The holidays can be a difficult time for many reasons, not the least of which is financial. There are many costs associated with celebrating the holidays, and bills can pile up. After the holidays, many people already on financially precarious footing, can feel even more worried and overwhelmed knowing they are entering the new year with even greater financial burdens.
However, that doesn’t need to be the case. Did you know that filing for bankruptcy can give you a fresh start, without the anxiety of large credit card bills and late fees, wage garnishment or the nonstop calls and other harassment from debt collectors? The New Year brings an opportunity to take stock of your stressful financial situation and undertake the required steps to obtain meaningful debt relief, thereby immediately improving your financial situation, as well as your quality of life.
What you can do to prepare now
At Mariano & Coiro, P.C. we have successfully represented clients in bankruptcy matters for more than 34 years. While each matter is different, we can offer some general advice to help you prepare for bankruptcy.
1. Keep an eye on excessive spending. The bankruptcy court will closely examine your spending habits for at least 6 months prior to your filing, and can look back as far as 2 years, depending on the type of debt you’ve incurred. Spending on essentials like clothing, food, etc. are typically acceptable, while excessive sums spent on “luxury items” (such as vacations, electronics, etc.) or funds or assets transferred to family or friends in an attempt to preserve them, will be more closely scrutinized.
2. Know that you can protect some assets. A common myth is that filing for Bankruptcy will cause you to lose or forfeit many of your assets. However, a properly presented bankruptcy case can usually protect most assets (even your home and vehicle in most cases), depending on their value and if you are up to date with the payments. Moreover, most retirement accounts and pensions can also be successfully protected from the reach of the Bankruptcy Court. Most of your other personal assets are also protected by generous exemptions provided under the Bankruptcy Code. Hence, it should be reassuring to know that your filing need not result in the loss of your important assets.
3. Stop using your credit cards, and don’t open new ones. If you haven’t done this already, it’s a good idea to stop using your credit cards, especially for non-essential or discretionary purchases. Many people are tempted to use their credit cards, even spending up to the card’s limit, especially if you are considering filing of bankruptcy. However, this is usually not a good plan, as the Court typically frowns on debt incurred on the “eve” of your bankruptcy filing, and could even force you to pay any such “last minute” debt in full. Of course, you may continue using your debit cards.
4.Get guidance from professionals. Bankruptcy law is extremely complex. The things you don’t know can truly hurt you. Therefore, don’t try to go it alone, as ignorance of the intricacies of the law and mistakes made with your filling can result in unwanted results, and maybe even unnecessary debt repayment which could have been avoided. Take advantage of our experience and expertise by having us review your financial situation and determining the best course of action for YOU.
By preparing now, you can help yourself usher in a better and happier 2020 and beyond, with a fresh financial start. Now that’s something to celebrate.
Resolve to start 2020 right
A bankruptcy attorney is your guide through this process. Contact us for a FREE, no obligation consultation. To speak with a member of our team, call us at 732-860-7620.