Filing for Bankruptcy: The Process
When you are at your wits end and you have exhausted all of your options as far as paying off your debts goes, sometimes it will seem that bankruptcy is the only option that you have left. If this is the case, then you will need an experienced attorney on your side to help you through the filing process. It can be very confusing and full of red tape. Filing for bankruptcy is not a one and done sort of form that you fill out. There will be court dates, lots of paperwork, and rules and regulations that will need to be addressed and followed.
Types of Bankruptcy
The kind of bankruptcy that you file for will depend on a multitude of circumstances. The way that you will be required to pay off or settle your debt will depend on the kind of bankruptcy that you file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will require that you liquidate your assets, this means losing a lot of your belongings as a form of paying off your debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not require liquidation, and will instead put a plan in place for you to pay off the debt that you owe. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the kind of bankruptcy that is granted to people who own businesses. This kind of bankruptcy allows a business to stay open while they pay off their debts.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, there will be a block on your credit. This is so that creditors can’t collect from you while you are filing for bankruptcy. This is called an automatic stay, and will not allow your wages to be garnished, money collected from your bank account, or your assets to be repossessed. When you file, there will be fees that could add up to thousands of dollars. And before you file, it is required in most areas that you take credit classes so that you can learn more about credit and how to make bankruptcy work best for you.
When you first file for bankruptcy, your credit is not automatically restored. Your credit will likely lower quite a bit. It is important to understand that the higher your credit is before you file for bankruptcy, then the more it will fall after you file. The bankruptcy could possibly show up on your account for up to 10 years. Some of the debts that you owe may not qualify for being discharged off your account at the end of your bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy will affect your credit in a negative way before you will have the opportunity to make it better. You should only consider bankruptcy as a last resort when you have tried everything else to make your payments.