Personal bankruptcy is a big step for many people, and it is a legitimate tool that helps people get out from under a mountain of debt. Many borrowers successfully build their credit after filing bankruptcy, and continue on with success in their financial lives. Read on to find out more about personal bankruptcy, and what it means to you financially.
If you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but realize that you are unable to meet your payment obligations, you may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. To qualify for the conversion, you must never have converted your bankruptcy before and also undergo a financial evaluation. The laws surrounding this process are always changing, so be sure to talk with an attorney who can help you navigate this process.
Remember you still have to pay taxes on your debts. A lot of people don't realize that even if their debts are discharged in the bankruptcy, they are still responsible to the IRS. The IRS usually does not allow complete forgiveness, although payment plans are common. Make sure to find out what is covered and what is not.
If you have student loan debt, you'll need to prove that paying your student loans would constitute an undue hardship in order to get it discharged. Gather all of your financial documents and draw up two budgets: one that includes student loan payments and one that does not. That way you can more easily demonstrate that paying your student loans would interfere with your financial recovery.
When it comes time for you to hire an attorney to deal with your bankruptcy, be sure to find one that has a ton of experience with personal bankruptcy. Learn about the charges you will have to pay, and how many of their associates will be working on your case.
Find a specialized lawyer if you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is complicated and there is no way you can understand all you need to know. An attorney will make sure that everything is being done correctly.
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.
When meeting with a personal bankruptcy lawyer, be sure you have all of the necessary paperwork with you. This will make the whole filing process go much easier and quicker. Some of the paperwork you should have with you includes loan documents, credit card bills, and any other relevant financial documents.
Start taking calls from bill collectors. You may have been avoiding calls from bill collectors, but if you are filing bankruptcy you may need to speak to them. You need to have all of your debts laid out so that your lawyer can get to work involving them in your case. If you don't include a debt, it will not be discharged, and you will still have to pay it.
If you are getting sued and filing for bankruptcy, you may need to buy some time for the summary judgment to come through. If this is the case, pay a filing fee to buy some time. Mail a letter to the opposing side stating "I dispute the validity of this debt." That will buy you more time.
It is important that you don't let bankruptcy get you down in the dumps. Bankruptcy can be a challenging time in anyone's life, but it is meant to give you a fresh start, enabling you to establish good credit and move toward a better future for you and your family. Remember, bankruptcy is your legal right, so don't feel guilty or ashamed of taking advantage of it. If you do feel that you are suffering excess anxiety or depression over financial issues, counseling may help you to better deal with your emotions and concerns.
Learn from it. Bankruptcy is a great chance for a fresh start. However, bankruptcy is not the end of problems. You must remember to use the fresh start to begin re-building your credit and learning how to budget and spend wisely. You can find a course either online or through the court to help with this.
Instead of filing for bankruptcy, you may want to think about getting a personal bankruptcy loan. These loans are designed to help pay off smaller loans. In the end, your monthly payments will be a lot lower than before and the savings could add up to be an astonishing amount.
After filing for bankruptcy, wait a couple of months and then access your credit reports via the three major agencies that handle credit report. You want to see an accurate record of the closure of your accounts and the discharge of your debts. If any discrepancies appear, check on them immediately. This will allow you to start fixing your credit.
Keep in mind that your credit is not necessarily ruined just because you have filed for bankruptcy. But, it is important once you have filed for bankruptcy, that you properly manage your finances. This is the only way that you are going to be able to rebuild your credit the right way.
If you are avoiding personal bankruptcy but fear that you will lose your retirement savings, you should know that is not likely to happen. If you have an ERISA qualified retirement program (most are), then your retirement savings are safe from claims by creditors. This applies to funds in 401ks and to most IRAs. Consult your own bankruptcy attorney for specific details for your circumstances, but you should know the odds are in your favor.
As with most consumer related issues, bankruptcy is best approached with solid information and reliable advice. Hopefully, this article has been a great source of that much needed help and you should now be better prepared to tackle your financial future and pursue the steps involved in getting back on the right financial track!