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Be sure you file bankruptcy at the right time

Sometimes the timing of your bankruptcy filing hardly matters, but other times it’s huge. The two examples in this post should convince you that you do not want to be rushed to file because a creditor got a judgment against you is now garnishing your wages. Since the timing of your bankruptcy filing can be a strategic decision, you should preserve the ability to file bankruptcy at a time that’s best for you.

1. Choosing between Chapter 7 and 13:  Being able to file a Chapter 7 generally requires you to pass the means test. This test largely turns on a very special definition of “income.” For many people, means test income can change every month. So you may not qualify to file a Chapter 7 one month but maybe you can the next month. Being able to delay filing means being able to file when you are likelier to pass the means test and not be forced into a Chapter 13. Chapter 7 cases are usually shorter and normally cost less than Chapter 13 cases.

2. Discharging debts:  Getting certain debts discharged can be more difficult if you incurred them within a certain amount of time before your bankruptcy case was filed. Delaying the filing of your case makes it less likely that the dischargeability of one of these debts would be successfully challenged. If a creditor is successful in challenging the dischargeability of a debt, you would still owe the debt, possibly along with the creditor’s costs and attorney fees and your attorney’s fees.

If you get sued, what do you do to avoid getting a judgment against you, so that you’re not rushed into filing bankruptcy at a bad time? See a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The earlier you get advice, the more options you will have.

Photo by: mao_lini.

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