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!
- Stop using all of your credit cards immediately. No more robbing Peter to pay Paul.
- Ideally, try to make sure that there is little to no purchase activity in the prior 90 days.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not transfer any property out of your name, like real estate, bank accounts, or other valuable property.
- Gather your income tax records for the past two years.
- Make copies of all pay-stubs for the last 6 months and keep collecting them up until the filing date of your case.
- 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.
- 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.
- Perform a title examination on your real estate to make sure there are no unknown liens.
- 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.
- 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.
- Download your free credit reports at http://www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure no creditor is omitted from your bankruptcy petition.
- 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.
- 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.