Many people think that filing for personal bankruptcy is very complicated and difficult, but you can find many books and other resources to help you navigate through the process. Filing bankruptcy is a big decision, and before you make up your mind, read the tips below to see if bankruptcy is right for you.
Laws regarding bankruptcy vary by state, so you need to find a lawyer that can walk you through the entire process and help keep your rights protected. In several cases, you can keep your car and your home, but it’s your attorney that will tell you what rights you have, what you can keep, and what you will need to surrender.
Visit web sites and read information to learn as much as possible about the topic of personal bankruptcy. The United States Department of Justice, NACBA, and American Bankruptcy Institute websites are all great places to go for up-to-date information. You will find that the process of filing for personal bankruptcy is easier and less of a hassle with the more information on the subject you gather ahead of time.
A useful tip for those thinking about filing for personal bankruptcy is, to keep in mind that any damage to your credit history caused by the filing is temporary. While there is no doubt that your score will take a noticeable hit, following your bankruptcy discharge, by using the process to start fresh. You have the ability to put yourself on a stronger financial footing going forward. This will allow you to rebuild your credit score faster than you may expect.
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.
Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time, since this will contribute to 35 percent of what is on your credit report. This looks good if you are trying to rebuild your credit after you have had to file for bankruptcy. Making on-time payments will increase your credit score.
Make sure you have a solid understanding of which debts can be eliminated by bankruptcy, and which ones cannot. Debts like student loans, child support or alimony payments, and taxes, are generally not discharged through bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help if your wages are being garnished or if you have large unsecured debts, like, credit cards and utility bills.
Be aware that most bankruptcy lawyers will offer a free consultation. Take advantage of that and meet with several of them. If it’s handled in 15 minutes or less, if you meet with the assistant instead of the lawyer, or if you’re pressured to sign up immediately in person or by phone, go somewhere else.
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.
Before you make a final decision to file for bankruptcy, look into all the options that are available to help your financial situation. If you are buried under credit card debt, it can help to check out a debt-consolidation, or home-equity loan if you qualify. You can also try negotiating smaller payments on your debt until, your finances are better in control. Bankruptcy is always an option, but if you can alleviate your problems in another way, you will be able to avoid a major hit to your credit history.
Once you determined that you want to file for bankruptcy, it is important that you figure out which kind is best for you to file. For instance, with Chapter 7 most of your debts will be relieved, and you can keep certain aspects. With Chapter 13 your debt gets reconstructed, and you are given a certain amount of time to pay it off.
When meeting with a personal bankruptcy lawyer, be sure you have all of the necessary paperwork with you. This will make the whole filing process go much easier and quicker. Some of the paperwork you should have with you includes loan documents, credit card bills, and any other relevant financial documents.
Decide right up front that you are not going to feel embarrassed or ashamed about needing to file bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process can make many people feel ashamed, guilty and unworthy. Continuing to let yourself feel that way can damage your emotional health and does not benefit you in your endeavors to deal with your financial situation. To best deal with filing for bankruptcy, look for the positives in the situation.
If you are in a financial position where declaring bankruptcy is imminent, never put off declaring. When you wait, your financial situation is likely to continue to deteriorate and prove even more devastating. For this reason, when the financial hole that you have dug is too deep, it is smart to file sooner, rather than later.
You may know someone who has filed for bankruptcy, and have seen that the process is detailed and complex. The information in this article has, hopefully, shed more light on the process of personal bankruptcy, so that you can make an informed decision about whether bankruptcy is the solution to your financial woes.