9 Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Bankruptcy

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Most people who file bankruptcy are doing so as a result of some life-changing event, such as a divorce, the loss of a job or serious illness. Filing bankruptcy can help them recover from the financial stress they have endured. However, hard working individuals often make common mistakes that can prevent them from receiving a discharge of their debts under bankruptcy.

Here are 9 mistakes that can cost you money, prevent you from eliminating your debts and, in some cases, are illegal.

#1 Withholding Information From Your Attorney

First and foremost, don’t lie or hide information from your attorney. Answer all the questions that you are asked honestly and completely. Tell your attorney everything, or you may be exposing yourself to major risks, including the loss of assets, the dismissal of your case and even criminal charges. Your interests can only be protected with complete honesty.

#2 Forgetting to List All of Your Debts

You should list all of your debts when you file for bankruptcy. If you neglect to list any debt in your bankruptcy petition, this debt will not be discharged and the creditor will be able to employ whatever collection measures are available to pursue repayment of the debt after your bankruptcy has concluded.

#3 Settling a Debt to Avoid Listing it in Your Bankruptcy

Don’t pay off the outstanding balances on your credit cards or other debts to avoid listing them in your bankruptcy. The creditor will find out about your bankruptcy and cancel your account anyway. And in the end, you may have paid off a debt that might have otherwise been discharged.

#4 Cashing in Your Retirement Account

Hold on to your retirement funds. Creditors cannot touch your qualified retirement account in a bankruptcy. As a general rule, you should stay away from using your retirement funds to pay off your debts as these funds can be very difficult, if not impossible, to replace before you retire.

#5 Making Large Purchases or Cash Advances on Your Credit Card Within 90 Days of Your Filling

Don’t run up your credit card bills just prior to filing bankruptcy. You may find yourself still responsible for those charges after your bankruptcy has concluded. Furthermore, running up your credit, when you know that you cannot afford to repay the debt, may be considered fraud and land you in jail.

#6 Making Preferential Debt Payments Prior to Filing Bankruptcy

It is not unusual for a debtor to prefer paying off some creditors before others. For instance, you may want to pay back your family and friends rather than your mortgage loan. However, some debts have priority over others and any preferential payments you make within 12 months of filing bankruptcy may be the subject of a lawsuit by your trustee to have those funds returned to your bankruptcy estate.  So, if you decide to repay your family or friends while neglecting to pay other creditors, the bankruptcy trustee may sue them to recover those funds, which can cause undue stress and conflict in your relationships.

#7 Transferring Property Out of Your Name Prior to Filing Bankruptcy

As it is with making preferential payments, any transfer of assets that the trustee believes you have made too close to filing bankruptcy may be the subject of a lawsuit to return these assets to your bankruptcy estate. Furthermore, if your trustee views this as an attempt to frustrate or hinder your creditors, he may even bring fraud charges against you. Therefore, you should never transfer property to family, friends, a living trust, an LLC, or any corporation prior to filing bankruptcy without first consulting with your attorney.

#8 Receiving a Large Tax Refund During Bankruptcy

Your tax return money can be used by your trustee to pay off your creditors. So, if you are expecting a large tax return immediately prior to or during your bankruptcy, you should discuss with your attorney whether it would be wiser to delay filing bankruptcy until after you have received and spent your tax return.

#9 Putting Off Filing Bankruptcy

When you file your bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay of all collection activity will immediately go into effect. This means that your creditors will be required to cease any efforts to collect from you. This will give you the opportunity to get back on your feet without being harassed by creditors, and before you spiral further into financial ruin. So, seek help before the situation becomes desperately out of hand.

Filing bankruptcy is a serious legal proceeding and not just some opportunity to outwit your creditors. While is natural to be frustrated by the circumstance that led you into bankruptcy, don’t be tempted by these shortcuts. Instead, let your bankruptcy attorney help you make an honest assessment as to whether bankruptcy is the right course of action for you.

Why Are Car Accidents Are Tough to Handle in Court?

car accident iconCar accidents numbers are on the rise and, unfortunately, the authorities cannot keep up with these numbers. In our world, everything is based on speed, but when you mixed speed with negligence, careless or reckless driving the effects can be devastating. A simple moment of misjudgment can prove dangerous or even fatal in some situations. When you are driving you should be doing just this, not talking on the phone, not admiring the scenery, not talking with a passenger and certainly not driving under the influence. Combining gas with alcohol is one of the most common causes of car accidents, and statistics don’t show any form of positive results in the future.

When you suffered injuries from an accident resulting from another individual’s negligent actions behind the wheel, the best thing you can do is take legal actions against the one responsible. To achieve a positive outcome from your case, you will need the knowledge and experience of a competent car accidents lawyer. Getting involved in a car accident is not only physical but also emotional, which can cause a lot more problems in the future. Getting proper legal assistance is vital in such situations. An attorney will be not only your legal defender but also your friend during the whole process of law.

Your lawyer has to determine the amount of money you should be getting as compensation to adequately cover all your expenses, lost wages and any pain and suffering you may have sustained due to the accident. He will make a proper investigation on the scene of the accident so he can gather as much details and evidence as he can to make a clear picture of what happened and what laws apply to your particular situation.

A car accidents attorney understand the situation you are going through and will make sure the legal process will be short and smooth as possible. When being involved in such accidents, it is better to leave your attorney to handle the legal side of things. An out of court settlement will be arranged by the lawyers of both sides to reach a joint agreement and cease the trial. This way the victim will not only benefit from a shorter, less stressing legal process but also from tax benefits. If you lawyer the agreement not so high and thinks you can get a better result from the court, he will advise you to continue with the trial.

Understanding Your Child Custody Case

child custody logoWhen a separation or divorce occurs, custody of the children will need to be determined as well. If the parents can’t decide on a plan on their own, a judge must decide the case. The family law court settles child custody disputes. Each jurisdiction has a court system designed for hearing family issues including child custody cases. Here is some custody help for starting a custody case.

 

There are two types of custody that may be decided during the case. The first is determining which parent will have temporary custody. Temporary custody is the initial period between separation and divorce. Permanent custody will be confirmed upon divorce. It is helpful if parents can come to a decision together that they both agree on. If parents can’t decide amicably, then both sides should have an attorney to represent their custody case.

 

The first step in filing a child custody case is to get all the forms that are necessary for your state. You can find these by visiting your state’s court website. Here you will find the forms necessary along with instructions for filling them out. You’ll also find information about how to file the forms. It’s usually easiest to print out the forms and fill them out off-line. This gives you a chance to review the instructions and locate all the information you need.

 

An experienced attorney will be able to guides clients through the process and will file the forms on your behalf. You don’t need to be a lawyer to file the case, but it can help. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of the process and will prepare the case properly. Even cases that seem relatively straightforward can easily become tangled and require help from an attorney.

 

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The custody case papers are filed by either emailing them or bringing them into the designated court in your area. Make certain that you have filled out the proper forms and that they have been filled out completely. If you have any inquiries about the forms, ask before you complete them. Leaving questions blank can cause a rejection of your entire form, and you’ll have to start the process again. You will need to pay a filing fee when you present your papers.

 

Once the custody papers are filed the court will assign a judge and a court date. There may be several court appearances needed-don’t expect everything to be settled on the first court appearance. Both parents must be present at the court date. If you don’t have an attorney, you will represent yourself. It is highly suggested that you have a lawyer even if your case may seem like an easy one. The court will decide the case, and you will receive a child custody order that you will need to adhere to. Any changes to the order will require another court appearance, so try to cover everything you need the first time.