You might be wondering what to do when you’re going through a bankruptcy process. A lot of people don’t know how to deal with or feel like they’re drowning in debt and sometimes, bankruptcy is the only way out.
This article will show you what you need to do before and after filing for bankruptcy, and why it’s such an important option if you’re looking for relief from debt.
Getting Legal Representation
One of the most important things you can do when going through a bankruptcy process is to get legal representation. A good lawyer will be able to guide you through the entire process and help make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you have along the way. So, a good bankruptcy attorney will be a huge help during this difficult time.
Also, make sure to consult with more than one lawyer before making your decision. This will give you a good sense of what’s available to you and help you make the best decision for your unique situation.
Gathering Your Financial Information
Before you even think about filing for bankruptcy, you need to gather all of your financial information. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and anything else that’s related to your money. Keeping everything organized is a great way to make the process easier on yourself so try to keep everything in one place before you start this process.
This also includes any expenses that you’ve cut out recently. If you think that filing for bankruptcy is the only option, then chances are that there are some big-ticket items on your credit cards right now. Keeping track of these things before they get added to your tab will make everything easier.
Consulting With Your Spouse or Significant Other
If you’re married or in a common-law relationship, it’s important to consult with your spouse or significant other before doing anything concrete. This also includes children if there are any involved. As well as being emotionally difficult, going bankrupt can have many consequences on those around you so it’s best to keep everyone informed and included as much as possible throughout this process.
Sometimes, filing for bankruptcy might not be the best decision for your family and it’s important to take that into account before making any decisions. Consulting with your spouse or significant other is also important because they might be able to offer some helpful financial advice. So, after you’ve gathered all of your information and consulted with those who are important to you, it’s time to file for bankruptcy.
Steps You Will Need to Take
The actual steps involved with filing for bankruptcy are complicated but you must understand them if you’re thinking about going this route. If you’re an American citizen, then there are two different types of consumer bankruptcy available based on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Chapter 7 means that all of your non-exempt property will be sold off by a trustee and used towards repaying some or all of the debt you owe.
Once this process is finished, you will be left with a much smaller amount to pay off. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a bit different as it means that all of your debts are consolidated into one monthly payment plan and this process could take up to five years.
What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, it may or may not be publically accessible information depending on the type of bankruptcy you choose and the laws in your country. In Canada, bankruptcy filings are available to the public through the Public Registry website but this isn’t guaranteed everywhere.
If you’re worried about family members or co-workers finding out then keep this in mind before making any final decisions. Once a person files for bankruptcy, their credit report will show this for seven years. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get credit during that time but it will be much more difficult and the interest rates will be much higher.
If you want to learn more, read this guide about what actions you can take to improve your credit score today.
The Aftermath of Bankruptcy
One of the things people worry about most when considering bankruptcy is what will happen after. Will they be blacklisted from getting a job or a mortgage? The answer to this question depends on your specific situation.
If you can prove that you’re trying to better your financial situation and have taken steps towards improving your credit score, then there’s a good chance that things will work out in your favor. But, if you’ve been delinquent on payments or have a history of declaring bankruptcy, then it’s going to be much more difficult.
At the end of the day, it’s important to take a long-term view and realize that bankruptcy is just one step in the journey towards your financial freedom or success.
When Should You File for Bankruptcy?
There are some definite red flags when it comes to determining whether you should file for bankruptcy or not.
These include but aren’t limited to: consistently missing payments, racking up huge interest on your credit cards, ignoring letters from creditors or bill collectors, spending excessively on entertainment or other luxury items without having the means to pay for them, quitting your job because you can’t afford childcare costs anymore, maxing out all of your credit cards even if it means paying off only part of each card every month.
While bankruptcy should never be taken lightly, if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t see any other way out then it might be the best decision for you and your family. Talk to an accountant or a financial advisor to get a sense of what your other options are and whether bankruptcy is the best choice for your situation.
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one but sometimes it’s the only way to start fresh and rebuild your life. By following the steps above and understanding what to expect, you can make this process as smooth as possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way, either from professionals or from friends and family who have gone through something similar. Bankruptcy is a difficult experience but with the right support and understanding, you can get through it.