Filing for bankruptcy is a very important decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Use this article’s advice to learn what you are in for and how to make proper choices. Become as educated as possible.
Make sure you have a solid understanding of which debts can be eliminated by bankruptcy, and which ones cannot. Debts like student loans, child support or alimony payments, and taxes, are generally not discharged through bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help if your wages are being garnished or if you have large unsecured debts, like, credit cards and utility bills.
Find out what the homestead exemption limit is in your state before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have too much equity in your home to qualify for the exemption, you could lose your house in bankruptcy. You can’t change your mind once you’ve begun the process, so make sure you will be able to keep your home before you file.
Don’t put off bankruptcy forever. You might be better off filing early rather than juggling your debt for years. If you aren’t sure what to do, search for a nonprofit agency that helps consumers navigate bankruptcy. These experts can advise you about the best time to file and can share information about what to expect. Many of these agencies provide classes or workshops about managing credit as well.
Make a detailed list. Every creditor and debt should be listed on your application. Even if your credit cards do not carry a balance at all, it should still be included. Loans for cars or recreational vehicles should also be included in your application. Full disclosure is imperative during this part of the bankruptcy process.
Do some research. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 will eliminate the majority of your debt while Chapter 13 restructures it to give you time to pay it off. Each one has different rules on what assets you are allowed to keep. So, ask a lot of questions before you decide which one is the best fit for your situation.
Look into proper timing. You can keep your tax refund even when filing bankruptcy. You have to time it just right to do so. Wait until after your tax form has been processed, and you have received your tax return. One of the sneakiest things that a trustee does is to take an income tax return that debtors rely on. Waiting can keep that money in your pocket.
Do not neglect your health. During the bankruptcy process, it can often feel like you are losing everything and many people see no reason to continue looking after their body and mind. While it is true that, during the process, you might lose your home, your car and the family jewels, you need to remember that neither your creditors nor a bankruptcy judge can take away your health.
As shown in this article, bankruptcy doesn’t happen overnight. Bankruptcy is complex and requires you to think carefully. By using the above suggestions, you will be sure that all your Ts are crossed and all your Is are dotted when it comes to filing for bankruptcy.