Whether or not you hire an attorney when filing a bankruptcy case, there are certain actions any prospective bankruptcy filer should take before filing or even before retaining an attorney. The following is a quick summary of some of the “dos and don’ts” before filing bankruptcy.
- Take a credit counseling course, online or over the phone, which is required before any case is filed.
- Refer collection calls to your bankruptcy attorney, if you have retained an attorney. There is no need for you to speak with creditors once you hire an attorney.
- Gather financial information and documentation, including proof of income, bank statements, mortgage statements, motor vehicle loan statements, two-three years of tax returns, information about any pending lawsuits, and a credit report. Any correspondence from collection agents is also an important item to gather, especially before seeing an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
- Consider opening a new bank account, especially if you have any overdrafts at your current bank and owe it money. The bank may close the account when it receives notice of the bankruptcy filing, thus, potentially necessitating opening a new bank account ready for use when the new case is filed.
- Do NOT incur new credit card charges or acquire other forms of new debt. Unplanned medical debt may be an exception, since there may have been no other option for dealing with a medical emergency. Using credit shortly before filing bankruptcy will likely cause you to repay some or all of the debt.
- Do NOT withdraw funds from retirement accounts to repay debts without discussing this with an attorney. This is rarely, if ever, a good idea.
- Do NOT repay any money to family or friends without first contacting an attorney. If you have already repaid any family members, friends, or business associates within the past year, inform your attorney immediately.
- Do NOT transfer any assets, whether estate, motor vehicle, money, or anything of value to family or friends without consulting with an attorney. Most bankruptcy attorneys, including the attorneys at the Morrison Law group, offer free consultations.
- Do NOT purchase and finance a new vehicle just before filing a bankruptcy case as it may necessitate and cause a delay in filing the bankruptcy case. Speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney first if considering this.
- Do NOT ignore any lawsuit that’s filed. Give a copy to your attorney as soon as possible.
- Inform your attorney of any changes in circumstances between the time that you first consult with him or her and filing. Continue to update your attorney while your case is pending as well. If you have any questions, you can always ask your attorney for advice and guidance.
Hiring an experienced, knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney allows you to contact your attorney to ask and discuss any questions that you may have about filing bankruptcy. Theron Morrison cares about protecting and asserting your rights. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.