When you’re buried under a mountain of debt, you might feel like it’ll take a lifetime to put a single dent in your financial burdens. However, bankruptcy provides you with the lifeline you need to wipe your financial slate clean – and this article will make it easier for you to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy .
Whether you’re determined to file for bankruptcy or still considering your options, here are the easy steps to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
1. Talk to a debt counselor to see if there are any other options you may have before filing for bankruptcy. This is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it will have an impact on your credit score. A debt counselor may be able to point out other financial options, or encourage you to file for bankruptcy. Another benefit: bankruptcy courts require credit counseling to have a petition approved, so you’ll already be well ahead of the curve.
2. Decide whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 could require that you liquidate some assets (exemptions can include your house and car) to pay off your debtors, while Chapter 13 re-arranges your debts so it’s easier for you to pay them off. No matter which option you pick, note that these bankruptcies can stay on your credit score for seven to ten years.
3. Research bankruptcy attorneys to determine who best fits your needs. Ask friends or family members for referrals, or read third-party reviews online to determine a shortlist of potential attorneys. Remember, you should always interview a bankruptcy attorney before making a final decision.
4. Once you’ve hired a bankruptcy attorney and filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, make sure that you refer any creditors who contact you to your attorney. If a creditor persists in trying to collect from you, you it is possible to take legal action against them.
5. Finally, don’t touch your credit cards before and after filing for bankruptcy, as this can cause your petition to be thrown out of the courts. The only exception to this rule is if you must use your cards for the purchase of necessities (which will need to be proved to the courts).
With these easy steps to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll be that much closer to financial relief.