The economic downturn of recent years has made personal bankruptcy a virtual necessity for millions. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of what personal bankruptcy entails, it is possible to make an educated decision about whether it is the right decision under any given set of circumstances. Study the tips and guidance in this piece, and you will be able to make the best choices for your financial future.
If you can, keep some of your debt out of your bankruptcy. Work on paying down this debt yourself, or especially if you can negotiate a lower rate or new payment terms. This will help to preserve your credit rating, to some extent, because bankruptcy itself will do a number on your score.
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 the 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.
After your bankruptcy is finalized, you should begin re-building your credit by, obtaining copies of your credit reports. Your reports may show that you filed for bankruptcy, but it can take a lot of time for the credit bureaus to remove the original debt from your credit history. Check your reports over thoroughly, if there is debt showing that was discharged in a bankruptcy, you can contact the credit bureaus online, or in writing and request that the information be deleted.
Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure that you sort out your taxes. When you file, the bankruptcy trustee will need to see your tax return from last year and possibly even your tax return from two years ago. If you have these documents ready, your bankruptcy attorney will be able to ensure that the whole bankruptcy process is carried out as quickly as possible.
If you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but realize that you are unable to meet your payment obligations, you may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. To qualify for the conversion, you must never have converted your bankruptcy before and also undergo a financial evaluation. The laws surrounding this process are always changing, so be sure to talk with an attorney who can help you navigate this process.
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.
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, you may want to look into other options. Remember, when you file for bankruptcy, you are greatly hurting your credit score, which in turn, can prohibit you from buying a house, car, and other big purchases. Consider safer, alternative methods first, such as consumer credit counseling.
If you are unsure about the paperwork that you need to bring with you when you meet with an attorney, ask. Also, inquire as to whether the lawyer you are meeting with offers free consultations. You do not want to be surprised by a large fee just for them taking a look at your case.
Personal bankruptcy filings have grown increasingly common in the aftermath of the financial crisis experienced over the past few years. Gaining greater knowledge about the bankruptcy process, what it can and cannot do, and the best ways to ensure successful discharge of debts, is critical for anyone facing serious financial difficulty. Keep the tips in this article close at hand, and you can soon seize back control of your financial destiny and get the fresh start you need.