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The Process Of Bankruptcy Filing

Jan 27, 2008
When you choose to file bankruptcy, it is a personal decision. Sure you may be thinking about your personal debt and may be thinking bankruptcy is your only option.

However, the final decision on whether or not you should file bankruptcy all depends upon your personal situation. Before you decide to file bankruptcy, you'll need to fully look at the advantages and disadvantages.

When you're thinking about bankruptcy filing, you will need a bankruptcy petition. The petition is a collection of your financial information and is usually about 20 pages. Some states may require additional asset or other information as well. The whole process is done because the court will want a full picture of your current assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and recent financial transactions. It is vital you are honest about your finances. If you aren't honest you could be fined or even be convicted and spend time in jail.

It's often most helpful to consult a bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy firm when you're trying to file for bankruptcy. When you consult a professional, you can be sure everything is being done just as it should be done. You will have to likely pay for any bankruptcy service from a professional. However many offer payment plans that are quite affordable.

Today's laws allow individuals to file for bankruptcy without professional assistance. As with most legal proceedings, "pro se" (meaning by yourself) is quite acceptable. While you have the right to represent yourself, you likely shouldn't. An attorney would serve your interests much better because they know the laws well and know how to use the law to best benefit your individual situation.

Throughout the bankruptcy procedures there will be a ton of paperwork that can be quite confusing if you're not familiar with the process. If you don't file the paperwork correctly you could end up being seen as fraudulent or even be denied.

You should be careful when choosing your bankruptcy attorney. While it is necessary to hire one, you'll want to be sure you are choosing one you feel comfortable with. If you can, check into their history of cases to see what their track record holds. Ask around to see if they have a good reputation of working with clients. It will be a difficult time for you and your family and you'll want to work with someone who will make the process easier.

If you're behind on your bills, you can bet you'll be getting collection calls if they haven't already bombarded you. These calls can cause stress and aggravation. Most collection companies will call you all day long, every day. However, when you file for bankruptcy the calls will stop coming.

In addition to stopping the collection calls, filing for bankruptcy can prevent the shutoff of utilities in Chapter 7. It eliminates the past due balance and in Chapter 13, pays the amount past due through the court-approved plan. Therefore you don't need to worry about your electric or water being shut off for non-payment.

Student loans are one area of bankruptcy that is not usually changed. Due to many students taking out unusually high loans and then filing bankruptcy after college, student loans are rarely part of court approved plans for bankruptcy. Of course, student loans can often be deferred in financial crisis. It's best to contact your lender about the options for you.

Bankruptcy can be an effective tool in getting the collection calls to stop. Filing for bankruptcy will eliminate your debt and you'll be back on your way to a better financial future.
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