Five Things to Do Before You File for Bankruptcy

Dolhancyk Law Firm discusses five things you should do before you file for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy relief can be the answer to your debt problems. One of the first things to do is to meet with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney to discuss your debt relief options and whether bankruptcy is right for you. Before you file for bankruptcy relief, you need to do several other things to prepare for bankruptcy. 

Five Things to Do Before You File for Bankruptcy

1. Gather Information About Debts

When you file for bankruptcy relief, you need to list all your debts, even debts that you might continue to pay after bankruptcy. If you do not list a creditor in your bankruptcy case, the debt is not discharged, which means you continue to owe the debt. Therefore, preparing a list of all debts is very important. Your credit report can be very helpful, but you should also review copies of bills, creditor letters, and debt collection letters. Keep in mind that all debts you owe may not be reported on your credit report.

2. Gather Information About Assets

You must also list any property you own on your bankruptcy forms or property in which you might have an interest. It can be helpful to gather information about the value and description of larger assets, such as your home, vehicles, other real estate, antiques, jewelry, and other high-value assets.

3. Gather Information About Income

Your income is used to determine whether you qualify to file under Chapter 7. You are required to report all household income for the six months before filing bankruptcy. Gather together proof of income for the last six months, including but not limited to wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, retirement income, disability income, business income, rental income, and unemployment compensation. You also need copies of your income tax returns for at least the past two years.

4. Gather Information About Expenses

Your expenses are also used when determining whether you qualify for a discharge under Chapter 7. You need a complete list of your household expenses. In most cases, you do not need proof of the exact amount of your expenses. However, if you have extraordinary expenses, it can help to have proof of these payments, such as higher grocery bills because of a special diet for a diagnosed health condition.

5. Complete Your Credit Counseling Course

Individuals must complete a credit counseling course. The credit counseling course is the first bankruptcy course you must complete. The second bankruptcy course (debtor education course) is completed after the bankruptcy filing.

The credit counseling course can usually be completed online in less than an hour for a small fee. The certificate of completion is only good for six months from the date it is issued. It is typically best to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer to discuss bankruptcy options before completing the credit counseling course.

Contact a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney to Discuss Debt Relief Options

Bankruptcy can be an affordable and efficient way to get rid of the debts that you cannot pay. However, filing a bankruptcy case is a serious matter. To ensure that a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is right for you, schedule a consult with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation.

Posted in: Bankruptcy