If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you do not want to see purchases for luxury items on your credit cards. You also do not want to repay family or friends during the year or two before you file, because those repayments can be clawed back by the chapter 7 trustee and disbursed to all creditors. You do not want to sell or transfer any assets right before filing, for example, do not sell a boat or transfer a car to a family member, do not transfer your home or any piece of real estate to a third party before you get advice from your attorney. In addition, be careful about taking a balance transfer from another credit card. If you don’t make payment for balance transfers that creditor can claim that the amount transferred is non-dischargeable. Finally don’t pay income taxes with a credit card, that amount would be non-dischargeable.
Once You File For A Bankruptcy, What Are The Next Steps In The Process That I Need To Follow?
Once all the documents are prepared for your bankruptcy case and they are filed with the bankruptcy court, you will have a meeting with your chapter 7 trustee in about four to five weeks. You want to prepare for that meeting. Certain documents must be provided to your bankruptcy attorney including the last six months’ paystubs, your last two years’ tax return documents, and a profit and loss statement for a business, if necessary. Make sure you provide all of the necessary documents to your attorney so that your attorney can provide these documents to the chapter 7 trustee. You may also need to provide a copy of your social security card and your driver’s license to prove your identity for the chapter 7 trustee meeting.
Set up a time to talk to your attorney about what questions will be asked during the Trustee meeting. Make sure you have a copy of all of your bankruptcy documents printed out and in front of you, for your meeting. Don’t rely on your attorney to answer the questions during your chapter 7 trustee meeting. During that meeting, you will be answering many questions. You will be responsible to know what is in your bankruptcy documents, including the following:
- the assets that have been declared,
- whether there are any assets missing from the schedules,
- have you fully answered all of the statement of financial affairs questions,
- the income and expense numbers
- are there any expenses unusual that need to be explained to the chapter 7 trustee,
- do you need to explain any potential income changes,
- do you have a second job
These are some of the questions that you need to talk to your attorney about prior to your chapter 7 meeting.
After the chapter 7 trustee meeting, creditors have 60 days to object to discharge of their debt and to provide notice to you of any objections have been filed. After the objection date has passes, creditors can no longer file objections to your discharge. You should also be planning to take the financial management course prior to your trustee meeting. If you fail to take that course prior to the deadline, you will not receive a discharge from the bankruptcy court. At the end of this process, which is typically about 6 months, then the court will issue your discharge and your final decree.
Once A Bankruptcy Is Complete, What Ways You See People Come Back To Life Or Get Back On Their Feet? What Are Some Things That You Recommend As A Bankruptcy Attorney To Help Them To Rebuild Credit And Get On With Life After A Bankruptcy?
I recommend talking to your attorney about rebuilding credit. Rebuilding credit could mean opening a secured credit card and making smaller charges on that card, while repaying the balance in full. You are going to need some type of new credit to rebuild your credit score. You can also obtain an authorized card from a family member to increase your credit score. You also want to think about managing your finances better; have you completed a budget, are you reviewing that budget on a monthly basis, are you avoiding unnecessary expenses? For example, many people spend more money at the drive-through or going out to eat than they think. There are some other considerations:
- Have you examined your bank statement monthly to see where all of your money is going? Is your money going to unnecessary expenses?
- Do you need to start making coffee at home in the morning, making breakfast at home in the morning, or making your lunch at home?
- What other unnecessary expenses do you have coming out of your bank account such as subscriptions,
- Are you being efficient in your monthly utilities,
- Have you enrolled in a budget payment plan so that you do not have a huge electrical bill in the summer time,
- Can you use that budget plan to spread out your electrical expenses evenly over the course of the year;
- Are you starting to save money,
- Have you started to save from each paycheck,
- Do you have the funds put aside for emergencies, for an appliance that breaks or short-term unemployment,
- Do you have six months put aside for emergency rent or mortgage payments?
These are some ways to improve your financial outlook after a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
For more information on Bankruptcy Law In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (240) 539-9393 today.