If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, it's a good idea to think about how an attorney would handle your situation. Particularly, it may be worth considering what they worry about when they send cases to the courts. Here are three things bankruptcy attorneys want to address before they file on behalf of their clients.
A Complete List of Creditors
The ramifications of getting this one wrong can be dramatic. Presuming the court grants your petition for bankruptcy, the law's protection will only extend to debts involving creditors who are named in the final ruling. If someone omits the name of a creditor from their petition, that creditor will have the right to keep trying to collect on the debt. Worse, you almost certainly won't be able to file for bankruptcy protection again for several years.
Bankruptcy attorneys always want to confirm that the list of creditors for each case is exhaustive. Likewise, you'll want to verify that the names are properly spelled and still in effect for whatever businesses might hold your debts.
The Right Form of Bankruptcy
When a judge hears a petition, they have to consider whether it's the right kind of case for whatever the debtor is facing. For example, the court is always very wary of letting someone file Chapter 13 to restructure their debts if they might not be able to make payments in full within three to five years. In the worst scenario, a judge might dismiss the filing entirely. They might also recommend that you file under Chapter 7, and that means more fees and time.
Similarly, the court may discourage someone who can afford to pay from going the Chapter 7 route. These people potentially face a reversed problem where their cases might be dismissed. They then would likely have to file for Chapter 13. Worse, they might be told that Chapter 13 is off limits if the judge believes they can pay their debts without restructuring.
Itemizing Assets and Debts
Filers must present the court with a faithfully accounting of their financial circumstances. That means you have to lay out how much income you have, what your assets are, and what your debts are. Especially on the income and assets side of the ledger, failing to do the job well may be grounds for the judge dismissing the case. If the court believes you were trying to hide assets, that can even lead to fraud charges. It's wise to lawyer up and make sure you get the details right.
For more information, contact a bankruptcy attorney today.