How do I prepare for bankruptcy?
If you have serious financial problems and want to get out of debt, you may need to petition for bankruptcy. There are some things you have to do before filing your bankruptcy petition in order to harness the bankruptcy process in an optimal way.
There’s more to declaring bankruptcy than filling out bankruptcy forms and submitting them. For this reason, it’s best to be assisted by a bankruptcy lawyer when filing bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy lawyers suggest doing the following before you go ahead and file for bankruptcy protection.
Make a list of your assets with an estimate of their current worth.
- Do the same with every secured debt such as your mortgage and car loan and all unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit card debt.
- Figure out your household’s monthly income.
- Estimate your household’s monthly expenses by averaging the last three months’.
By doing this, you can give your bankruptcy attorney a good idea of what your actual financial situation is so he or she can craft a fitting debt relief strategy for you.
Bankrupt debtors are required to disclose all assets when they file for bankruptcy protection with the bankruptcy court. The list should include even those expected to be among the bankruptcy exemptions they can claim. Some assets like bank accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, and life insurance are easier to value than others, e.g. furniture, vehicles, and real estate.
The following are some tips on how to get a good approximate on the value of such properties in preparation for your bankruptcy filing.
- Household items/personal possessions – Price these objects the same way if you were to sell them at a garage sale. Don’t overestimate their value just because they have sentimental significance. You could also go to eBay or Craigslist to see how similar items are priced.
- Vehicles – Check out Edmunds.com to see what price your specific model is going for, but don’t forget to consider the mileage and condition of your own vehicle in determining its worth.
- Real Estate – You could base the value of your home or land on its current tax bill, which reflects what its county’s property value administrator believes it to be worth. You could also go to Zillow.com to see for how much similar properties in the area are being sold.
Debt and Creditor Lists
A debtor who is filing for bankruptcy is also required to disclose every debt, actual and potential. If you were to file for bankruptcy, you must furnish your bankruptcy attorney with a list of all your creditors as well as the debt collection agencies you’ve heard from to help him or her figure out how to deal with them.
To prepare for your bankruptcy case, your lawyer must have not only a list of debt collectors but the amounts you were unable to pay as well. Certain debts such as student loans and child support are not dischargeable. Nonetheless, you must include even debts that you cannot discharge since they can impact your disposable income. In case there’s a lawsuit filed against you or there’s somebody who may possibly file one against you, inform your lawyer as well.
Declare Bankruptcy with Appropriate Legal Help! Call an Oregon Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
If you’re considering bankruptcy, there are several factors you need to take into account. Engaging the legal services of a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy law will ensure that you properly address all of them. Bankruptcies are associated with a difficult time in people’s lives, but if you’re guided by legal advice throughout the bankruptcy legal process, the experience should be smoother and less painful for you.
Before ensuring that you know how to file bankruptcy correctly, your lawyer will help you determine which of the different types of bankruptcy in the bankruptcy code is most suitable for your case. For personal bankruptcy, you’ll have to choose either liquidation (sell non-exempt assets to pay back your debts) or reorganization (hold on to your assets but spend three to five years executing a debt payment plan). A lawyer will ensure that you file under the most fitting bankruptcy chapter.