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What Do I Need to Do Before I File for Bankruptcy?

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney
What Do I Need to Do Before I File for Bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you plan for it accordingly. There are ways you can better prepare for the bankruptcy process to make it easier for yourself. Your attorney can walk you through the steps you need to take to prepare yourself for bankruptcy and determine any special considerations you need to make because of your unique circumstances. But in general, there are certain considerations that most individuals who are considering bankruptcy must take. They are as follows:

Determine the Right Type of Bankruptcy for You

If you are an individual struggling with personal debt, like credit card and medical bill debt, you are limited to filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your circumstances might further limit you to only being eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you, speak with your attorney. You will need to take the means test to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7, but keep in mind that even if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be better off filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for individuals who make less than the median annual income for individuals in their state or otherwise prove that they do not have disposable income to put toward paying down their debt.

Obtain Reputable Credit Counseling

“Reputable” is the key word here. There are a lot of companies that advertise credit counseling services for a high fee, often putting their customers further into debt. When choosing a credit counselor, choose one that is certified by an outside agency. Avoid credit counselors who do not provide educational material for free or those who ask for donations or contributions. These “donations” and “contributions to the organization” are actually just fees.

Have Your Financial Information Readily Available

Before speaking with a credit counselor or bankruptcy attorney, make a file that contains all of your relevant financial information. This should include your loan statements, paystubs, and bank account information. The individual who advises you about bankruptcy will need to see this information in order to get a full picture of what you are facing. Provide as much information as you can, even if you feel you cannot provide much – even a small bit of information about your financial situation can be a starting point for your attorney to uncover all of your assets and debts to effectively evaluate the right bankruptcy plan for you.

Work With an Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can advise you accordingly. Our team at Newland & Newland, LLP has the expertise and resources to help you work your way out of debt through a bankruptcy plan. Contact our firm today to schedule your free initial legal consultation with us. During this consultation, we can determine the right steps for you to take next.

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