Even when faced with dire financial consequences, many people fear the prospect of filing personal bankruptcy. The key to defeating what can, often be, crippling anxiety is familiarizing yourself with the process and its potential benefits. Use the tips in this article to alleviate your fears and do what is necessary to get a fresh financial start.
Do your research before choosing a bankruptcy lawyer. Take advantage of free consultations, and meet with several different lawyers before picking one to work with. Make sure that you choose an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about the local laws, the preferences of trustees, and has a good working relationship with local judges.
Many people do not know that student loans are not dischargeable debt under bankruptcy laws. Do not go into your bankruptcy thinking that your student loans will be discharged, because only in cases of extreme hardship are they considered. If the job you received from pursuing your degree will never allow you to pay off your debt, you may have a chance, but it is highly unlikely.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy you definitely need to hire an attorney. Filing for bankruptcy is complicated and there is no way you can understand all you need to know. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the filing process.
Find out what the homestead exemption limit is in your state before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have too much equity in your home to qualify for the exemption, you could lose your house in the bankruptcy. You can't change your mind once you've begun the process, so make sure you will be able to keep your home before you file.
Be aware that most bankruptcy lawyers will offer a free consultation. Take advantage of that and meet with several of them. If it's handled in 15 minutes or less, if you meet with the assistant instead of the lawyer, or if you're pressured to sign up immediately in person or by phone, go somewhere else.
Look into proper timing. You can keep your tax refund even when filing bankruptcy. You have to time it just right to do so. Wait until after your tax form has been processed, and you have received your tax return. One of the sneakiest things that a trustee does is to take an income tax return that debtors rely on. Waiting can keep that money in your pocket.
When meeting with a personal bankruptcy lawyer, be sure you have all of the necessary paperwork with you. This will make the whole filing process go much easier and quicker. Some of the paperwork you should have with you includes loan documents, credit card bills, and any other relevant financial documents.
Meet with many different attorneys before making any decision on one. To do this, you must start looking well in advance of when you need to file. If you wait until the last minute, you will not have the time to find an attorney that will give you good advice, and one that is easy to work with.
Many people look at bankruptcy as an opportunity to get out of paying off their debts and a good way to start over. But, keep in mind that bankruptcy is a serious decision, and one that should be carefully considered. Bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit for seven to ten years, and even if you think you can get by without good credit, there are hidden uses for good credit you may not know about. Insurance companies, landlords and even prospective employers usually do a credit check before doing business with you!
If you are unsure about the paperwork that you need to bring with you when you meet with an attorney, ask. Also, inquire as to whether the lawyer you are meeting with offers free consultations. You do not want to be surprised by a large fee just for them taking a look at your case.
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy, you must seriously take into account anyone who has cosigned on a loan for you. For instance, if a friend or relative is a cosigner on your auto or home loan, they will be held financially responsible to pay the debt in the event you file for bankruptcy. This can create problems in relationships between family members and friends. That is why it is not advisable to cosign for anyone or ask someone to cosign for you, including your children. It could ruin someone's life.
The specter of personal bankruptcy is something countless individuals dread and strive to avoid, no matter what. The truth is that a little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward making bankruptcy a less mysterious, more accessible opportunity for those who need it. Apply the advice contained in this piece, and you may find that bankruptcy represents a good solution for your circumstances.