With the economy in such a shambles, the scarcity of jobs, and our society's love of all things credit, it's no wonder that so many people are in trouble financially. If you feel like the only way out is bankruptcy then you should make sure you carefully consider all the personal bankruptcy laws.
Obviously, everyone knows that they should never take bankruptcy lightly and I'm sure that before you consider bankruptcy you should carefully consider all the ramifications. If you truly believe that is the only alternative, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most common forms of bankruptcy. When you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy you will be relieved of most of your debt and you can retain certain assets. In most cases the person filing won't have to surrender any assets including their home.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy is when you can restructure your debt and try to pay them off. This form of bankruptcy allows you to repay some of your debts over a period of 3 - 5 years. This will allow you to keep some or all of your assets..
- Bankruptcy laws vary from state to state so you will have to find a lawyer in your area to walk you through the process and help protect your rights. In some cases, you will be able to keep your home and car but ultimately your attorney will let you know what your rights are and what you will be able to keep, and what assets you will have to surrender. When you are hiring an attorney, make sure you find one that has a lot of experience in personal bankruptcies. You want to know what charges you will incur and how many associates will actually be working on your case.
- When you sit down to meet with an attorney make sure you have all your financial paperwork available. Your lawyer will let you know what you will need to bring but in general, it will include your home loan documents, car loan documents, credit card bills as well as all financial records which show not only what your debt is but also what assets you have.
- It's your job to keep a close eye on all the paperwork filled out by your attorney. Your lawyer is probably dealing with multiple cases and can't necessarily keep track of all the details of your case. Make sure you carefully read all the paperwork to make sure that the information is filled out properly.
Don't be afraid to remind your attorney of certain details of your case. Don't assume that if you've told them something once then you don't have to remind them again. Be willing to speak up, it's your case and your future.
If you've carefully considered all the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy and have decided that you have no other option, just make sure that you carefully consider all aspects of personal bankruptcy laws. This is not the time to sit in the back seat, work side by side with your lawyer to get the best possible outcome.