When Should A Debtor Delay Filing Bankruptcy?

When Delaying to File Bankruptcy Makes Sense

While generally speaking it isn’t smart to delay filing a necessary bankruptcy, there are some exceptions to that rule.

Below are a few reasons why a debtor would be better served if they delayed filing their bankruptcy:

  1. The debtor intentionally transferred, destroyed or damaged property within the past year with the intention of harming creditors. For example, if you got into a dispute with a creditor who you felt had cheated you and then proceeded to destroy the property which was securing the creditor’s loan, you might run into some problems in your bankruptcy. In this case, delaying your bankruptcy filing may be beneficial.
  2. You’ve recently made payments to some creditors while not paying others.  The bankruptcy system prohibits debtors from favoring some creditors over others, so those payments could be disallowed. However, if you delay the bankruptcy filing you may be able to avoid trouble.
  3. You transferred property or other assets to someone in the past two years.  The bankruptcy court will demand that any property transferred in that 2 year period before the bankruptcy filing be returned to the bankruptcy estate.  In this case delaying a bankruptcy filing could be beneficial to you and to the person you transferred the property to. However, if the property would have been considered exempt in bankruptcy, you may not need to delay your bankruptcy filing to avoid problems.
  4. You purchased luxury goods or services in the 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy.  Delaying your bankruptcy filing by a few months could save you a lot of problems in bankruptcy.
  5. You made credit card charges in the months before filing bankruptcy.  Delaying your bankruptcy filing will help ensure that your credit card charges are discharged.
  6. You anticipate that you will have another large debt coming down the pipeline.  For example, may you have surgery scheduled or are pregnant.  In that case you may want to delay your bankruptcy until after you’ve had your baby or completed your surgery.

Speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to find out if your situation warrants delaying your bankruptcy filing.