Having a successful bankruptcy isn’t just about discharging your debts, although that is the goal; it is also about having a productive relationship with your bankruptcy attorney. Because it is your bankruptcy attorney who will guide you through the bankruptcy process, making sure that you work well with him/her is important to the success of your case.
Below are a few tips on how to successfully work with your bankruptcy attorney:
- Do not wait until the absolutely last minute to file for bankruptcy. While many bankruptcy attorneys will take a last minute case, it is not an ideal situation for the debtor. Waiting until the last minute increases the chances that you won’t be able to discharge some debts, that there will be errors and that you may forget some important debts or information which needs to be included in the bankruptcy filing.
- Don’t make pre-bankruptcy charges on your credit card which will be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be a complex process; but when a debtor makes pre-bankruptcy charges right before their bankruptcy filing, the complex process can become a lot more complicated. Remember, pre-bankruptcy charges on the eve of a filing may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. If there are enough of these types of charges the debtor’s case could be in jeopardy.
- Don’t make last minute payments to friends and family right before bankruptcy and then not tell the bankruptcy attorney about the payments. A matter of fact, don’t leave out any information that involves payments and asset transfers when speaking with your bankruptcy attorney. Some pre-bankruptcy asset transfers and payments can be corrected before you file bankruptcy; but if you don’t tell your bankruptcy attorney they will not be able to help you correct those errors.
- Don’t use credit cards to pay for your bankruptcy attorney fees. This also includes taking out a cash advance on your credit card and using that to pay for your bankruptcy attorney fees. Using credit to pay for bankruptcy is not allowed and could land you in hot water.
- Do not fudge the truth about your income, debts or liabilities when communicating with your bankruptcy attorney. If you are over the median income for Chapter 7 bankruptcy , you may still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after taking the means test. Also, failing to tell the truth about your income and assets could end in a dismissal of your bankruptcy case and a stint in prison.