Filing for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult but sometimes necessary decision to make if you’re drowning in repayments, medical bills, student or credit card debt, or had something unexpected happen to your job. Bankruptcy proceedings can involve court, where the judge and court trustee look at your assets and debts and determine for you which must be discharged and which can be paid using your assets. This allows you to start over with a clean slate, whether you are an individual that has fallen on hard times or a small business owner.
While this may sound great, there is a price to pay. Your credit score will take a large hit and thus it will be more difficult to acquire future loans for some time. If you are facing home foreclosure, vehicle repossession, or are experiencing harassment from creditors trying to collect payments, filing bankruptcy can stop all of that.
There is a process for filing bankruptcy that must be followed to ensure your case is not rejected by the court. Be sure you understand federal or state-specific bankruptcy laws before proceeding. Consulting a lawyer at this stage is recommended, as the judge and court employees cannot offer advice regarding which debts may or may not be discharged, or which assets you may legally leave out of your bankruptcy.
Luckily, most cases do not end up in a courtroom and your time in front of anyone will be limited. One meeting you are required to attend (which your lawyer may attend with you) is the 341 Meeting of Creditors. This will not take very long, such as five minutes. This allows creditors to appear while the court trustee asks questions, putting you under oath to state that your filing is accurate. They may ask about your debts, assets, and financial history. The more complex your case, the more questions you may be asked.
While court time is generally a rare occurrence for simple cases, if it appears that you have lied or you exempt some of your assets which were not on the approved list, you may face time in court. Your assigned court trustee can object to some of your exemptions in front of a judge. As well, the judge can order you to appear and prove your case, especially if it appears that you do in fact have enough assets to reasonably pay off your debts without filing bankruptcy.
To ensure your case goes smoothly and that you can keep as many of your assets as is legally possible, consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer in Melbourne, FL. They will guide you through the whole process and ensure you follow the laws, so your outcome is as beneficial to you as possible.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood for their insight into bankruptcy law and if you have to go to court to file for bankruptcy.