First I always suggest to review your situation to decide if bankruptcy is truly the best option for you or if you can make some changes to get your budget back on track. If it's time to pursue bankruptcy, finding a Bankruptcy Attorney that can help is your best bet as they can provide you with a list of the documents you'll need to provide and worksheets to guide you as you complete your paperwork. Before filing, you'll need to complete an online credit counseling course, where you'll learn more about bankruptcy and have the opportunity to evaluate your budget. Once you have your completion certificate and your required documentation, you or your Bankruptcy Attorney can go ahead and file your case, which starts the automatic stay. This is a legal order that keeps creditors from contacting you to collect debt if they do contact you, all you'll need to do is give them your case number and my contact information. Your next step will be to attend your 341 Meeting, which some attorneys will attend with you, followed by a final online credit counseling course. If you're filing a Chapter 7, your unsecured debts will soon be discharged, and if you're filing a Chapter 13, you'll soon start your reduced payment plan. Your Attorney can help you throughout the process, so that you always know what to expect next.
Budgeting will be a part of your bankruptcy case and will become second nature after your debts are taken care of. A Bankruptcy Attorney can help as they discuss your case they can see how to best help your situation, you'll leave with a comprehensive list of tasks and documents to complete. The next step before filing your case, you'll need to take an online Credit Counseling Course. This class will not only help you decide if bankruptcy is the right choice for you, but a large focus of this class is also on budgeting. A second, post-filing class is also required, which will help you fine tune your budget further.
When you first file bankruptcy, you won't have access to credit for a while, which can be a challenge. That's why it's so important to focus on building up your savings account. This way, you'll have some money set aside for emergencies, rather than inadvertently getting into debt again. If you end up in a situation where you owe on a medical bill, for example, work with the creditor to establish a payment plan, rather than relying on credit cards.
Most of us don't really think about bankruptcy until debt starts to creep up, and even then, bankruptcy may not immediately seem like the right choice. While it's never wise to jump into bankruptcy without first exploring alternatives, this can be an effective tool for making a new financial start. It's worth researching and familiarizing yourself with how bankruptcy works and how it may benefit you.
One of the most important things you can do to stick to your budget and plan for your financial future is to be aware of where your money is going. It's up to you to not only create your budget, but to use the discipline required to stick to your budget. It's OK to make changes as your priorities change, as long as you keep in mind that you only have so much money to work with. This might mean sacrificing in one area to save up for something you really want in another.