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What to Avoid Before and After Filing Bankruptcy

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is tough. After you determine it’s your best option, you must avoid making some mistakes before you file and throughout the process. Filing for bankruptcy involves a lot of paperwork and requires significant preparation. For this reason, sometimes it can be beneficial to ask for help from someone similar to a Harrisburg business bankruptcy attorney, to potentially find some help and assistance throughout the process. What you do or fail to do before you file for bankruptcy can affect your case.

Things to Avoid Before Filing

When you are determined to file for bankruptcy, make sure to move your savings and checking accounts with a bank to a different bank. Keep in mind that banks can take your money from your accounts with them to pay off a loan they hold once you get behind on your payments. Also, even if you don’t have a loan with a bank, do your homework to know what your bank will do when you file for bankruptcy. With some banks, your accounts can be frozen when you file for bankruptcy. This is also what a bankruptcy attorney Charleston, WV may advice you to do as well should you choose to go to them for advice.

Moreover, if you file for bankruptcy, ensure you detail all your bank accounts and how much they have. Filing for bankruptcy when you have a big amount of money in your accounts could mean reporting this amount as an asset. So, it is best to pay your bills first before you file bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy courts will require you to declare all your assets including a tax refund. If you fail to do so, your case can be negatively affected. Thus, you must disclose the tax refund amount even if you have not received it yet. Try to use any applicable exemptions, so this amount won’t be seized during the bankruptcy process.

What to Do After Filing

During the bankruptcy process, you must reveal all information associated with your income, financial history, assets, expenses, and debts. You may also need to disclose details about your current rental or lease agreement, if any, in case you have received a notice to pay or quit (see an example here: https://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/property-management/landlord-forms/notice-to-pay-rent-or-quit/) due to nonpayment. In addition, filling out inaccurate information or missing a related fact may result in your debt not being discharged. And if the court finds out that you intentionally withheld information, it can charge you with perjury.

Another thing you should not do once you file bankruptcy is to sell your house before the process is finalized. This can be a problem when you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This kind of case will extend over 3-5 years and selling your house may hurt your case. And while filing a Chapter may not fully hurt your case, you should consult with an attorney to make sure what you are doing is right.


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