How To Minimize The Challenges Of Bankruptcy

Pursuing bankruptcy is, like many other legal processes, a task that can be complex and challenging. However, you can do a handful of things to minimize the pain of the process.

File Correctly

Hire a bankruptcy lawyer and tell them what your situation is before you send any paperwork to the court. Your attorney will then help you to decide which kind of bankruptcy is right.

There are two fundamental forms of bankruptcy. Liquidation is a process where the court sells your non-exempt assets and gives the proceeds to your creditors. If there is anything unpaid left after the sale, the court discharges those obligations forever. Restructuring is the other type, and it involves creating a plan to pay a lower amount. As long as you follow the plan and make the payments, you get to keep your assets.

If you can't afford to make payments, then you don't want to file for restructuring under Chapter 13. Similarly, the court may order someone who can afford to pay to not liquidate under Chapter 7. This can cost you time and money because your initial case will be closed and you'll have to file a new petition.

Have Your Supporting Documents in Order

You're going to have to show the court that your financial situation justifies granting your bankruptcy request. A bankruptcy attorney will want you to be able to produce at least your last two years' worth of tax returns. It's also a good idea to have at least three months' worth of pay stubs or unemployment compensation receipts, especially if your financial situation changed suddenly and recently.

Make high-quality copies of the documents. Safely store the originals in a place where you can get to them quickly if the court or your bankruptcy lawyer needs to see them.

Don't Move Forward Until You're Ready

Once the bankruptcy system starts moving, it proceeds surprisingly quickly. Within a few weeks of sending your initial petition to the court, the judge will want to see all of your supporting documentation. Once they are comfortable with the filing, the judge will appoint a trustee to administer the bankruptcy. This means they will deal with the nuts and bolts of the process, such as putting a Chapter 7 filer's assets up for sale.

The Chapter 7 process can wrap up within weeks or a couple of months. Even the Chapter 13 process can move toward the payment process very fast if the creditors don't have or can't sustain substantial objections.