I can’t tell you how many debtors I deal with who have tried to blunder their way through financial problems only to make things worse because they have no clue about the bankruptcy process and the intricacies involved. Planning and preparation is essential for a successful bankruptcy. Lack of proper planning will cause even more headaches than you are already dealing with.
Here are a few tips that will make the bankruptcy process less painful.
Find a good, board-certified lawyer
Do your research and hire an expert. A board-certified bankruptcy lawyer has the expertise and experience to provide advice you can trust and ensure a successful outcome. Don’t just hire the cheapest lawyer out there, this will not save you money in the long run. The saying is true, you get what you pay for. When your financial future is on the line, you want to make sure you have a certified expert on your side.
Keep paying on loans
If you plan to keep your home or your car, keep making your payments on secured loans. Don’t give creditors a reason to repossess or foreclose. You may be able to catch up on past due payments under a Chapter 13 plan.
If possible, try to file taxes before filing for bankruptcy. Failure to file timely tax returns may result in discharge of your bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy law requires that you disclose all your assets and debts. Get ALL your financial documents in order before you visit your bankruptcy lawyer. Getting organized for bankruptcy will save you time and money. And don’t try to hide your assets, this may result in discharge of your case, the imposition of a fine or jail time.
Waiting to get professional bankruptcy advice will definitely make the process more stressful. Most debtors will benefit by consulting with a certified bankruptcy attorney sooner than later.
Jim Cossitt has decades of bankruptcy experience and is Montana’s only dual-certified bankruptcy lawyer. He has the expertise and integrity to handle even the most difficult cases.