Filing for bankruptcy is a big step in taking back your financial life, but there are some things to avoid before filing. You don’t want to make any innocent or accidental errors that could potentially hurt your case. One of the biggest ones is not hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to help make sure your case has the greatest chance of success possible.
Filing isn’t easy, and there are plenty of rules that you have to follow in order to be successful. With so much information out there, it can easily get overwhelming. However, we’ve put together a list of what to avoid doing when you are filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help.
Mistakes to Avoid Before Filing
When you start the filing process, the bankruptcy court will examine past transactions made within a specific period before you file. Typically, this is period is about one to two years, but it can go all the way back to ten years easily. Here is what you should avoid doing.
Avoid Transferring Assets
Many people think that transferring their assets to another account will protect them. The reality is that moving assets out of your account won’t protect them from the reach of the bankruptcy court. This could lead to the bankruptcy court claiming you have committed fraud, even if you did so innocently. Some examples of this are:
- Changing the title to a car that is in your name to the name of your child or spouse
- Changing the name on bank accounts
- Taking your name off of a business venture
- Moving funds into different accounts that belong to others
Many people fear losing funds or assets during the process. A bankruptcy lawyer can help find the best way to help you through this.
Avoid Making Credit Card Purchases
Credit cards are a double-edged sword in this case. Unless you need to incur credit card debt on the necessities of life, such as gas, housing, or food, you should stop using your credit cards altogether. Many people think that because they are going to file, the debt will be gone. This isn’t the case and can again have the courts claiming you are committing fraud. Making big purchases on your credit card before filing is a big no.
Avoid Favoring Creditors
Many people want to do the right thing and pay certain creditors in full before filing. Don’t do that. You can pay your bills as you normally would, but don’t make an out of the ordinary payment to your favorite creditor while not paying others. It looks bad on you in the long run.
We know bankruptcy is a hard topic and you should talk to a lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer, like our friends at Eric Lindh Foster Law, LLC, to have your questions answered about what you should and shouldn’t do during this process.