Chances are if you are thinking about bankruptcy or you have already filed, you are feeling disorganized and perhaps a bit frazzled. Even under the best circumstances, financial challenges can leave you overwhelmed and if chaos was part of what led you to bankruptcy, now is when you’ll need to take control of your situation and get organized.
The good news is as you move through bankruptcy, your financial burdens will lessen and you’ll begin to feel free. This is a great time to reorganize and start fresh. One of the best ways to do that is to gather all of the things you need to do to successfully emerge from bankruptcy and move forward with your life. What should be on your post-bankruptcy to-do list?
First and foremost, you need to get organized. You need to gather all of the paperwork related to your bankruptcy and stash it in a place that is easily accessible. This ensures you’ll be able to show your debts were discharged when the time comes to do so. This might happen when you want to borrow money or if a creditor attempts to take action against you, even though the debt was discharged. The information you’ve gathered related to your bankruptcy is the proof you’ll need to show legal action is no longer an option for the creditor.
In addition to organizing debts that were discharged, it’s also a good idea to organize those that weren’t. This helps you keep them in good standing and prevents you from slipping back down the slope of financial ruin. Debts like child support, student loans, and taxes should be in order and paid on time.
Create a Budget
Bankruptcy counseling can help you create a budget, but it won’t force you to stick to it. Take the information you learned during these classes, apply them to your situation as reasonably as possible, and create a budget you’ll be willing and able to stick to as you move out of bankruptcy. Remember, it’s also a good idea to budget for savings and to try to build an emergency fund that can help you out of a bind if and when one arises.
For some basic tips on creating a budget, check out this article from Bankrate.
View Your Credit Reports
It’s no secret those who have struggled financially avoid looking at their credit reports. Many try to avoid as much awareness of the problem as possible. The good news is your bankruptcy has helped you move beyond that feeling of dread you once experienced when the topic of money came up.
Now you have a new lease on your finances and as such, you need to protect your credit from mistakes. Make sure you are reviewing your credit report, at least on an annual basis, to avoid anything being added that doesn’t belong. You’ll also want to monitor your credit to ensure your debts were really discharged and the positive benefits of your bankruptcy show up on your report.
If you’d like to know more about how to manage bankruptcy from start to finish, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a consultation.