If you lost your job and are struggling to make ends meet because you have a lot of unsecured consumer debt, then filing for personal bankruptcy might be the best option. However, there are many things you must do when preparing your case for court, including each of the following.
Avoid Acquiring New Debt in the Months Leading Up to Your Filing Date
If you do not have any experience with bankruptcy filings, then you might be surprised to learn that the actions you take during many months leading up to your filing will greatly affect how your case goes in court.
For example, if you go out and run up a bunch of new credit card debt in the few months before you file your case, then the court will see this as an act of fraud. They look at this type of action from the perspective that you must have already been considering filing bankruptcy and adding to your debt load was simply a move to obtain new stuff that you won't ever have to pay for. So, if you know that you will be filing bankruptcy in the future, or even just think you might, then stop using your credit cards and don't make any large purchases on credit.
Ensure You Fill Out Your Filing Paperwork as Honestly and Accurately as Possible
It cannot be overstated that you absolutely must fill out all of your bankruptcy paperwork as accurately and honestly as possible. When you or your attorney file your case with the bankruptcy court, it must contain all of the following:
- current monthly expenses
If you leave any of these things off of your paperwork, then the bankruptcy trustee might reject your case or accuse you of submitting fraudulent information. In the best scenario, your case would be thrown out of court and in the worst case, you could receive criminal charges.
Hire an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney to Represent You in Court
Finally, while you will not be required to attend an actual court hearing after you file for bankruptcy protection, you will be required to attend a creditors' meeting. During this meeting, it is always helpful if you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney attend with you. Your lawyer can give you advice about how to answer the bankruptcy trustee's questions. If you do not take along an attorney, then you will be on your own and may say the wrong thing during your creditors' meeting.
For more information, contact a firm such as Lazaro Carvajal.