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5 Things You Must Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

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5 Things You Must Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

It’s the first day of the month and millions of Americans are not only experiencing payday but pay out day. Rent, car payments, mortgages, and so many other bills have many Americans dreading the first few days of the month.

Why is it that paying bills is so dreadful? Perhaps it is because 38.1% of Americans are in debt and every year approximately 1.2 million have been forced to file bankruptcy for a host of reasons including unemployment, large medical expenses, seriously overextended credit, and marital problems.

You Will Still Have to Pay Your Student Loans

Bankruptcy has continued to be a popular trend for those who find themselves in loads of debt and feel as if filing bankruptcy is all they need to do in order to obtain relief. One misconception that many people seem to have about filing for bankruptcy is that it will save them from having to pay off their student loans. While that would be an exciting benefit of filing for bankruptcy, it is not one of them. In fact, a student loan is the one thing that cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy.

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Before jumping the gun, it is vital that you do some research. In fact, many banks offer educational portals online that allow customers and consumers to do their research before making any decisions that can impact their finances. If after all of your research you determine you are ready to file for bankruptcy, there are a few things that bankruptcy lawyers suggest that you avoid doing:

1. Obtaining new Debt

Do not acquire more credit card or other types of debt if you are within 70-90 days of filing bankruptcy. If you choose to obtain new debt and later file for bankruptcy, that creditor has the ability to object to your request.

It can simply be discharged because the creditor can argue that they didn’t approve your loan with the knowledge that you had not intended to pay it back.

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2. Transferring Money

When you file for bankruptcy you are often asked to provide information regarding any assets you have, or will soon have, in your possession. Many people walk into bankruptcy so fearful that they operate in panic and end up selling or transferring assets out of their names in order to avoid losing the few assets they have remaining.

While this may seem smart to the individual who is filing bankruptcy, it is illegal to hide assets. Not only could your bankruptcy be denied but you would be putting yourself at risk for criminal penalties.

3. Paying off any Creditors

Many bankruptcy experts encourage individuals not to pay back loans or other creditors within 90 days of filing bankruptcy. If you do, you may be eligible for a preferential transfer.

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This can easily be undone once you file for bankruptcy. The trustee leading the bankruptcy can use this preferential transfer to help you get money back from the individuals that you paid off prior to your bankruptcy.

4. Cashing out Your Savings

Many people will attempt to cash out their savings as another way to hide money from their bankruptcy trustee or creditor but the joke may, in fact, be on them.

If you are caught cashing out your savings, you risk criminal prosecution. While saving a few assets may be important to you today they won’t serve any purpose if you are a convicted felon.

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5. Delaying the Process

If you have sought professional advice and it has been determined that you should file for bankruptcy, find out how long you should or should not wait and then take action. In some cases, you can run into bigger problems if you delay your filing.

Featured photo credit: economynewswire.com via economynewswire.com

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