If you have decided that a bankruptcy filing is in your plans, you can expect things to go smoothly in most cases. Your bankruptcy experience can be either quick and easy or it might take a bit more time and attention to be resolved. Read below to learn what factors affect your bankruptcy.
Income Issues – More money is not always a good thing. Chapter 7 filers have to stay at or below their state's median income level or take additional steps. If you make more, your bankruptcy attorney will target certain large expenditures like housing or medical costs to help reduce the number and allow filing.
Property – Chapter 7 bankruptcy could mean a loss of property for some filers. If you own too much stuff and it's worth a lot of money, you must count on exemptions to reduce the value. If not, your property could be seized by the trustee, sold, and used to pay some creditors.
Business Ownership – Even if you are filing a consumer chapter 7, those who own businesses have more complex income and asset situations.
Switching Types – Some people start out filing chapter 13 and then switch to chapter 7 when they are unable to meet the repayment plan obligations. You can make a change in plans but that can add several weeks to accomplish.
Related Court Cases – Some file for bankruptcy after they themselves get sued. Being sued for past debts may be a wake-up call for some but it can also complicate a filing if the case has already begun. If a judgment has been entered, filers may need to take additional actions to stop wage garnishment and to have liens on property withdrawn.
Divorce – Sometimes, filers have to deal with two major life and legal issues at the same time. Divorce may have several connotations but it is largely a financial issue and divorce can affect and be affected by bankruptcy.
Fraud – Almost no one sets out to defraud the federal government but it can be easy to unknowingly break a bankruptcy rule. This can happen in situations like:
- Filers who use their credit cards to purchase items or get cash advances too close to the filing date.
- Filers who have sold or given away property in the months before a bankruptcy filing.
- Filers who used incorrect information to obtain credit.
If any of the above applies to you, take proactive action. In some cases, delaying a filing by a few months can eliminate many of the above issues. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer to find out more.