Like any high-stakes legal decision, you want to choose your steps carefully when filing bankruptcy in Florida. There are things you need to do — and things you should never do — to avail yourself of bankruptcy’s protections and stay on the right side of the law. The pointers below will help you make the right choices.
The DOs of Filing Bankruptcy in Florida
The following are things you should DO:
- Keep track of non-dischargeable debts (e.g. student loans, certain income taxes, etc.)
- Plan for how you will take care of remaining debts after bankruptcy
- Have all your paperwork in order
- Stay current on home and car loans at all times during a Chapter 7 filing
- Consult an Orlando bankruptcy attorney for help and advice
To consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
The DON’Ts of Bankruptcy Filings in Florida
Just as important as what you should do are the mistakes that could land you in hot water (or even jail). Pay careful attention to these pitfalls and don’t hesitate to ask an Orlando bankruptcy attorney if you’re unsure about something. When filing for bankruptcy in Florida, DO NOT:
- Put your property in someone else’s name (this is considered fraud in Florida!)
- Take money from a 401k, IRA, or other retirement account (these are protected as a safe place to keep your funds)
- Overpay taxes during a Chapter 13 filing (you don’t want to receive a tax refund during the Chapter 13 proceeding, so you may consider having less money withheld from your paycheck)
- Take out cash advances, new loans, or mortgages (including refinancing)
- Continue to make payments on dischargeable debts
- Assume that you can run up new debts because bankruptcy will take care of it anyway (This can also constitute fraud. In fact, you should stop using credit cards altogether during the process because those charges could become non-dischargeable debts)
- Give, sell, or transfer your interest in any property without first consulting an Orlando bankruptcy attorney
- Pay off more than $600 in debt to family, friends, and certain unsecured creditors before/during filing (this can create a “preference” — talk to your lawyer to learn more)
- Feel guilty or ashamed about filing for bankruptcy
Neither of these are exclusive lists. Contact an attorney to learn more about what you should and should not do when filing for bankruptcy in Florida.
Talk to an Orlando Bankruptcy Attorney at Bogin, Munns & Munns
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, talk to an Orlando Bankruptcy Attorney at Bogin, Munns & Munns first. We can help you prepare appropriately and make decisions that are in your best financial and legal interest.