Tips for a Successful Bankruptcy

During my time as a bankruptcy paralegal I had the pleasure to see hundreds of successful cases come across my desk and I was quickly able to pinpoint trends in each of them. Once I knew which trends to look for it was easy to assume which of the other clients were on their way to a quick and painless case versus those clients who looked like they were going to see some trouble. Based on that experience I have put together what I think are the top 3 tips for clients who want to achieve a successful bankruptcy:

1. Communicate with your attorney

This tip is #1 for a reason; if you hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you file your personal bankruptcy case then communication with them is absolutely vital. This communication isn’t just a phone call to check in every week or two, but instead a steady dialogue between you and your attorney’s office in order to keep everyone involved with your case on the same page. If your attorney needs something from you don’t procrastinate; make it your first priority to get it to them as quickly as possible. Remind yourself that without financial information from you, your attorney cannot move forward with the filing of your case.

2. Gather necessary documents early

Filing bankruptcy requires specific financial information from you regarding all sorts of things and even the best bankruptcy attorney can’t produce that information. It solely comes from you, the debtor. Begin gathering those necessary financial documents early so that you can quickly produce them whenever your attorney requests them from you. Here are a few items that are regularly required by personal bankruptcy attorneys: paystubs, bank statements, tax returns, mortgage statements, vehicle registration, insurance information, and if applicable child support and/or alimony court orders.

3. Make sure your bankruptcy paperwork is correct

The paperwork filed with the bankruptcy court is called a “petition”. It can range from 15-100+ pages depending on your financial situation. When you are presented with your petition before your case is filed it may seem daunting, but if at all possible you should find the time to go through the paperwork to make sure that everything is correct. Some people choose to do this page by page with their attorney, but it can also be done alone since the information pertains to you. If you see mistakes on the petition then they can be fixed by your attorney’s office.

There can, and probably will be, hiccups with any bankruptcy case, but by utilizing these 3 tips you may be able to avoid some of the common slip ups. These tips will not only lead to a successful bankruptcy, but a more stress free bankruptcy. Think about it this way, if you and your attorney are effectively communicating with one another then you will be aware of exactly what is going on and have no reason for extra worries during the process.

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