1. Be thorough. Make sure you have everything you need before you file. If the attorney is asking for it, it’s because it is needed.
2. Ask questions. This goes hand in hand with being thorough. Don’t leave questions blank, if it doesn’t apply simply write N/A.
3. Understand the different Chapters. There are options for clients. Make sure that you understand the different chapters and what the eligibility is for each one, as well as pros and cons of each.
4. Understand what you are signing. When you sign a bankruptcy petition, you are signing under penalty of perjury. You need to make sure the information listed is accurate and that nothing was left off.
5. Read the documents. It sounds easy, but make sure you are reading the documents that you receive from the Court and your attorney’s office. If you don’t understand something, then ask.
6. Timelines. It is important to understand what goes on during the course of a bankruptcy, and how long it generally takes. Depending on your Chapter you could be finished in 90 days or 5 years.
7. Why? Why did you have to file bankruptcy? Many people think it is just because they don’t have any money. But that isn’t the only reason. Someone could be facing a garnishment or they could have lost their job.
8. Property. Many people believe that you lose everything when you file bankruptcy. This is not the case. While you do run a risk of losing property, depending on the Chapter you file and the value of your property, you can still keep a lot of property.
9. Choices. This goes with the Why. But knowing that there are choices outside of bankruptcy including workouts with creditors, is something that you should learn about.
10. Benefits. Many people think that bankruptcy is just a negative thing that happens to people that mismanage money. While there are many people out there that fall into this category, this is not always the case. There are benefits to filing such as stopping a foreclosure, garnishment or getting rid of personal liabilities.