3 pre-bankruptcy blunders that can sabotage your fresh start

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Bankruptcy |

Are you mired in overwhelming debt? You are not alone. Florida saw nearly 25,000 bankruptcy filings in 2023.

Exploring bankruptcy as an option is a big decision. Gathering general information about the process may be helpful, but avoiding common pitfalls before filing is just as, if not more, critical. To help your Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy get off to the best possible start, don’t make any of these pre-filing missteps.

Fueling the fire with new debt

Using your credit card for that essential car repair or unexpected medical bill might seem necessary. However, creditors can object to your bankruptcy if they suspect you were planning to file and intentionally racked up new charges. To avoid suspicion, consider suspending all credit card use as soon as you decide to explore bankruptcy.

Passing off valuable assets

You may see no harm in giving heirlooms or valuable antiques to a relative for safekeeping ahead of your bankruptcy, but doing so is considered fraud. If the bankruptcy trustee finds out, you could lose the very assets you were trying to shield and possibly face legal repercussions.

Transparency is crucial. Keep your assets and disclose everything accurately during bankruptcy.

Making detrimental DIY moves

Your friend who went through bankruptcy might offer seemingly helpful suggestions, but their situation was likely different from yours. Each bankruptcy is unique, involving different circumstances and priorities. What works for some may not work for others. A do-it-yourself approach could even worsen the situation.

Having experienced legal guidance is vital to success. They can help you navigate the complex legalities of bankruptcy, understand your options and ensure a smoother, more successful filing process.