Even when faced with dire financial consequences, many people fear the prospect of filing personal bankruptcy. The key to defeating what can, often be, crippling anxiety is familiarizing yourself with the process and its potential benefits. Use the tips in this article to alleviate your fears and do what is necessary to get a fresh financial start.
Keep your debts to a minimum prior to filing. If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, don't run up your debts. Your recent history will be checked by judges and creditors, and if it is deemed that you are trying to cheat the system, you may not be able to wipe out those debts. You will be viewed most favorably, if you can demonstrate that you have changed your spending habits.
Take some time each day to stop thinking about your bankruptcy. It can seem like a thought you cannot get out of your head, but it is important to step away from the situation before you become too upset. Not only that, but removing it from your thoughts allows you to bring a fresher, more optimistic perspective to the table when you take up the subject again.
Don't think of bankruptcy as the ruination of your financial future. Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you can begin to work on re-building your credit right away. By continuing to make timely monthly payments and not applying for new credit, you can significantly raise your credit score within 6 months. And, if you maintain good credit for that amount of time, you may find it possible to get approval for loans to make large purchases, such as a home or car.
Before meeting with a lawyer, start compiling all of the documentation and paperwork you will need to provide an accurate picture of your finances. Gather six months' worth of pay stubs, bank statements, bills and credit card statements. Create a list of property and assets that you own. Having this entire information ready from the beginning can save you trouble when it's time to file.
Bankruptcy laws vary from state to state. Play it safe and hire an attorney that works in your own state to be sure that the correct laws are followed. Some lawyers are better than others, so be sure to select one that is qualified to handle your case. It could make a big difference in how smoothly things go and the end result.
After your bankruptcy is finalized, you should begin re-building your credit by, obtaining copies of your credit reports. Your reports may show that you filed for bankruptcy, but it can take a lot of time for the credit bureaus to remove the original debt from your credit history. Check your reports over thoroughly, if there is debt showing that was discharged in a bankruptcy, you can contact the credit bureaus online, or in writing and request that the information be deleted.
Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure that you sort out your taxes. When you file, the bankruptcy trustee will need to see your tax return from last year and possibly even your tax return from two years ago. If you have these documents ready, your bankruptcy attorney will be able to ensure that the whole bankruptcy process is carried out as quickly as possible.
Don't repay personal debt to friends and family before filing for bankruptcy. Although you may feel obligated to pay these people back first, it is not a wise decision. Because you must reveal this information when you file for bankruptcy, the trustee can legally ask for this money back or sue for it.
See what the value is on your home. If you are upside down on your mortgage, you may be able to eliminate your second mortgage. The main guideline for this is that your home must be worth more than what you owe on the first mortgage. This could really help your financial situation by relieving you from that large second mortgage payment each month.
Keep in mind that, currently, student loans cannot be discharged when filing for bankruptcy. There is a process by which student loans could be considered dischargeable, but it is costly, difficult, and rarely successful. However, student loans in bankruptcy have been a topic discussed by Congress in recent years, so keep up with new bankruptcy laws to find out if any changes have been made.
Stop using your credit card. If you are filing for bankruptcy, refrain from using your credit card a few months in advance. A court will, generally, frown upon any frivolous charges showing up on your personal bank statements. Try to keep in mind how your bank activity will appear to a judge.
Stay on top of your finances enough to file before the last possible moment. Your financial debt, and responsibilities will not solve themselves, nor will they be able to sit on the back burner forever. You must act decisively. Through knowledge of where your finances truly stand. Ignoring the problem will only result in greater issues.
Get a secured credit card after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A secured card requires you to put down money in order to open the account. However, if you use the card responsibly and pay it off every month, you can raise your credit score. So, within a few years of filing, your credit will be good enough to get you into an apartment or allow you to purchase a new vehicle.
Before filing for bankruptcy, talk with your creditors and see if there is anything that can be done to reduce the amount of your debt. Most creditors will work with you because they want you to pay them back their money. If you actually file for bankruptcy, they will lose their money.
Last year, those who filed for bankruptcy made $60,000 a year on average. Do not feel like you are completely irresponsible or poor just because you file a claim. Stay informed and speak with a lawyer throughout the entire process. Remember the tips in this article, so that you can come out of the situation, as unscathed as possible.