Bogged by financial problems, debtors in Oregon count on the bankruptcy protection that filers get upon filing a petition for bankruptcy. The automatic stay is something that they look forward to. It’s an injunction that takes effect upon the bankruptcy filing and it puts a halt on all debt collection attempts from collection agencies and creditors. The bankruptcy process is designed to get rid of your debt, but there are steps you can take before and after filing for bankruptcy to get the best possible outcome. What are some of them?
Prepare your bank accounts.
The bankruptcy trustee is authorized to take money from your nonexempt bank account funds. It’s best to pay your bills with your bank money before filing for personal bankruptcy. Bank account funds are usually not among the bankruptcy exemptions. In bankruptcy cases in which they are not considered non-exempt assets, the coverage still isn’t that significant.
Your bank may also freeze your account upon learning that you’re filing bankruptcy. Although you can ask your trustee to request for the freeze to be lifted, the prudent way to go is to use your bank account funds to take care of current bills so that the amount left is minimal. The trustee can’t take much if there’s not a lot available in the first place.
Prepare for potential set-offs.
Set offs could mess with your finances, so it serves you well to anticipate them and take preventive action. For instance, if you have credit card debt or a loan with a bank where you also have an account with funds, the bank may be allowed a set-off, which would let it use money in your account to pay back your debt. When considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure that your existing loans and credit card debts are not with banks where you hold an account with funds.
Another example concerns security deposits with utility companies. A company, such as gas and electric, may take your deposit to set off your debt when you file for bankruptcy. You’ll be required to give a new deposit. It pays to postpone declaring bankruptcy until you’ve either paid your utility bills or added to your deposit. Keep in mind, however, that utility companies shouldn’t halt serving subscribers on account of unpaid bills when they declare bankruptcy.
Stop automatic payments.
Creditors you’ve authorized to make automatic deductions from your bank account or paycheck will continue to do so until they’re officially notified that you have filed for bankruptcy. Since notice may take some time getting to them, you might want to take it upon yourself to do it. Just make sure that you include the following information:
- Filing date
- Bankruptcy case number
- Bankruptcy court
If you intend to file for bankruptcy protection, you have to remember to halt all authorized deductions from any of your bank accounts and credit cards, as well as from your paycheck. Failing to do so may end up messing your monthly income so that you can’t afford your basic needs. If a service is authorized to charge your monthly subscription to your credit card, address this situation as well. Also, take appropriate action when a creditor is authorized to take money from your bank account or paycheck to pay off a dischargeable debt.
Be Prepared to File Bankruptcy! Contact an Oregon Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
If you want to file for bankruptcy in Oregon in the smartest way possible, seek the legal advice of a bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy filings are more than just gathering the necessary documents and accomplishing bankruptcy forms. It serves you well to have assistance throughout the entire bankruptcy proceedings, as well as before and after bankruptcy. The expertise of bankruptcy attorneys on the matter makes a difference in the whole experience.
In bankruptcy, legal guidance is a huge help. You can make an informed decision on which among the types of bankruptcy in the bankruptcy code to choose, whether to file under the reorganization or the liquidation bankruptcy chapter. You’ll learn how to file your bankruptcy petition properly as well as go through the entire process within the confines of bankruptcy laws until you get your bankruptcy discharge. For legal aid and representation in bankruptcies, call us at Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm and speak with one of our experienced Oregon bankruptcy lawyers.