Petition for Bankruptcy on An Office Table


Bond Law Office Jan. 19, 2022

If you are overwhelmed by debt, you may have looked into some of your options. Filing for bankruptcy is probably one of them. However, many people considering filing for bankruptcy do not know how to prepare. Preparing for bankruptcy is just as crucial as the filing process itself.

If you need a fresh start, you must speak with our bankruptcy attorney at Bond Law Office to help you prepare. We can assist you with taking the necessary steps before filing for bankruptcy and avoid mistakes to ensure that your filing is correct and complete. We handle bankruptcy cases in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Arkansas, or all locations in River Valley.

What to Do to Prepare for Filing Bankruptcy

There are several steps to take prior to filing for bankruptcy:

  1. File the required tax returns. When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to make sure that you have filed tax returns for the past four years.

  2. Pay off your bills. Make sure that you continue making alimony and child support payments even if you intend to file for bankruptcy. Also, consider making payments on utility services such as water, electricity, and gas.

  3. Cancel automatic payments. If you are preparing for bankruptcy, make sure that you cancel all automatic payments to your credit cards and bank accounts.

  4. Be completely honest about your income and debt information. When providing information about your debt and income, you have to certify under penalty of perjury that the information you provide is complete and accurate.

What Not to Do Before Bankruptcy

There are also certain things to avoid before filing for bankruptcy:

  1. Do not pay debts that will be discharged. Paying debts that will be discharged in bankruptcy is a waste of your money. For example, when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debts that qualify for discharge include credit card debts, personal loans, medical debts, and others.

  2. Do not wait until the creditor obtains a judgment. Many people choose to wait until the very last moment before filing for bankruptcy. However, waiting until the creditor wins a judgment may have negative consequences.

  3. Do not use your retirement accounts to pay debts. Since retirement accounts are always protected in bankruptcy cases, it is best to preserve your retirement funds.

  4. Do not acquire new debt. When filing for bankruptcy, the court will not eliminate any debts acquired within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy if it determines that you never intended to pay back.

  5. Do not selectively pay off some of your loans. A bankruptcy court may consider any loans paid to friends or relatives within 12 months of the filing date or loans paid off to creditors within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy as “preferential transfer.”

How Legal Counsel Can Help

If you want to file for bankruptcy, consider seeking legal counsel to better prepare before the filing. A skilled attorney can do the following:

  • Examine your situation. An attorney will realistically evaluate your situation and determine how to best proceed in your case.

  • Determine the best course of action. When you hire an attorney, you can understand all of your options before filing for bankruptcy.

  • Prepare the documentation and file the necessary forms. An attorney will make sure that your bankruptcy case is processed promptly and efficiently by preparing the necessary documentation and filing forms.

  • Represent you in court. In addition to providing advice throughout your bankruptcy case, your attorney will represent you in court to fight for a positive outcome.

At the Bond Law Office, we understand that the process of filing for bankruptcy can be confusing and complicated, which is why we assist clients with the paperwork and documentation necessary to get debt relief.

Bankruptcy Attorney in Fayetteville & Fort Smith, Arkansas

If you have financial troubles and are considering filing for bankruptcy, do not go through this alone. Our skilled attorney at Bond Law Office is available to help you prepare for bankruptcy and provide you with the legal guidance you need throughout your case. We serve clients in Fayetteville, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, and handle bankruptcy cases in Van Buren, Harrison, Clarksville, and the Arkansas River Valley. Get a free evaluation with our bankruptcy attorney to discuss your case today.