Things to do Before Filing Bankruptcy

Before you get ready to file bankruptcy, it is important for you to find a good, reputable attorney that will be willing to assist you before, during and after your case is over. Make sure you discuss with your attorney which bills to pay and which bills to leave to the bankruptcy process. Your attorney will need you to gather all your income documents such as pay stubs, taxes from the previous two years, and bank statements. It is also necessary for your attorney to be aware of all your debts, so it will be helpful to gather all bill and credit card statements. Your attorney will order a copy of your credit report so these items can be compared.

It is important for you to pre-plan with your attorney. Have a discussion about what is legal and ethical under the Bankruptcy laws. It is important not to hide things as this would be considered fraud. Tell the truth to your attorney. When your attorney is aware of the whole story, he can properly advise you within the context of the Federal Bankruptcy fraud laws. Your attorney will use the Federal Bankruptcy laws and rules to your advantage whenever possible. Never give the appearance of abuse as this can mean losing assets or perhaps even jail time. Incurring debt, hiding assets, or transferring money to another party prior to filing bankruptcy are sure signs of abusing the system.
If you are thinking of choosing to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may wonder what the difference is between this and contracting with a credit counseling agency that promises to help you repay debt over time. Credit counseling agencies are a mixed bag, some often just making a profit from your misfortune. Without Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection, your creditors can still call, harass, garnish and repossess. Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy affords you the Federal protection against these aggressive collection techniques.

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