When it comes to things to consider when filing for bankruptcy, you might think you have all your ducks lined up, so to speak. You've contacted a great bankruptcy attorney. You have all of your paperwork in order. You've even researched the topic of bankruptcy, so you know exactly what to expect from the moment you file that paperwork.
However, there are a few surprises that even the simplest of bankruptcies can throw your way - and if you're unprepared for these surprises, they might have a serious hold on you.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the surprising things to consider when filing for bankruptcy:
- You'll need a bankruptcy counselor. Discharging your debts by filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may make you feel great at first - but the truth is, many people have trouble dealing with the after-effects of bankruptcy. First, there's the knowledge that because lenders are hesitant to deal with you, you're not as financially viable as you once were. Secondly, there's the perceived shame and embarrassment that's associated with filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy counselor can work through these issues with you, which is an important part of becoming a financially viable individual again.
- Bankruptcy courts will be watching. Worried that bankruptcy courts will turn into Big Brother? Your fears are somewhat founded: while your bankruptcy case is being determined, the courts will keep a careful eye on the debts you accumulate between now and when the debts are finally discharged. Do not use your credit cards without speaking to your bankruptcy attorney first; otherwise, the courts could assume that you are trying to run up additional debt with no thoughts of paying it.
- Your personal habits will need to change. You know that filing bankruptcy was the best solution for a fresh financial start, but it's only the beginning of a long road that needs to lead to changed behavior. While filing for bankruptcy, you'll need to determine the personal habits and behaviors that landed you in your financial position in the first place. Even if emergency medical bills surprised you, you could point out that not having an emergency savings account contributed to you needing to file for bankruptcy. Ultimately, you'll need to change your financial behaviors for bankruptcy to have a lasting - and positive - effect on your finances and your life.