Imagine that you are drowning in debt. You turn to the bankruptcy courts in hopes to petition them to release you from the liability of your debt, only later to be told there are legal discrepancies involving your paperwork. The frustration that is felt can be overwhelming. It is important to work with an attorney that specializes in bankruptcy to assist you in all aspects of filing.
Filing for bankruptcy with the assistance of a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you are following the proper steps. However, it is important that you have some knowledge regarding the bankruptcy process.
Important Information When Filing For Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy
- Before a judge will agree to discharge your debt you will be required to get mandatory credit counseling. This usually will occur during the six month period prior to filing for bankruptcy.
- In order to prove that you can pass the chapter 7 bankruptcy means test, you are required to file a wallet of forms in court. This includes a bankruptcy petition, a number of forms listing financial information, and an income and expense form.
- The court will appoint a bankruptcy judge to handle your bankruptcy case thus including processing your paperwork and petitioning the court.
- You will receive a notification from the court telling you when the meeting of creditors will take place. During this meeting you will be asked vital questions under oath, with your attorney present, about your personal finances and bankruptcy forms.
- At some point during this process your eligibility to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be confirmed or denied.
- All of your nonexempt property will be reviewed and handled as will your debts that have been backed by collateral.
- Before you get your bankruptcy discharged you will be required to take a financial management course. Upon approval you will receive your bankruptcy discharge. This usually occurs three to six months after you first file for bankruptcy.
Why Using A Professional Is Best
Although the main reason for declaring bankruptcy is to give those in debt a chance to start their financial life with a clean slate, bankruptcy still remains on your credit report for 7 – 10 years. This process is lengthy and costly therefore the last thing you need is your paperwork to be filed incorrectly. This is one of the many reasons that filing for bankruptcy is best done using an attorney specializing in bankruptcy law.
Providing accurate and truthful information to your bankruptcy lawyer about every aspect of your financial situation on the papers you file with the court is always recommended in order to avoid misfiled paperwork. The following are common mistakes that can cause serious complications when filing for bankruptcy:
- Filing for bankruptcy without cause or filing the wrong type of bankruptcy, under the wrong chapter
- Failure to complete and file the right forms
- Failure to exempt your property
- Transferring your assets before filing for bankruptcy
- Failure to attend your meeting of creditors hearing
Filing an amendment to your bankruptcy petition and informing your bankruptcy attorney is one way to fix the mistakes on your petition. Whether the mistake was premeditated or innocent, failure to amend your petition and in a timely manner will raise suspicion about the accuracy of your petition, especially if the “mistake” ultimately allows you to keep more money or property than you are permitted to, and you may have unwittingly opened yourself up for investigation by The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). An improper disclosure of all relevant information to your bankruptcy attorney will also result in the denial of your discharge. This is why it is so important to have proper representation throughout the bankruptcy process.
Bohikian Law Group specializes in chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies in Michigan. Contact us today to find a bankruptcy attorney that will help you in debt relief at http://www.bohikianlaw.com/ today.