Top Tips on How to Prepare for Filing for a Mesa Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is an important benefit afforded by the law to help you make a new start after experiencing financial problems. Some people think negatively of bankruptcy, like it means that they have failed or that they are lacking in some way. But the truth is that bad things happen to everyone at some point in their lives, and some of those things can cause serious financial problems. For example, you could be diagnosed with cancer, which may lead to you being unable to work, having to sell your home and drain your savings, and being saddled with hundreds of thousands in debt.
Bankruptcy can either allow you to discharge certain debts — meaning that you are not obligated to pay them — or allow you to create a re-payment plan that is more affordable and easier for you to manage. A Mesa bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand the laws and how they can help you, as well as what type of bankruptcy might be best for you.
Besides talking to a qualified attorney, here are a few other things you can do before you file for bankruptcy:
Review All Three Credit Reports
All of your debts and the current status of your accounts will be listed on your credit reports. It is important that you and your lawyer understand exactly where you stand before beginning the bankruptcy process. For example, one creditor might be reporting that you owe more than you think based on additional fees or interest for the delinquency. Your attorney may be able to challenge those fees.
Reviewing your credit reports can also remind you of accounts that you let lapse into delinquency long ago. These may also be able to be discharged in the bankruptcy, depending on what chapter you are filing.
In addition to reviewing your credit reports, you should also review public records to find out if any of your creditors have pursued action against you. Your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you with this task.
Stop Using Credit
There are very strict laws about the purchases you make before you file for bankruptcy. If you are taking out new credit or are making a lot of purchases on your current cards, you could be accused of committed fraud. The court might think that you are trying to take advantage of the system by running up your debts and then having them discharged in the bankruptcy.
You should also not take out any personal loans with friends or family. These can also be included in your bankruptcy proceedings.
Stop Paying Your Loans or Credit Cards
Also, by filing for bankruptcy, you are saying that you do not have the money to pay your bills. That means that you shouldn’t have the money to keep paying for your credit cards, personal loans or other unsecured credit. You should stop paying those bills immediately. Yes, that non-payment will be reported to the credit bureaus, but all of those debts are about to be wrapped up in a bankruptcy filing, which will supersede those reports anyway. The last note on your report will say that the debts were included in your bankruptcy filing.
You should also not make any payments on personal loans made by friends or family. While this may cause some tension, it is necessary. Making payment to friends or family when you say that you are unable to make payments to your creditors can also be seen as fraud. Paying family and friends can land you and them in legal hot water.
Make a Budget
Filing for bankruptcy means that you will have to learn to live on less. You need to take a hard look at your finances and make a realistic budget. If you are filing for a Mesa Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be able to take off your monthly payments to credit cards and other unsecured creditors. If you are filing for a Mesa Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have a consolidated monthly payment to all your creditors.
By making this budget, you’ll create a plan that will help you get through the bankruptcy process and will set you up for success in life after bankruptcy. If you make the right budget and stick to it, you may be able to avoid getting into the same type of financial trouble again. While you won’t be able to avoid all possibilities — like losing a job or becoming seriously injured — sticking to a modest budget can help you save money and minimize your risk in the future.
If you are trying to file for bankruptcy yourself without consulting an attorney — which is almost never advised — there are many more things you can do to prepare. You can contact your creditors to try to set up a payment plan on your own. You can keep your bank accounts low so that creditors are not able to seize assets to pay for your debts. You can plan to file your paperwork far before tax time so that any return you get is not fair game for creditors to seize. You can even get a new cell phone so that you don’t have to keep being harassed by creditors.
Attempting to handle your own bankruptcy is almost never advised because there are many things you can miss that can create legal problems for you or that can jeopardize your bankruptcy filing. You can also overlook things that can cost you much more money in the long run or that can cause you to lose valuable assets such as your home or car. Always call an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to get the advice you need and to ensure your bankruptcy is filed properly.
My AZ Lawyers can help you. Every bankruptcy lawyer on our team has years of experienced representing clients throughout Arizona. We can help you understand your legal rights and help you file the case that will best help you get a fresh financial start. Contact us to learn more.
My AZ Lawyers – Candace Kallen
1731 W. Baseline Road, Suite 101
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 263-1699
20325 N. 51st Ave., Suite #134
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (623) 640-4945
2 East Congress St., Suite 900
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 306-8729