Considering Filing for Bankruptcy
April 27, 2020 | Freya Allen Shoffner, Esquire | Main Office

Considering Filing for Bankruptcy? Do's and Don'ts


More and more people are considering filing for bankruptcy. They have debt they are having trouble paying and are looking for a fresh start. There are actions you may or may not take which will greatly affect the outcome of your bankruptcy filing.

Do tell the truth. Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you submit your assets and income. This disclosure is used to determine your ability to pay off your creditors. Intentionally submitting an incomplete list can result in your case being dismissed. You may also be prevented from filing on those debts in the future. Additionally, hiding assets can result in criminal charges. A bankruptcy trustee will have access to your records and will most likely find any inaccuracies or incomplete reporting on your part. Credit card companies will also know that you have filed for bankruptcy so list all of your creditors as well.

Do consult a bankruptcy attorney. Filing for bankruptcy is a complex matter. Benefit from an attorney's expertise to determine which bankruptcy is best for you. An attorney can help you to legally protect your assets. There are many subtleties in bankruptcy law that an attorney can walk you through. The success rate of those who file for bankruptcy with an attorney is much higher than those who file without one.

Don't give away your assets before you file for bankruptcy. It is a sure way to get into trouble and derail your bankruptcy efforts. You may not give away jewelry, cars, property, electronics, or cash to friends and relatives with the expectation of getting them back.

Don't amass additional debt if you are considering filing for bankruptcy. Typically credit card purchases made within 90 days of filing are not included as part of your bankruptcy debt. You may owe that money even after the bankruptcy has concluded. You could have to pay your credit card debt in full. Don't take on any new debt once you choose to file for bankruptcy.

Do leave your retirement plans intact. Retirement plans are protected when filing for bankruptcy. It doesn't make sense to make withdrawals from them to pay creditors or to try to hide some of that money. It can only cause trouble.

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? There are many do's and don'ts even before you start the formal process. Make sure it goes well for you. Contact Shoffner & Associates to properly prepare, file, and implement your bankruptcy proceedings.

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