Bankruptcy can help you gain control of your financial situation and give you hope for the future. It also triggers some significant changes in your life. Those changes begin with filing and completing the lengthy list of to-do’s needed to ensure your bankruptcy is successful. Here are a few things you can do to make the process of bankruptcy easier for you and decrease the likelihood anything will go wrong when you file.
Step one is to get organized. This can be a major hurdle if you’ve been struggling financially. Some people tend to avoid financial warning signs leading up to their bankruptcy filing. If you’ve allowed bills to accumulate and ignored the payment notices rolling in, now is the time to tackle that stack of paperwork. Create a file for your bankruptcy paperwork and keep everything in it in order. Try organizing by the date you receive and/or sign documents, so you’ll be able to easily access it when you need it.
This is also a great time to get all of your other household paperwork in order. Even if you won’t need something for bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to make a fresh start and use this time to create a filing system that will help you keep your finances and other responsibilities in order moving forward.
Set Up a Budget
You’ll learn more about budgeting in your bankruptcy education courses, and you’ll need to submit a budget for approval if you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Even in a Chapter 7, the listing of your monthly income and expenses will show you what your monthly budget looks like and what may need to change.You give up a significant amount of control when you file for bankruptcy, but it’s still important to be a part of the budgeting process. This helps you understand what you’re dealing with now and will give you the experience in the future to create a budget on your own once your finances are back within your control.
Order Your Credit Report from All Three Credit Agencies
This is also a good time to order copies of your credit report. Consumers are entitled to at least one free copy of their credit report per year and they can check their credit score at any time. Many people struggling with debt and finances are reluctant to view their credit scores and reports because they know they won’t feel good about what they see. However, you need to know if there are mistakes on your credit.
You’ll also want to see how bankruptcy affects your current score, and then to see the gradual changes that take place following bankruptcy. Keep copies of your credit reports with your other financial documents, so you can track the improvements that happen in the coming years. Seeing your credit score slowly improve is a great motivator for staying on track with your finances.
Bankruptcy is a process and you’ll be busy once you file. The better prepared you are the easier it will be to deal with the tasks that must be completed as you move from filing to completion in your bankruptcy.
To learn more about the bankruptcy process or to discuss how you can get started on repairing your financial situation, contact the law office of Frank J. LaPerch, PC at 845.942.5500