Filing Bankruptcy: Do’s And Don’ts From an Expert

Filing Bankruptcy: Do’s And Don’ts From an Expert
  • Opening Intro -

    As the bankruptcy lawyer, I often find myself advising clients not to do things they were planning on doing before they came in to see me.

    After all, that's why they are in my office, to get advice on how to handle their debt issues.


Talking points from a friend of mine who is a bankruptcy lawyer…

Some of the actions they contemplate, if they did carry through with them, would result in disastrous outcomes for their bankruptcy. What follows are five quick Do’s and Don’ts for anyone considering filing bankruptcy.

1. DO: When completing your bankruptcy petition…

List all of your property and assets, as well as all of your debts and creditors.

Your bankruptcy petition is the paperwork they you fill out and your bankruptcy lawyer later files with the Court. The Debtor, the person filing bankruptcy, must reveal all of their assets and all of their debts in this petition. This is one of the main prerequisites when filing bankruptcy. In other words, you have to list everyone who you owe money to (including friends and family) and all of your possessions (even that old motorcycle your dad gave you).

2. DON’T: Contact the Trustee’s office if you have an attorney.

Recently I attended a “brown bag luncheon” with the Chapter 13 Trustee. At the luncheon, the Trustee made it very clear that if a client calls her office, only bad things could come of that call. In fact, she advised every bankruptcy lawyer to go back and tell our clients NOT to call her office. When a client calls into the Trustee, their file immediately pops up on the screen. The person viewing that screen then looks for any little thing that may have gone unnoticed in the client’s case. Is a Plan payment a little late? Was there a tax refund that previously went uncollected?

3. DO: Always keep your bankruptcy lawyer informed of…

Any income increases or decreases throughout your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I view a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a partnership between myself and my client. Since the case can last up to 5 years, we must both complete certain duties during that time to ensure the successful result we both seek. One of the client’s primary duties is to keep their bankruptcy lawyer informed of their financial situation. This means contacting your attorney not only if your income decreases, but also if it increases. Please be aware that an increase in income will not always increase your plan payment.

4. DON’T: Before filing bankruptcy, give your property away.

This may be the most important DON’T. You must admit, it doesn’t sound like something you should do, does it. Just re-read the statement after “Don’t”… As you see, it doesn’t sound like something you should do because it is not. The Bankruptcy Court labels the transferring of property out of your name before filing your bankruptcy case FRAUD. Let me repeat, DO NOT remove property from your name before filing bankruptcy, no matter which family member or friend tells you it is a good idea.

There you go, four quick Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when filing bankruptcy, or considering filing bankruptcy. Believe me; there are much, much more.

Please share this information with others be it your classmates, workmates or nay person around you because it is very important. Get more information on

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