Many debtors facing a personal finance crisis are often unable to figure out what they should do next to survive the storm. Below are four things every debtor should do whether or not they decide to file bankruptcy.
- Assess you financial situation honestly. Even if you never choose to file bankruptcy, you will need to know exactly how much income you have and how many expenses you have. Do the numbers and face the facts about your finances.
- Figure out where you can cut the fat. Look at your expenses, are there bills that you can put into deferment or simply stop paying? For example, if you have a student loan, you may be able to put the loan into forbearance. Even some credit card companies may be willing to defer payments depending on your financial situation. If you're not sure at least ask. But be careful because if you pay some bills while not paying others right before filing bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee may have issues with your bankruptcy case.
- Take care of the essential first. That means you need to ensure that you have a place to live, food to eat and that you maintain a vehicle if necessary to go to and from work or to go on interviews. If you decide to file bankruptcy at some point paying your mortgage and car note before other bills is a completely understandable action. If you need to move into a rental apartment or home, you may want to do so quickly while your credit is still in decent shape.
- Put some money into savings so that you can minimize the impact of any new crises and so that you can have funds available if you choose to file bankruptcy at some point in the future.