Debtors who are considering filing for bankruptcy often want a quick fix without having to think too much. This makes sense as that is how most people think, however this is not realistic when filing for bankruptcy.
When you file for bankruptcy, you should make sure that all of your creditors are listed on your bankruptcy petition so that they will get notice from the bankruptcy court of your bankruptcy filing. If you fail to list the creditors on your bankruptcy petition and you case is a no asset case, you will probably still be able to discharge the debt. If your case is an asset case, which means you have to turn over property to a bankruptcy trustee, you had better amend your petition to list the creditor to avoid any surprises in your case regarding non dischargeability of your debt. The bankruptcy court charges a $30 fee for amending this part of the petition so it is best to list all debts upfront.
When you set an appointment to meet with a bankruptcy professional for a free consultation, you will at some point be asked to complete a questionnaire which will ask about everything regarding your financial history and assets. It is best to be as detailed as possible when completing the questionnaire so that your attorney can best assess your case and determine if it is safe to file your case. You should list all of your assets, list anybody you have paid money to over $600 in the last 90 days, and list any transfer of funds or assets to family members within the last year. Failure to list assets, transfers of property, or payments to insiders (family) can result in you losing your assets or jeopardizing your bankruptcy discharge. In most bankruptcy cases a debtor can protect all of their assets through the use of bankruptcy exemptions which give generous amounts of equity per category in which debtors can protect their assets. For instance, in Washington State there is a $125,000 of equity protected in a home. Therefore the majority of debtors get to keep all of their assets when a bankruptcy is filed. At the end of the day, it is best to be up front about your situation so that your case goes through smoothly without any objections from the trustees office or a creditor in your case.
If you have additional questions regarding debt issues please schedule a free consultation by calling Symmes Law Group at 206-682-7975