Do-it-yourself bankruptcy filing
Adding last-minute debt
Common Mistakes Made by Bankruptcy Filers
Choosing to file bankruptcy may be one of the most important decisions of your life — which is why it's important to make sure you avoid these common bankruptcy mistakes prior to filing.
At Equal Justice Law Group, we have handled thousands of bankruptcy cases over two decades, and we've just about seen it all when it comes to common bankruptcy mistakes.
What we present here are some of the more common bankruptcy mistakes people make prior to filing bankruptcy – mistakes which complicate and harm a smooth bankruptcy case.
If you have questions about bankruptcy, don't hesitate to contact us at Equal Justice Law Group.
With offices in Jackson, Placerville and Sacramento, we're nearby and ready to serve you.
And as always, your case evaluation and initial consultation are both confidential and absolutely free.
Starting Off Wrong
We see it all the time: the person who attempts to file their own documents in court for a bankruptcy (almost never getting it right; it's a complex procedure).
Also not good: using a legal document service, as opposed to a qualified attorney. You've seen the ads on TV or heard them on radio; there's a reason for the low price.
And of course, possibly worst of all: retaining an attorney without extensive bankruptcy experience. It's like hiring an auto mechanic to perform dentistry.
Adding Debt Before Filing
Planning on going on a spending spree prior to filing bankruptcy? Think again. It's one of theworst things you can do. Debts incurred 90 days prior to initiating a bankruptcy are not dischargable. Bottom line: you will be on the hook for all of these debts.
Thinking of signing over the title to property like a home or vehicle to someone else prior to filing for bankruptcy? Think again.
The courts view this as fraudulent conveyance, and just as the term implies, it's a very serious thing in the eyes of a bankruptcy judge. Simply put, don't try to shield assets from consideration in bankruptcy.
Other Financial Maneuvers
Don't liquidate your retirement pension funds, or take out a second mortgage, prior to filing for bankruptcy. We understand many people feel these are “responsible” things to do, but the fact is California has exemption protection for most pensions and some or all of your equity.
There is no need to liquidate or convert assets prior to filing.