Thirty-Three Things Not To Do in preparing to file a Chapter 7
Thirty-Three DON’TS in preparing to file a Chapter 7
- Don’t leave out Bank, Checking, Savings, Brokerage, Credit Union accounts.
- Don't file if your income is greater than your expenses.
- Don’t use your credit cards.
- Don’t take Credit Card Cash Advances.
- Don’t use convenience checks.
- Don’t do balance transfers.
- Don’t pay money to Family.
- Don’t pay money to Friends.
- Don’t tell a creditor that you intend to pay.
- Don’t leave assets off of your paperwork.
- Don’t file if you are about to receive a tax return or inheritance. Discuss the timing with your attorney.
- Don’t fail to tell your attorney about your small business, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, LLP, LC, corporation, or hobby.
- Don’t purchase a home shortly before filing bankruptcy without consulting your attorney.
- Don’t give or gift property to anyone.
- Don’t pay more than $600 on any past due bill.
- Don’t transfer property to anyone.
- Don’t cash out retirement plans or 401k’s.
- Don’t take out a second mortgage.
- Don’t gamble.
- Don’t hide assets or debts.
- Don’t take out “payday loans”.
- Don’t put your money in your kids’ bank accounts.
- Don’t omit or ‘save’ a credit card for after your bankruptcy.
- Don’t fail to list debt to family or other “insiders.”
- Don't write bad checks.
- Don’t borrow money.
- Don’t forget to tell your attorney about liens you may have on your home or unpaid judgments so they can be avoided.
- Don’t make major financial decisions without talking to your attorney.
- Don't get married before filing if your spouse has a high income.
- Don’t misrepresent facts to your attorney.
- Don’t run up your credit cards in advance of filing bankruptcy.
- Don’t fail to appear at State court hearings, trial or proceedings; coordinate with your attorney.
- Don’t hide from your attorney. Keep them up-to date with your address, phone number and email address.
7 Mistakes To Avoid Prior To Filing Bankruptcy
The actions an individual takes leading up to filing bankruptcy can drastically affect his or her ability to get a "fresh start". By avoiding these seven mistakes, one can travel successfully through the bankruptcy process without losing a pound of flesh.
1. THE CREDIT CARD RUN-UP MISTAKE:
Don't use your credit cards once you have made your decision to file bankruptcy. Consumer debts incurred for luxury goods and services owed to a single creditor in excess of $500.00 within 90 days of filing are presumed to be non-dischargeable and may be found to be due and owing. Cash advances of more than $750.00 within 70 days of filing are presumed to be non-dischargeable and may be found to be due and owing. Don't jeopardize your "fresh start" by running up your credit cards.
2. THE REPAY A FAMILY MEMBER MISTAKE:
With regard to repaying debts, you cannot treat your family member any better than you would an ordinary creditor. In fact, a bankruptcy trustee can reclaim any amount repaid to a family member within one year of filing bankruptcy.
3. THE LIQUIDATE YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT MISTAKE:
Retirement accounts are generally protected. You can eliminate your debt and keep whatever you have in an ERISA qualified account, free and clear. Many individuals drain their retirement accounts in a futile attempt to pay down credit card debt.
4. THE TRANSFER PROPERTY OUT OF YOUR NAME MISTAKE:
A bankruptcy trustee can undo a transfer of property that previously belonged to you. This can occur if the transfer was made within two years of the filing of the bankruptcy with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor.
5. THE LINE OF CREDIT/SECOND MORTGAGE TO PAY DEBT MISTAKE:
Don't take a loan against your real estate in an effort to reduce the equity. You can often file bankruptcy and not lose this valuable asset. If you take out a second mortgage to pay credit card debt, you may be putting your house at risk.
6. THE FAILURE TO APPEAR AT COURT PROCEEDINGS MISTAKE:
If there's a collection case pending against you in state or federal court, don't assume that you can avoid the court process simply because you've decided to file bankruptcy. Until your bankruptcy case is filed, a collection case continues.
7. THE FAILURE TO TELL YOUR ATTORNEY THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH MISTAKE:
An attorney can only provide advice based upon information provided by the client. Failure to notify your attorney about your assets can lead to the loss of those assets, denial of your bankruptcy case, fines, imprisonment or all of the above.
!!! WARNING !!!
DO NOT BANK WITH ANYBODY YOU OWE MONEY TO.ESPECIALLY CREDIT UNIONS.
DO NOT BANK WITH WELLS FARGO.
IF YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY
WELLS FARGO WILL FREEZE YOUR ACCOUNT.
IN ORDER TO PROTECT YOURSELF,
YOU MUST STOP YOUR DIRECT DEPOSIT TO THESE ACCOUNTS.
YOU MUST ALSO STOP AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS AND WITHDRAWALS FROM THESE ACCOUNTS.