Which Factors should you Consider while Filing Bankruptcy?
Filing bankruptcy is like pressing the financial restart button as it enables the debtors to start afresh and resolves their major financial problems. But you consider filing Bankruptcy only when your debts become unmanageable, your expenses exceed your income and you are threatened with wage garnishment, foreclosure or repossession. Also it is very crucial to choose the right time to file bankruptcy as you can not file another bankruptcy easily.
Below mentioned are the factors that you should consider when filing bankruptcy:
- Types of Bankruptcy: Before filing bankruptcy you should discuss with your attorney that your circumstances are in accordance with which type of bankruptcy chapter and should file accordingly. There are two main types of bankruptcy. ; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Under Chapter 7, all the debts are discharged or cancelled but Under Chapter 13, debtor has to repay the whole or parts of debts over three or five years.
- Varying Eligibility: Every State has its own set of rules or standards regarding your asset custody, income and expense limits to define whether you can file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Attorney’s fees and filing fees also vary from state to state.
- Possession of Assets: Bankruptcy does not bereft you of all of you belongings or possessions. You can retain your personal property like; electronics, household furnishing and exempted articles. But retaining of larger assets like; your home or car again depends upon your state laws, type of bankruptcy and your finances.
- Cost of Filing Bankruptcy: Cost included depends upon your attorney and your location as well. But with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can also include your bankruptcy filing costs in plan and pay them over three to five years. Initial consultations are usually free.
- Credit Counseling Classes: It is mandatory to receive credit counseling classes from an approved non-profit budget and credit counseling agency, 180 days before filing a bankruptcy.
- Search out your Creditors: Go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com to search out a whole list of creditors you owe to, as you need to add all the creditors on bankruptcy filing.
Which are the debts that can not be discharged or cancelled under Bankruptcy?
- Debts owed over $500.00 for luxury goods, purchased within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy
- Any cash advances of $750.00 or more taken on credit card within 70 days of filing bankruptcy
- Any Federal, State and Local income taxes that are due since last three years
- Any Student loan that is due since last 7 years
- Child support and alimony payments ordered by court, along with other divorce related debts
- Any court ordered fines and criminal restitutions
- Any debt for death or personal injury cases caused while driving intoxicated
- Debts that are not enlisted on Bankruptcy Petition
- Any debts that arose after you filed for bankruptcy
- Any ‘Reaffirm Debt’ i.e. you have an agreement with the creditor that you will repay the debt, despite of including it on your Bankruptcy list.
What is your Do’s and Don’ts list for filing Bankruptcy?
- Ensure that you have submitted all the required paperwork and forms to your attorney on or before the requested date
- Fill out all the required information and include all the necessary schedules and forms. If you submit incomplete documents; Bankruptcy Court may dismiss or deny your case or you have to file additional paperwork or pay more fees for that
- Comply with all the requests and requirement made by court, if you have any queries consult your attorney immediately
- Never make an attempt to hide or provide any inaccurate information about your assets, transactions, debts, income and expenses and financial history. Any fake or false information can subject you to 5 years in-prison and/or $ 500,000.00 fine
- Never damage or hide any property within or after 1 year of filing bankruptcy to intentionally defraud your creditor as you would be subjected to above said penalties
- Do not make false statements to court or attorney
- Do not run after the ads that boast of or commit to cut off your debts for free or at lower prices, as these are frauds or scams and would land you in more debts than before
If your debts have become unmanageable and you are considering to file Bankruptcy, our expert and compassionate Bankruptcy attorneys can assist you to overcome your financial crisis and to make strategic decisions. Contact Wani and Associates, P.C. to get immediate relief and protection and reset your financial course of action.