Bankruptcy is one of the most powerful tools you have for improving your financial situation. Unfortunately, it sometimes doesn’t go as planned. In some cases, this is because someone tries to take advantage of the situation, but most of the time it’s an honest mistake that has unintended consequences. Just a few bankruptcy tips can save your case from crashing.
Even a simple mistake can cost you a lot when you’re filing for bankruptcy. The good news is an experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you prevent these mistakes and improve the odds that your bankruptcy is a success. These bankruptcy tips can help you keep things moving full-speed ahead.
What are some of the most common reasons why bankruptcy goes off-the-rails?
1. Don’t File Bankruptcy Immediately after an Income Spike
The first of three bankruptcy tips has to do with when you file and how timing affects your case.
A great deal of your bankruptcy is based on how much money you’ve recently earned, including whether you qualify for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. This means if you’ve recently enjoyed a windfall, even if your overall financial situation is bleak, you might want to wait a few months before filing for bankruptcy.
Your recent earnings also affect the court’s determination of your ability to repay the debts you owe. A few good months leading up to bankruptcy and you could damage your opportunity to expunge debts you really can’t afford to pay long term.
Earning a bit more recently doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult with an attorney and put your bankruptcy plans completely on hold. If you have a reason to think that despite your recent spike in income isn’t going to help you long-term, it’s still important to speak to a professional. The two of you should assess your debt and income situation. Then, you’ll make the best determination concerning the timing of your bankruptcy filing.
To learn more about how your earnings affect bankruptcy, check out this information.
2. Don’t Try Any Fancy Footwork
The second of third bankruptcy tips: Don’t try to trick anyone.
Even if your intentions are good, don’t go “off-script” when filling out your bankruptcy paperwork. To receive your discharge, you must fill out your paperwork completely and correctly. Trying to do anything that seems out-of-the-ordinary, even if you have no ill intentions, can backfire. It puts you at greater risk of scrutiny and could result in dismissal of your case.
3. Don’t Let Your Relief Trick You into Being Careless
Just because you’re getting back on track financially doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Bankruptcy is your opportunity to work from a clean slate and it’s important not to make the same mistakes again.
If you feel the weight of your debt burden lifted and are tempted to overspend or do anything else foolish, it’s going to put you in the same position you just removed yourself from. Only it will be worse because you might not have the option of using bankruptcy the second time around.
One of the most important requirements of filing for bankruptcy is credit and financial counseling. Take it seriously and try to learn as much as possible. The information you learn helps you prevent financial problems in the future. This is true whether you’re forced into filing due to your mistakes or because of issues beyond your control.
These bankruptcy tips can help you keep your situation on track. If you’d like to learn more about how to make the bankruptcy process easier or you are ready to get started filing, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 for more information.