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Common mistakes that delay or derail bankruptcy filings

Debtors in Virginia understand that filing for bankruptcy might relieve their debt burdens and help them regain control of their financial lives. Although thousands of people approach bankruptcy courts every year in the state, the process requires careful attention to detail. Incomplete financial disclosures and skipping credit counseling frequently causes delays in bankruptcy cases or gets them thrown out of court altogether.

Every person needs to complete lengthy forms for the court. These must list all debts and assets. The court must know every detail about a person's financial position to make a fair decision or any decision at all. The law often requires debtors to go through credit counseling programs and other courses meant to educate them about debt and finance. A bankruptcy case cannot proceed until these conditions have been met.

Although organizing financial records and meeting criteria for credit counseling present hurdles, many people suffer through the stress of excessive debt needlessly by delaying action. Waiting to seek bankruptcy protection exposes a debtor to the continual stress of unpaid bills, creditor harassment and wage garnishment. The timely decision to file for bankruptcy could set someone on the path to resolving financial hardships.

Unemployment and medical emergencies often trigger money problems. When this happens, a person could speak with an attorney about how to reorganize debt into a reasonable payment plan. An attorney could perform a means test or analysis of income and debts to determine eligibility for bankruptcy. The client could also gain information about exempt assets, like home or retirement accounts.

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