What steps should I take to prepare filing for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy?

Filing for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy is a legally complex and emotionally draining process. Just when you need to be very careful and meticulous, you are overwhelmed with emotional turmoil given the social context of bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy laws in NY are designed to give people a fresh start. However, the most responsible of you cannot avoid the emotional stress associated with it.
Preparation for bankruptcy process can start over six month before you actually file. If you don’t have that much time, consult with your personal bankruptcy attorney certified to practice in the Rockland County or Westchester County to see what your best choices are.
While there are some common guidelines on what you can do to prepare for what will most certainly be a grueling process, the steps outlined below should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.

Every situation is different and you should consult with your bankruptcy attorney to make sure all actions you take are fully compliant. If you are located in either Westchester or Rockland Counties, you should reach out to the law office of Ken Busman ESQ to schedule your free consultation with an attorney. Our Westchester county offices are located in White Plains NY and our Rockland County office is located in Suffern NY. Call 914-946-6555 or write to us today!

1. Which debts to pay and how much

For at least six months before you file, do not pay more than your normal balance due on any debt before you file for bankruptcy in NY. If you pay one creditor more than the normal balance, but not all, it may be treated as giving preferential treatment to a creditor, which is prohibited.
You may choose to discontinue paying your unsecured debt altogether. For example, credit card debt is a type of unsecured debt, i.e. it is not secured by real property or by a motor vehicle.

2. Keep a log of all collection efforts.

A detailed diary of collection calls, contacts made, and letters received from creditors should be kept. Make a note of the time of the call or contact and names of people involved.
This can be useful for a number of reasons including protecting you federal rights not to be harassed by collectors. If you have a well maintained diary, there may be other things that your bankruptcy attorney may be able to spot that will help you make a strong case.

3. Do not make purchases that can be considered luxuries

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, only buy what is absolutely needed. A fancy new TV set or the latest smart watch can be detrimental to your qualifying for bankruptcy.
Your money should only be spent on bare necessities like food, housing, clothing and medicine. If you do buy luxury items shortly before filing for bankruptcy, said purchase may have red flags that may impend your bankruptcy.

4. Get your documents in order

Preparation is key to filing and successfully emerging from the bankruptcy process. The Trustee assigned to your case will need several documents. You need to comply with the Trustee in order to get successfully discharged.
At the very minimum, the following documents should be gathered:

  1. Last two years of state and federal tax returns
  2. Last six months of paystubs for all employment
  3. Profit/Loss statement if you own a business
  4. Credit reports (all three bureaus)
  5. Social Security Card and state drivers license (or other government issued Photo ID)
  6. Bank statements for last six months
  7. Appraisal or market analysis of your house (if you own)
  8. Title report of your house (if you own)
  9. Documentation for any real estate transactions in last two years
  10. Credit card bills for last 6 months

5. Consult with your Bankruptcy attorney
The above information may give you a sense of the complexity of filing for bankruptcy and successfully getting discharged.
It is possible to walk out of a bankruptcy procedure without losing all of what you own, however, this has to be done very carefully with full compliance with state and federal laws. Notwithstanding the complexity of the bankruptcy laws, your bankruptcy attorney from the law offices of Ken Busman ESQ can make sure that your learning curve on this is fast. There are limitations on who can and cannot file and it also requires that you sign up for courses with the help of your Bankruptcy lawyer.
In some situations filing for bankruptcy may be the right move and here are 3 REASONS WHY FILING FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY CAN BE THE SMART MOVE

In conclusion, there is a stigma related to bankruptcy and some people who need the advantages of the law may feel that they cannot overcome the stigma.

Don’t let that become a moral dilemma that takes you down a path of inaction! No matter how tough your situation may seem, it is very likely that in the 30 years that our attorneys have practiced bankruptcy law in Rockland County, NY and Westchester County, NY we have helped someone in the same situation as you. If you live in or close to White Plains, NY, or Suffern NY, you can also call and schedule a visit to the law office of Ken Busman, Esq located in these cities.
Take the first step in the right direction and call 914-946-6555 today or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation with a personal bankruptcy lawyer.

About Ken Busman ESQ
Ken Busman, Attorney at Law, with offices in Westchester NY and Rockland NY, serves clients throughout metropolitan New York City and the northern suburbs. Our key areas of practice include Bankruptcy Law, Real Estate Law, Accidents/Injuries Law, and Divorce Law. We have been serving clients for over 30 years as Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and the first consultation is always free so we can assess if we would be the right fit to take on your case. Call our office today at 914-946-6555 to schedule your free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in Westchester and Rockland areas.

See also Testimonials on my website from my satisfied bankruptcy clients.