Deciding to file for personal bankruptcy is a very serious decision to make. It will have repercussions that will follow you for the rest of your life. Bankruptcy laws are not easy for non-lawyers to understand, but the information in this article will help explain what bankruptcy is, and how it can benefit you.
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.
If you have late payments on credit accounts or accounts that have been sent to collections, you are probably already aware of how insistent creditors can be. After you have filed for bankruptcy, you no longer need to endure the threatening and continuous phone calls from creditors and collection agencies. All you must do is refer them to your attorney who will confirm the bankruptcy for them. After this, it is illegal for creditors to harass you in any way.
Before resorting to bankruptcy, contact your creditors in a good-faith effort to renegotiate your payment terms, or interest rate. If you get in touch with them early enough, they may be willing to waive fees or negotiate a new payment schedule. If they are it means they are more likely to receive the money that you owe.
As tempting as it may be, do not run up credit cards right before filing for bankruptcy. Many times, people purchase expensive items, like jewelry, appliances and furniture right before they know they are going to file for bankruptcy. Most of the time, they are still going to be responsible for paying back this debt.
Educate yourself about the bankruptcy process. You can increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process by conversing with a bankruptcy attorney or by carrying out independent research on the internet. Whichever method you chose to increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process, it is vital that you comprehend how filing for bankruptcy will affect yourself, your family and your creditors.
Be safe and hire an attorney for help. There are many websites these days that claim to walk you through the process of filing bankruptcy on your own. It is cheaper than using an attorney to get you through this time, but it leaves a lot of room for error. This is not something that you want to take chances on.
Do not wait too long to file. Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. Waiting until foreclosure or wage garnishments occur will make matters worse. The timing of the filing is going to be crucial to the success of the process. Contact an attorney as soon as you realize that you are in financial trouble.
Be highly skeptical of any debt settlement companies. If possible, avoid using one altogether. Often times, because you are paying them monthly, they will drag their feet on your filing to make more money. They are usually unregulated, as well, which makes it difficult to fight any injustices you may encounter.
If your paycheck is larger than your debts, avoid filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy might seem like a good way to get out of paying your bills, but it will devastate your credit for the next ten years.
Find out more about Chapter 13. If your source of income is regular and your unsecured debt is less than a quarter million, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is something you are able to file for. This lets you keep any real estate and personal property while you repay all your debts through a consolidation program. The window for Chapter 13 repayments is typically 3-5 years. At the end of this time, any unsecured debt is discharged. Remember that missing a payment to the plan will result in your case being dismissed.
Remember that bankruptcy takes an emotional toll, and prepare yourself for the feelings that may accompany the process. Feelings of shame and depression are common, even if you ultimately feel relieved. Ensure that you have an adequate support network of friends and family to help you through the tough times you may experience.
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy, you must seriously take into account anyone who has cosigned on a loan for you. For instance, if a friend or relative is a cosigner on your auto or home loan, they will be held financially responsible to pay the debt in the event you file for bankruptcy. This can create problems in relationships between family members and friends. That is why it is not advisable to cosign for anyone or ask someone to cosign for you, including your children. It could ruin someone's life.
Look into other options before deciding to file for bankruptcy. You might want to look into the possibility of credit counseling instead. There are some good non-profit organizations that could help you. They will work with your creditors to get your payments lowered and your interest lowered as wll. They act as intermediaries between you and your creditors; you pay the counselors and they pay the companies to which you owe money.
Get the details. After filing for personal bankruptcy, you are still obligated to pay your personal bills. The collection letters and some monthly bills will stop coming, but you are still required to pay them off. This means that even if you don't receive a bill to your house, it doesn't mean that you're off the hook!
If you can avoid bankruptcy, do whatever it takes to keep yourself out of it. Bankruptcy can offer many people a way out of a horrible situation and give them a clean slate to work from, but it is not an easy alternative to paying off your debt. Your credit will be destroyed, and there are possible ramifications towards future employment involved with bankruptcies.
Now that you have been provided with some useful information about personal bankruptcy, carefully weigh your options. Making this decision is going to impact your life for several years. If you have considered all of the other options, carefully follow the correct steps to file for personal bankruptcy and prepare for what changes it will bring.