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West Palm Beach Bankruptcy & Business Attorneys > > Bankruptcy Attorneys > Steps to Take Before You File for Personal Bankruptcy

Steps to Take Before You File for Personal Bankruptcy


Planning to file for personal bankruptcy can be a relief when you are struggling with substantial debts, but it can also be a stressful time as you work to determine precisely what you must do prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. Given that US bankruptcy law is incredibly complex, it is easy for an individual debtor to make an error or to leave out an important step in the pre-bankruptcy stage. In order to ensure that you take all necessary steps prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, you should work with an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney from the very beginning. To be sure, as soon as you decide that personal bankruptcy is an option for you, it is important to seek assistance from a lawyer who can guide you through the process from start to finish.

In the meantime, our West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers can tell you about some of the key steps to take before you actually file for bankruptcy in South Florida.

Determine the Dischargeability of Your Debts

 One of the first steps you should take when planning to file for bankruptcy — and well before you actually file — is to determine the dischargeability of your debts. Many consumer debts are dischargeable according to the US Bankruptcy Code, including most credit card debt, medical debt, and personal loan debt. With changes to the process for having student loan debt discharged, you should also know that your student loan debt may be dischargeable. Yet it is important to ensure that the majority of your debt can be discharged before you file.

Find Out About Bankruptcy Eligibility 

You will also need to determine the type(s) of bankruptcy for which you are eligible. If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will likely need to show that you can pass the means test. Otherwise, you will need to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy if you have too much debt for a Chapter 13 filing.

Complete Required Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling 

Personal bankruptcy cases require the debtor to take two different courses — one before the bankruptcy filing and one after (but before discharge). You should complete the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling if you know you are going to file.

Watch What and How You Spend

 Be careful about spending in the months and weeks prior to a bankruptcy filing. Certain charges could result in concerns about presumptive bankruptcy fraud if those are charges you are planning to ask the court to discharge.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorneys Today 

Most importantly, if you are thinking about bankruptcy, you should hire an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at Kelley Kaplan & Eller, PLLC well before you file your bankruptcy petition. Having an attorney to guide you through the personal bankruptcy process is crucial. We have years of experience representing individuals in Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11 bankruptcies, and we can speak with you today about getting started on your bankruptcy planning. And if you have already filed a bankruptcy petition, it is important to remember that it is not too late to hire an experienced lawyer. Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you.



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