Coming to the decision that filing bankruptcy is needed in order to save your finances is difficult, but once the decision is made you can rest easy knowing that your budget will soon be on the mend. That said, it is important to understand there is still work to be done and that you will play an integral part in what needs to be accomplished before your case can be filed.
When you decide to file bankruptcy, the next steps include:
- Gathering your debts, including the amount you owe to each creditor and the creditor’s address.
- Assembling your most recent pay stubs and income tax returns; your attorney will need to see at least 6 months’ worth of paystubs and copies of the past 3 to 5 years income tax returns.
- Visiting with a qualified bankruptcy and debt management attorney to present your information. Your attorney will have a questionnaire for you to fill out which includes questions about your current financial picture. You will need to be prepared to provide information about how much money you bring home each payday as well as what your monthly expenses include.
- Double checking that the information you provided is accurate. This can be tricky in some areas because sometimes monthly expenses change. For instance you may pay your auto insurance monthly or you may pay it every 6 months. When figuring out your monthly budget you should include a prorated amount for this type of expense.
- Detail your assets, even if you still owe on a piece of collateral you will need to list out the things you own. This includes homes, cars, boats, motorcycles, and other pieces of real or personal property.
- Gather all of your car titles and proof of your identity.
After your attorney reviews the data you provide your petition will be prepared. The petition lists out all of the money you owe and all of the assets you have in your possession. When the petition is complete you will be asked to review it and give approval to have it filed and once filed you will receive a court date. The first court date you are required to go to is the 341 meeting and this is where the trustee assigned to your case will ask you questions about whether the information in your petition is accurate. The trustee will also look over your paystubs and tax returns as well as copies of your car titles. There is also a chance a creditor may come to this hearing and ask what you intend to do regarding their debt. This is most common for home and car lenders. If you are in dire financial straits, call us for help. We will let you know if bankruptcy is right for you and what to expect once you have decided to file.
For more information about how to handle overwhelming debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.