Figuring out your financial situation is imperative in a bankruptcy petition. For starters, you need certain details to be able to correctly accomplish your bankruptcy forms. In case you’re hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, the information is also important for him or her to provide you with proper legal help with the right debt relief solution. Unfortunately, many potential filers go to bankruptcy lawyers without any idea what their financial situation is like.
Hiring a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy law is actually the most prudent first step to take if you want to declare bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code has different types of bankruptcy, so your lawyer will help you understand which bankruptcy chapter you should file bankruptcy under. If you’re filing personal bankruptcy, you’ll get legal advice on whether to opt for liquidation or reorganization. You can rest assured that you’ll be making informed decisions as well as avoiding any violation of bankruptcy laws.
Filing bankruptcy with the bankruptcy court requires that you have a clear picture of your finances, so before you file for bankruptcy protection, take the time to gather the relevant data. If you want to petition for bankruptcy to rid yourself of financial problems and get out of debt, there are a couple of lists you need to make before filing.
- All debts you’ve been unable to pay – secured and unsecured debts, as well as dischargeable and non-dischargeable debts.
- All your exempt and non-exempt assets with their respective current values.
List of Debts
Filing for bankruptcy definitely requires that you furnish a list of all your debts and creditors. You must include all debts, every secured debt such as a car loan or a mortgage, and every unsecured debt such as medical bills and credit card debt. Name every creditor as well and how much you owe each one. Also include debt collection agencies that have contacted you. This way, your bankruptcy attorney can formulate a strategy for dealing with all the debt collectors involved in your bankruptcy case.
In a bankruptcy filing, certain debts like child support and student loans cannot be discharged. It’s important to include them even if you cannot discharge them since they directly impact your disposable income. You also have to indicate to your lawyer if you have a lawsuit filed against you or if there’s a possibility that somebody might file one against you.
List of Assets
Disclosing all your assets is necessary to the bankruptcy process, so when declaring bankruptcy, you need to disclose everything, including ones that you can claim as bankruptcy exemptions. Unfortunately, some assets such as furniture, vehicles, and real estate are not that easy to assign value to. Here are some things bankruptcy attorneys advise their clients to do so they can give a good estimate of an asset’s value.
- Furniture and other personal items – Price them as you would for a yard sale. Go to Craigslist and eBay to see how much similar items are worth. Don’t let your sentimental attachment to them cause you to overprice.
- Vehicles – Go to Edmunds.com to check how sellers are pricing your car model. Make sure to consider your own car’s mileage and condition when you price it.
- Real estate – Price your property as you would for an absolute auction or go online to see how much similar properties in the area are selling for. You could also simply look at your current tax bill and base your price on the county’s property value administrator’s estimate.
Other Pertinent Bankruptcy Information
Besides the assets, debts, and creditors lists, you also need to figure out the following data:
- Your entire household’s monthly income.
- Your household’s monthly expenses (get the average of the last three months.)
Want Legal Advice for This Legal Process? Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
Bankruptcies can give bankrupt debtors the fresh start they need. For help with bankruptcy proceedings, call us at Allmand Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free legal consultation with one of Texas’s experienced bankruptcy attorneys.