One of the most difficult financial decisions a person may have to make in their life is to decide to file for personal bankruptcy. With such a big decision, you should be sure to know as much about the process as possible. Use this information to help you know if it is the right course of action to take.
Know your rights when it comes to filing for personal bankruptcy. The last thing you need now, is a hassle from the legal professional that you hire to represent you. A few years ago, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was made into law, in order to protect financially strapped consumers from being ripped off. Beware and be informed!
Seek advice from a debt consultant before you file for bankruptcy. Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not something that you should do without first seeking advice from a financial expert. This is because filing for bankruptcy will seriously hinder your ability to secure credit in the coming years.
Remember that certain kinds of debt won’t be discharged even after you have filed for bankruptcy. If you have outstanding student loans, owe child or spousal support, a divorce settlement agreement, or unpaid taxes, you will still be liable for these debts. Also, if you forget to list certain debts on your court documents, you won’t be able to add them in the future.
Always weigh your options carefully prior to deciding to dive head first into filing a bankruptcy claim. For example, there are credit counseling services that can help you to deal with smaller amounts of debt. You can also talk to creditors and ask them to lower payments, but be sure to get any debt agreements in writing.
Since filing for bankruptcy is quite a complicated process, it is recommended that you find yourself a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy. There is usually some sort of a fee associated with hiring one though. However, if you can not afford one, you should still look into one since there are organizations that could help you out with the cost of one.
Never use a paralegal to guide you through the bankruptcy process. While some paralegals may have the necessary knowledge to provide all the answers you need, they cannot give legal advice legally. Because of this, you are not guaranteed in any way to receive accurate information or advice. An attorney, on the other hand, has a legal and ethical obligation to provide you with accurate information and sound advice.
Be highly skeptical of any debt settlement companies. If possible, avoid using one altogether. Often times, because you are paying them monthly, they will drag their feet on your filing to make more money. They are usually unregulated, as well, which makes it difficult to fight any injustices you may encounter.
Now that you have been provided with some useful information about personal bankruptcy, carefully weigh your options. Making this decision is going to impact your life for several years. If you have considered all of the other options, carefully follow the correct steps to file for personal bankruptcy and prepare for what changes it will bring.