Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Timing can be very important. It is prudent to take a look at your activities over the last few months before actually filing a case. Some situations can decrease the benefits available to you from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if the timing is right.
Did You Recently Move to Another State?
In bankruptcy, your assets can influence what kind of bankruptcy is best for you. States offer different exemptions. Your new home state may offer more than your old one or vice versa. The bankruptcy law dictates which exemptions we use during the two years after moving to a new state. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you are better off filing now or waiting.
Have You Recently Lost Your Job?
If you are filing for Chapter 7, the bankruptcy means (income) test determines if you qualify. Part of determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7 is averaging your last six months of income. By delaying bankruptcy, after a job loss, this average may drop and make it easier for you to qualify for Chapter 7.
Do You Need to Reduce Your Car Loan?
If you have owned your vehicle at least 910 days before filing for Chapter 13, you may be able to reduce your loan balance to its actual fair market value. The process is called a cram-down. The interest rate may also be reduced. You are unable to cram down to value if you recently purchased the car, but an experienced attorney may be able to help you reduce the interest rate on the loan.
Is It Possible to Discharge Income Tax Debts?
Some tax debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you meet certain criteria, past tax debts over three years old may be wiped out. For more recent tax obligations, delaying bankruptcy may make the debt old enough to be discharged. The laws regarding this are complicated, so talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney is important.
What Happens with Tax Refunds When Filing for Chapter 7?
If you are expecting a substantial refund, you may want to delay filing. Refunds due are considered part of your bankruptcy estate. The Trustee can seize all or parts of the refund to pay your creditors something. Timing a filing to maximize the amount of refund that you can keep is something that an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you with.
Did You Recently Pay Off a Family Loan?
If you have paid back a family member a significant amount recently, you may want to wait. Bankruptcy law may allow a Trustee to pursue the return of those funds in order to distribute them evenly amongst your creditors. If you paid back a loan over a year before you file, it is acceptable.
Have You Recently Rung Up Charges on Your Credit Card?
Luxury items purchased on credit within 90 days of filing may be considered considered fraud. The Court may declare them as non-dischargeable debt, if the creditor files a legal document called a complaint, and you may have to pay them back after the end of your case.
Did You Recently Transfer Property?
Typically called bankruptcy clawback, the Trustee can take back certain property transferred before filing. Postponing bankruptcy may help you avoid having the property transfer canceled.
Sawin & Shea – Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorneys
Knowing the right time to file for bankruptcy is essential in obtaining the total exemptions possible. The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Sawin & Shea can help determine the right timetable for you to file. With years of experience representing good people in bad financial situations, we can answer all your questions. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 317-759-1483 or send an email for a free consultation. We are ready to help.