There are many reasons why someone might need to file for bankruptcy, such as too much debt or a job loss. But before you file, you should know the basics of what to expect from filing-from the initial meeting with the trustee to gather all your debts in one place. Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision, but if you follow these five tips, your bankruptcy will go smoothly.
1. Make a List of Your Assets and Liabilities
The first step in filing for bankruptcy is to compile a list of all your assets and liabilities. This will help you understand what property and debts you will be able to keep and what will be liquidated to pay off creditors.
2. Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney
While you are not required to have an attorney, bankruptcy can be a complex process and it is in your best interest to have one. A bankruptcy Maryland lawyer can help you understand the bankruptcy process and make sure that all the paperwork is filed correctly.
3. Attend the Creditors’ Meeting
All bankruptcies must include a meeting with creditors, also called the 341 hearing. This is an opportunity for your creditors to ask you questions about your assets and liabilities and to object to your discharge if they believe you are trying to defraud them.
4. File All the Required Paperwork
After your creditors’ meeting, you will need to file a number of documents with the court, including a list of your debts and assets, a schedule of your income and expenses, and proof that you have completed credit counseling.
5. Complete Your Financial Management Course
All bankruptcies must include a financial management course. This course is designed to help you understand how to manage your finances and avoid debt in the future. The course must be completed before your discharge can be granted.