Deciding to file for personal bankruptcy is a very serious decision to make. It will have repercussions that will follow you for the rest of your life. Bankruptcy laws are not easy for non-lawyers to understand, but the information in this article will help explain what bankruptcy is, and how it can benefit you.
Keep your debts to a minimum prior to filing. If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, don’t run up your debts. Your recent history will be checked by judges and creditors, and if it is deemed that you are trying to cheat the system, you may not be able to wipe out those debts. You will be viewed most favorably, if you can demonstrate that you have changed your spending habits.
A huge mistake people make before filing for bankruptcy is maxing out their credit cards. This can lead to disaster when you file and the credit card companies might not discharge the debt. If you can, you need to stop using your credit cards at least six months before you file, and ideally for a year prior. Also, do your best to pay the minimum payments on these cards for at least six months before you file.
You should be able to meet with a specialized lawyer for free to ask your questions. It is a good idea to consult several attorney before deciding on one. Only make a decision after you have met with several attorneys and all of your concerns and questions have been addressed. You don’t need to decide what to do right away. That gives you the chance to speak to a number of lawyers.
Don’t put off bankruptcy forever. You might be better off filing early rather than juggling your debt for years. If you aren’t sure what to do, search for a nonprofit agency that helps consumers navigate bankruptcy. These experts can advise you about the best time to file and can share information about what to expect. Many of these agencies provide classes or workshops about managing credit as well.
Be safe and hire an attorney for help. There are many websites these days that claim to walk you through the process of filing bankruptcy on your own. It is cheaper than using an attorney to get you through this time, but it leaves a lot of room for error. This is not something that you want to take chances on.
Know the difference between Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcies. Chapter 7 will wipe your debts clean, meaning you will not owe what you file against. Chapter 13 requires you to agree to repay your debts. These debts need to be repaid within three to five years of the filing date.
As you know, filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that can have a huge impact on your life. By carefully studying this article, you should now have a much better understanding of America’s bankruptcy laws, and you should be able to decide whether or not filing for personal bankruptcy will benefit you and improve your particular financial situation.