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5 Tips if You Are Filing Bankruptcy

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If you are in the process of filing bankruptcy, it is a stressful process. However with a few tips in mind, there are things you can do to reduce the stress of the situation and be more prepared for the process ahead of you.

1) Get a lawyer.

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Please don’t assume you will be able to file for bankruptcy without representation. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and prepare you as well as help you with the timing as well. Also, the lawyer can help you figure out whether bankruptcy is worth it and whether there are alternative avenues you should consider.

2) Avoid large purchases and cash withdrawals.

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If you have luxury purchases or withdrawl large amounts of cash using your credit card up to 90 days before you file, you may not be able to get this debt discharged later. Purchases related to food, clothing and utilities aren’t considered luxury but everything else will be under suspicion.

3) Don’t touch retirement savings.

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While it may be tempting to dip into retirement savings, don’t do it. This is money you will need later on and shouldn’t be something you using to pay off debts.

4) Collect all necessary paperwork.

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Get all of your bank statements, income tax information and any documentation about assets. This will help determine whether you are actually eligible to file bankruptcy.  Also be sure to collect the latest collection invoices you have received as well.

5) Pay attention to your mail.

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The court will be sending you letters that confirm the date you should appear in court and updates related to your case. Make sure you read your mail. You don’t want to miss your court date, so be sure to stay on top of this information.