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We see clients in our office who have been thinking about bankruptcy for a while and still others that have only recently begun to consider it. Some are sure it’s the best route for them and others come to see us to find out if bankruptcy is a fit. We tell all of our clients that bankruptcy isn’t something to enter into lightly and you should think carefully before deciding it’s the option for you.
You may want to consider bankruptcy if you are in a position where:
- Your wages or bank accounts are being garnished
- You are being threatened with liens
- Most of your debts are unsecured (credit cards, medical bills, etc)
- You are being constantly harassed by debt collectors
- You have lawsuits filed against you or have been threatened with lawsuits
If these are your current circumstances, here are five things to do to prepare yourself for filing bankruptcy:
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#1 Understand Your Financial Position
You need to know how much you owe, how much you’re earning and how you got into the debt predicament you’re in. Your North Carolina bankruptcy attorney will need to know about your creditors and income and you need to understand how your finances grew troubled so you can avoid falling into this trap in the future once you have your fresh start.
#2 Get Your Credit Report
In order to get the most of your bankruptcy filing, you need to include every possible debt that can be discharged. To make sure you don’t miss anything, pull a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies. Go through each of them and look for outstanding balances, open accounts, judgments and all of your active creditors and even charged off accounts.
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#3 Hire a Reputable North Carolina Attorney
With the information in hand from items one and two above, you are ready to meet with an attorney. You want someone who solely practices bankruptcy, solely practices in North Carolina and that isn’t a mega chain that practices in multiple states. Contact the offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation about your debt dilemma and whether bankruptcy is a fit for you.
#4 Let Creditors and Debt Collectors Know You’re in Bankruptcy
If you decide to file, after your case is entered, make sure you keep your case number on hand. If you get collections calls, go ahead and take the calls rather than dodging them and let them know you’ve filed bankruptcy. Give them your attorney name, phone number and Chapter 7 case number. Typically, they will take this information and never call back. If they call again, let them know they are violating bankruptcy laws. Likely that will put an end to it.
#5 Comply with All Court Requirements
Be sure to not miss any meetings with your attorney, don’t miss any court dates and be sure to do everything asked by the court or Trustee including completing your credit counseling course. Blowing off court dates puts you at risk for having your case dismissed. This will cost you lost money in court and attorney fees and will allow your creditors to resume pursuing you for your debts.