When you’ve been dealing with debt for a long time, bankruptcy can often be the most freeing option, empowering you to either discharge your debt altogether or pay it off in manageable installments. However, filing for bankruptcy is also a difficult legal process – and you’ll need skilled legal representation to ensure that your slate is truly wiped clean.
At the Buchalter Law Group, our Brevard County bankruptcy lawyers can help you navigate this process with ease. We’ve helped thousands of clients deal with the most difficult bankruptcy and tax matters out there, and with more than 40 years of combined experience under our belts, you can rest assured that we’ll be persistent in pursuing a better solution for you.
Even so, there are many common bankruptcy mistakes you’ll want to avoid. In this post, we’ll review what not to do when filing for bankruptcy.
Avoiding Common Mistakes During Bankruptcy
We’ve truly seen it all during our time as bankruptcy attorneys, from families facing foreclosure to individuals exhausted by hurtful creditor harassment. However, one of the most consistent mistakes we typically see has to do with waiting too long to file for bankruptcy. Debt has the ability to snowball out of control much faster than you realize, and when added to the additional worries of foreclosure, eviction, and ongoing harassment, failing to file in time can make for an incredibly dangerous financial situation. When in doubt, you should always consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see if you qualify.
Here are some of the other most common mistakes we see during bankruptcy:
- Failing to account for all your creditors. By law, you are required to account for all of your creditors during bankruptcy. That’s why it’s incredibly important to perform a comprehensive review of your finances before you file, and get a sense of exactly how much you owe. This may mean asking for statements and invoices from any collection agencies, banks, and other institutions. This is another reason why hiring legal counsel is recommended, as they can help you perform a thorough investigation.
- Hiding assets and revenue. In a similar vein, you should never hide any bank accounts, assets, or properties during your bankruptcy proceedings. You can get charged with bankruptcy fraud and sent to jail if it’s uncovered that you hid assets.
- Continuing to spend wildly. It’s a misconception that most people face bankruptcy due to their spending habits – in fact, the leading cause of bankruptcy is medical bills. However, one frequent psychological side-effect of deciding to file for bankruptcy is excessive spending and therapeutic shopping, as a sort of “last ride.” This is a serious mistake that could end up hurting you during bankruptcy proceedings.
- Filing for bankruptcy alone. From deciding between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 to navigating a bankruptcy hearing before the court, it’s nearly impossible to be successful when you decide to represent yourself – even if you think your case is straightforward. An attorney can take care of all the legal requirements on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your day-to-day and paying down your debts.
- Using a legal document service for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many people try to take advantage of those who are facing serious debt, claiming to provide “quick solutions” and “easy relief” for bankruptcy. Some of these can include so-called document services, where individuals without any experience can type up forms on your behalf. There’s little to no liability coverage from these types of services, so when a mistake happens, it can cause your bankruptcy to be denied, or invite accusations of fraud.
Ready to start fresh with bankruptcy? Call The Buchalter Law Group at (321) 320-6088 for skilled and reputable legal service today.