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15 Ways To Prepare for Filing Bankruptcy in Rhode Island

What To Do Today to Prepare for Filing Bankruptcy in Rhode Island

A smooth Rhode Island bankruptcy case generally depends on how prepared you are. Here are some simple steps you can take to make your Chapter 7 case less stressful for both of us.  It really works!

  1. Stop using all of your credit cards immediately.  No more robbing Peter to pay Paul.
  2. Ideally, try to make sure that there is little to no purchase activity in the prior 90 days.
  3. If there were very large purchases, cash advances, or balance transfers in the prior 365 days, there should be no less than 3 payments made on such credit accounts.  Your lawyer may suggest making additional payments or waiting several months before filing for bankruptcy.
  4. Do not withdraw retirement funds early to pay bills. These withdrawals may be counted in the six-month income calculation and delay your filing date.
  5. Do not transfer any property out of your name, like real estate, bank accounts, or other valuable property.
  6. Gather your income tax records for the past two years.
  7. Make copies of all pay-stubs for the last 6 months and keep collecting them up until the filing date of your case.
  8. If you already have a judgment against you, do not warn a creditor’s law firm that you may be filing bankruptcy soon. This might trigger them to seize any money you have in your bank account.
  9. If you intend to keep certain secured property, continue to make payments to that secured creditor. This is very important if you want to protect your house and car.
  10. Perform a title examination on your real estate to make sure there are no unknown liens.
  11. Do not repay debts owed to friends and family members within one year prior to filing bankruptcy.  The trustee could force them to refund the money to the bankruptcy court.
  12. Disclose all property that you may have an interest in. This includes parent’s bank accounts, parent’s real estate, personal injury cases, and anyone who may owe money to you.
  13. Download your free credit reports at to make sure no creditor is omitted from your bankruptcy petition.
  14. Start saving money for your bankruptcy filing. Although most attorneys will provide a free consultation, they are not permitted to file your case until they are paid in full.
  15. Hire the best bankruptcy lawyer you can afford. Find one who devotes his practice to bankruptcy representation, knows what he is doing and is not a beginner.

About Mark Buckley

Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and debt-settlement attorney licensed in RI & MA. I am the only bankruptcy lawyer who is a certified financial planner professional. 

To plan your estate, or resolve debt concerns, call me at (401) 467-6800.