Are you considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy? While it may not feel like an ideal outcome, sometimes bankruptcy is the best way to resolve debt issues and give your finances a fresh start. Chapter 13 is a popular choice because it allows you to retain ownership of certain assets while still resolving your debt problems. While the process may be complex, you'll likely be free from financial stress once it's complete. Most Chapter 13 bankruptcies last several years before they're fully discharged. Here are a few tips to help you survive that process.
Be honest and thorough in your petition.
Chapter 13 petitions and filings can be lengthy and complex documents. You'll probably be required to submit a variety of supporting documents, like bank statements, tax returns, and lists or assets and debts. It's important that you be completely accurate and thorough on these filings. Failure to include a debt, asset, or source of income could lead to serious problems down the line. A creditor could object to being included in the bankruptcy. Or a judge could dismiss your bankruptcy because you were less than honest in your filing. Err on the side of caution and disclose as much information as possible.
Respond to communications quickly.
Your bankruptcy filing isn't complete when it's confirmed. Rather, that's just the beginning. After the process is confirmed, you'll start receiving regular correspondence from a number of different parties. Your trustee may send you ledger balances. You could get objections to the bankruptcy from creditors. Some creditors may ignore the bankruptcy stay and continue trying to collect payment. All of these communications can have a major impact on your case. Try to respond to requests as soon as possible. If you're unsure of how to proceed, talk it over with your attorney.
Stick to a budget.
The easiest way to disrupt the process is to fail to make a required payment. If you do that, your entire bankruptcy could be dismissed. Before you agree to a payment schedule, make sure you have enough room in your budget to do so. Establish a budget and cut out discretionary spending on things like travel and clothing. Then stick to the budget. While it may be difficult, you'll be in a much better place when the process is over.
For more information on how to survive bankruptcy, talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney like Howard S. Goodman Bankruptcy Attorney. They can help you decide which type of bankruptcy is right for you and how best to proceed.