4 Reasons To Consult A Bankruptcy Attorney Long Before Filing

Do you struggle with debts beyond your ability to repay? If so, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy in order to get your financial life back on track. But even in these early stages, should you consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney long before you actually file? Yes, and here are four of the most important reasons. 

1. To Decide on a Chapter

Bankruptcy claims are filed under one of several chapters of the bankruptcy code. Chapter 7, for example, is liquidation bankruptcy where your assets are sold to pay off debts before the discharge of remaining eligible debts. However, this isn't the only route. You might also choose Chapter 13, or repayment, bankruptcy. 

You must decide on the right path to bankruptcy based on your specific circumstances. And you'll need to do this before you can file. 

2. To Learn About Accidental Fraud

Accidental bankruptcy fraud can get you in real trouble and could lead to the dismissal of your case. But what is accidental bankruptcy fraud? Because most people aren't familiar with the detailed rules of what you may or may not do in the weeks and months before filing, they may violate these rules unknowingly. 

For instance, if you pay off a personal debt to your cousin while still holding credit card debt, you may commit accidental fraud through preferential payments. How can you learn what steps to avoid? Learn more in consultation before you make any money moves. 

3. To Find Out the Requirements

All bankruptcy cases have certain steps or tasks you must perform before or during the process. You must have filed all income taxes within a mandatory time frame and completed at least one credit counseling course, for instance. If you wait to find out these requirements, you could delay your case. 

4. To Choose the Timing

Should you file bankruptcy sooner rather than later? Or would waiting be a better decision? 

Because you're limited in how often you can claim bankruptcy, when you do it could have a large impact. If you're still receiving ongoing medical treatment, for example, future bills wouldn't be eligible if you file too soon. And to receive relief from some income tax debts, you must file within a certain time frame. Your attorney will help you learn about these issues. 

Where to Start

Clearly, it's almost never too soon to start consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer. Along with these important planning steps, you'll get answers to a myriad of your own questions. Start today by making an appointment.

Contact a bankruptcy attorney for more information.