An important step in preparing to file is to discontinue your use of credit cards. If the court thinks that you are running up charges on credit on the eve of bankruptcy, they will not allow that particular debt to be discharged. This does not mean that you cannot file for bankruptcy, just that you may need to wait some time before filing and engage in some pre filing preparations as you will be advised by your attorney.
It is not a good idea to transfer your possessions to a friend or relative in an attempt to “hide” assets. Most people, in fact 97% of the people filing for bankruptcy get to keep absolutely all of their possessions. Related to this, it is not a good idea to pay back any friends or family members before your file as the trustee will see this as paying back insiders at the expense of all of your creditors. In other words, the trustee wants to see that you have neglected to pay (or tried to pay) all of your creditors, not just Mom or Uncle Bob.
It is also not a good idea to pay one credit card and not the other credit cards. Sometimes one particular bank will be more aggressive than others. The bank may have hired an attorney or even started a collection lawsuit against you. Note that the trustee is also concerned about something called a creditor preference where you pay one bank at the expense of the other banks who are not paid.
The bottom line is that the absolute best way to prepare for a bankruptcy is to contact an attorney and closely follow the advice given. Call Seelinger Law today for your FREE CONSULTATION.
Most of my clients do not ever step foot in a courtroom. You will attend a meeting with me and a trustee assigned to your case but you will not have the formality or the public exposure of a courtroom. Your creditors are allowed to come to the trustee meeting but they rarely do.
Seelinger Law is adept at making this process as painless as possible. Your attorney will fill out all of the paperwork, the only thing you have to do is provide your attorney with some background information about your income, expenses and personal belongings and your attorney will do the rest. You will need a short list of documents to prove to the trustee that you are who you say you are and that you do not live too extravagantly as well as proof of your income. Your attorney will help you every step of the way.
Every person or couple filing for a chapter under the bankruptcy code is required to complete two counseling sessions. One session must be completed before filing and the second session is to be completed after filing. Your attorney will apprise you of the timelines for the two sessions. There are many approved online courses, as well as certified counselors one on one telephonic conferences, or even classroom settings. These options vary in price from five (5) to thirty five (35) dollars. Your lawyer will help you choose the option that will best suit your personality and financial needs. Even if you decide not to take your lawyer’s advice on which credit counseling agency you use, you should at the very least check with your lawyer to make sure that the agency you choose is actually approved by the United States Department of Justice for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
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