What you should know before you seek Bankruptcy Relief.
Discharge of your debts does not happen automatically. Consumers must prove that they are eligible for relief. In 2005 legislation was passed which some felt made filing for bankruptcy difficult or impossible. This is not true. Nearly every consumer who has contacted our office has qualified to file for bankruptcy, easily. It is clear that most people wait too long before deciding to file bankruptcy. We have seen many instances of people who have forgone medical treatment, lost homes or cars and lived with overwhelming debt and worry needlessly. Our clients routinely discharge tens of thousands of dollars of debt.
If you want to know if you qualify for bankruptcy submit a completed online assessment form and we will evaluate your specific circumstances and let you know if it’s the answer for you. There is no cost or obligation for this consultation.
A successful petition requires a few hours of work on the consumer’s part. You will have to gather documents and provide information regarding your assets and liability. You must present an honest, detailed and supportable snapshot of your financial situation.
Timing. If you are expecting a tax refund, an inheritance within the next year or someone to repay you a substantial amount of money we should discuss the timing of your bankruptcy. Depending on the timing of your bankruptcy, the trustee can take the money you are expecting and use it to pay off your creditors.
You should not pay any family members or close associates a large sum of money within a year before filing. Nor should you transfer assets, particularly real estate or high value personal property within a year before filing bankruptcy. You should not incur debt once you have decided to pursue bankruptcy. All of these actions could allow your creditors to assert fraud.
You should not have a large amount of cash or liquid assets available at the time you file bankruptcy. Some banks actually freeze bank accounts when a bankruptcy is filed denying you access to your own money. While you shouldn’t pay unsecured creditors which will be discharged in the bankruptcy you generally will continue paying secured creditors for items you intend to keep such as your car or home.
It is your responsibility to itemize and value your assets.
One of the most important parts of your petition is to tell the trustee and your creditors what assets you have and their respective values. This can be a very tedious task but it is vitally important to the success of your petition. Itemizing and valuing all of your assets may take five to ten hours of work on your part. But if you discharge $100,000 in debt it’s like as if you’re making $20,000 an hour. It is well worth the time. We will assist you with the process by showing you how to inventory your assets and point you to valuation resources.
Documents you will need:
Social Security Card (let us know if you cannot locate yours)
You will need to pay for the fees and costs associated with Bankruptcy.
Debtors must take two finance-related courses, which costs about $80 total and pay filing fees of about $300. Additionally, the debtor will pay for certain financial records (credit reports) to ensure eligibility for bankruptcy, and attorneys fees. Most debtors stop paying their credit card debts which will be discharged in bankruptcy anyway and use that money to pay for the bankruptcy.
A debtor’s poor financial condition should not be an impediment to filing bankruptcy. We offer an installment plan and a discount to AARP members. Contact us if you want to discuss payment options.
You can pay right now online using a debit card: