Filing for personal bankruptcy is a horrible prospect for anyone struggling with debt, yet it remains one of the few situations that allows you to properly manage and overcome this debt. Yes, it’s very embarrassing and incredibly stressful to go through bankruptcy but many people come out the other side much happier and with a better handle of their personal finances.
Many people don’t realize just how long the entire bankruptcy process takes, with the average case lasting several years or much longer depending on the individual. With the right financial management and lifestyle changes, most people can exit bankruptcy having repaid a large portion of debt – although it helps to know a few things to make the process go as smoothly as possible!
Don’t Transfer or Hide Any Assets
You need to be completely transparent about all your assets during a bankruptcy case or possibly face a huge penalty, often being sentenced to jail. Therefore, you must disclose all current assets and avoid hiding or transferring anything to try and save you some cash.
Whether it’s a vehicle, second property, or something else valuable, you cannot make the mistake of selling or transferring the title to someone to try and keep it. During the bankruptcy case you will be asked about any assets you’ve transferred, sold, or hidden in the past few years, while the trustee will also ask about this.
If you’re caught hiding or transferring assets, the case will not look go in your favor. The case is about showing you need a new slate for your personal finances due to overwhelming debt – trying to find loopholes and hiding assets will not reflect well on you or your case.
Provide as Much Detail as Possible
Your lawyer needs as much detail as possible about all your financial history. Don’t feel the need to leave out any detail for being unimportant – your lawyer will decide what is and isn’t important information to provide during the filing and case.
For example, don’t just tell them you have a vehicle worth a certain amount. Disclose the mileage, any maintenance issues, make, model and year, along with anything else that may be useful during bankruptcy court case.
Do this will all your financial information, being as detailed as you can, including things like current debt, income, expenses, net profits, assets, transactions etc. Provide all documentations that your lawyer or the court request, as the more detail they have the smoother you can expect the case to go.
Always Update Your Attorney
A bankruptcy case lasts several years so bear in mind that you need to provide frequent updates for the duration of the case. For instance, Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts between 3 and 5 years, with any changes to your financial situation impacting the case.
Therefore, you must provide any updates regarding your income or expenses. For example, if you’ve found a new job that has higher or lower wages, want to buy a vehicle, or plan on selling something you need to inform your attorney who can then update the bankruptcy case.
Sharing all important updates with your attorney is a simple yet effective way of ensuring that the case goes smoothly even if there are unexpected changes in your life.
The Travis Law Firm provides professional legal representation for Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcy services for residents of all cities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. We have offices in Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Temecula, Cathedral City and Ontario for the convenience of our Inland Empire, High Desert, and Coachella Valley clients. For more information about our bankruptcy law services and other legal representation, call us today at 1-800-BANKRUPT or (951) 274-9501.