If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you might be surprised just how easily you could jeopardize your case with a simple mistake. People who don't retain a knowledgeable attorney or who don’t carefully research the process and know what they’re getting into will often receive several nasty surprises along the way that regrettably could have been avoided. Don’t fall into the same traps and pitfalls that others before you have before you. Here are just a few bankruptcy do’s and don'ts you can follow to greatly help your case.
DO Continue to Make Important Payments
A good rule of thumb to follow is that you should continue to make the monthly payments on anything you wish to keep. For example, if you purchased a car that you’re making payments on, or you have a mortgage, you probably want to keep these things. Prioritize these monthly payments because failure to continue making payments will likely result in losing them.
DON’T Open New Credit Cards or Get New Loans
The absolute worst thing you could do for your case is to open new lines of credit or apply for more loans within a few months of declaring bankruptcy. To lenders, this is a sign that you never actually intended to pay off the loan you are requesting, and they’ll appeal the debt discharge on these grounds (often successfully). If you’re struggling financially, don’t continue spending money you don’t have.
DO Keep All Financial Documents Pertaining to Your Bankruptcy
The most important thing you can do in any legal matter is keep detailed documentation as evidence of your claims. Make copies of all correspondence with your lenders, including printing any emails you receive. Also, keep a journal of any phone conversations you have, including who you spoke with, who they called on behalf of, what was said, and when the call took place. Keep this collection organized and easily accessible so you can quickly defend yourself should discrepancies arise.
DON’T Proceed Without the Help of an Attorney
A Brevard County bankruptcy lawyer is a powerful and experienced advocate that has your best interests in mind. It’s no secret that a bankruptcy case can quickly become complex, and without someone on your side to protect your rights, many people have fallen victim to predatory lenders and debt collectors who prey on those who are already stressed, upset, and just want to find their way out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney; it might be the best decision you’ve made when it comes to getting back on your feet.