If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, it pays to do
some prebankruptcy planning before you take the plunge. With some forethought,
you can help the process go more smoothly, anticipate and fix problems, and determine
the best time to file.
If you are married and considering bankruptcy, you'll have to decide whether to file separately (that is, only one spouse files for bankruptcy and the other is not part of the case) or jointly (both spouses file together).
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee has the right to take back property or money that the debtor improperly gave away before filing. "Clawback" is the term used to describe this power, which allows the trustee to regain assets should have been part of the debtor's bankruptcy estate, but were removed or hidden from the trustee by the debtor by means of preferential or fraudulent transfers.
If you have filed or are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be concerned about what effect it will have on your job. Federal law protects employees from discrimination based on bankruptcy. However, some applicants are not protected from bankruptcy discrimination in hiring. Discrimination in
Many people file for bankruptcy to get rid of credit card debt. Along with other unsecured debts (such as medical bills and lawsuit judgments), credit card debt is typically discharged in bankruptcy. Once your case is over, credit card debt will be wiped out.
In bankruptcy, a preference payment occurs when you repay a creditor within a certain period of time before you file for bankruptcy. If you make a preference payment (also called a preferential transfer), your bankruptcy trustee may be able to get the money back from the person or business you paid – called “avoiding” the transfer.
If you receive an inheritance after filing for bankruptcy, it might become part of your bankruptcy estate. In a Chapter 7 case, this means the trustee can take the inheritance unless it's protected by an exemption. In a Chapter 13 case, receiving an inheritance could increase the amount you have to repay to your creditors.
If you are filing for bankruptcy, you may be considering repaying certain debts before you file. Although paying off debts before filing bankruptcy may seem like the right thing to do, it is often not a good idea. In many cases, if you repay a debt within three months before filing (longer if the debt
Since bankruptcy law requires you to tell the bankruptcy court about everything you own, hiding your property is never a good idea. If the court or trustee discovers that you hid something, you could face serious consequences, including not receiving a discharge. You could even face criminal charges.
It's not uncommon for divorcing couples to also file for bankruptcy. Some divorcing couples have strugged with debt for years, and others face new financial troubles because of changed living and financial circumstances. If you are considering both divorce and bankruptcy, it's wise to consider which to do first.
Deciding when to file for bankruptcy involves many considerations. But sometimes filing for bankruptcy as soon as possible is the best option. This might be the case if you are facing foreclosure, your car is about to repossessed, you have received a wage garnishment order, or you have a judgment lien against some property you own.
If you know you want to file for bankruptcy, sometimes it's best to delay filing your petition. In some circumstances, waiting for a certain period of time before you file can help you keep more money, protect the money of another person (such as a relative), increase your chances of qualifying for Chapter 7, and more.
If you plan to file for bankruptcy but are also facing foreclosure, the timing of your bankruptcy can make a difference for you, depending on what you want to do with your home. In some cases, you should file for bankruptcy first, before the foreclosure sale occurs. In others, it may be better to let
Is bankruptcy the right solution for your overwhelming debts? Pick the best strategies for your situation with the information and practical suggestions in this book by best-selling author Stephen Elias.