Making the choice to file for personal bankruptcy is something that many find difficult, if not excruciating. But, armed with the right knowledge and information, it is possible to view the process as the best way to achieve a needed fresh start in your personal finance, and not something that must be dreaded. Put the tips in this article to work today and gain new perspective on what bankruptcy can do for you.
If you need to file for bankruptcy, you need to list all of your creditors. Do not leave any of them off or you could be liable for the remainder of balances for creditors which are not reported. Take the time to get a credit report so you can compile a complete list of all creditors before you file. You could end up in debt after you file if you do not.
A huge mistake people make before filing for bankruptcy is maxing out their credit cards. This can lead to disaster when you file and the credit card companies might not discharge the debt. If you can, you need to stop using your credit cards at least six months before you file, and ideally for a year prior. Also, do your best to pay the minimum payments on these cards for at least six months before you file.
Never shirk on the truth in your petition for bankruptcy. Not only is hiding income and assets wrong, it is also a crime.
Decide whether you want to file for Chapter 7, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As an individual, you may do either one. Find out as much as you can about each type of bankruptcy, so you are able to make a choice that you can live with in the future.
Consider filing Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7, if you are facing foreclosure. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a restructured payment plan which includes your mortgage arrears. This will allow you to get your mortgage payments current, so that you won’t lose your home. Chapter 13 doesn’t require you to turn over property, so you don’t have to worry about the homestead exemption, either.
Before declaring bankruptcy, ensure that all other options have been considered. For example, consumer credit counseling programs can help you by renegotiating your debts with your creditors into payments that you can afford. You could even negotiate for lower payments. However, you should ensure that you always obtain a written record of all the changes to your debt that you’ve agreed to.
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, you may want to look into other options. Remember, when you file for bankruptcy, you are greatly hurting your credit score, which in turn, can prohibit you from buying a house, car, and other big purchases. Consider safer, alternative methods first, such as consumer credit counseling.
It is certainly true that the prospect of bankruptcy is a topic feared by many. Much of the worry and hesitation surrounding the filing personal bankruptcy stems from insufficient knowledge on the part of consumers. By studying the guidance and advice in the piece that follows, it is possible to better understand what bankruptcy means and does for debtors, and how best to optimize the process.