Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy is difficult. Not only can bankruptcy affect your life in numerous ways, but it’s a complicated and intimidating area of the law. However, once you’ve made the decision to file for bankruptcy, the last thing you should do is make avoidable mistakes. Mistakes during the bankruptcy process can cost you—big time. Therefore, if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Milwaukee, it’s imperative that you understand—and avoid—the following common bankruptcy mistakes.
Avoid These Bankruptcy Mistakes
1. Failing to list all creditors
The bankruptcy process can be overwhelming and confusing—particularly for those debtors who fail to enlist the services of an experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer. In this confusion, debtors sometimes fail to include all creditors in their bankruptcy filings. If you fail to list a creditor in your bankruptcy case, you may lose the opportunity to discharge the debt connected to that creditor.
2. Hiding assets
Debtors sometimes attempt to hold on to assets by hiding them from the bankruptcy court. Not only can this jeopardize an entire bankruptcy proceeding, but’s it’s also illegal, and it can result in prison time and fines. When you file for bankruptcy, you must disclose all your assets to the bankruptcy court.
3. Repaying family members or creditors before filing for bankruptcy
Debtors sometimes attempt to pay family members and creditors back prior to filing for bankruptcy. However, when a debtor pays back a family member or creditor before filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court may view such payments as preferential, thereby requiring the family member or creditor to pay the money back to the court.
4. Running up credit cards before filing
Some debtors purposely run up their credit cards immediately prior to filing for bankruptcy under the mistaken belief that the additional debt will be discharged. This is wrong. If you make large credit card purchases immediately prior to filing for bankruptcy, the court may force you to pay for them.
5. Waiting too long to file for bankruptcy
Anyone considering filing for bankruptcy knows that debt can get out of control. However, debtors often wait too long to file for bankruptcy after realizing they can no longer pay their bills. All this does is make the problem worse. If your debt has gotten out of control, you should at least discuss the possibility of filing for bankruptcy with a Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer.
6. Failing to contact a Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer
The biggest mistake you can make when filing for bankruptcy in Milwaukee is failing to contact a Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer. Without a bankruptcy lawyer on your side, you are bound to make mistakes. Therefore, in order to avoid the pitfalls inherent in the bankruptcy process, you should contact an experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible. At Hanson & Payne, our bankruptcy attorneys will help you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the bankruptcy process while doing everything in our power to ensure a successful result in your bankruptcy case. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.