Written By: Denise Nelson
If you are having difficulty paying your bills, bankruptcy may be a good solution for you. Below is a list of things you should and shouldn’t do to avoid common mistakes, and get the maximum legal benefit, should you choose to file bankruptcy:
☐Do seek competent legal advice! Filing for bankruptcy is an important personal decision. Bankruptcy laws are so complex that it’s almost impossible to understand all nuances of bankruptcy without talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Before taking any financial steps, seek advice of experienced bankruptcy counsel.
☐Do be completely honest with your attorney. During your initial consultation at Bogin, Munns & Munns, your attorney will ask questions to obtain an in-depth understanding of your financial situation. You must answer these questions completely and honestly so that your attorney can represent you effectively, and provide the best legal advice for your situation.
☐Do provide all the documents requested by your attorney. We will provide you with a list of necessary documents. Collecting all of these documents may take some time, but it’s important that you provide us with every item on that list.
☐Do be completely honest on your bankruptcy petition. When you sign your bankruptcy petition, you are declaring that all the content in the petition is true and correct. Please read the petition carefully before you sign it. Remember, you are filing the documents under penalty of perjury!
☐Do fill out your Federal income tax returns. Our Orlando bankruptcy attorneys will need this information to effectively represent you. The bankruptcy trustee will also request to see these documents. Failure to provide copies of tax returns could result in your debts not getting discharged.
☐Don’t worry! Millions of Americans have filed for bankruptcy protection. It is not a crime if you are unable to pay your debts. It is not a sign of failure. You have a right to seek relief from bill collectors, wage garnishments, and foreclosures by filing bankruptcy!
☐Don’t run up debts immediately before filing bankruptcy. Incurring debts prior to bankruptcy could result in those debts not being discharged, or the court may deny your bankruptcy altogether!
To consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
☐Don’t use a non-attorney “bankruptcy preparer” unless you have completely researched all relevant legal issues. The non-attorney “bankruptcy preparers” cannot give you legal advice. They cannot analyze your situation. In some instances, by filing unmeritorious petitions that eventually get dismissed, they can cause you to lose important legal rights!
☐Don’t try to hide cars, homes, or other property from bankruptcy by transferring these assets to friends or relatives. This conduct can be bankruptcy fraud. The court may dismiss your bankruptcy case, or deny discharge of your debts.
☐Don’t borrow from your 401K or a home equity line to pay off your credit card debts. You may trigger unnecessary tax expenses, or risk losing your home.
☐Don’t increase your overtime hours to try to pay off your debts. Increasing your pay may disqualify you for chapter 7 relief. It may also affect what you pay back in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Talk to our Orlando bankruptcy attorneys to learn more.
☐Don’t negotiate debt reduction with your credit cards. Debt reduction may trigger tax consequences. Talk to an attorney before engaging in debt reduction.
☐Don’t file bankruptcy without understanding the consequences. Filing a “skeleton petition” can stop foreclosure of your home, but it can also jeopardize important legal rights. Bankruptcy can provide you with debt relief and a fresh start,but make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations before filing bankruptcy.