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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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Bankruptcy Mistakes to Avoid

On Behalf of | May 22, 2018 | Bankruptcy Basics

The purpose of bankruptcy is to provide much-needed relief to debtors who are unable to repay their outstanding debts. This relief brings the ability to sleep better at night, without the constant stress of trying to make minimum payments, of constantly struggling to make ends meet, and of aggressive creditors. However, it is entirely possible to jeopardize and harm your ability to reap the benefits of bankruptcy.

Given the importance and necessity of bankruptcy relief to your peace of mind and financial future, consider the following advice regarding bankruptcy mistakes to avoid.

1. If you seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy, don’t provide false information when submitting your means test. This includes your average monthly income, other sources of income, or over-reporting your expenses. Getting caught in a lie can have many negative consequences, including an inability to seek the relief you need.

2. Don’t try to hide assets. If you attempt to transfer or give property to family members or friends, this will be seen as an attempt to conceal assets from the court, the trustee, and your creditors. We cannot overstate the severe consequences that can result from concealing assets, which can range from a denial of discharge to criminal charges! In addition, even if your discharge is denied, the trustee can still sell off the assets you attempted to hide to pay creditors.

3. Do not assume other lawsuits against you are on hold pending your bankruptcy. If you have pending lawsuits, including a divorce, foreclosure proceeding, or creditor lawsuit, make sure not to ignore these lawsuits. You need to inform your bankruptcy attorney of these lawsuits at your initial consultation so that appropriate measures can be taken.

4. Don’t touch your retirement accounts. Not only are these funds your hard-earned security for the future, but they are also protected from creditors. There is absolutely no need to touch these funds.

5. Don’t ignore your attorney’s advice. Your bankruptcy attorney works for you and wants to see you succeed. In addition, your bankruptcy attorney knows the law and can properly advise you of your legal rights and options.

You Need an Attorney

It takes strength to admit that you need help. For many, bankruptcy is a desirable mechanism to getting financial help. However, bankruptcy proceedings are complex and it is important to have a good attorney by your side. At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., we provide intelligent, thorough representation to our clients. With 30 years of legal experience, we can guide you toward the debt relief you need. Contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., at (973) 323-2953, or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.