Bankruptcy is a series of federal laws enacted to allow people to be relieved from their debts and start over with a clean slate. It is important to completely understand the benefits and drawbacks before you decide to declare bankruptcy. Below is a simple procedure for filing for bankruptcy.
Deciding to File Bankruptcy
Consider all of your options: Bankruptcy is not really the fresh start. Bankruptcy stays on your credit record for many years, and some might decide to stop doing business with you permanently. Bankruptcy should be the last option. Consider the following options
Financial coaching or credit counselling, which entails hiring a professional to help you work through your debt situation.
Credit card consolidation can be a helpful way to get on top of credit card debt.
Refinancing or loan modification can help you figure out a way to pay back loans.
Know when to choose bankruptcy: In some cases bankruptcy is the only viable option left. Filing bankruptcy will immediately result in a stay, which prevents creditors from attempting to collect money, or seize your assets. Consider filing bankruptcy when you’re in the following situations:
Your wages are being garnished or your home is nearing foreclosure
You have back taxes that are unpaid.
You are being sued for unpaid debts.
Hire a lawyer: Hire a lawyer to help you through the complicated filing process if you feel filing bankruptcy is your best option. A misstep such as failing to file the correct paperwork may cause your case to be thrown out.
Find out cost of filing bankruptcy: The fees for filing will include court filing fees and the lawyer’s fee unless you are receiving free legal services.
Know what type of bankruptcy to file: There are two common bankruptcy types.
The most popular is a straight or liquidation bankruptcy. You may keep your protected property as long as you are able to keep making payments and non exempt property must be handed over to pay back your creditors. Your debts are cancelled.
The second is to set up a repayment plan, usually allowing between three and five years for you to pay back your creditors.
Initiating the Filing Process
Complete the filing process. Your lawyer will file a petition for bankruptcy once you have settled on the specifics of your case. You will then receive a notification about a court date for a hearing called meeting of creditors. The trustee to ensure that you have given truthful answers on your bankruptcy petition and that you understand and agree to filing for bankruptcy in this meeting.
You should meet with your lawyer prior to the meeting to go over all of your assets and debt and assets to ensure that everything has been listed.
Once you are sworn in at the meeting, you will answer to all the questions which will be recorded.
Your case will be completed within four to six months of filing it. At that point a payment plan will be set up or selected debts will be resolved, depending on which type of bankruptcy you have filed.