There is a chance that you’re flooded with anxiety when contemplating filing for bankruptcy. Having challenges with debt can be a stressful period in one’s life. Creditors will be on your case and a simple mistake could make you lose your assets. That is why you should be getting in touch with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a smooth process. The process itself is complex and confusing and isn’t something that you’d want to do on your own. Before you can start filing, here are a couple of things that you need to know about bankruptcy.
It is Not an In and Out Process
If you’ve never had any experience with bankruptcy cases, it is easy to assume that they’re similar to normal cases. A bankruptcy case can last up to a year. If you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can expect a shorter time but other types of bankruptcy could take more than a year before the cases are finalized. If you’re unsure of the process, it is imperative that you’re getting in touch with a Dallas bankruptcy lawyer.
You’ll Be Open For Financial Scrutiny
If you’re never the person to discuss your finances with friends and family, you should be prepared for financial scrutiny. This could sometimes mean that your financial life will open to the public. Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you’ll be required to attend the meeting with creditors in person. There are no restrictions on the kind of questions the creditors can ask provided they’re related to the case. This will mean that anything to do with your finances can be questioned.
Honesty is Required
It is crucial that you’re being completely honest with the information presented when filing for bankruptcy. This is because a bankruptcy court will be of the opinion that only an honest individual should be entitled to a debt discharge. The first thing you’ll be required to do is to list down all your creditors, debts, and property. If it is discovered that you’re being dishonest at any point, there is a chance that you might lose the bankruptcy discharge. The FBI could be involved as bankruptcy fraud is a serious offense.
Bankruptcy Forms Are Complex
A lot of people are of the assumption that filing for bankruptcy is a simple and straightforward process. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There will be complex questions that need answers and will mostly be centered on your financial affairs. It is important that you’re taking your time as you’ll not want to provide the wrong information. Having an experienced attorney will help you fill the forms correctly so that there are no chances of making mistakes.
The Discharge is Personal
For any filing of bankruptcy, the ultimate goal will be to have the debt discharged. This is because it will prevent all the creditors from collecting debt from you. The bankruptcy will only protect you as an individual. It doesn’t include shared debt. A good example is when you’re the co-signer of a loan. There is nothing that will be stopping the lender from collecting debt under such circumstances.
The Process is Not Cheap
You could be in a bad place financially but filing for bankruptcy could be costly. The cost of filing for bankruptcy will be determined by the attorney you’ll hire and if the fees will be waived. Doing the filing on your own could still attract substantial fees.
It Will Impact Your Credit
It could take up to 2 years before you can start recovering from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are not a lot of creditors that will be willing to work with you. You’ll first have to rebuild your credit score. Don’t take on huge credit that you’ll have issues with repayment. The last thing you should be doing when still recovering from Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to accumulate more debt.
You Might Lose Property
It is possible to keep property when filing for bankruptcy but not all of it. Any property that isn’t exempt can be claimed by the bankruptcy trustee. The kind of property that you get to keep will be determined by the bankruptcy option that you go for. The exemptions will also vary from one state to the next.
Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit for years to come but it could sometimes be the only way out. If it comes to that, you’d want to get an experienced bankruptcy attorney that will ensure that you’re getting the best out of the case.