Bankruptcy Prep: Financial Steps to Take

by: Attorney Noyes

3/14/20242 min read

Filing for bankruptcy is a significant decision that can offer a fresh start for those overwhelmed by debt. However, preparation is vital to navigating the process effectively and minimizing its impact on your financial future. At Noyes & Associates, we guide our clients through each step, ensuring they're fully prepared for what lies ahead. This article outlines essential financial preparation steps for those considering bankruptcy.

1. Assess Your Financial Situation:

Begin by taking a comprehensive look at your finances. Gather all documentation related to your debts, assets, income, and expenses. Understanding the full scope of your financial situation is crucial for determining the best course of action.

2. Consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney:

Bankruptcy law is complex, and the guidance of an experienced attorney is invaluable. An attorney can help you understand your options, the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and the implications of each for your unique situation.

3. Stop Using Credit Cards:

If you're considering bankruptcy, cease using your credit cards right away. Charges made shortly before filing may not be eligible for discharge, as they can be seen as an attempt to avoid repayment.

4. Avoid Transferring Assets:

Transferring assets out of your name to avoid losing them in bankruptcy can be viewed as fraudulent. The bankruptcy trustee can reverse such transfers and penalize you, complicating your case.

5. Create a Budget:

Developing a budget is essential for managing your expenses and demonstrating to the bankruptcy court that you're taking steps to control your financial situation. A budget can also help you adjust to life during and after bankruptcy.

6. Keep Tax Returns and Financial Statements:

Recent tax returns and financial statements will be required during the bankruptcy process. Ensure these documents are accurate and readily available, as they are crucial in the proceedings.

7. Understand the Impact on Your Credit:

Bankruptcy will affect your credit score, so planning to rebuild your credit post-bankruptcy is essential. Your attorney can offer strategies for improving your credit over time.

8. Save for Bankruptcy Costs:

Bankruptcy involves certain costs, including filing fees and attorney fees. Saving to cover these expenses can prevent further financial strain as you go through the process.

9. Prioritize Non-Dischargeable Debts:

Some debts, like most student loans, child support, and certain taxes, are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Continue making payments on these obligations, as they will remain after the bankruptcy is finalized.

Contact Noyes & Associates for Support:

Preparing for bankruptcy involves thoughtful financial planning and legal strategy. At Noyes & Associates, we're committed to supporting our clients through every stage of this challenging process. Contact us for expert legal advice and personalized guidance if you're considering bankruptcy. We can help you take the necessary steps towards a more stable financial future.