Some yes and no items before your Wilmington bankruptcy
Image Source: Flickr User evan p. cordes
Most people that wind up filing Wilmington bankruptcy don’t need to do so because they spent their way into debt. That’s pretty rare for bankruptcy filers. Instead, what’s more common is a life event that reduces income, increases expenses or both. For some, it might be job loss. For others, it could be a serious illness like cancer. You might find you beat the disease but are left with tens of thousands of dollars of debt even with help from insurance. Whatever caused your debt dilemma, if you decide bankruptcy is what you need to do to get control of your finances, there are some things you need to do and other actions you need to avoid.
Always Be Forthcoming and Never Lie or Conceal Information
If you’re not honest with your Wilmington bankruptcy attorney, they can’t give you the best advice. By always being forthcoming and transparent with your lawyer, you give them the information they need to develop the best strategy to maximize your debt relief under the federal bankruptcy laws. When your lawyer prepares your bankruptcy petition and you sign it, you are swearing to the accuracy of the information.
If you lie, that’s the same thing as lying in court to a judge and can result in charges of fraud. You might know the celebrity bankruptcy case of Abby Lee Miller – she’s now serving time for lying in her bankruptcy case. Always be honest. If you’re unsure if something is important, tell your lawyer, and they can let you know if it’s pertinent to your case.
Don’t Pay Off Bills, Get Rid of Assets, or Try and Hide Assets
When you file bankruptcy, all of your creditors must receive equal treatment under the law. If you try and pay off a debt right before you file because you don’t want it included in your case, that might be seen by the court as a preferential payment. One reason to try and pay off debt before you file is because it’s a loan to someone you know – like a family member.
Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to pick and choose who gets paid and who doesn’t when you file Wilmington bankruptcy. That’s up to the court. And if you pay off a debt just before you file, the court can still look back and review recent transactions and force you to reverse them if it contradicts bankruptcy law. Transferring assets or selling them cheaply to a friend or family member is also against the law as is hiding assets.
Read Everything Before You Sign It
A Wilmington bankruptcy petition is a thick document. Chapter 13 petitions are longer than Chapter 7 petitions, but both are lengthy. The petition lists off lots of your financial information including personal data like your name, address, and social security number. Also, there’s a list of your assets, liabilities, and income information.
There is also data about your living expenses, family members, etc. It’s your responsibility to confirm the accuracy of the information before you sign. Read every page carefully. Take your time. It doesn’t matter if you need to sit there for an hour going through the paperwork. When you sign, you’re pledging the information is accurate under penalty of law, so it’s a big deal.
The best advice is to rely on your Wilmington bankruptcy attorney. Be sure to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Ask about the steps for your bankruptcy case. Start asking questions from the moment you meet your lawyer at the initial free bankruptcy consultation. And pick a lawyer with good reviews. Since it’s a legal matter and a life-changing decision, you should be clear every step of the way.
There’s no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to your bankruptcy case. When you’re ready to consider bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call 1-888-234-4181 now for a free Wilmington bankruptcy consultation at one of our convenient locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.