Important Steps Before Bankruptcy

October 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

One of the most important time frames in the bankruptcy process is the time between the decision to file and actually filing the paperwork. Why? Because this is the time that you have to make several important steps, which can maximize your chances of a successful case. In fact, there are several very important steps that should be completed long before you even sign the bankruptcy petition.

Organize Your Paperwork

When you file the petition, you will be required to provide a detailed account of your finances. This means that you will need to list information about your debts and who your creditors are, along with a list of your assets. The court will also want to see a financial spending history, statement of your accounts and evidence of your income. All of this information is highly important to the outcome of your case, which is why full disclosure and complete honesty is required.

A good rule of thumb is to list anything and everything from the last 3 to 5 years, even if you paid off the account or sold the asset. The reason is because the bankruptcy court may view missing or inaccurate information as fraudulent. Before you sit down and complete the filing paperwork, organize your paperwork and collect all of the necessary documents. This can make the process much smoother and more efficient.

Consult An Attorney

Perhaps one of the most important pre-bankruptcy steps is to consult an attorney. Although it is possible to complete the process without representation, it is recommended that everyone attend an initial consultation to have their case reviewed prior to filing. An attorney can review your paperwork, find out vital information and help determine the chance of success for your case. They are also very helpful throughout the process by assisting you with all of the necessary steps that are required to obtain a discharge. In general, you are more likely to successfully obtain a discharge with the help of a bankruptcy attorney.

Review Your Finances

Many people do not realize that their spending history prior to filing could impact their case. Bankruptcy courts may not allow debts accumulated within 3 to 6 months of filing into the discharge. Further, charging large amounts or taking out cash advances prior to filing for bankruptcy may be viewed as fraudulent. A good rule of thumb is to suspend all unnecessary spending and do not transfer or sell off any assets for 6 months prior to filing.

Christopher understands that financial hardships can affect honest, hard-working people. Growing up in a very blue collar family and rural area of Indiana, money didn’t always come easy for his parents. The struggles his family faced in his childhood made a significant impression on his business philosophy today. As a Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney his practice has given him the opportunity to directly impact the lives of many people.

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