Due to the coronavirus pandemic, bankruptcies are up all across the United States. Individuals and businesses alike have struggled due to COVID-19, with many people losing their livelihoods due to the economic impact of the pandemic. If you are one of the people affected by this pandemic, you may have already considered bankruptcy. Before you file for protection, though, there are five things you should do:
- Get your financial records in order
- Before you decide to speak to anyone about bankruptcy, you should make sure your financial records are in order. That means records of all your debts, income, expenses, taxes, and any other information that might be relevant during the process. If you do not have your records sorted out, it can complicate the bankruptcy process and make it harder to secure legal protection.
- Consult with a financial advisor
- Before you declare bankruptcy, you will likely be referred to a financial management course or other similar service to help you learn how to manage your debt responsibly. You can get additional assistance with this by speaking to a financial advisor who can help you create a plan for handling your debt and expenses. Even if it does not help you avoid bankruptcy now, it may be able to help you avoid similar issues in the future.
- Speak to a bankruptcy attorney
- One of the essential steps for declaring bankruptcy is speaking to a bankruptcy attorney who can help you figure out whether it might work for you. They can help you decide what kind of bankruptcy might be best, and help you create a reorganization plan or debt restructuring plan, as necessary. It is definitely not something you want to try to handle by yourself, after all, and a lawyer’s expertise can help smooth out the process.
- Figure out your eligibility
- Not everyone will have the same options available to them when it comes to bankruptcy. There may be a limit in terms of how much debt you have, for example, and some may require additional steps like a reorganization plan to ensure you qualify. You may also be disqualified if you have previously declared bankruptcy within a certain amount of time.
- Begin the application process
- Once you know you are eligible and you have spoken to an attorney about what you need to get started, you can begin the application process. Depending on what chapter of the Bankruptcy law you file under, they can take anywhere from a few months to between three to five years, but once you are done, you will have your debt discharged. This will allow you to get a fresh start on your financial future without the burden of debt weighing you down.
If you have a question about declaring bankruptcy or other issues related to bankruptcy law, contact the attorneys at law at Blodnick, Fazio & Clark. With offices conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, and Babylon, Suffolk County, the firm provides high-quality legal services at reasonable fees. If you require legal assistance concerning filing for bankruptcy, creating a restructuring plan, renegotiating your debts, or another related matter, call (516) 280-7105 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.