Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can seem overwhelming at first, but with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, it is often a smoother process than people expect. Here are some simple tips for a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
1. Don’t Accumulate New Debt
Many people make the mistake of assuming that since their debts will soon be discharged, that it is the perfect time to max out their credit cards. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you accumulate new debt on your credit cards or take out a new loan just before filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is highly unlikely that these debts will be discharged. Instead, you will likely still owe these new debts, even if other debts are discharged under the bankruptcy.
2. Include All Your Assets In Your Paperwork
Some people either purposefully leave out assets in their bankruptcy paperwork for fear of losing their assets, or they do so because they’re just unfamiliar with what needs to be included in the paperwork. However, not including assets on your paperwork doesn’t protect them — in fact, just the opposite. Most people who file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and meet the means test don’t have a lot of assets that can be liquidated and most, if not all of them, can be declared exempt.
3. Don’t Pay Money to Your Friends or Family
Even if you owe money to family or friends, don’t pay them right before you file for bankruptcy. Instead, include them as a creditor in your filing. They will be paid through the bankruptcy trustee when your assets are liquidated, or the debt will be discharged. If you pay money to family and friends, it’s possible that the bankruptcy court would view these transactions as you attempting to conceal assets or hide money.
4. Don’t Attempt to File Bankruptcy On Your Own
Even though there’s a wealth of information out there on how to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own, this is most likely not going to be in your best interest. Work with a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure that your paperwork is completed properly and that you have the guidance you need through this confusing process.
Contact the Law Office of Howard Tagg for more information on how to file bankruptcy and what you need to get started. If you’re overwhelmed financially, you’ll be in good hands. Call today for a consultation at (903) 730-6366.