Five Things You Should Never Do When Filing for Bankruptcy

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Five Things You Should Never Do When Filing for Bankruptcy

In today’s difficult economic landscape, there are many who find themselves facing a seemingly impossible financial crisis. Unsecured debt piles up to insurmountable levels. Unexpected medical bills can destroy even the healthiest of financial plans. Unforeseen circumstances have a way of cropping up at the most inopportune times and sweep the rug out from under even the most prepared of us. For those who feel there is no way out of their financial trouble, bankruptcy is often the answer.

If you’ve decided that filing for bankruptcy is the only way to solve your financial trouble, make sure you do it right. It’s a major decision and you don’t want to make any mistakes that could decrease its effectiveness or get your case dismissed.

Five Things You Should Never Do When Filing for Bankruptcy:

  1. Hold Information Back or Tell White Lies: When your bankruptcy attorney asks you questions about your financial situation, living circumstances, employment, etc. answer them honestly even if you find discussing them embarrassing. It is vital that you tell the truth and all the truth to your bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney is there to make sure that your bankruptcy filing is completed legally and is as thorough as possible. No attorney can do their job if you aren’t providing them with accurate and complete information regarding your circumstances.
  2. Continuing to Use Credit: Do not continue to use credit when you are considering filing for bankruptcy. Don’t open new accounts, use existing credit or transfer balances. Using credit when you can’t afford to repay the debt is considered fraud. It could even land you in prison.
  3. Paying Off Select Creditors: Do not attempt to “save your credit” with certain creditors by paying your debt off and not listing them in your bankruptcy. The credit card company will find out about the bankruptcy and cancel the account anyway. Paying it off is simply a waste of money.
  4. Paying Off Debts to Family and/or Friends: Attempting to pay debts to family and friends before you file is extremely problematic. If you do this, your other creditors could claim they should have been paid, too. Your family and friends could be sued which would only result in additional stress.
  5. Transfer Property Out of Your Name: Do not think you can get away with transferring property to family, friends, a Living Trust, etc. It looks like a tempting loophole, but it will not work. The bankruptcy trustee can sue to get the property back or even bring fraud charges against you for attempting to hide your assets.

These mistakes can cost you money. In some cases they are even illegal and can disrupt your opportunity to eliminate your debts through bankruptcy. Remember that bankruptcy is a serious legal proceeding. You’re not playing a game and hoping to outwit your creditors. It’s natural to be angry and frustrated about the circumstances that put you into bankruptcy, but you can’t be tempted by the so-called shortcuts.

Instead contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Westgate Law to find out if bankruptcy is the right course of action for you.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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