from this article, when you do!