If you are going for the bankruptcy filing, you need to understand that you are going for a legally complex decision. Bankruptcy will have its effect on your future, finances, business, eligibility for getting a home or car loan or student loan, your credit score and precisely your life. While chapter 7 bankruptcy will end in 3-7 months, chapter 13 bankruptcy will take 3-5 years to end. Hence, you need to understand how you are going to prepare for it with the insights of our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer.Talk to a Lawyer
The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to find a lawyer. You might think that you can do it on your own as you have the provision of pro se filers and there is no law that prevents a debtor to file bankruptcy on their own. You might think this is a cost effective decision too. But for doing this, you need to have detailed knowledge of the state and federal bankruptcy governing rules. In fact, the United States Court’s website issues the following warnings for pro se filers:
- “While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or “pro se,” it is extremely difficult to do it successfully… Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences — hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.”
- “Individual bankruptcy cases are randomly audited to determine the accuracy, truthfulness, and completeness of the information that the debtor is required to provide. Please be aware that bankruptcy fraud is a crime.”
- “Pro se litigants should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the local rules of the court in which the case is filed.”
Hence, talking to an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer is in your best interest.Transfer Bank Account Funds
Banks in the United States have the right to freeze the account of a customer if the customer owes some money to the bank and they are falling behind with the payment. So, if you are in a similar situation, you need to move your funds from the bank you owe to another bank you owe nothing to. This way you can keep your cash safe while filing for bankruptcy.Cancel Automatic Payments
The moment you file for bankruptcy, the court releases an automatic stay on your credits. As a result, your creditor cannot pursue you or harass you anymore for the payments of the money you owe them. In a situation like this, if you have the automatic payment mode on for some of your creditors, then legally, they should cancel the payments. However, things always don’t happen that way as they should. Often the payment is managed automatically from your creditors’ end too which they don’t cancel immediately. That is why you must not wait for the creditor and cancel your automatic payments by yourself.Chalk Out a Budget
You need to chalk out a budget. Admit it or not, bankruptcy can be the result of overspending. So, when you are thinking of filing bankruptcy, you need to make sure that the same situation that led to bankruptcy doesn’t happen again. That is why you need to chalk out a budget and plan where you can cut your expenses. Selling fancy appliances or the car you hardly drive or ditching a cab for a bus to go to work, find out more ways to save more.Assemble the Paperwork
Bankruptcy brings in a lot of paperwork and one of that is filing a series of alphabetical schedules that will contain information about your finances. Apart from that, you have to file a Statistical Summary, the Certificate of Credit Counseling, the Statement of Financial Affairs, and the Creditor Matrix.
Along with that, you will have to fill out forms carrying details and numbers of your accounts. In case of any mistake, you will have to go for an amendment and work out it with the trustee. If you are suspected of making a deliberate mistake to conceal any information, you will be under investigation too.
Hence, in order to provide all the accurate financial information on time, you need to assemble all your paperwork including property titles, deeds, insurance papers, tax returns, notices of defaults, pay stubs, promissory notes, and so on.Get Credit Counseling
According to federal law, it is mandatory to go for credit counseling before your filing. For that, you need to choose an agency approved by the Department of Justice. You can also opt for online classes if traveling is not possible for you. Apart from English and Spanish, they also offer service in French, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, German, Hindi, and so on.
So, to know about bankruptcy more, come to us at Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Law Group. Our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer will surely help you.