Bankruptcy is a burden that no one wants to every have to carry. Yet, many people these days in the United States do.
The fact of the matter is that it is all too easy to let a single debt lead to a multitude of overwhelming debts. And it is just as easy to let overwhelming debts lead to a devastating situation in which the only way out is bankruptcy.
Last week on the Project Debt Relief blog we talked about how to avoid bankruptcy. But we also understand that sometimes bankruptcy really is the best option to take. The personal bankruptcy tips discussed below will help you decide for yourself whether it is the route that you should take.
If you are in debt, with bills piled up high and collectors and creditors constantly hassling you, then you really can’t ignore these tips.
Make More Money
Before going with bankruptcy, it is important that you first explore all of your other options. Perhaps the best way to avoid bankruptcy – or to see for yourself that it is your only option – is to make some more money.
The best way to make more money is to get a second job. A second job allows many people that are struggling with debt to dedicate all of the income made from it to paying off their debts. They can then use the money from their regular job to put towards their normal monthly expenses and possibly even open a savings account.
Better yet, if you can show your creditors that you are actually making a hard effort to pay back your debts, you might be able to negotiate with them. They might be willing to give you a little leeway in paying your money back. There is the chance that you could arrange a settlement (check our review of the best debt settlement companies) or a different payment plan so that you can avoid bankruptcy altogether.
Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer
A bankruptcy lawyer will know a lot more about bankruptcy than you do. Talking with one before resorting to bankruptcy will help you investigate all of your other options.
A bankruptcy lawyer will be able to educate you on options other than bankruptcy. Among these are things like a debt repayment plan or reducing the interest rates in your debts. They can also help you apply for a modification of your mortgage if your home is going into foreclosure.
If you do decide, together with your bankruptcy lawyer, to go ahead and file bankruptcy, then they will be able to help you with this process too. The proceedings involving bankruptcy can be very complicated and it is essential to have someone who knows what is happening by your side. They will help you make sure that you file correctly and that all of your filings are done in the right way.
Do Not Transfer Your Assets
Do not transfer any of your assets over to another person if you are planning on filing for bankruptcy. Assets that are transferred twelve months before or twelve months after bankruptcy has been filed is cause for suspicion. It is seen as a blatant attempt by you to hide your assets.
If you do transfer your assets, your case will likely be dismissed. You might even be in for greater legal trouble. If you have transferred assets recently, make sure that it is known in your bankruptcy filing. This will ease the heat considerably.
Consider Your Student Loans
Filing for bankruptcy is made much more difficult if one of the primary reasons for your debt is student loans. Student loans are generally (look at the specific terms of yours to be sure) not forgivable when it comes to bankruptcy.
If you really must get your student loans cleared during the bankruptcy process, then you will have to show proof that you are suffering undue hardship. Do not stretch the truth here. Tell the absolute truth.
It is worthwhile to hire a bankruptcy lawyer specifically for this process. They will be able to help you will out the paperwork that shows that you qualify for the removal of student loans from your debts.
Bankruptcy is a supremely complicated and unfortunate matter. Unfortunately, it is the only route that some people are able to take financially. When going through the bankruptcy process, be sure to:
- Exhaust your alternatives
- Fully understand your situation
- Seek out the help of a bankruptcy lawyer
- Understand your student loan situation
- Hold off on transferring your assets
When you do all of these things, the bankruptcy process will run that much more smoothly.