How Do I Prepare for Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy can be scary and stressful for the whole family. Although bankruptcy injures your credit and makes it hard to get a home mortgage, it can relieve pressure from creditors and provide an opportunity for a fresh start. At Scaringi Law, our experienced Harrisburg bankruptcy lawyers have helped hundreds of clients and their families successfully file for bankruptcy. We can discuss your options and provide the legal advice you need throughout the process.
How can you and your family prepare for bankruptcy?
1.Analyze your options
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Depending on your situation, you may be able to file a Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 generally takes 6 months and imposes filing and administrative fees. The process involves selling your nonexempt property and assets to pay debts, and it puts an automatic stay into effect. This means creditors cannot contact you or try to collect the money you owe.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Chapter 11 is a common choice for business owners and involves reorganizing financial assets to pay debts. Liquidating certain assets can also provide the resources to pay off debts. This process has no time limit and may take 2 years or more.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 involves using your income to pay off all debts. Instead of selling assets and property, you will set up a 3 to 5-year repayment plan. You must prove that your income is high enough to pay off your debts, and you must also take credit counseling classes from an approved agency.
- Important documents: You should gather information about your income, taxes, debts, and assets before you file for bankruptcy. Make sure the documents are up to date and complete. When gathering information, you should collect copies of bank account statements, tax records, and other documents to reveal your financial status.
- Prepare a plan: Based on your situation, you should determine which bankruptcy plans you are eligible for. If you have a high income, you may be able to file Chapter 13. If you have a business, however, you may want to consider Chapter 11. On the other hand, if you are facing harassment by creditors and have a lot of property and assets you can sell, filing under Chapter 7 may be a good option. You can examine your financial records and discuss which plan provides the greatest benefit.
- Create a timeline: Having a timeline in mind can help decrease your stress. You can lay out your debt payment goals and create a timeline for filing the bankruptcy claim. Even if all doesn’t go according to plan, you can set realistic expectations and be organized by writing down a timeline for dealing with bankruptcy and debt.
- With creditors: Debt collectors can become annoying and even dangerous when seeking payment. If creditors are harassing you, or just increasing the pressure, you can tell them in writing to stop. If you want to negotiate your debt, you may be able to honestly explain your situation and see if there is a way for them to agree on a lesser amount. It is generally not a good idea to tell them you are filing for bankruptcy, as they may increase their efforts to collect payment before an automatic stay comes into effect.
- With lawyers: Hiring a lawyer can provide many benefits. Creditors can only contact your lawyer, which relieves some of the stress from frequent calls and other forms of harassment. A lawyer can also analyze your situation, discuss your options, and help you file the necessary paperwork.
- With family: Going through bankruptcy is a difficult situation for the whole family, and it is important to communicate. Whether your kids are young or old, you should honestly discuss the financial repercussions of filing bankruptcy, and tell them your plans for seeking a positive outcome. Listen to their thoughts and concerns, and provide honest answers. This not only helps everyone be on the same page, but it can also bring you closer together as a family during this hard time.
Call Our Harrisburg Bankruptcy Attorneys Today at (717) 775-7195
At Scaringi Law, our dedicated lawyers can represent you in bankruptcy cases. We can discuss your options and eligibility, and help you make informed decisions. Our compassionate team strives to provide excellent services, and we can help you seek a beneficial solution.
Call (717) 775-7195, chat, or fill out our convenient Contact Us form, and get the Scaringi Law legal team started on your case today!