It is not uncommon for a bankruptcy to be delayed or unsuccessful due to simple mistakes on the part of the filer. This is why it is crucial that debtors be knowledgeable about the entire process. As West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys, we have had plenty of clients come to us after encountering issues during the process. These avoidable errors, which are usually caused by carelessness or ignorance, end up costing the filer extra time and money. In order to help future filers avoid this, we have put together a helpful list of some of the most common blunders in filing bankruptcy.
Leaving Out Information
Leaving out required information or documents can significantly delay the bankruptcy process, especially if you are unable to locate documentation upon request from the court. You will need to provide tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, and documentation of every bank account under your name. Additionally, include all the information the forms ask for the first time around, and be up-front about every creditor and co-debtors.
Maxing Out Credit Cards Pre-Filing
Pricey credit card purchases made before filing for bankruptcy raise a red flag for the creditors and trustees, so it is best to avoid making them in the months leading up to your bankruptcy. Chances are, you will know that a filing is in your future long before the time comes to start completing the paperwork, so be mindful of your credit card spending and cash advances before commencing the bankruptcy process.
Putting Off Filing
Do not let your debt spiral out of control, or you risk ruining your financial future. Bankruptcy can be a great tool for finding financial relief, but the results are far more favorable if you file before things get out of control. It is critical to admit when enough is enough.
Moving or Hiding Your Assets
Whether intentional or not, these acts essentially mean one thing to bankruptcy courts: fraud. And the court system does not take kindly to fraud. Be careful about any asset transfers even well before filing, so as to not raise any suspicions. With bankruptcy, transparency is truly the best policy.
Neglecting to Complete the Process
The process does not end when the court outlines your discharge, though many mistakenly assume this to be a fact. There are steps that must be taken to secure the discharge you have been granted. This includes a required credit counseling course and adhering to the course of action mandated by the court to address your debt. The court’s mandate may include a repayment plan, liquidating assets, or for businesses specifically, reorganizing your company.
Just as being well informed is key for a smooth and successful bankruptcy filing, solid legal representation is essential as well. The team at Kelley & Fulton has the experience and expertise needed to deliver the best possible results for your bankruptcy. Call us today to discuss the specifics of your situation.